in the early morning of 28th december 2009. – Published on CoDIT.net, as PRESS RELEASE,28th December 2009.
Ibrahim Yazdi, the leader of the nationalist Iran’s Freedom Movement, and the first Foreign Minister after the 1979 revolution, was arrested early this morning. The arrest follows on from those of Mehdi Arabshahi, a leader of the Tahkim Vahdat, the powerful national student movement, and Mohammad Moein, the son of Mostafa Moein, a former minister of higher education and reformist candidate at the 2005 presidential election. Many others have also been arrested. The authorities have confirmed the arrests of 300 opposition activists yesterday.
There are widespread fears that the regime will attempt to arrest more leaders and activists of the protest movement in the coming days. Pressure is mounting upon the regime, following recent protests on the festival of Ashura on 27th December.
Reacting to this, Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary of CODIR (Committee for the Defence of Iranian People’s Rights), stated today (Monday) that,
“The theocratic regime, caught by surprise by the numerical strength and radical slogans of the protest demonstrations in recent days, is resorting to extremely suppressive measures. The regime has ordered the disabling of the mobile phone networks and today the Internet system is malfunctioning.”
CODIR is calling on people across the world to protest against the killing of demonstrators in Iran. Mr Ahmadi stated,
“We call for the release of all those arrested and an end to all attempts to intimidate protesters demanding democracy and human rights. We also call for an immediate reinstatement of the communication network.”
Mr Ahmadi further called on the labour and trade union movement in Britain and across the world to protest to the Iranian regime about its brutal policies.
“We should remind the theocratic regime in Iran about its obligations under the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Iran is a signatory.”
Further information for Editors:
- CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights. It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- CODIR has worked closely with the trades union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iran’s prisons.
- CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.
- In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.
- Amongst CODIR’s supporters are Tony Benn, Rodney Bickerstaff (former General Secretary of UNISON), Ken Cameron (former General Secretary of FBU) and Louise Richards (former Chair of the International Section of UNISON).