Friday, June 30, 2006

A Gathering to Protest the Detention of Former Majlis MP

Soheil Asefi, Rooz Online:
During the gathering of human rights activists, political activists and student activists organized to protest the continuing detention of Mousavi Khoeini, secretary general of the Sazeman-e Danesh Amukhtegan Iran, Advare Tahkim Vahdat student organization, and former member of the Majlis (Iran's Parliament), the participants protested the policies violating human rights in Iran and stressed that the principal problem in Iran today was the duality of power.

In his speech Dr. Habibullah Peyman, the nationalist-religious activist said that it was regretful that the government had imprisoned Khoeini for standing up to his right to protest. Government officials must be aware of the fact that regime stability would not be achieved through monopoly. Iran's diverse society enjoying a 3,000-year culture and will certainly not tolerate a perpetual monolithic system that imposes a uniform dress and which calls for the creation of a military society,” Peyman said in his remarks. READ MORE

Simin Behbahani, the prominent Iranian poetess who has just returned from a trip to the US also congratulated the new-born practical unity among all freedom-loving groups in Iran and expressed hope that a lasting unity among groups paves the way for achieving freedom in Iran, especially for women who have been deprived of their rights.

Hashem Aghajari, university professor who was placed on the death row because of his modern views on religious said that while in the days of Iran’s monarchy everybody was promised a Peykan automobile, today everybody was to have a ‘print, which is the piece of paper that is given to a prisoner and identifies him.

Saeed Hajjarian, a former official in Mohammad Khatami’s administration who has been maimed because of an unsuccessful assassination attempt and is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life said,We had been taught to believe that with every school that was created in society, one prison was closed. But today things look just the opposite. With the creation of every school, a new prison is erected too.” He said all the problems of Iran stemmed from the fact that there were two sources of political power in Iran. The legal duality has created contradictions in the country. One is based on people, the other in divinity. If anyone can solve this dilemma, then we shall have democracy,” he said.

Another speaker, Iran’s prominent economist Dr. Fariborz Raiesdana also said that government officials in Iran denied the existence of political prisoners or political crimes, our students are imprisoned one after the other on a regular basis.Mansur Osanlou, the union representative for bus drivers continues to be in detention while our dedicated intellectuals are on a wanted list and their final destiny seems to lie in the prison,” he said. One of the most peaceful demonstrations ever is brutally and violently suppressed by a government that came to power on promises of promoting ‘kindness’ and justice, and creating a ‘smiling’ and a ‘courteous’ police,” he added.

Abdolfatah Soltani, member of Iran's Defenders of Human Rights and the defense attorney for a large number of political and ideological prisoners also spoke at the gathering and said,We have all seen that in normal prosecutions, the photograph of the judge and prosecuting attorney are published. How come they are not concerned about this? Because they believe that the judge is doing his job there while in political prosecutions the name of a judge is withheld and not revealed. Why?” he asked implying the double standards used and the concerns that political trials bring about.

Taghi Rahmani, a political activist said that one must pay a price for freedom. Ever since the days of Iran’s Constitutional Movement in 1905 up to today, there has been a battle between liberals and radicals and anti-democratic forces always won. Still we must stand for democracy and I say that by being among the fortunate ones in the Islamic Republic because I have survived prison,” he said. “I was lucky,” he continued, “because they did not cut off my head. They cut off many heads that were innocent. I do not wish to be vengeful. I want to throw the ball back into our own court. Dictators do not become freedom-lovers,” he said. In his talk he lauded other political prisoners and named Amir Entezam and Mohammad Ali Amooyi, a former Tudeh party member, who had said that political prisoners in Iran were not guilty of any crimes short of their beliefs. Because rulers cannot admit that they imprison people for their beliefs, they make false accusations against them, such as espionage, relations with foreigners, activities to topple the regime, etc. They even charge them with moral crimes. They put a bottle of an alcoholic drink on a table in a person’s house, take a photograph of him and then charge him. And this while the person has never in his life had a drop of alcohol. Mr. Mousavi Khoeini was right when he said that the only words that are attributable to me are those that I have said before imprisonment,” Rahmani continued.

Amoui, the former Tudeh member and long-time political prisoner in the Islamic regime and during the Shah’s monarchy also spoke at the gathering. “Even though we live in the year 2006, what happened to us in the years 1981 and 1982 continues to happen today. I believe that those individuals who carried out those policies against dissidents are now in power and they would repeat all of those atrocities if they could,” he said with tearful eyes.

Another speaker was Eisa Saharkhiz, a prominent journalist who said, “Our responsibility is to form anti-oppression and anti-violent fronts to pursue peace and anti-war goals.” He pointed out to the detention of Khoeini and hailed the unity that has been created among different groups to condemn violent and inhumane politics.

Dr. Mohsen Kadivar, the reform-minded cleric also said that the absence of Khoeini as a prominent moderate figure among youth and students may radicalize the students' movements. He expressed hope for his immediate release and stressed on avoiding violence and working for a peaceful transition of the society to democracy.

Ramin Jahanbeglou's arrest was repeatedly condemned by speakers in this protest gathering.