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Iranians for Human Rights and Democracy

"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people." Martin Luther King,Jr.

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I am another Iranian striving for Human Rights and Democracy. read and sign the petition Please support the IRANIAN WOMENS' ONE MILLION SIGNATURES CAMPAIGNto change the discriminatory laws against women in Iran.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Khamenei Dying of Cancer?

Sometimes it is difficult to be able to decipher whether various news articles are accurate or not. Micheal Ledeen has written an article stating that Khamenei is dying of cancer. Read here

Is this accurate?

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rally for Political Prisoners in Iran



According to komitegozareshgar.blogfa.com there will be rally demanding the freedom of the currant political prisoners in Iran at Park Mellat this April 2nd, 13 of Farvardin.

Please read the links to ascertain for yourselves its legitamacy. In the komitegozareshgar.blogfa.com comments section, there was some disagreements as to wether the representative had agreed to be chosen.

Read more here

and read more here

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Frustrating Apathy and Selfishness of Some Fellow Iranians

It has been more than once, that when I am speaking to fellow Iranians that have moved out of Iran and have recently settled in their new homeland, that they claim Iran is not as bad as in the news. But the question is, if its not so bad, why are they living here and not there? I actually asked that question from an Iranian that made such a claim. He responded: "Oh well I wanted something better for my kids. Besides happiness is all relative. The Iranians in the Iranian villages define happiness by getting more camels. The Iranians in the city don't know any better and they define happiness with owning a car." What he really is thinking is that he is better than other Iranians, so he should live in the nice free country. He actually said:" Besides I have my citizenship, I'm covered, I don't care." I responded with: "Well I do care and the world has changed. Iranians in Iran have access to satellite television, internet and the radio, they know what's out there, and they have every right to want to have their piece of the pie too.". He responded:"Iranians deserve the conditions in Iran, if everyone would take to the streets, they could bring down the regime. But they don't". I replied:"Who are "they"? Wouldn't "they" be you and me??!!"

This is very frustrating that some Iranians don't care about the ones suffering in Iran. I wouldn't want to live in currant Iran because I would have no freedom, I would have a very difficult time finding employment, I believe Health Care is not as good as it should be and I would not have the chance to shape my future and destiny because I would not have a voice. If what is in Iran is not good enough for me, I believe that it is not good enough for other Iranians as well. Additionally, it is not the responsibility of a hero to save Iran from the dicatators. It is all of our responsibility to try to do our part.

Let me tell these "fresh of the boat" Iranians one more thing. The shame of having an ethnicity affiliated with a country whose government is facist will be with them forever. I would know, I've been out of the country for 10 plus years, and not a day goes by where I am not feeling guilty of the gifts that I have and my fellow Iranians do not, as well as always having the "terrorist savage Iranian" label on me not being a source of shame. When people in the new homeland see me, they should look down on me. Because they realize that instead of fixing the problems of my country, I have taken the easy way out and moved to another country. (Granted I was in my early teens when my family imigrated, so I have at least a half baked excuse.)

I understand not wanting to live there and I am not suggesting that all Iranians living abroad should pick up and go back. But claiming that living in Iran is fine and dandy is something I disagree with. I have always heard of requests from a friend of a friend to see if I can help an Iranian move out of Iran, I have never had the reverse where a foreigner is asking a friend of a friend of mine to have me help them imigrate to Iran.

We should all be working together so that Iranians in Iran have access to the same freedoms, economic, health and social advantages as we have in the desirable free democratic countries that Iranians chose to imigrate to.

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Interview with Akbar Atri (Part II)



Since I am not a professional journalist, I have paraphrased the words of the individual I am interviewing.

Question 1

SI: What is the best thing that the United States government can do to help towards sovereign democratic changes in Iran that maintain respect for human rights?

AA (paraphrased): The United States should try to use its influence in the United Nations to push for Human Rights and Democratic Reforms in Iran. I disagree with forms of sanctions that hurt the Iranian people. I believe foreign countries should freeze the hardliner’s personal assets and money. Others should close down Iranian embassies in their countries, and refuse to grant hardliners involved in oppression permission to travel in their lands.

Question 2
SI: What can Iranians living in homelands other than Iran do to help their brothers and sisters?

AA (paraphrased): I believe Iranians living abroad should make efforts to create a strong grouping, and demand their governments to put pressure on Iran to improve its Human Rights practices. One pressure tactic that different countries can employ is to have their relationship with Iran depend on their Human Rights improvements. Many European countries are reluctant to criticize Iran’s Human Rights, because of the irresistible business bargains they receive from Iran.

Question 3

SI: In order for Iranians to be able to assemble successfully, they need to advertise the time/date of protest. However at the same time, the Iranian hardliners learn of the plans, and pre-empt the demonstration by arresting the protestors beforehand. In your opinion, what can be done for more successful protests?

AA (paraphrased): The reason why the planned protests fall apart is because the scale of protests is too small. If all of the Iranian people could unite and hit the streets in massive proportions, the hardliners cannot crush them.

Question 4

SI: In your opinion, what percent of the Iranian population want the current government?

AA (paraphrased): 10-20% at most is supportive of the regime. There is a large group of Iranians that are unhappy with the situation in Iran, but feel that they cannot do anything about it. They are waiting for an opportunity to present itself that will give them a chance for change.

Question 5
SI: One of the reasons why the boycott of the presidential elections in this past June failed was speculated to be due to election fraud. What is your opinion of a neutral United Nations elections observation team?

AA (paraphrased): This team would probably not change much because as we have seen with President Khatami’s struggles, the president in Iran has no real power. All the decisions come from Iran’s supreme leader. In the past elections, in my opinion, 50% of the people did not even vote. We had some voter fraud, some people voted for Ahmadinejad simply because they didn’t want to vote for Rafsanjani, others voted because of the appeal of Ahmadinejad’s slogan: “I will put the oil money on your dinner table”.

Question 6
SI: Ahmadinejad got elected based on his rallying for the poor, yet when the bus drivers in Tehran went on strike for better wages and benefits from the government, they were treated very harshly and thrown into jail. In some instances the involved bus driver’s innocent wives and small children were arrested and beaten as incentive for the individuals to turn themselves in and get their families released. Can you offer some insight into this contradiction? Where do the poor really stand with Ahmadinejad?

AA (paraphrased):
In my opinion Ahmadinejad just stated some slogans so that he could get elected. He does not care about the poor and aside from a marriage aid Fund; he has not done much for them since he came into office. He is busy focusing himself on Israel and Nuclear Technology issues.

Question 7
SI: Could you offer more insight/ better descriptions of your impression of a typical hardliner/Basiji, and his motives for the crimes he/she commits?

AA (paraphrased): A portion of this group does not have much depth in thought or perception, they simply believe that engaging in these acts will endear them to God. The remaining receive status and/or money and/or benefits in exchange for their actions.

SI: It doesn’t matter to them that they receive these things in return for them to commit these crimes?

AA (paraphrased): No, they don’t care.

Question 8
SI: In many previous protests, it was rumored that a good number of plain clothed police would speak Arabic to each other. In light of the Iranian government’s harshness to the Iranians with Arabic ethnicity in the south of the country, it seems unlikely that there is much recruitment from that location. So, who are these Arabic speaking plain clothed police?

AA (paraphrased): Some of them are actual Basijis. However, there are also a number of Iranians that have worked in various posts in Arab countries like Lebanon and Iraq. They have learned to speak the language that way.

Question 9
SI: In your opinion, would a referendum that was to follow previous public in-depth debates over the issues of Human Rights and Democracy be welcomed by the Iranian people?

AA (paraphrased): The people are waiting for some form of an opportunity. I believe they would embrace it positively.

Question 10
SI: Do you believe that a fair democratic and human rights respecting government should separate religion from government?

AA: Absolutely.

Question 11
SI: Should a regime change occur in Iran, do you think the Iranian people would be capable of forgiving the hardliners?

AA (paraphrased): The Iranian people have no choice; otherwise we will not be able to move forward any other way. We absolutely need a development such as the likes of Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela’s freedom movement.

Question 12
SI: Any advice for Iranians inside and outside of Iran that want to get involved in Iran’s fight for Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy?

AA (paraphrased): Only that the movement without a doubt needs to be nonviolent. Retaliation for violence and murder only trips us into more cycles of violence and murder.

I thanked him for the interview. He asked if the woman that heckled him during his speech was an Iranian. Why did she say what she said? I mentioned perhaps she was opposed to war with Iran. Akbar Atri responded by stating that he was not for a war on Iran either. He also asked me if the woman thought that the hardliners were so innocent about the 1999 incident, why does she not live in Iran. I had no answer for that, because he had a point that I agreed with.

It is the opinion of this interviewer, that it doesn't make a difference weather one student died or 500, the punishment of death for peacefully expressing one's views is unjust. In this case, if someone had a problem with an aspect of Akbar Atri's activism, he or she should have addressed that specifically instead of diminishing the crimes that had taken place in 1999. Constructive criticism is always helpful and would improve progress immensely.

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Belated Congratulations to Akbar Ganji's Freedom


Best wishes for him and his family!

BBC News article about Akbar Ganji's release

Photos of Akbar Ganji at www.kosoof.com

(photo on right taken from www.kosoof.com)

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Inspiring Song "Some Say Love" (by Leann Rimes?)

...

It's the heart, Afraid of breaking,
That never, Learns to dance,
It's the dream, Afraid of waking,
That never, takes the chance,
It's the one, Who won't be taken,
Who cannot seem to be,
And the soul, Afraid of dying,
that never, Learns to live,

And the night, Has been too lonely,
And the road, Has been too long,
And you feel, That road is only,
For the lucky, And the strong,
Just remember, In the winter,
Far beneath, The bitter snow,
Lies a seed, That with the sun's love,
In the spring, Becomes the rose

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Iran Freedom Concert At Harvard University (Part I)


I am on the long train ride back from Boston. We had attended Harvard University’s “Iran Freedom Concert” the night before. I am about to describe my experiences from the event. Because the entry would be so long, I have broken up the coverage of this event into four pieces. The first piece entails a summary of the event, the second an interview with Iranian civil rights activist Akbar Atri, third an interview with an Iranian opposing him that was present at the concert, and the final part will be my own conclusions of the whole evening.

Summary of the Event (Part I)
In my opinion the main attraction to this event was Akbar Atri’s speech. Akbar Atri was a student activist during 2002 when Iranian students protested, demanding that the Iranian government release political prisoner and University professor Hashem Aghajori. Akbar Atri, amongst many other University student activists in Iran, was beaten by the Hardliner plain clothed police while demonstrating. He was later imprisoned, and later convicted in absentia in the Iranian courts while abroad. As we were entering the hall where the concert was being held two students approached us and handed out a paper titled: “Want Human Rights in Iran? Stand up against war. Oppose the agenda of this concert.” The flyer mentioned its belief that the Bush administration was using Human Rights reform in Iran as a pretext for waging war on Iran. The flyer also criticized how the organizers of the event were a conglomeration of American Harvard University groups such as Harvard College Middle East Review and the Free Culture Society. To the hosts’ credit, I think they did an excellent job in organizing the event and I was very pleased with program.

After the playing of some live music, Akbar Atri stepped to the podium. He spoke through a translator. He talked about how Iraq and Afghanistan now have more freedoms than a few years ago. He stated that convincing dictators to step down is difficult, and how admittedly Afghanistan is doing much better after the war. He did state that he was not for a war on Iran. He then further described during the demonstrations in Iran, while students were demanding for more freedoms, how the militia Basiji attacked the student dormitories and wounded many numbers and killed several students. Just after he said that, the Iranian that was handing out the anti-war flyers cried out “there was only one student killed”. Another woman with a thick Iranian accent called out “stop lying…”. Akbar Atri responded how he has participated in the student demonstrations in Iran, and how he had been beaten by the Iranian Basiji. He stated that the beatings would never deter him from speaking out. At this point a few audience members applauded. He pointed out that in the United States people can exercise freedom of speech as they please, and that the atmosphere in Iran is different than what we experience here. He asked the audience to judge if he knows more about events in Iran or if Harvard students knew more. He pointed out that he saw at least two of the students that were killed in the 1999 Basiji police raid of the Tehran University dormitories immediately, and stated that a few more students died later.

He spoke a little more and then sat down. I went ahead and asked for him for an Interview, which he granted. Meanwhile, there was another band playing Major Major. I think they played well. At the final part of the program there was a female student that sang two songs. She had an excellent voice.

I have found a website that seems to illustrate the events of the 1999 attack on students in University of Tehran dormatories with detail below.

1999 student protests

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Friday, March 17, 2006

Iran Freedom Concert at Harvard University

There will be a Freedeom Concert in Solidarity for the Iranian Movement for Democracy at Harvard University, March 18th.

For more information, click on the link below.

Iran Freedom Concert

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Monday, March 13, 2006

Protest on Chahar Shanbeh Soori 2006

According to the following website, bloggers in jail, there will be a protest on March 14/24 Esfand, in Iran. Hopefully I can get more photos and videos to post and make those savage animals think twice about their barbaric actions. We Iranians will have our Neuremburg trials, its just a matter of time.

Protest on Chahar Shanbeh Soori

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Persian Version of SS Guard , do you know him?


The following is a picture of one of the plainclothed thugs that attacked the Women during their demonstration on March 8th. Do you know him? Does anyone have any information on him? If people recognize him in the street, they should give him a hard time.

more pictures and video of the protest

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Sunday, March 12, 2006

International Women's Day

On March 8th, 2006, there was a gathering of Iranian women voicing their desire for gender equality. They were attacked by the savage backward Iranian police approximately 15 minutes after the demonstration began. Where do they find these animals that they call police?

pictures of the protest

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Quote

For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

source unknown.

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مطلب را به بالاترین بفرستید: Balatarin