Monthly Archives: January 2008

Iranian regime tortures arrested students!

According to various student sources it has now been confirmed that at least three students have been tortured while in custody:

-Behrooz Karimizadeh’s forearm was cut so badly that he had to be transferred to hospital for medical treatment.
– Peyman Piran’s hand and shoulder were broken.
– Mehdi Allahyari was beaten so viciously by his interrogators that the signs were obvious to see when his family were visiting him. Some of the students who have now been released have also said that they could hear Mehdi being beaten up even though their own cells were quite a distance from the interrogation room!

Yet, at the same time, according to reports received from the families of jailed students, Nasim Soltan-begi was released on 26 January after a bail of 500 million rials ($54,000) was paid. She has now returned to her family and is said to be in high spirits. Similarly, the Prosecutor’s Office also set a 500 million rials ($54,000) bail for Keyvan Amir-alyasi and his family began proceedings on 28 January to release him and hope that this can be done by the end of the week.

While we welcome the release of those who have now left prison we believe that they should never have been arrested or mistreated – and that their release should be unconditional. We also believe that by killing a Kurdish student, torturing at least three others, and releasing some others, this regime is trying to sow the seeds of uncertainty, doubt and division among the student activists and leaders. This may be their ‘clever’ plan but it is bound to fail.

It is the economic, social and political crisis of this regime – and the rotten capitalist system it upholds – that compel students, workers, women, ethnic minorities and the Iranian masses in general, to protest against the injustices, the abuses, the corruption, and above all, the rampant exploitation and oppression, that dominate their daily lives. This is not the end of our struggle – it is the beginning of the regime’s end!

Militaant, journal of revolutionary socialist youth in Iran.

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Iranian regime claims Kurdish student hanged himself!

A spokesman for the Iranian regime’s judiciary has claimed that Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi, a Kurdish student arrested in Sanandaj on 6 January, had hanged himself in his cell.

Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi, a fourth year law student at the Payam Noor University in Sanandaj, Iranian Kurdistan, was taken into custody by intelligence officers after leaving a university examination hall. Nine days later his family were told that he had died.

At the time Sanandaj’s intelligence authorities told Lotf-Allahi’s family that Ebrahim had committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell. The judiciary has now officially announced this to the press. But Lotfollahi’s family do not accept that their son has committed suicide while under arrest. They have asked the Sanandaj prosecutor’s office to issue an order that his body be exhumed, the cause of death determined and that those responsible be punished.

Ebrahim was buried at night by intelligence officers: without his family’s knowledge or access to the body. Later on cemetery officials showed them the location of their son’s grave. The family’s lawyer has said that there is no precedent in Sanandaj for the body of someone who has died in prison to not be given over to the family. He also added that if Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi really had committed suicide, then by turning over the body to the coroner’s office, the cause death could have been establish and his family convinced about the reason for their loss.

A judiciary spokesman has said that Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi’s death is under investigation but that there would have to be a court order before the body can be exhumed.

Many human rights organisations have expressed concern about Ebrahim’s death and have asked the Iranian government to investigate. It is clear to everyone in Iran, however, that this is yet another crime committed by this reactionary regime in its 29-year reign of terror. Even if the state murder of Ebrahim Lotf-Allahi can be pinned to a single interrogator exceeding his authority, the ultimate responsibility lies with this blood-soaked and barbarous form of bourgeois dictatorship.

Militaant, journal of revolutionary socialist youth in Iran.

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Carta abierta al presidente Chávez de los activistas obreros y estudiantiles iraníes

Sr. Hugo Chávez Frías
Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela

Estimado presidente:

Hemos escuchado las noticias de la liberación de dos rehenes de las FARC con renovada esperanza por el futuro de Colombia. La liberación de Clara Rojas y Consuelo González no sólo es un acontecimiento feliz para sus familias sino también un acontecimiento con gran potencial para la sociedad colombiana. Incluso las agencias de noticias más derechistas del mundo reconocen el papel crucial de Vuestra Excelencia en la negociación para la liberación de estas dos rehenes. El proceso de negociación que usted ha realizado ha sido difícil, ha requerido una paciencia poco común por parte de Vuestra Excelencia. Sinceramente esperamos que muchas más personas puedan reunirse con sus amigos y familiares a través de su positiva intervención para superar el abismo de comunicación que existe entre las FARC y el gobierno Uribe.

Vuestra Excelencia, creemos que su negociación y cualidades de persuasión puede ser utilizadas además para la liberación de rehenes en otras partes del mundo. EN particular, ya que ha desarrollado muy estrechas relaciones con sucesivos presidentes iraníes, esperamos que pueda utilizar su influencia para ayudar a liberar a los genuinos sindicalistas, demócratas y socialistas que hoy están encerrados en Irán. Hoy hay muchos trabajadores, estudiantes, mujeres y periodistas en las prisiones de Irán. En diciembre de 2007 unos 40 estudiantes fueron detenidos por exigir libertad y cantar La Internacional. Más de treinta de ellos aún están en prisión, con rumores de que Saeed Habibi se puede haber suicidado. Las cárceles iraníes están llenas de activistas obreros que han intentado formar sindicatos y organizar a los trabajadores en su lucha para mejorar sus salarios y condiciones de vida. Mahmood Salehi y Mansour Osanloo son dos de estos organizadores. Salehi, que sólo tiene un riñón, está en un estado crítico. Onsaloo es al dirigente del sindicato de la empresa de autobuses de Vahed. Intentó relanzar el sindicato y subir los bajos salarios de los trabajadores. Fue golpeado por los vigilantes relacionados con el régimen y encarcelado.

Vuestra Excelencia, creemos que vuestras estrechas relaciones con los líderes de la República Islámica, junto con vuestras indudables dotes de persuasión, pueden ayudar a la liberación de estos prisioneros. No son criminales: son personas que simplemente protestaban para conseguir mejores derechos para los trabajadores, estudiantes, mujeres, periodistas y otros sectores de la sociedad. Estamos seguros de que vuestra intervención en este aspecto, con un gobierno que mucho más amigable con Venezuela que la Colombia de Uribe, puede conseguir resultados positivos.

Suyos, respetuosamente.

Red de Solidaridad con los Trabajadores Iraníes (Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network)
Comité de Acción de los Trabajadores (Workers’ Action Committee Iran)
Militaant, periódico de la juventud socialista revolucionaria de Irán
13 de enero de 2008

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Open letter to President Chavez from Iranian labour and student activists

Mr Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias,

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Dear Mr President:

We hear the news of the release of two of the FARC’s hostages with renewed hope for the future of Colombia. The release of Clara Rojas and Consuela Gonzalez is not only a joyous event for their families but a development with great potentials for Colombian society.

Even the most right-wing news agencies in the world acknowledge Your Excellency’s crucial role in negotiating the release of these two captives. The negotiation process that you have gone through has been a difficult one – requiring uncommon patience on Your Excellency’s part. We sincerely hope that many more people will be reunited with their families and friends through your positive intervention in bridging the communication gap between the FARC and the Uribe government.

Your Excellency, we believe that your negotiation and persuasion skills can be put to further use in the release of captives in other parts of the globe. In particular, as you have developed very close relations with successive Iranian presidents, we hope that you can use your influence to help free the genuine trade unionists, democrats and socialists locked up in Iran.

Today there are many workers, students, women and journalists in Iran’s prisons. In December 2007 around 40 students were arrested for demanding freedom, liberty and singing the Internationale. Over thirty of them are still in prison – with rumours that Saeed Habibi may have committed suicide. Iran’s jails are also full of labour activists who have tried to set up trade unions and organise workers in their struggles to improve their pay and conditions. Mahmood Salehi and Mansour Osanloo are two such organisers. Salehi, who has just one kidney, is in a critical state. He was arrested in 2004 because he tried to organise a May Day rally. Osanloo is the leader of the Vahed Bus Company trade union. He tried to re-launch the trade union and raise the workers’ low wages. He was beaten up by vigilantes connected to the regime and imprisoned.

Your Excellency, we believe that your close relations with the Islamic Republic’s leaders, together with your undoubted persuasion skills, can help free these prisoners. These are not criminals: they are people who merely protested for better rights for workers, students, women, journalists and other sections of society. We are sure that your intervention in this regard, with a government that is much friendlier to Venezuela than Uribe’s Colombia, can bring about a positive outcome.

Yours respectfully,

Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
Workers’ Action Committee (Iran)
Militaant, journal of revolutionary socialist youth in Iran.

January 13, 2008

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