December 15, 2009 VOLUME 67
E-ZAN VOICE OF WOMEN AGAINST FUNDAMENTALISM IN IRAN
To our readers,
every video clip, news reports and photos of the on-going anti-government
protests, women are present and much more noticeable than ever. Iranian
women are increasingly radicalizing the movement for change calling for the
end of Islamic fundamentalist ruling in
Iranian people are defeating regime’s suppressive forces in the streets, schools, mosques, and online. In the face of popular uprising and clever tactics, the regime is virtually disarmed. A regime, whose means of control has been through suppression, humiliation and daemonization of the opposition, is now facing its final days.
opposition leaders are predicting that this regime will be gone in one year,
others are speculating much less time. Let us hope the world community takes
the realities in the streets of
E-Zan Featured Headlines
The Baptist Press – November 18, 2009
Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, and Maryam Rostampour, 27, were released without bail after 256 days in jail, but they still face charges of apostasy (conversion from Islam to Christianity), the human rights organization International Christian Concern reported within hours after their release. No court date has been set by Iranian authorities. While at Evin Prison, Amirizadeh and Rostampour were kept in solitary confinement and endured extended interrogations, all the while suffering from poor health, ICC stated in a news release.
The LA Times Blog – November 20, 2009
The flickering images of Neda Agha-Soltan’s last moments in a Tehran street on June 20 before she died from gunshot wounds gripped the world, galvanized the nation and made the 26-year-old music student the face of Iran’s recent protest movement. Each year, the U.S.-based magazine grants the title to one or several persons who "most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year." Administrators of the more than 1,000-member strong Facebook group "Nominate Neda Agha-Soltan as the Time Woman of the Year" say she deserves the title because she has become “the symbol of the recent Iranian movement towards democracy and freedom" through her tragic death that shocked the world.
Congress is scheduled to receive the official visit of
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, this Monday, November 23. The presidents
of the Lower House, Michel Temer and of
the Senate, José Sarney, will welcome
the Iranian leader at 3:45 pm in the Senate's Noble Hall, in
Brazilian capital Brasília. Target of street protests in
Bloomberg News – November 21, 2009
government’s treatment of protesters following the re-election of
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including
torture and arbitrary imprisonment, was censured today by the United
Nations General Assembly. The General Assembly,
consisting of all 192 member governments of the world body, voted 74
to 48 to adopt a resolution sponsored by the
The National – November 27, 2009
The Canadian Press – November 20, 2009
A legal showdown
is set to take place in a
were held on National Students Day, an annual occasion when student
rallies are traditionally held. The supreme leader, who has final
say on all state matters, accused the opposition Sunday of causing
divisions in the country and creating opportunities for
BBC News – December 4, 2009
The family of a
young woman shot dead at a protest following
NCRI Website – December 5, 2009
Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian
Resistance, met Marit
Nybakk, Vice President of the Norwegian
Parliament, and Kari Gun Gjul Chair of
the Cultural and Family Affairs Committee at the
Stortinget (Norwegian Parliament) in
The Associated Press – December 8, 2009
Tens of thousands
of students, many shouting "Death to the Dictator!" and burning
The Earth Times – December 9, 2009
Women are no
longer allowed to wear make-up on Iranian television.
“It’s illegal and against Shari’a
law,” the head of Iranian state television,
Ezatollah Zarghami, was quoted in
the Iranian media last week. Although the issue
of make-up is surely trivial, it does reveal how the Iranian
establishment treats a woman’s right to make her own decisions.
In fact, the legal rights of women in
NCRI Website – December 12, 2009
A statue of “Neda,”
the young woman who was killed by the Iranian regime during
nationwide protests in
E-Zan Featured Reports
Mullahs' terror regime will be gone in one year
Aftenposten Norwegian daily
December 3, 2009
(Translated from original Norwegian text to English)
Resistance movement is optimistic about the future: The revolt in
“I hope that the next
time I give an interview to Aftenposten,
will be in
Like a Queen
A meeting with Maryam Rajavi is always special: The movement she leads has for decades been pursued either by the Shah's secret police or the mullahs’ regime aggressive troops. Thousands of the movement's followers have been jailed and killed. To keep Western countries away from the group has been for years a priority target for Iranian foreign policy.
Today, it is
difficult to say how much support the movement has inside
That Maryam Rajavi is a special leader, is something that you can realize when you meet her, she speaks with tremendous enthusiasm about the situation in her country. In the great circle of accompanying supporters, she stands at the center point. There is no queen like her, both in the way she acts and the way the fans associate with her.
Not least, it is especially that she is a female leader in a political movement that aims to take power in a Muslim country. When we get into the role of women in society, she becomes even more involved:
“Women play an
important role at all levels of our movement. Women have been at the
forefront of opposition to the mullah regime," she says. In the new
But it is the
situation in the Ashraf camp in
“This summer, the
regime caused a bloodbath in
Time and again she
talks about the mullah regime in
“What is happening is that a fanatical, fundamentalist Islamic regime is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons. The West has proved to be naive and seeking appeasement. Under the guise of negotiations mullahs have only continued the process to produce nuclear weapons. Mullahs have reason to smile. The tactic has so far been successful,” she says.
But the uprising in
Iranian Students Clash With Police
The New York Times
By Robert Worth and Nazila Fathi
December 8, 2009
Thousands of people
rallied against the government on Monday at universities across
The protests, taking place on National Student Day, set off battles in and around campuses, witnesses said. Protesters hurled rocks and set fires amid clouds of tear gas, while a vast deployment of police officers and plainclothes Basij militia members used chains, truncheons and stun guns to beat back chanting protesters.
There were reports of dozens of arrests and injuries. Many witnesses said the day’s confrontations were the most violent since the rallies after last June’s disputed presidential election.
The protests — the opposition’s first major street showing in more than a month — also included the most aggressive gestures aimed at the Islamic republic yet, witnesses said, with some protesters burning posters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader.
carried an Iranian flag from which the signature emblem of Allah — added
The authorities had barricaded and surrounded universities in an effort to forestall dissent on an official holiday commemorating the killing of three students by the shah’s forces in 1953. They arrested dozens of student leaders, ordered foreign news outlets to stay away and reduced the Internet to a trickle to limit the opposition’s main link to its supporters.
crowds of university students gathered on campuses across Iran on Monday
morning, many holding banners or wearing armbands in the opposition’s
trademark bright-green, to chant “God is great!” and “Death to the
dictator!” Twitter and opposition Web sites featured video clips of
One video showed
hundreds of students at Amirkabir University
of Technology in
Another group of
The renewed protests
come at a delicate time for
Web sites reported
that the opposition leaders Mir Hussein Moussavi
and Mehdi Karroubi
had been blocked from attending the protests. When Mr.
Moussavi’s wife, Zahra
Rahnavard, arrived at
Hashemi, the daughter of former President
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, could be seen
at the protests in
Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Moussavi issued strong criticisms of the government over the weekend. Mr. Moussavi, the leading challenger to Mr. Ahmadinejad in the June elections, issued a statement on Sunday saying that the opposition movement was “still alive” and that the authorities would not be able to stop the protests by arresting students.
Mr. Rafsanjani, a pragmatic figure who provided crucial support to the opposition over the summer but has been silent lately, criticized the government on Sunday for using the Basij militia and the Revolutionary Guards against crowds, and complained that “constructive criticism is not tolerated in the country.”
But the government itself relied on large numbers of Basij militia members who often seemed to get out of control, hurling rocks at protesters and attacking passers-by. According to one report widely circulated on Iranian Web sites, a group of militia members with chains and truncheons attacked a bus full of riot police officers. It was not clear why they would have done so.
On Monday morning,
police officers were deployed in huge numbers around universities across
the country to forestall the expected protests. At the gate of
By midmorning the
Not far away, a middle-aged woman turned furiously on a young Basij militia member who was filming the protesters — a common intimidation tactic during protests. As the woman beat him with her pocketbook and screamed curses, a second Basij member tried to restrain her, but a male protester grappled with him in turn, and a fistfight broke out between the two men.
The protests lasted through the afternoon, and after nightfall, groups of students on a number of campuses began holding candlelight vigils for those who had been arrested during the day.
December 11, 2009
The New York Times
By Robert Worth
“This is the Islamic Republic!” she shouts, gesturing at the vehicle.
That message has
grown increasingly common in recent protests, as demonstrators have made
it clear that their target is not just President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the disputed election that returned him
to power in June, but the entire foundation of
During Monday’s demonstrations, the civil tone of many earlier rallies was noticeably absent. There was no sign of the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, a moderate figure who supports change within the system, and few were wearing the signature bright green of his campaign.
protesters, most of them young people, took direct aim at
radicalization has underscored the rift within
“The longer this goes
on, the more difficult will it be for the likes of
Moussavi and Karroubi to sustain
their current position,” said Ray Takeyh, an
The aggressive tone of Monday’s protests may partly reflect the fact that they took place on and around university campuses, where radical sentiment is more common.
But students have
long been central to social movements in
Even before the
latest round of protests, a number of high-ranking figures in
Mr. Rafsanjani, a founder of the Islamic Republic who has provided crucial support for the opposition since the election, added pointedly that “there are some conservatives who think the people’s vote is just a decoration.” He admonished this group, saying, “If they want us to rule, we will; if they don’t, we will go.”
Other leaders have also called for a greater spirit of compromise from the government. Among them is a prominent conservative cleric, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, who noted last week in remarks to I.S.N.A., a semiofficial news agency, that a “large number” of people had voted against Mr. Ahmadinejad and that “we should sit together and negotiate.”
But the government’s
response to Monday’s demonstrations was anything but conciliatory. Many
witnesses said the police and Basij militia
members were more aggressive than at any time since last summer, beating
protesters with chains and truncheons and arresting hundreds of them in
In the days after the protests, hard-liners stepped up their warnings. On Thursday, the intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, lashed out at Mr. Rafsanjani and accused him of siding with those who oppose the Islamic system, in comments reported by Fars, another semiofficial news agency.
“Shockingly, Rafsanjani expresses the same ideas as the leaders of the conspiracy,” Mr. Moslehi said.
The intelligence minister also seemed to throw down the gauntlet to moderates, accusing them of joining the assault on Ayatollah Khamenei.
“A lot of forces that were expected to support the supreme leader instead went with those who rose against the supreme leader,” he said.
One prominent conservative who has been critical of Mr. Ahmadinejad, Habibollah Asgaroladi, said the opposition had grown more “antirevolutionary,” the Khabar Online Web site reported.
Many in the opposition have echoed those warnings, from the other side.
“The regime is on a path which threatens its own survival,” declared the Iranian Writers’ Society, in a statement released Tuesday and posted on opposition Web sites. “Those who sow the wind will harvest a typhoon.”
December 14, 2009
Somayeh Rashidi, an Iranian women's rights activist with the One Million Signatures Campaign, was targeted this morning with a search of her home and a summons to court. She told Change for Equality, that she "asked the security officials to provide me with identification, but they refused, claiming instead that [she] will find out in the future what intelligence agency they are working with. [She] also objected to the search and seizure of property belonging to [her] roommates, but the security officials did not pay any attention to [her] protests." Rashidi was also arrested in November in connection to public protests and spent two days in prison. Today's search is just the latest in a series of arrests of or attacks/threats towards Iranian women's rights activists.
The One Million Signatures Campaign, which seeks to collect one million signatures against the legal discrimination women face under Iranian law, has been particularly targeted. A number of activists associated with the campaign have been arrested and imprisoned in recent years, including American graduate student and feminist activist Esha Momeni.
Ebadi, Nobel Laureate and one of
Memarian, an exiled Iranian journalist, told
the Daily Beast, "I talked to Shirin
Ebadi just a few days ago. The authorities
have summoned her husband, brother, and sister...Her organization in
According to the
Daily Beast, in addition to the continued harassment of women's rights
activists, last month "Iranian state television ran a documentary
attacking the nation's women's rights movement." Airing of the
documentary preceded an announcement earlier this month from the head of
Backers of Iranian student say authorities forced him into women's clothing to humiliate him
By Jason Keyser
The Canadian Press
December 14, 2009
Supporters of Iran's opposition have posted hundreds of photos online of men in women's clothing to mock what they say was a government attempt to discredit a student leader by photographing him in a head scraf and woman's robe.
Majid Tavakoli was arrested in last week's large student-led protests after he gave a speech urging students to reject "tyranny," a call greeted by chants of "Death to the dictator." Pro-government media said he put on women's clothing in an attempt to escape authorities around his campus but was caught.
Tavakoli's supporters accused authorities of forcing him into women's clothing and photographing him in an attempt to humiliate the activist and discredit the opposition.
is a member of the largest student organization advocating greater
social and political freedoms in
Students have been at the core of the pro-reform movement, which has accused authorities of rigging hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's June re-election, and last week's protests were the first significant show of force in about a month.
In the Web campaigns calling for Tavakoli's release, male supporters donned Islamic-style women's dress in hundreds of whimsical self-portraits. Many of them were bearded and smirking. Others held up V-for-victory signs and wore the green colour that has become the opposition's emblem.
Some of the photos were clumsily altered to underscore opposition claims that the pictures of Tavakoli might have been digitally manipulated.
"He was always introduced as a brave guy, but this move proved his lack of power to resist and avoid paying the price for his own ideas," the activist, Abbas Ensani, was quoted as saying.
Tavakoli has been arrested on two previous occasions. After one of them, he was jailed for 15 months in 2007-2008 on a conviction of insulting Islam in a student newsletter.
He and two other students put on trial in that case told the court that the newsletter containing insults against an Islamic saint had been fabricated by hard-line students and attributed to reformist students in effort to defame them.