Translator’s Note: On January 11, 2010, Mehdi Karroubi, one of the two reformist presidential candidates who have challenged the fraudulent June 2009 Iranian election, issued a statement in which he offered five ways for the Islamic Republic to exit the “current extensive crisis.” The next day, Shadi Sadr, feminist attorney and human rights activist, issued a critique which focused on the first point of Karroubi’s five-point plan. Large excerpts of this critique follow. For translations of other statements by Shadi Sadr, please see www.iranianvoicesintranslation.blogspot.com
Continue reading Feminist Attorney, Shadi Sadr, Critiques Mehdi Karroubi’s Five-Point Plan
Translator’s note: On December 27, 2009, the democratic opposition movement’s commemoration of Ashura, a Shia day of mourning, turned into street-by-street battles in Tehran. Hundreds of thousands, including whole families, used stones, bricks and trash can fires to fight the heavily armed anti-riot police and guards. Over five hundred were arrested, 38 were killed and hundreds were injured. Since then over 2000 opposition activists have been arrested. Some have been charged as “enemies of God,” and face execution. The government also orchestrated a large counter-march in Tehran on December 30. Below are two brief assessments of the December 27 and the December 30 events. The first is by a young student who expresses the deep determination to challenge the regime’s brutality. The other is by a journalist and blogger who reveals that the government’s forces cannot be underestimated. For more information on the mass arrests of opposition activists, please see the English language website of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters ( http://www.schrr.net/index-en.php) and the website of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (http://www.iranhumanrights.org/)
Continue reading The December 27, 2009 Protest and its Aftermath
Translator’s note: The mass arrests of opposition activists during and after the December 27, 2009 protests, have included police attacks on university campuses in Tehran and Mashhad. In response, students at these universities have boycotted classes. Below are excerpts from a statement issued by the Office for the Consolidation of Unity, Iran’s largest student organization. A detailed article about the students currently in detention or serving prison terms is available in Persian on the website of Amir Kabir University Students(www.autnews.de/node/5688). For background information in English, see Farnaz Fassihi’s “Regime Wages a Quiet War on ‘Star Students’ of Iran” in the Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126222013953111071.html)
Continue reading Statement by the Office for the Consolidation of Unity on the Large-Scale Arrests of University Students in Iran
Translator’s note: The formation of the new organization, “Homosexual Students at Iran’s Universities” is a courageous act. Below are large excerpts from a statement which this organization issued on the occasion of Students’ Day. For more information about queer organizing in Iran, please see “Twelve Men Face Execution for Sodomy in Iran” by Doug Ireland, published in Gay City News (http://gaycitynews.com/articles/2009/12/11/gay_city_news/news/doc4b2109624f65c652502853.txt). Please also contact Hossein Alizadeh, Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator at International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (www.iglhrc.org).
Continue reading Statement by Homosexual Students at Iran’s Universities
Majid Tavakoli, an Iranian student leader who had been imprisoned twice for his defense of human rights, was violently arrested on December 7 after he gave a speech at a gathering of students at Amir Kabir University (Tehran) to commemorate Students’ Day. Three years earlier in December 2006, he had been among students who protested Ahmadinejad’s speech at Amir Kabir University and called him “ a source of prejudice and corruption.” This year, Tavakoli was speaking to Amir Kabir students in the midst of student demonstrations throughout the country. Below are excerpts from two articles which defend Tavakoli and address the meaning of the Iranian government’s claim that he was arrested while dressed in a woman’s hijab. The first article is by Mujtaba Saminejad, a journalist, human rights activist and blogger. The second is by Shakiba Shaker Hosseini, a young feminist activist.
Continue reading Majid Tavakoli Becomes a Symbol of a Growing Student Movement