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<nettime> Update on Action in Solidarity with Iranian Detainees
Gita Hashemi on Wed, 21 Jun 2006 19:40:13 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Update on Action in Solidarity with Iranian Detainees

follow up on the previously posted item.

be well.



Update on:
-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->
Subject:   Electronic Solidarity Action
Dates:   June 16 - 19, 2006
Go to:   http://opinionware.net/iran
-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

Thanks to everybody who participated in this solidarity action, the 
website of the Iranian Presidency drastically slowed down and came to 
a halt several times on the 18th and 19th of June.  We can be sure 
they have received the word.

We are ending this action, for now, with an urgent note:

Although reports indicate that many people who were arrested on June 
12 at the site of the demonstration have been released on bail, this 
does not show an entirely positive development in the situation.  The 
following remain urgent and key concerns:

1- So far, the reports issued from human rights organizations - such 
as Amnesty International and Human Rights First - have relied on 
information released by the Iranian authorities.  The official number 
of detainees as stated by the spokesperson for Ministry of Justice 
did NOT include those who were arrested several hours before the 
demonstration and some who were picked up in the following days. 
There is no news on the fate of the detainees who were NOT counted in 
the official figures and have NOT been released.  The lack of 
accurate and independently verifiable information about all of the 
individuals detained in relation to June 12th demo is a serious cause 
for alarm.

2- Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoini, one of the people who is still in prison 
- that we know of - is in grave danger.  Reports coming from Farsi 
language sources (http://r0ozonline.com/01newsstory/016181.shtml) 
indicate that the authorities are subjecting him and other political 
prisoners and their families to pressures to submit to forced 
confessions to crimes against the state and recantation of their 
political positions.  The reenactment of the infamous tactics the 
Islamic government used in prisons against dissenters at the height 
of political repression in the 1980s signals a dangerous regression 
in the country's political climate.  Please join the Human Rights 
First campaign for immediate and unconditional release of Mousavi 
Khoini at 

3- A few of the organizers of the 12 June demonstration who escaped 
the crackdown - all prominent activists in the Iranian women's 
movement - have been forced to go underground.  There is no confirmed 
news of their safety.

4- The June 12th detainees who were released have had to put up bail 
and must attend the Revolutionary Court (dadsaray-e enghelab) again 
on as yet unclear charges.  Given their large number and the limited 
and already-stretched resources of human rights lawyers and activists 
in Iran, the adequacy of their legal defense is a matter of concern.

5- Although not directly related to the 12th June events, the 
continued imprisonment of the prominent Iranian-Canadian scholar 
Ramin Jahanbegloo in spite of international campaigns for his release 
is an indication of the ongoing highly dangerous conditions for 
Iranian dissenters, women and men. 

It is highly important to continue to remain engaged and vigilant. 
With over one hundred years of recorded history, the indigenous 
women's movement in Iran has consistently been a strong political 
force and thus a main target of repressive and coercive politics. 
(http://www.merip.org/mero/mero061606.html)  The current 
international political climate caused by the US administration's 
pressures on Iran to abandon the development of nuclear power has 
created the perfect excuse for the Iranian government to increase its 
campaign of domestic repression under the banner of national unity 
and defense of Iranian sovereignty- similar to what happened 25 years 
ago with the start of the Iraq-Iran war - and divert national and 
international attention away from Iran's indigenous movement for 
democratic change.  In this process, Iranian women's movement for 
equal rights once again is becoming the prime target of the Islamic 
fundamentalist government.

We strongly condemn the neo-colonial wars in the Middle East and the 
domestic and international aggression by the U.S. administration and 
its allies, and oppose their interventionist and capitalist 
expansionist politics that are hidden under the facade of 
"international security," "liberating the people," and "democratizing 
the states".  It is quite clear from the current situations in 
Afghanistan and Iraq that their Western-instituted states are 
perfectly willing to deny and compromise - in their constitutions and 
in practice - women's demands for social equality and freedom.

While it is necessary to be vigilant against racism and propaganda 
directed at Islamic and other immigrant communities in the Western 
countries, we would like to remind the progressive international and 
feminist communities that the enemy of our enemy is not our friend. 
It is possible to oppose anti-Islamic racism in the West and 
simultaneously stand in solidarity with indigenous women's rights and 
other democratic movements in Islamic countries and diasporic 
communities.  There must be no ethical and political confusion and 
compromise:  Equal rights are women's rights, the world over.

Pending the news from Iran, we may have to call for another 
solidarity action.  We will update the action site as necessary. 
Please stay alert and engaged.

We thank Creative Response, OpinionWare and Electronic Disturbance 
Theatre for their support of this action.

For equality and peace,

Sirens of Solidarity


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