Free Jafar Panahi and all political prisoners in Iran!

ahm2011At Hopi’s AGM on February 12 2011, John McDonnell MP launched this important new campaign. We will hold a first open organising meeting soon, so please get in touch if you want to get involved. Email office@hopoi.info or call Mark on 07950 416 922.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 Hopi is 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!

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