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06/14/10

Iran's Green Movement: First Anniversary and Free Elections


An Open Letter from the Iranian Academic Community Worldwide to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Date: June 12, 2010

To: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations
350 East 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

Dear Sir;

As the anniversary of the disputed presidential elections in Iran on June 12, 2009 draws near; as we look back at the horrific beatings and killings of the peaceful protesters; as we remember the fallen compatriots whose lives were cut short by assassins' bullets; as we stand in solidarity with the just demands of our fellow Iranians for democracy and the rule of law; as we show our determination to fight for the immediate release of thousands of political prisoners; and as we strive to comfort the victims of rape and torture in the prisons of the religious regime, we the undersigned members of the Iranian academic community worldwide plead to your high office and peace-loving humanity to stand with us in condemning the atrocities committed by the Islamic Republic against the Iranian people. We ask you to help us stop this killing machine.

In the past year, those who have dared to stand up to the corruption and atrocities have been subject to arrest, torture, and even execution under the watch of Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic. Some political prisoners have simply disappeared, leaving their grieving families to search cemeteries for their remains. And a great many more Iranian citizens have felt the painful loss of civic and democratic rights in their everyday lives.

For many years, Sayyid Ali Khamenei has ruled the country ostensibly to establish a virtuous society, promote equality among Iranians, provide prosperity and security in this world and ensure salvation in the other, and fight for egalitarianism and the cause of the downtrodden abroad. In practice, however, he has promoted wickedness instead of virtue; a cult of personality instead of equality; poverty, arbitrary rule, and engineered elections instead of prosperity, security, and the rule of law; and international brinkmanship and support for terrorism instead of peaceful diplomacy. Mr. Khamenei is no good for Iran; worse for the world; and a disaster for the religion.

In the past year, many more Iranians have become aware of the regime's brutality and seemingly insatiable appetite for power. Many now believe that the leader's religious absolutism contradicts the fundamentals of human rights and violates the basic tenets of the religion itself. And, as it may happen when power threatens to slip from the grasp of tyrants, this loss in legitimacy has spurred even more outlandish claims about Khamenei's religious credentials and attachment to honorable saints. The more Iranians criticize the absolutism and savagery of the regime, the more the regime portrays itself as representing the wrath of God. The more nations around the world distance themselves from the Islamic Republic, the more its rulers exaggerate their military power and prowess in diplomacy. The struggle in Iran today is between the cult of the engineered presidency and the followers of the rule of law; between superstitious extremism and rational moderation; and between apocalyptic end-of-day religious fundamentalism and God-loving, peace-seeking, and violence-abhorring spirituality.

Imagine a people who in protesting peacefully for their democratic rights are beaten, tortured, raped, and murdered; imagine the perished lives that are buried in unmarked graves; and imagine the unbearable pain and suffering of loving parents when they are told that their sons and daughters are gone forever-no chance to say the final goodbye, no possibility for burial ceremonies, no knowledge of the burial site, and no identifiable permanent resting place. This is a brutality beyond imagination.

The tragic death of Neda Agha Soltan, a female student of philosophy, shot by a member of the Basij militia on June 20, 2009 in broad daylight epitomizes the despotic nature of the ruling establishment. Recently, the regime executed some of the bravest sons and daughters of our beloved Kurdistan. It murdered peaceful activists, who were guided only by the feelings of love for their country. We only envisage listening to the patriots' mesmerizing recital of their covenant with the nation as they faced their executioner; "O' Iran, to you my blood and my soul;" and the grieving father responding, "there is no life without Iran."

Despite the danger inherent in dissidence, many Iranians stand strong in their opposition. As observed by millions the world over, their movement not only refused to back down after the rigged elections, but has grown bigger and bolder against the beatings, mass-arrests, rapes, show trials, and killings that have followed. They are resolute in demanding the rule of law, the realization of their democratic rights, and an end to religious absolutism.

On the anniversary of this fateful day, we ask you and the democratic people of the world to join us in offering our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the atrocities of the Islamic Republic, in expressing our solidarity with the political prisoners, and in condemning the brutality of the regime against our great nation.

Toward these ends, please join us in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, the holding of free and fair elections, and the punishment of those responsible for the beating, killing, torturing, and murdering of peaceful protesters.

signatories:

Abghari Siavash,
Professor of Finance & Director, Morehouse College, Atlanta, USA

Abghari Shahla

Professor of Microbiology ,Life University, Atlanta, USA

Afary Janet

Professor, University of California Santa Barbara, USA

Afshar Ali

Professor Polytechnic Institute of NYU, USA

Afshari Reza

Professor of History, Pace University, New York, USA
Akbari Hamid

Audrey Reynolds Distinguished Teaching Professor; North eastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois USA

Alamdari Kazem

Professor of Sociology, California State University, Northridge, USA

Baghi Heibatollah
Professor of Biostatistics, George Mason University, VA, USA

Barati Mehran
Free University Berlin-Germany, Research Unit Globalization and Int'l Politics, Germany

Bastani Bahar MD
Professor of Medicine - Director of kidney transplantation at Saint Louis University, USA

Behdad, Sohrab

Professor of Economics, Denison University, USA

Bina Cyrus

Distinguished Research Professor of Economics; University of Minnesota, USA.

Boroujerdi Mehrzad

Professor, Middle East Institute, Washington Syracuse University, USA

Darvishpour Mehrdad

Malardalen University ,Sweden

Daryaee Touraj
Howard Baskerville Professor in the history,University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Dastmalchi Parviz

Writer, Political Analyst, Berlin , Germany

Farhang Mansour

Professor of Political Science, Bennington College, Vermont, USA

Farhang Jahanpour

Associate Fellow, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

Ganjbakhsh Amir Hossein

Senior Investigator, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD ,USA

Gorji Ali
Professor of Neuroscience Research and Neurophysiology; Munster University, Germany

Haghighatjoo Fatemeh

Visiting Scholar, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA, USA

Hashemi Nader

Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, CO, USA

Hosseini Ali

Writer, Political activist, London, UK

Jafari Marzie

Professor and Dean; The City University of New York Lehman College, New York, USA

Jahanbegloo Ramin

Professor, University of Toronto, Canada

Kamaly Hossein

Fanny de Bary Asst. Professor, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Barnard College, USA

Kangarlu, Alayar

Professor of Medical Physics, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, USA

Kar Mehrangiz

Visiting Scholar, Cape Town University

Karam Ghassan

Prof. Pace University ;Economics Department, Pace University; Pleasantville NY USA

Karimi-Hakkak Ahmad

Professor of Persian Language, Literature, and Culture Director, The Roshan Center for Persian Studies 1220 Jimenez Hall University of Maryland College Park USA

Karimi-Hakak Mahmood

Professor of Theatre and Film, Department of Creative Arts, Siena College, New York; Artistic Director, Mahak International Artists Inc., New York, USA

Keddie Nikki ;Professor Emeritus of History, UCLA ;Santa Monica, CA, USA

Keshavars Fatemeh

Professor and Chair, Asian & Near Eastern Languages and Literatures Washington University in St. Louis, IN, USA

Khorrami Mohammad Mehdi

Professor, Persian Language and Literature New York University Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies 50, NY USA

Khosrokhavar Farhad
Professor, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France

Kian Azadeh
Professeur de sociologie, Directrice du CEDREF Université Paris-Diderot-Paris, France

Mahdavi Mojtaba

Assistant Professor , Department of Political Science, University of Alberta, Canada

Mahdi Akbar
Professor of Sociology, Ohio Wesleyan university, OH, USA

Mahdian Mohammad Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, Yahoo! Inc., California, USA.

Malekahmadi Farshad

Associate Professor of Sociology, Naugatuck Valley Community, College, CT, USA

Mashayekhi Mehrdad

Assistant Professor, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA

Mehdi Mansouri

Ph.D., Associate Professor, Herzing University, USA

Melikian Assieh

Associate Professor of Environmental Health Medicine, New York University, USA

Milani Abbas

Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies Stanford University, CA, USA

Mir-Hosseini Ziba

Senior Research Associate, Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Law, University of London, UK

Mirfakhraie Ahmad

BioTech College, Vice President, San Jose, Ca , USA

Moaddel Mansoor
Professor of Sociology, Eastern Michigan University, MI, USA

Moghissi Haideh

Professor and Associate Dean, FLAPS, York University, Canada

Mohammadi Majid

Professor; Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies; Stony Brook/New York

Monshipouri Mahmood
Associate Professor, Dept. of Int'l Relations, San Francisco State University, CA, USA

Mousoli Reza
BSc (Hons) MSc FHEA CED MBCS, Senior Lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, United Kingdom

Navab Mohamad
Professor, Project Leader, Cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Nayeri Ali

Assit. Prof of Theoretical Physics, Chapman University & University of California, Irvine

Niroomand-Rad Azam
Professor Emeritus, , PhD, DSc, DACR, FAAPM, FACMP; Fellow, Past President of International Organization for Medical Physics, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Nomani Farhad

Professor of ecomomics, Chair of department of economics, The American university of Paris, Paris , France

Paivandi saeed

Professor; University Paris 8; Paris, France

Pakravan Karim

Associate Professor ;DePaul University;Jackson;Chicago IL 60604

Parsa Misagh

Professor of Sociology, Dartmouth College, NH, USA

Rakei Ali

Theoretical Physicist, Washington DC, USA

Rahnema Saeed

Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, York University, Canada

Rahni Davood

Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science Adj. Professor of Environmental Law Pace University Adj. Professor of Dermatology New York Medical College

Sabetian Manoucher

Consultant surgeon. MB BS, FRCS, Ex-President Iranian PEN in Exile, United Kingdom

Sadeghi Nader MD, FRCSC
Associate Professor of Surgery, Dir. Head & Neck Surgery George Washington,USA

Sebti Reza

Research assistance, Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta, Canada

Shariatmadari Hassan
Theologian and Philosopher, former Director of Publication Department of Dar-al-Tabligh Islami ( 1973-80), Publisher and Chief Editor of Pyam Shadi and Nasle. Germany

Shirazi, Arman Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, CSM North America

Talattof Kamran
Professor, University of Arizona, AZ, USA

Tehrani Ali

Professor of Engineering, Conestoga College, Canada

Tohidi Nayereh

Professor & Chair, Department of Gender & Women's Studies, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA

Vahdat Farzin

Research Associate, Vassar College, New York, USA

Zangeneh Hamid

Professor of Economics, Widener University, Pennsylvania, USA

Ziai Hossein

Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, Director of Iranian Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA, CA, USA

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