More on Farzad Kamangar and the political dissidents executed in Iran

Maryam Namazie is a member of the Central Committee member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran. This group is generally foresaken by British communists with the exception of the Alliance for Worker’s Liberty, because it sits uneasily with the mainstream (if I may call it that) far left’s position on Islamist Iran as resistance to Western imperialist hegemony. (Sorry no links to sources for that – soon I will lose all confidence of my readership).

Today on May 12th she posted an update on the May 9th executions:

“Four days after the heinous executions of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Houli and Mehdi Eslamian, five political prisoners, by the Islamic Republic of Iran their families have still not succeeded in getting the bodies of their loved ones back for burial. The families remain in Tehran going from office to office and building to building in order to get a response. The regime is demanding that the families of the executed give guarantees that there will not be any ‘troubles’ when the bodies are released to them.

Today 12 May, the families of the executed have been standing in front of the Islamic Assembly (Majlis) from early morning. Farzad Kamangar’s lawyer and relatives have informed us that they are still waiting.

Yesterday, in Maku, Shirin’s mother and sister were arrested and subsequently released. In Tehran and in front of Tehran University where protestors had gathered the regime brought out its security in full force and in Iranian Kurdistan it has imposed an unofficial military rule.

There is news from Iranian Kurdistan that tensions have heightened there. Thousands of leaflets calling for a general strike on May 13 have been distributed in various cities. Many of the schools in which Farzad was a teacher and in villages around Kamyaran are closed.

According to the latest news from Evin prison, the executed were told of their execution the night before and immediately taken to special cells. Shirin was studying when they came for her. Other prisoners said they heard her shouting and asking for permission to call and say goodbye to her mother, which was not granted. Others in her unit waited for her until morning when the guards came to collect her things and were then told that she had been executed.

On Saturday 8 May at 4pm Farzad spoke to his family though unaware that he was to be executed early May 9.

The regime brutally executed them and now refuses to hand over their bodies. It has even issued arrest warrants for Farzad’s mother and other relatives.

The International Committee against Executions and Iran Solidarity calls on people everywhere to step up their protests against executions and the Islamic regime of Iran and join the May 13 general strike in Kurdistan and elsewhere.”

Her previous posts:

For Farsi speakers, there is a commemorative video, including interview with Farzad Kamangar’s mother, which I don’t understand.

Torture of Iranian reformists; international day of solidarity with the Iranian people

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:

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.