Mostafa Tajzadeh (reformist, former Minister of the Interior under Khatami) Abdollah Ramezanzadeh (spokesperson under Khatami) and Mohsen Aminzadeh (diplomat) are reportedly screaming in agony in Evin prison. Their friends say that the Iranian authorities are hoping to extract denouncements of the opposition candidate Mousavi. Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard may also have been detained. Efrafandays has news of another chilling disappearance. The possible purpose of the torture is to implicate Israel, the US and Britain in the post-election unrest and broadcast these confessions to the populace. A classic case of deflecting criticism outwards.
I hope I take a lesson from the fact that, while idly wondering over the past few days whether Twitter is the kind of safety valve that keeps people off the streets, I neglected to even mention the day of solidarity, scheduled before the elections on behalf of jailed Iranian trade unionists, with its hour-long lunchtime demonstration organised by Amnesty and the TUC at the Iranian Embassy in Knightsbridge. More here on Justice for Iranian Workers – the day is properly global, I hope this heartens them.
The trade unionists named by Amnesty are:
- Mansour Ossanlu who received a bad eye injury tangling with Iranian security forces in 2005. Here is some background on the trade union activities which made him a prisoner of conscience, called an enemy of Islam.
- Ebrahim Medadi of the Tehran Busworkers Union
- Farzad Kamangar, Kurdish teacher and social worker
- Jafar Azimzadeh, Chair of the Board of the Union of Free Workers of Iran
- Said Youzi
- Kaveh Mozaffari, eloquent feminist
- Gholamreza Khani, a busworker
- Mehdi Farahani Shandiz, a retired teacher
Amnesty have automated the sending of an email to senior Iranian government figures calling for their release.
It is good that the BBC is now broadcasting by satellite to Iran in Farsi (although it is illegal to own a satellite dish). ll reach many more people than mostly-Anglophone Twitter can, and the BBC with its charter and governance contrasts very favourably with Iranian government TV here in Britain.
iRevolution is an important blog I’m going to look at as often as I can. So thankful for blogging academics.