To the people of the world!
To trade unions, student unions, human rights and women’s rights organisations!

On 16 and 19 February three labour activists by the names of Seddigh Amjadi, Faares Gaviliaan and Habibollah Kalekaani were flogged in the city of Sanandaj. Eight others have also been sentenced to flogging.

Their crime? Taking part in the May Day rally in that city last year!

This is a grave political incident in Iran. With this appalling act, the Islamic Republic has taken one more step against the working class and all the people in Iran. This incident should shock the world and arouse utmost outrage and revulsion. This flogging strikes all the people. It strikes a humanity that does not want the status quo. Its aim is to silence, crush and dehumanize. It is what the slave driver did to his slave some 20 centuries ago. This time, however, they are dealing with a working class that has no intention of submitting; a working class whose struggles and leaders are known to the whole world.

Let’s have a look at the other recent actions of the regime:

· Over 50 students have been arrested and tortured. Their crime? Taking part in student demonstrations in a number of universities in support of workers, against sexual apartheid, for the freedom of political prisoners and in support of freedom and equality;
· According to official figures, in the past ten months, around 1 million women have been arrested, fined and/or flogged. Their crime? Being a woman, not being dressed as demanded by the Islamic government and for courtship with the opposite sex;
· Mahmoud Salehi, a labour leader, is in prison, gravely ill. His crime? Taking part in the May Day rally in the city of Saqez in May 2006;
· Teachers have been sentenced to prison terms. Their crime? Going on strike and holding protest rallies to ask for better pay and conditions and freedom of expression;
· Two sisters by the names of Azar and Zohreh Kabiri have been sentenced to death by stoning. Their crime? They are accused of sex outside marriage;
· Up to 300 people in Bandar Torkeman, in northern Iran, have been jailed or exiled. Their crime? Protesting at the murder of a fisherman by the security forces;
· 5 people in the city of Zahedan, in eastern Iran, by the names of M. A. Jalali, A. B. Reegy, A. Reegy, A. R. Roudini and D. Pahlevan, have had their right hands and left feet amputated for alleged kidnapping and armed attacks;
· Two men by the names of Tayyeb and Yazdan in the Fars Province have been sentenced to be thrown to their deaths from a height for alleged sodomy;
· Scores have been hanged in recent months;
· Many are on the death row; some are to be stoned to death.

The list is endless…

This is only a fraction of the horrific record of the Islamic Republic in recent months; only a fraction of its gory violence against the people.

This murderous policy has been going on throughout the life of the regime. There is hardly a family which does not have either a loved one buried in unmarked graves or jailed in the regime’s dungeons. This is a regime which has executed around 100,000 people – political activists, labour activists, women’s rights defenders, secularists and dissidents.

The Islamic Republic regime must be condemned internationally for flogging labour activists and for all its crimes. We must demand that it frees jailed students and workers. We must demand that it ends torture, flogging, stoning, execution and all forms of Islamic punishments. We must support the movement for equal rights for women in Iran…

But this is not enough!

The struggle of the people of Iran should be supported so that they put an end to this regime and, thereby, to all its atrocities. The people of Iran are overwhelmingly against this regime and are yearning to get rid of it, which is a most legitimate demand and right. As long as this regime exists, there will be no improvement in the lives of the people of Iran. There is no other way forward for the people of Iran except the revolutionary overthrow of this regime. People have experienced this bitterly over the years.

This regime cannot be reformed. Your support is needed so as to throw this regime out of international bodies. Pressure should be brought upon Western governments to end their political and diplomatic ties with it. They must not be allowed to conspire with that government against the people of Iran. Neither war, nor “critical dialogue”, nor letting the Islamic Republic into international organisations is the solution. These only strengthen the regime and undermine the people in Iran.

The struggle of the people of Iran should be supported. An international solidarity movement by progressive and freedom-loving people of the world must take shape. At the time of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, a massive solidarity movement built up everywhere with the people of South Africa against that racist regime. Now it is the turn of the Islamic regime in Iran, which should be rejected and isolated by an international protest movement of the people, and finally overthrown by the people of Iran. Then a whole world will be free of this regime.

Long live international solidarity with the people of Iran for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

Asqar Karimi
For the Executive Committee of the
Worker-communist Party of Iran
21 Feb 2008

1 Comment

  1. I know you wrote this article a while back, but thanks to people like you — problem has been recognised internationally by the united nations 70 votes in favour to 51 against (‘against’ countries mainly countries with backward regimes themselves like bangladesh). Hope this is the first step to rid the world of this kind of government.

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