CRY FREEDOM.net
formerly known as
Women's Liberation Front
MORE INSIGHT MORE LIFE

Welcome to cryfreedom.net, formerly known as.Womens Liberation Front.  A website that hopes to draw and keeps your attention for  both the global 21th. century 3rd. feminist revolution and especially for the 'Woman, Life, Freedom' (translated the Zan, Zendagi, Azadi)  uprising in Iran and the struggles of our sisters in the Middle East.
This online magazine started December 2019 as a monthly and will now be published evey two weeks and concerning the 'Women, Life, Freedom' revolution in Iran every week. Thank you for your time and interest.
Gino d'Artali
indept investigative journalist
radical feminist and women's rights activist 
 

August 20, 2023
Preface to the new format of the 'Women's Arab Spring 1.2 Revolt' and the Iran 'Woman, Life, Freedom' movement
pages lay-out


You are now at the Iran 'Woman, Life, Freedom'  section
 

For the 'Women's Arab Spring 1.2' Revolt news click here
 

 

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JINA MAHSA AMINI
The face of Iran's protests. Her life, her dreams and her death.

In memory of Jina 'Mahsa' Amini, the cornerstone of the 'Zan. Zendagi. Azadi revolution.
16 February 2023 | By Gino d'Artali

And also
Read all about the assasination of the 22 year young Jhina Mahsa Amini or Zhina Mahsa Amini (Kurdistan-Iran) and the start of the Zan, Zendagi, Azadi (Women, life, freedom) revolution in Iran  2022
and the latest news about the 'Women Live Freedom' Revolution per month in 2023: September 17 - 1 -- August 31 - 18 -- August 15 - 1-- July 31 - 16 --July 15 -1--June 30 - 15--June 15-1--May 31 -16-- May 15-1--April--March--Feb--Jan  


Tribute to KIAN PIRFALA, 9 years old and victim of the Islamic Republic's Savagery 10 years ago.

And
For all topics below
that may hopefully interest you click on the image:

 

'THE NO-HIJABIS

Updated September 7, 2023

 

'BIOLOGICAL

TERROR ATTACKS
AGAINST SCHOOLGIRLS'

'IRANIAN JOURNALISTS
UNDER SIEGE'

Updated September 7, 2023

'BLINDING

AS A WEAPON'
Updated July 18, 2023

'THE HANGING SPREE'

 Updated September 6, 2023 

CLICK HERE ON HOW TO READ ALL ON THIS PAGE 

Here we are to enter THE IRANIAN WOMEN'S REVOLUTIONISTS against
the supreme leader, the arch-reactionary Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his placeman president, Ebrahim Raisi. The message of the women when he visited a university is plain: <give way or get lost> in 2023.
IN MEMORY OF from left to right ASRA PANAHI (16)- JHINA MAHSA AMINI (22) - NIKA SHAKARAMI (16), SARINA ESMAILZADEH (16) HADIS NAJAFI (20), AND MORE WOMEN WHO WERE ASSASINATED SO FAR BY THE IRANIAN AXIS OF EVIL.
 
Click here for a total list so far

'Facing Faces and Facts 1-2'  (2022) to commemorate the above named and more and food for thought and inspiration to fight on.
and 'Facing Faces & Facts 3' edited December 2022/March 2023

Dear reader, from here on the 'Woman, Life, Freedom' pages menu will look a bit different and this to avoid too many pop-ups ,meaning the underlined period  in yellow tells you in what period you are and click on another underlinded period to go there. However, when needed a certain topic will be in yellow meaning it's a link to go that topic and will open in a new window. If you dissagree about any change feel more than free to let me know what you think at info@cryfreedom.net
This does not count for the  above topics which, when clicked on, will still appear in a pop-up window and for now the 'old' lay-out 'till I worked that all out. Thank you. Gino d'Artali
(Updates September 17, 2023)

z


PART 1 OF THE REGIME'S ATTEMPT AND CRUELTY TO TRY AND CRUSH THE PROTESTS AND COMMEMORATION OF THE KILLING OF JINA MAHSA AMINI ALMOST A YEAR AGO

'JINA AMINI REVOLUTION'
Please go this page which is dedicated to the coming commeration of Jina Mahsa Amini, heinously murdered by a basij for apparently wearing her hijab wrongfully. Do participate:
http://www.cryfreedom.net/2022-2023-commemoration-of-Jina-Amini.htm

Please do read because I wrote some thoughts and reflection about the coming commemoration of the killing of the 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini


PART 2 OF THE REGIME'S ATTEMPT AND CRUELTY TO TRY AND CRUSH THE PROTESTS AND COMMEMORATION OF THE KILLING OF JINA MAHSA AMINI ALMOST A YEAR AGO
 

XX

PART 3 : 14 - 13 SEPTEMBER 2023 OF THE REGIME'S ATTEMPT AND CRUELTY TO TRY AND CRUSH THE PROTESTS AND COMMEMORATION OF THE KILLING OF JINA MAHSA AMINI A YEAR AGO
 

WHO JINA AMINI REALLY WAS.
By Diako Alavi, a journalist from Saqqez and family friend of Mahsa Amini 

PART 4 : 15 - 14 SEPTEMBER 2023 OF THE REGIME'S ATTEMPT AND CRUELTY TO TRY AND CRUSH THE PROTESTS AND COMMEMORATION OF THE KILLING OF JINA MAHSA AMINI A YEAR AGO 

updates
Part 5: 16 - 14 - 11,September 2023
Part 6: 16 September 16, 2023

Part 7: 17 - 15 September, 1023
Part 8: 18 - 17 September, 2023

Part 8: 18 - 17 September, 2023
Part 9: 20 - 12 September 2023
Update:
Part 10:  22 - 21 September 2023

Gino d'artali's opinion: We mourn AND fight!

September 8, 2023
<<Iran's Ongoing Literacy Crisis: Women and Girls Left Behind...
 

 

September 13 - 11, 2023
<<An Iranian Teacher's Ordeal in Karajís Ghezelhesar Prison...
and <<For the Incarcerated Parents...
and <<Troops Deployed across Iran's Saqqez ahead of Mahsa Anniversary...
and <<A year of revolt after the death of Jina Mahsa Amini...>>...
and <<Female prisoners call on Bahareh Hedayat to end her hunger strike...
and <<Şiraz Hamo: 'Jin, Jiyan, Azadi' uprising will achieve victory...
and so much more news...
 

x

September 11 - 8, 2023
<<Dozens of Environmental Activists Detained in Kurdistan Province...
and <<Karaj Inmate Describes <Horrific> Prison Conditions...
and <<Head of Saqqez Football Board Arrested...
and <<Jailed Iranian Activist Mohammadi Beaten in Prison Hospital...
and Ayda Rostami committed to the medical ethics oath until her death...
and <<Kurdish Political Prisoner Handed Capital Punishment...
and so much more news...
  

September 8 - 7, 2023
<<Two More Relatives of Iran Protest Victims Arrested...
and <<The <Black Hole> of Karaj: Inmate Describes Harrowing Prison Conditions...
and <<Massoumeh Yavari Detained In Limbo, Deprived of Her Basic Rights...
and <<Call for general strike in Rojhelat on September 16...
and more news
 


September 6 - 2, 2023
<<Dozens of Karaj Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Protest at Jail Conditions...
and <<More Academics Sacked in Iran ahead of Mahsa Anniversary...
and <<Iranian News Website Blocked amid Media Crackdown...
and <<Iranian Political Activist Ramezanzadeh Jailed with Dangerous Criminals...
and <<Baha'i Woman in Iran Handed 16-Year Prison Term...
and so much more news
 

Cruel regime stories not for the faint of heart:
September 1, 2023
<Evin Prison is a University and Iran is a Detention Center>....
and
August 30, 2023
<<Pedram Azarnoosh: A Slain and Immortal Giant of the Protests....
and
August 29, 2023
<<Yasaman Rezaei Babadi: Threatened with Rape if She Didnít Confess....
and
August 27, 2023
<<Maryam Akbari Monfared, A Brave Woman Standing Like a Mountain against All Odds....

 

September 1, 2023
<<Iran's Sunni Leader Blasts Raisi for Broken Promises...
and <<Revolutionary Guards Showcase Forced Confessions of <Royalist> Protesters....
and <<Human Rights Groups Call for UN Probe into Iran Prisoner's Death....
and <<Iranian Asylum Seeker Says Turkiye Deportations Accelerating....
and <<More Relatives of Slain Iran Protesters Arrested
more news coming up soon....


August 31, 2023
<<Commemorating the leading women of Ashraf slain on September 1, 2013....
and <<Dozens of Professors Dismissed in Two Years of Raisi's Rule....
and <<Swimmer Tackles 48.5km Manhattan Effort for Iranian Women and Protesters....
and <<Iranian Protester Who Faced Three Death Sentences Dies in Prison....
and <<More Arrests of Alleged <Terrorists> Ahead of Mahsa Amini Anniversary....
and <<Maryam Akbari Monfared sentenced to two years in prison....
and so much more news
and by clicking the date it also goes to other links and news of
the first 3 weeks of August 2023 and more
 

 

2-weekly opinion by Gino d'Artali:
Dedicated to the women-led revolution
September 1, 2023
 August 4 - July 15, 2023
July 15 - 1, 2023
June 30 - 15, 2023

June 15 - 9, 2023

 

When one hurts or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
Gino d'Artali
and: My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi figlio, non esistono notizie <vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da qualsiasi notizia.> Translated: <My son, there is no such thing as so called 'old' news because you can learn something from any news.>
Gianna d'Artali.

'THE JINA REVOLUTION'
That's how the following will be called because that's how the thousands I'm sure, if not more, will commemorate Jina Mahsa's killing on September 16th. 2022
And as a preface from Gino d'Artali about the extra reporting around the coming up commemation of Jina Mahsa Amini's killing on September 16, 2022 and about the intended crackdown of the regime and its judiciary and the facist IRGC on the to be expected protesters; the in Saqqez, birth-place of Jina, living Kurdish people; family members of Jina and the press among others I'll start as noted below. For all that will come after this part 1 there will be following parts untill ... not decided yet:

Center for Human Rights Iran - September 5, 2023
<<Massacre in Kurdish City by Islamic Republic Forces Exposed in New Report
September 5, 2023 - A new report just released by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) and the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reveals shocking state violence by Islamic Republic security forces against unarmed civilians in the predominantly Kurdish city of Javanrud, which occurred during the protests that shook Iran in the fall of 2022. The 100-page report, <Massacre in Javanrud: State Atrocities Against Protesters in Iran's Kurdish Regions,> is based on hundreds of photos, videos, and detailed interviews conducted with 38 individuals, all of whom were in Javanrud at the time of the atrocities and include eyewitnesses, protesters, family members, others close to the injured, detained, and killed, and doctors and nurses who tried to treat the wounded.
Key findings include:
Security forces intentionally cornered and shot unarmed protesters, using military-grade machine guns at close range, killing eight civilians, including one child, and injuring at least 80 individuals, including children.
The wounded were beaten in the streets by security forces and those who tried to help the wounded were shot. The injured could not seek help at the city's hospitals without risking arrest as security forces were stationed at the medical centers to identify and arrest protesters.
At least 89 people, including 26 children, were arbitrarily arrested and detained. Many were beaten and tortured while in state custody, including children. Families of the injured, killed, detained, and abused were pressured by the state to remain silent.
<The atrocities committed by Islamic Republic forces in the city of Javanrud, carried out with the full knowledge and direction of state officials and which involved the intentional and systematic murder, maiming, and abuse of unarmed civilians on a large scale, amount to crimes against humanity,> said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI executive director. The report also identifies some of the perpetrators responsible for the stateís atrocities in Javanrud. Not one state official has been held accountable for the deaths and injuries of the citizens of Javanrud. The protests in Javanrud were part of the nationwide, anti-government protests in Iran that followed the killing in state custody of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini, only days after her arrest in September 2022 for an allegedly improper hijab. In the course of those protests, which lasted for months, over 500 people were killed by state security forces and over 22,000 people were arrested. Rebin Rahmani, a board member of KHRN, expressed concern about the increasing wave of arrests of Kurdish activists now taking place on the eve of the anniversary of the uprising, noting that <The Islamic Republic feels there are no repercussions for their crimes in marginalized regions such as Kurdistan and Baluchistan, so it is intensifying its violent and unlawful suppression in these areas.> <As the one-year anniversary of the 'Women Life Freedom' protests approaches, the potential for renewed protest in Iran-and a violent state response aimed at crushing it-is high,> said Ghaemi. <The international community must remain extraordinarily vigilant, warning the Iranian authorities of intense political and economic consequences at the first sign of state violence,> Ghaemi added. In anticipation of the anniversary of the protests, the Islamic Republic has increased its repressive activities over the last month, detaining family members of slain protesters, locking up activists, targeting community leaders who have protested the stateís violence, and intensifying its persecution of minority groups.
The report provides recommendations for the international community, including:....>>
Read the full report and the recommendations here:
https://iranhumanrights.org/2023/09/massacre-in-kurdish-city-by-islamic-republic-forces-exposed-in-new-report/

Iranwire - September 8, 2023
<<Another Iranian Teacher Activist Handed Prison Term
An Iranian court has sentenced teacher activist Abolfazl Khoran to six years and eight months in prison, as well as 72 lashes, amid what the Coordinating Council of Educators' Trade Unions called the <continuation of repression and intimidation of the teachers' community.> The council reported that Khoran was also banned from social media activities and exiled to the city of Delfan for two years. The activist was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on August 5 and detained for 26 days.
He was released on a 1-billion-toman ($20,000) bail.
Unrest has rattled Iran since the summer of 2022 in response to declining living standards, wage arrears and a lack of welfare support, as the economy deteriorated following years of mismanagement compounded by crippling US sanctions. The September death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini sparked months of nationwide demonstrations that breathed new life into the labor protest movement. The Coordinating Council of Educators' Trade Unions said that the only way to calm the protests is to seriously address the demonstrators' demands.
The issuance of stiff sentences against teacher activists will not deter them from protesting, it insisted.
Over the past years, many teachers' union activists in Iran have been arrested, imprisoned and dismissed from their jobs for criticizing government policies or demanding better working conditions. Khoran's sentencing comes amid an intensifying crackdown on dissent, civil society and journalists ahead of the September 16 anniversary of Amini's death.>>
Source:
https://iranwire.com/en/news/120250-another-iranian-teacher-activist-handed-prison-term/


JINHA - Womens News Agency - September 7, 2023
<<Call for general strike in Rojhelat on September 16
News Center- A joint statement has been released by the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), the Democratic Movement of Kurdistan-Iran (HDKI), the Communist Party of Iran (Komalah), the Organization of Iranian Kurdistan Struggle (Khabat), the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) and the Community of Labourers of Kurdistan (Kurdish: Komeleya Zehmetkeşen Kurdistane). Calling for a general strike on the first anniversary of the <<Jin, Jiyan, Azadi> revolution on September 16, the statement said, <The uprising, known as <Jina Revolution> that sparked a year ago is the largest and longest-lasting uprising in the history of the Islamic Republic.>
The statement also said:
<Last year and during the revolution, the freedom-loving movement of the Iranian people in general and the Kurdish people in particular experienced a new and popular phase against the ruling regime in Iran and took decisive steps that are unstoppable and irreversible. The significant role of women in this revolution has taken our society a big step forward and made the horizon of victory brighter. Young people make a rare sacrifice to have a free life. On the anniversary of the Jina Revolution, we will remember the martyrs of the revolution, show our support to the political prisoners and keep the political movement alive.>
According to the statement, the parties made the following decisions:
1-Civil society activists and independent organizations should support and take an active part in the commemorations and activities on the anniversary of the 'Jin, Jiyan, Azadi' revolution.
2-Declaration of September 16 2023 as the day of general strike in the whole of Kurdistan. All shops, markets, businesses and administrative centers should remain closed. The people of Kurdistan will visit the graves of the brave martyrs of the revolution and Jina Mahsa Amini and hold commemoration ceremonies.
3-All people demanding freedom in Iran should support the strike of the people of Kurdistan across the country and show their support for the 'Jin, Jiyan, Azadi' revolution.
4-All forces, activists and parties abroad should support the strike on the anniversary of the revolution, hold mass demonstrations and marches and draw the attention of the whole world to the 'Jina revolution'.
5-Each party of Kurdish political parties and movements at this meeting express their participation and support in the commemoration ceremonies to be held at the graves of the brave martyrs on September 16, 2023.> >>
Source:
https://jinhaagency1.com/en/actual/call-for-general-strike-in-rojhelat-on-september-16-33809

Iranwire - September 7, 2023
<<18-Year-Old Protester Arrested, Months after Being Wounded in Both Eyes
Iranian security forces have arrested an 18-year-old protester who sustained severe injuries in both his eyes during protests last year, IranWire reports. The arrest of Parsa Ghobadi took place at his father's workplace on September 4. On November 25, 2022, Iranian security forces took to the streets to celebrate the national football team's 2-0 victory over Wales in the World Cup in Qatar. The same night, Ghobadi and his friends shouted anti-government slogans in the western city of Kermanshah. A plainclothesman fired at Ghobadi's face. While blood was running down his face, the teenager tried to escape but the security forces shot him multiple times in the back and filled his body with pellets. Ghobadi's arrest took place just days before the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in police custody on September 16. The tragedy led to months of nationwide protests that were brutally repressed by security forces. The government, fearing a flare up in protests ahead of the anniversary, has ramped up its crackdown against dissent, civil society and families of those killed in the demonstrations sparked by Amini's death.>>
Source:
https://iranwire.com/en/news/120220-18-year-old-protester-arrested-months-after-being-wounded-in-both-eyes/
Read also all about 'Blinding as a weapon' here:
www.cryfreedom.net/JINA-FFF3-blinded-july-forgiven-2023.htm

Iranwire - September 6, 2023
<<Father, Sister of Victim of Protest Crackdown Arrested in Iran
Iranian security forces have arrested the father and sister of Mohammad Hassanzadeh, a protester killed during last year's nationwide protests, according to human rights groups. Hassanzadeh's father, Ahmad, was arrested in the Kurdish city of Bukan on September 5, while his sister Solmaz was also taken into custody.
They were both taken to an undisclosed location.
The arrests took place just days before the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in police custody on September 16. The tragedy led to months of nationwide anti-establishment protests that were brutally repressed by security forces. The Iranian authorities, fearing a flare up in protests ahead of the anniversary, have ramped up their crackdown against activists and families of those killed in the widespread demonstrations. At least 70 relatives of victims have been arrested over the past five months, according to the human rights group Hengaw. On September 5, security agents raided the private residence of Amini's uncle Safa Aeli in the western city of Saqqez and took him to an undisclosed location.>>
Source:
https://iranwire.com/en/news/120175-father-sister-of-victim-of-protest-crackdown-arrested-in-iran/


JINHA - Womens News Agency - September 6, 2023 - by Siruşa Amin
<<Iranian government uses paramilitary groups against protesters
News Center- Recently, Salafist/ Wahhabi groups have attacked the people in many cities of Rojhelat (Eastern Kurdistan) with the support of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and security forces. Several days ago, these groups attacked young people in the city of Marivan. According to eyewitnesses, the identities of attackers were known, the government did not take any action against them but arrested the people protesting the attack.
They threaten people
Despite the ongoing protests and criticism by people and activists, these groups are supported by Iran's security forces. According to local sources, the Iranian government employs these groups and gives them weapons to suppress the protests, to threaten and intimidate citizens in the cities of Eastern Kurdistan. The local sources say that these groups previously received military training from the IRGC and carried out many attacks against civilians. The local people think the main aim of these groups is to suppress the <Jin, Jiyan, Azadi (English: Women, Life, Freedom> uprising and the reason why the Iranian regime uses them is the influence of Salafism in Eastern Kurdistan.
The lives of women and girls are at risk
There is a serious increase in the rate of violence against women and girls in Iran and Rojhelat. Recently, these groups have attacked women and girls with acid. The recent acid attacks on women and girls recall the series of acid attacks on women and girls in Isfahan in October 1993. Some men threw acid on the faces of women and girls for not wearing their hijabs properly. The acid attacks became a nightmare for many girls in Isfahan and other cities. Despite the protests and demands for identification of the attackers, the case was closed in 2017. Today, women and girls face the same attacks and their lives are at risk. The Iranian regime keeps creating terror in society. Despite everything, the people are determined to demand their freedom.>>
Source:
https://jinhaagency1.com/en/actual/iranian-government-uses-paramilitary-groups-against-protesters-33806

Iranwire - September 5, 2023 - by NAZANIN BONIADI
<<The 44-Year Riddle of Iran's Democratic Opposition
Uniting the Democratic Opposition to the Islamic Republic is a Riddle that has Evaded Us for 44 Years
A year after the murder in custody of Mahsa Jina Amini - arrested by the Islamic Republic's morality police for inappropriate hijab - it seems the world has moved on. But the fire of the revolutionary protests that broke out for months after Mahsa's death still burns in the hearts of the Iranian people, as they urgently call on us to more effectively support them the next time they rise up for fundamental political change. In my 15 years advocating for my fellow Iranians, I have never witnessed such fervent opposition to the clerical regime as there is in Iran today. The nationwide protests sparked by Mahsa's murder, and their battle cry <Woman Life Freedom,> are the greatest existential threats faced by the theocracy in its more than four decades in power. And the crackdown has been equally brutal. Since last September more than 500 protestors have been killed, more than 20,000 arrested, at least seven executed and dozens more still face the gallows. Thousands of Iranians have been blinded, gassed, forcibly disappeared, raped and tortured. On May 19, 2023, as we learned that three more protesters had been executed by the Islamic Republic after sham trials and forced confessions, I felt a deep sense of failure that the opposition's weakness had intensified the regime's bloodlust. It was a sobering and isolating moment. The executions underscored the urgency of reflecting on what we could have done differently to bring about our objectives. After all, what good is any of this advocacy if we are unwilling to learn from our missteps and address our shortcomings? Of course, transparency and critiques only serve us if they are thoughtful and constructive, and intended to make us stronger, rather than to diminish each other or to create more division. Heeding the calls of those in Iran - who wanted prominent Iranian dissident figures to form an alliance to help the Iranian people achieve their democratic aspirations - in January 2023, after several weeks of video conferencing, I joined what we later named the Alliance for Democracy and Freedom in Iran. We were a diverse coalition brought together, in part by popular demand, because of our individual efforts to give a voice to the protests. The group included the Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi; journalist, author and women's rights activist Masih Alinejad; Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi; Kurdish political leader Abdullah Mohtadi; and civic leader, author and dentist Hamed Esmaeilion. Despite our varied backgrounds and skills, we shared a common passion to help advance the cause of secular democracy for our homeland. Our intention was to create a framework of cooperation to unite Iranians in pursuit of this goal, and to use our combined experience and platforms, not to lead the Iranian people, but to reflect and pursue their demands with greater and collective impact. Our long and frequent interactions were not only civil, but after a short period of overcoming formalities and trepidations, they were even hearteningly warm. For a few months - and for the first time in almost half a century - Iranian democratic opposition voices were afforded global media coverage, met with world leaders, and replaced Islamic Republic officials at international fora. The country was ousted from the UN's top legislative body on women's rights and a landmark UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission offered hope in tackling systemic impunity in Iran. These unprecedented achievements were a testament primarily to the immense courage of the Iranian people, but also to the unity of the diaspora against the regime at the time. While most Iranians inside the country were broadly unified in their calls for the formation of a diverse opposition alliance, there was erosion in this solidarity in the months that followed, as differences emerged in viewpoints on the trajectory and the ultimate goals of the movement. Although the members of the Alliance shared the goal of securing for the Iranian people the agency they had been denied for decades, concomitant frustrations and tensions also mounted within our group and the broader diaspora. The regime's notorious cyber army, aided by dogmatic extremists of every persuasion, undoubtedly exacerbated these tensions. Old rifts - left vs right, monarchist vs republican - widened and deepened. My hope was to bridge differences in our group and to lend my platform to a coordinated, democratic movement, while continuing to be a megaphone for the Iranian people on the world stage. Naturally, our roles varied, and popular expectations of someone like the Prince were different given his historical prominence. My decision to exit the Alliance for Democracy and Freedom in Iran, after the departure of two other members, was not taken lightly. My advocacy has been, and always will be, results-oriented; and one must recognize when something is not working, to change course. As such, I felt that remaining a part of a fractured group without a concrete and strategic plan for meaningful change was an empty promise to the Iranian people. Those not involved in the struggle may think it is easy to criticize the efforts by the Alliance to lay the foundation for a secular democracy for Iran. We tried, and while we have not yet been successful in our ultimate goals, we are better for having made an effort; as the Persian adage says, <an unwritten essay has no errors.> But, of course, it is crucial that we do not repeat these errors. If success is defined as opportunity meeting preparation, then it is incumbent upon us to identify the lessons we can apply to increase the likelihood of future success. First, to confront the challenges presented by the Islamic Republic, we must clearly define our objectives and then develop solutions that are tailored to facilitate reaching those objectives. We did neither effectively. While idealism allows us to conjure a bold vision for a better tomorrow, it is pragmatism that allows us to achieve it. A balance of both is needed in this work. Second, we need both visionary and organizational leadership. Despite a breadth of advocacy and political experience, we were lacking in organization and capacity, as well as internal processes and campaign management. We also failed to articulate a vision that all Iranians could relate to and that could impel them to unite under the single banner of a secular democracy. In the future, we should enlist the many skilled, accomplished and influential Iranian expats around the world, who can offer substantive support to the cause in areas such as communications and constitutional expertise. Third, as with any authoritarian system, the Islamic Republic has persisted through a strategy of divide and rule. Ultimately, the opposition proved to be more fractious than the regime. As long as the regime is united, and we are divided, they will remain in power.
But there are bright spots that give me hope.
Iran's Gen-Z continue their micro-protests by, for example, playing the music of Abba on the streets of Tehran in an effort to <inject joy into society.> We see women bravely continue to flout the compulsory hijab on the streets of the capital, and imprisoned dissidents continue to defy the regime when released. At 84-years-old, the ailing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic since 1989, is the oldest and longest ruling dictator of our time. His passing will likely create a power vacuum and a new opportunity for opposition for those who are prepared, organized and prudent enough to seize the moment. Autocracies are rigid but fragile, which is why revolutions are often unimaginable until they happen. But we must be prepared for when that time comes, and the onus is on us to set aside our differences and to work together to oppose the Islamic Republic. The first step is to reflect on how we can approach things differently next time. I will continue to do everything in my power to work with Iranian civil society, as well as groups and individuals outside of Iran, to bring about the sustainable and lasting freedom the Iranian people have been calling for and deserve. We would be wise to heed the words of the founder of the Persian Empire, Cyrus the Great, as we stand with the Iranian people in opposition to the Islamic Republic: <Diversity in counsel, unity in command.> It is the only way we will overcome tyranny.
Nazanin Boniadi is a human rights activist and actress.>>
Source:
https://iranwire.com/en/blogs/120140-the-44-year-riddle-of-irans-democratic-opposition/

Iranwire - September 5, 2023
<<Mahsa's Uncle Arrested amid Fears of Renewed Protests
Iranian security forces have arrested an uncle of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman whose death in police custody nearly a year ago led to months of nationwide anti-establishment protests. Security agents raided on September 5 the private residence of Safa Aeli in the western city of Saqqez and took him to an undisclosed location. The Iranian authorities, fearing a flare up in protests ahead of the first anniversary of Amini's death on September 16, have ramped up their crackdown against activists and families of those killed in the widespread demonstrations. On September 3, Farzaneh Barzekar, the mother of a 21-year-old man killed by security forces during last year's protests was also arrested after attending a memorial ceremony for a protester who recently died in prison. Amnesty International has condemned the Iranian government's treatment of the families of protest victims, calling it a <campaign of intimidation.> In a report published on August 21, the London-based human rights watchdog documented the cases of 36 victims' families from 10 provinces across the country who have been subjected to human rights violations in recent months. Human rights organizations had previously sounded the alarm, reporting that over the past five months, more than 70 members of petitioner families have been subjected to arrests.>>
Source:
https://iranwire.com/en/news/120145-mahsas-uncle-arrested-amid-fears-of-renewed-protests/

Iranwire - September 5, 2023
<<Mahsa Anniversary: Security Cameras Installed across Saqqez
In the lead-up to the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in police custody, Iranian authorities are increasing security measures in her hometown of Saqqez, western Kurdistan province. Security forces have installed cameras in the streets, squares and even at, Amini's last resting place, in an attempt to deter residents from returning to the streets and participating in commemorative events. However, many people in Saqqez are still planning to gather on the September 16 anniversary to remember the victims of the crackdown on last year's nationwide protests and to demand justice. The death of the 22-year-old Amini sparked months of widespread anti-establishment demonstrations. She had been arrested for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly. More than 500 people were killed in the state crackdown on the protest movement and over 20,000 were unlawfully detained, activists say.
Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.>>
Read more here:
https://iranwire.com/en/news/120135-mahsa-anniversary-security-cameras-installed-across-saqqez/

Iranwire - September 5, 2023
<<Iranian Prisoners Sew their Mouths Shut in Protest at Jail Conditions
Four protesters incarcerated in the western Iranian province of Ilam have reportedly gone on a hunger strike and resorted to sewing their lips shut to protest their dire conditions of detention. Vahid Chavaran, Naser Rezaei, Mohammad Hossein Haseli and Bakhtiar Mohammadzadeh initiated their hunger strike on September 3 and sewed their lips together the next day, according to the Norway-based Hengaw group, which monitors rights violations in Iran's Kurdish regions. It said Chavaran was in critical health condition due to the <persistent administration of nerve agents> in the detention center. All four prisoners were arrested this summer amid an intensifying crackdown on dissent ahead of the first anniversary of the start of nationwide protests sparked by Masha Amini's death in police custody.>>
Source:
https://iranwire.com/en/prisoners/120122-iranian-prisoners-sew-their-mouths-shut-in-protest-at-jail-conditions/

Iranwire - September 5, 2023
<<More Iranian Activis's Targeted in Crackdown on Civil Society
The Iranian judiciary has charged a retired labor activist from northern Gilan province of <waging war against God> and <propaganda activity> against the Islamic Republic, the Coordinating Council of Trade Unions has said. It said that Younes Azadbar was informed about the accusations against him during a court session held on August 31 without the presence of his defense lawyers. Azadbar, a 60-year-old-retired telecommunications worker, was arrested on August 19 following a gathering of retirees at his residence.
Azadbar was remanded in pre-trial custody in Lakan prison despite suffering from epilepsy.
Iranian authorities are intensifying their crackdown on civil society and the media ahead of the first anniversary of the start of nationwide protests sparked by Masha Amini's September 16 death in police custody.
In Amini's hometown of Saqqez, news reports suggest that the Revolutionary Court has sentenced Suleiman Abdi, a prominent member of the Kurdistan Teachers' Union, to eight months in prison on the charge of <propaganda activity.> Abdi was previously sentenced to eight months in prison and 74 lashes for allegedly <disturbing public order.> The prison term was commuted into 720 hours of teaching underprivileged students.>>
Source:
https://iranwire.com/en/news/120142-more-iranian-activists-targeted-in-crackdown-on-civil-society/

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