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John McDonnell MP launches the campaign

Transcript of the speech: http://hopoi.org/?p=1519

Free Jafar Panahi and all political prisoners in Iran!

The Iranian regime has unleashed a new wave of oppression against opposition activists. In recent weeks, dozens of campaigners, lawyers and artists have been convicted on spurious charges and many more have been arrested.

For example, at the end of 2010, award-winning filmmaker Jafar Panahi was finally sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for making a film about the opposition movement that sprung up after the disputed elections of June 2009. In addition, the director was banned from making any films, writing any scripts, talking to journalists or travelling abroad for 20 years.

Contrary to some reports, he is not currently under house arrest. As his lawyers have lodged an appeal against his sentence, he is currently out on bail. It is however unlikely his sentenced will be changed.

This campaign is fighting for the freedom of all political prisoners in Iran. We understand that by highlighting one particularly prominent case, we can gain more publicity for all political prisoners. Get involved in this fight!

Launch statement

The Iranian regime has unleashed a new wave of oppression against opposition activists. In recent weeks, dozens of campaigners, lawyers and artists have been convicted on spurious charges and many more have been arrested.

–  Award-winning filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for planning to make a film about the opposition movement that sprung up after the disputed elections of June 2009. In addition, the director was banned from making any films or travelling abroad for 20 years.

–  Student activist Mohammad Pourabdollah has been in prison since early 2010.

–  Habibollah Latifi, a student of Kurdish descent, has been sentenced to death after having being found guilty of “waging war against God”.

–  In January, human rights activist Shiva Nazarahari was sentenced to a four-year jail term and 74 lashes on charges of subversion. Her lawyer Nasrin Soudeh was handed a jail sentence of eleven years for defending political prisoners.

–  Fariborz Rais Dana, a Marxist economist and sterling critic of the regime’s neoliberal policies, was arrested on December 18 (28 Azar). No reason for his arrest has been given and not even his lawyer knows where he is being held.

The US is continuing to make military threats against Iran, while crippling the country with ever harsher sanctions. But these have not weakened the regime fundamentally. In fact, it is the people of Iran, the workers, women and students, who are suffering most – precisely those sections of society that are fighting for radical change from below.

This is why we are launching a campaign that fights for:

  • Freedom for all political prisoners! End all executions!

  • Squash the medieval prison sentences imposed against political opponents of the regime!

  • No sanctions, no military threats against Iran! For radical change from below!

To add your name to this statement, email us. Trade union branches and other organisations can download this model resolution.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. jafar permalink
    August 24, 2011 5:14 am

    hello jafar

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