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Rally for Iran Political Prisoners and "Fair and Free" Elections: San Francisco, Sunday June 9

Soure: United For Iran

Rally in San Francisco Kicks Off Week of Solidarity Around Plight of Iranian Political Prisoners and Lack of ‘Fair and Free Elections’ in Iran

Sarah Shourd featured speaker at June 9 in Justin Herman Plaza in a show of support for pro-democracy and human rights movements in Iran

San Francisco, CA - With presidential elections one week away, Iranians in one of the largest cities in Iran, Isfahan, chanted slogans this week against the government and called for the release of all political prisoners. Outside of the country, Iranians are taking up such calls with events drawing attention to the plight of political prisoners, and in support of the pro-democracy and human rights movements in Iran.

In San Francisco on Sunday, Iranians and their allies will kick off a week of global action with a rally: “Behind Bars: Rally for Freedom of Express in Iran” Sunday, June 9 at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Among the speakers:

  • Sarah Shourd, an American who was arrested by Iranian forces while hiking near a border between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2009. She was held in solitary confinement for over a year at Evin Prison, Tehran. Sarah is an international solidarity activist and writer.
  • Turaj Zaim, an Iranian-American activist-poet, will be symbolically released from an onstage jail cell. Zaim staged a hunger strike at San Francisco city hall following the 2009 elections which resulted in the release of his father, Kourosh Zaim, from Evin Prison in Iran.
  • San Francsico Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, an Iranian-American and supporter of the Iranian pro-democracy movement in the Bay Area.

Presidential elections will be held next Friday in Iran. The field of candidates has been whittled down from 700 to just eight men, all of whom are considered allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

“More than 500 prisoners of conscience remain behind bars in Iran,” said Firuzeh Mahmoudi, director of United for Iran. “Recently, members of a candidate’s team were arrested when they demonstrated in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest for over two years, along with other reformist politicians. Iran is not fair or free - and its presidential elections are not fair or free.”

The Iranian government has recently mounted a sophisticated effort to block Internet access inside the country to limit social media forums for political dissidence, understanding the vital role social media plays in organizing protests and disseminating information, as seen in 2009’s “Green Revolution.”

On Sunday at the San Francisco event, organizers will utilize social media to tweet and post photos, quotes and information on Twitter: and United for Iran’s Facebook page: Hashtags: #iranbehindbars #iranelections.

Events are also scheduled in other cities including Berlin, Washington D.C., and Vienna for the week of action. United for Iran, Amnesty USA, Amnesty International, The Solidarity Committee to Protect the Iranian People’s Will, and other allies are urging the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran.

For more information please visit or call (510) 435-4131.

... Payvand News - 06/08/13 ... --

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