Wednesday, February 04, 2009

IWSN Campaign: Free All Political Prisoners in Iran!

By Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
Wednesday, 04 February 2009

The recent arrests of labour and Kurdish activists have once again drawn attention to the fact that the Iranian regime is determined to re-establish the old balance of forces - when it always had the upper hand when dealing with workers and labour activists, women, national minorities, journalists, teachers and the vast majority of the working people of Iran.

The political prisoners, whatever the nature of their activity against the regime or political beliefs, are suffering conditions that are worse than those in the Shah's torture chambers. When they are briefly released, they face conditions among workers, women, national minorities and the youth that are worse than when they were sent to jail. This only compels them to continue the struggle against the inequality, injustices, corruption and brutality that have upheld the rule of this blood-soaked regime for 30 years and are an inseparable part of its strategy for continuing its ignominious life in the pursuit of privatisation, massive redundancies, casualisation of labour, cutting subsidies and raising taxes.

Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network will be highlighting the cases of Mansour Osanloo, Farzad Kamangar, Mohsen Hakimi and Zeynab Jalaliyan to start a campaign for the release of all political prisoners in Iran.

Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
3 February 2008



SecondComingOfBast said...

Maybe when Shillary gets cracking she'll start a diplomatic initiative that might include something in the way of help for these folks, but I wouldn't count on it. Anytime there is a movement towards a diplomatic thaw in relations between two hostile powers, people like this tend to be pushed to the back of the bus, if they are given a seat at all.

Individuals and their trampled rights tend to gum up the works, and leaders and officials find it necessary to concentrate on the bigger picture. That's not a hard and fast rule, but things like this take time, and concentrating on a few individual cases would only slow things down in lots of cases-especially when those cases involve people who are as fucking crazy as shit house rats.

Shillary would probably prefer to concentrate on general concepts and try to gain concessions regarding such ideals. Like for example, Muslim men should agree not to toss acid in the faces of women and teenage girls just because they catch a glimpse of them. Also, when a young girl reports that she has been raped by a grown man, then if you execute anybody maybe it should be the rapist, not the young girl he raped.

You know, stuff like that, things civilized people pretty much get without even having to be told.

Frank Partisan said...

She doesn't care about Islamism per se. Her interests are to get Iran help the US "redeploy" from Iraq. She may get them to abandon Hamas.

She will do nothing about these political prisoners. Interestingly the Venezuelan parliment asked for labor leaders to be freed.

I doubt if people like Maryam expect the US to get these people free.

Naj said...

Renegade, from personal experience, in cases like this complaints by "outsiders" will only worsen the situation of the prisoners and exacerbate the charges against them.

What will work is back-door diplomacy. A private letter to Ahmadinejad works better than public accusations of the regime.

They imprison these people on charges of "velvet revolutionization!" We need to make sure we don't hand the regime more "evidence" by our indignation.

Politics in Iran (just like the one involving Iran from outside) is a game of chess ... plan and move carefully if you want to win.

Frank Partisan said...

Naj: The IWSN is Iranian based. It's an internal campaign first.

Larry Gambone said...

Naj, do you suppose the situation you speak of has to do with the isolation of Iraq? My experience has been that most regimes, other than isolated totally insane ones like N. Korea, are less likely to persecute if there is pressure brought in from outside. That is why we have groups like Labourstart bringing pressure on governments that attack trade unionists.

Larry Gambone said...

Sorry Naj that was meant to be IRAN! A thousand pardons, but I was just reading a long article on the Iraqi elections just before visiting Ren.

Ducky's here said...

In order for us to get out of Iraq we will have to dump on the Kurds. Period.

As they say, "Trying to keep the Kurds out of Kirkuk is like trying to keep the Jews out of Jerusalem."

The Kurds are moving closer to and independent state and Turkey, Syrian, Iran and Iraq are going to be dead set against it.

K. said...

Ren: Premium T. and I saw Pilobolus on Tuesday. They were amazing. Thanks for the tip.

jams o donnell said...

I hope their campaign is successful Ren

Frank Partisan said...

Larry G: Several of Maryam's campaigns have been successful.

Ducky: We already did dump on Kurds. The US let the Turks attack them.

K: Pilobulos is from another planet.

Jams: History is against the mullahs.

Desert Mystery said...

Renegade Eye,

History indeed is against mullahs, wherever they take power, it doesn't take long for the population to get sick of them.

Gert said...


"Like for example, Muslim men should agree not to toss acid in the faces of women and teenage girls just because they catch a glimpse of them. Also, when a young girl reports that she has been raped by a grown man, then if you execute anybody maybe it should be the rapist, not the young girl he raped."

The incidents you mention happen but are rather few and far between: Iran may not be perfect but it's far more free than what Faux Noise will have you believe. It's a self-contradictory society (much like many others) with some of the best practices and some of the worst.

Women e.g. play a prominent part in public and political life, more so often than in many conservative Liberal Democracies. Iranian women enjoy the highest access to higher education in the entire world.

The Niqab incidents you refer to must be quite exceptional: most Iranian women only wear a headscarf (and often very prominent make-up) and it seems to be a national sport to push the scarf, usually made of a tauntingly fashionable fabric and design, back over the top of their heads as much as possible. Iranian women in public positions (see e.g. news presenters) behave very similarly, despite being in the public eye and part of the regime's "face".

Iran's system of governance too is one that shouldn't be dismissed merely as 'Taliban-style theocracy', it is much more sophisticated and democratic than that.

Americans should really learn to listen a bit more to Iran herself, rather than the usual jingoistic 'Nuke the Mad Mullahs!" that so fills the American discourse regarding that country. Despite Bambam's cautious noises in the general direction of diplomacy, everything reverted back to form when Iran successfully launched another satellite: it was 'mushroom clouds everywhere' all over again. Iran has the sovereign right to pursue these peaceful space activities. How hypocritical that 'peace-loving US' feels the need to turn such an occasion into another opportunity to point fingers of suspicion (and much worse besides that).

And no, if Clinton wants to achieve anything towards burying the hatchet, criticism of Iranian internal politics isn't the way to go. Although that could follow much later.

Pagan the 'free-thinker' is still stuck in Bush-mode. Some things never change.

"Is our children learning?" Clearly not all of them...

Larry Gambone said...

Now I could be wrong about this, but for some years now I have believed that if the US would cease harassing the Iranian government, the theocracy would be eventually overthrown by the people, who as Desert Mystery says are undoubtedly sick of the mullahs.

Frank Partisan said...

Desert Mystery: Thank you for visiting. Someday I want to post about how the CIA made sure they take power, to stop Marxism.

Gert: In Stalin's worst days, it was possible to live in Russia, and not know about gulags.

With mass communication, the internet etc., people in Iran know they live in a repressive society. It is very eager to use the death penalty.

I realize Saudi Arabia is as bad or worse. The Saudis also fund Hamas.

Larry G: It will be very interesting this period, with Obama needing Iran to help "redeploy" US troops from Iraq.

Gert said...


"It is very eager to use the death penalty."

So is the US. In Britain we don't have it anymore but we get constant calls for 'tougher sentencing', these are hallmarks of Conservative societies ('force can solve anything').

See also Israel's lurch to the Fascistoid/Fascist Far Right.

Frank Partisan said...

Gert: Iran is not the only country.

When the US elected Bush, my group pointed out the country's affection towards him will change. There still is the world economic crisis, which nobody on the right has a solution to.

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