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Reasons behind the Recent Executions by the Islamic Regime of Iran

By Reza Ghorashi

On early morning of Sunday May 9th 2010 the regime executed five innocent young men and women. They were charged with phony and ridiculous "crimes" and were executed in secret without informing their family or lawyers, and without any due process.

The five included Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alam Holi, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Eslamian. Kamangar, a 34-year-old teacher and social worker, was convicted and sentenced to death after a seven-minute long trial in which "zero evidence" was presented.  His brother, Mehrdad Kamangar, spoke to Radio Farda via phone shortly after Farzad's execution. Mehrdad said some officials had told the family that Farzad was innocent and should be freed, and that neither the family nor Farzad's lawyer had been given any advance notice of the execution. Prior to his trial, Farzad Kamangar was held incommunicado, tortured and otherwise ill-treated, including by being beaten, flogged, and electrocuted. He was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other members of the Kurdish minority, Ali Heidarian and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006.

Another prisoner, Mehdi Eslamian was sentenced to death for lending money to his brother who was associated with an opposition group! Shirin Alam Holi, the female person executed, wrote in a letter from prison "I am entering into my third year of imprisonment, three years under the worst conditions behind the bars of the Evin prison. I spent the first two years of my imprisonment without a lawyer, and in pre-trial custody. All my inquiries about my case went unanswered until I was unjustly sentenced to death. Why have I been imprisoned and why am I going to be executed? For what crime? Is it because I am Kurdish? If that's the case then I must say I was born a Kurd. My language is Kurdish, the language that I use to communicate with my family, friends and community, and the language that I grew up with." Alam-Holi's aunt told Radio Farda that the family was not told about her execution until after it was carried out.

"In her most recent letter, [Alam-Holi] had written that prison officials told her that if she appeared on television and spoke against Kurdish parties, they would release her. But she refused to do that," Alam-Holi's aunt said.

According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran "The sudden execution of five Iranian political prisoners today appears to signal a government policy of relying on politically-motivated executions to strengthen its position vis-à-vis its opposition through terror and intimidation."

In other words this brutal act was not accidental, sudden, or due to madness and rage. It was rather a mean, calculated, and cold blooded murder for political gains. This is part of a broader policy of suppression and intimidation. A reaction to the failure of Islamic Republic's thirty years of "cultural" brainwash that the events of the last year have made so clear. These events were carried by the "under thirty" generation. These are people borne under Islamic republic, raised and "educated" by it, and were force-fed its cultural values. From very early age they have seen "fountains of blood" in the city squares, were lectured on the sanctity of "martyrdom," and been encouraged to spy on parents and elders on their "un-Islamic behavior at home and in private.

Many educators and psychologists were concerned about the state of mind of these "children of Islamic Republic." They just turned out to be the opposite of what the Islamic Republic's leaders had hoped for! They were much more humane, tolerant, fun loving individuals that respected and enjoyed life. All of these were the opposite of what they were taught to as the supposed "Islamic" values. The early signs were their love of environment and humane behavior towards animals that started to show in late 1980's. It was no more "god created the earth and what is on it for man to enjoy" view of the past. Then they flexed their political muscle by voting Mr. Khatami in as the president over the establishment's preferred candidate in 1997. Disappointed at Khatami administration's inability to deliver, they sat out the 2005 election that resulted in Ahmadinejad's winning the office. Up to few months prior to the last year's election it seemed they are going to stay away. But then they surprised the Islamic regime's authorities by throwing their support behind Mr. Mussavi, a rather obscure statesman, at least to the under the thirty generation. All evidence indicates that they succeeded in voting him in. Here came the ballot box coup d'état that declared Mr. Ahmadinejad the winner of the last June presidential elections. The following months witnessed a "street battle" between the two sides. They both knew that what is at stake is bigger than a lost election. It was about cultural survival of the Islamic republic and could easily be escalated to its overall survival.

Government did what it could to turn the peaceful street demonstrations into a bloody and violent confrontation. To their credit, the young ones were smart enough and respectful of life and living, thus did not fall into the trap. The state eventually reclaimed the street in January 2010. While winning this battle the regime knows that it is losing the war. It's cultural and social values, as well as its political authority have lost their legitimacy altogether. The "soul searching" by the Islamic regime's authorities started right after the elections. It seems that their conclusions as why their cultural and social value system has been rejected by the younger generation, as startling as it may sound, is that in the past thirty years they have been too liberal and have not pushed "Islamic" values hard enough!! It began with the Supreme Leader's lament that the social sciences and humanities taught in the universities are "non-Islamic" and advocate "Western" values that corrupt the "innocent" minds of young people. On March 4th 2010 Science Minister Kamran Daneshju said those professors that hold views opposed to the Islamic system will be dismissed. The minister made the remarks at a meeting with the chancellors of universities in the northern city of Behshar. Ahmadinejad's administration is in the process of usurping the hiring and firing of the faculty of Iranian universities. Then came the tightening of screws on the media that went beyond newspapers and was extended to the art and literature publications.. According to "Persian Letters" site of May 9th 2010 "Reports have emerged about the banning of some books and pressure on independent publishers at the Tehran Book Fair, which is one of the most important cultural events in the Islamic Republic.

Iran's Writers Association has said in a statement that a number of prominent publishing houses have been banned from attending the fair and the licenses of several have been cancelled. According to the statement, several of the publishers have also been summoned by security officials.

Censorship in the Islamic Republic is nothing new, but as the Writers Association points out, the summoning of publishers and revoking licenses is unprecedented.

The group has condemned the state pressure on independent book publishers and warned about the "increased censorship and cultural crackdown" in Iran."

Iranian news websites report that only books that have been published since President Mahmud Ahmadinejad took power in 2005 have been allowed to be presented at the book fair."

The picture that emerges from all of these is bleak, at least for the near future. The regime is tightening its grip over social environment to compensate for what it considers to be thirty years of "liberal" and un-Islamic policies of Rafsanjani and (more so) Khatami administrations that Mussavi would have continued. The cultural policies will be implementing is of a more strict and "Islamic" behavior. The great majority of people, particularly the young and educated, have already rejected the up to now restrictions. They will face an even more restrictive set of norms and values. The gap between what people demand and regime's norms and expectations are will widen. This will increase the possibility of clashes between the two sides on occasions such as the anniversary of last year's election. The Islamic Republic regime is unable to compromise. In every turn and challenge it moves further to deny people their rights. How they will respond is hard to predict, but their options are becoming more limited with every turn.

... Payvand News - 05/13/10 ... --

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