The human rights situation in Iran continues to deteriorate. Petitions and protests to end the abuses have gone unanswered. During the past year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government has sought to monopolize power in Iran by silencing and suffocating all independent and dissenting voices. The suppression of demonstrators in Azerbaijan, Khuzestan, and Kurdistan, the silencing of labor, women, and student movements and the vicious attacks on demonstrators throughout the past year, are all evidence of the ongoing and abhorrent human rights violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran. By arresting and imprisoning intellectuals, lawyers, political activists, and labor leaders and by forcing the resignation or early retirement of dozens of University professors, Ahmadinejad’s government is pursuing polices that are reminiscent of some of the darkest days of the Islamic Republic. In such an atmosphere, Iran’s democracy movement calls for the unity and support of people of conscience from around the world. Without such unity, there is little hope of stemming the appalling human rights violations in Iran and the growing authoritarianism of the regime.
In response to this deteriorating situation, we the undersigned lend our support and welcome the suggestion of Akbar Ganji, Iran’s leading dissident intellectual who was recently freed after 2222 days of imprisonment, for a global hunger strike that demands the release of three prominent political prisoners namely: Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeni, a student leader and former member of parliament, Dr Ramin Jahanbegloo, a philosopher, professor and public intellectual and Mansour Osanloo, a prominent labor leader and executive director of the Worker’s Syndicated Union.
Additionally, we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees from the Islamic Republic’s jails but we specifically demand the release of the above mentioned persons who symbolize various groups of prisoners of conscience in Iran. Should their release not be secured, we, the undersigned, will begin a co-ordinated global hunger strike from July 14 through July 16, 2006 to draw attention to our demands. We ask for the support and solidarity of people from around the world who share our goals for a democratic Iran and an immediate end to all violations of human rights.
Time: July 14th to 16th, 2006
Place: New York — In front of the UN with Akbar Ganji