This statement was given at the action that took place on Sunday 23 June 2013 as part of the global 20 June demonstrations to mark the International Day in Support of Political Prisoners in Iran. The event was held in Lafayette Park, Washington DC, implemented jointly by Mission Free Iran and Unity for Democracy and Justice in Iran.
We stand here today on the occasion of 20th of June, the International Day to bring attention to, to remember, and to re-instate our commitment to freedom of political prisoners from the Islamic regime’s jails.
This time, we stand here a week or so after the sham presidential election, in which another murderer was engineered to replace Ahmadinejad; a week or so after the whole Mashhad stadium grasped the opportunity of Rouhani’s visit to shout their demand: “Freedom of political prisoners!” This is a scene that has been repeated everywhere and on every possible occasion by the people of Iran, who have shouted out “ZENDAANI YE SIAASI AAZAAD BAAYAD GARDAD!”
This time, we stand here again, like last year and the year before, and repeat our demand of 34 years: we demand freedom for political prisoners, freedom of labour activists, freedom of prisoners of conscience – all the while the regime, brutal as always, continues to arrest and chain and torture and kill our fellow political prisoners. We both – we the freedom loving people of Iran, and them, the Islamic regime of capital’s freedom – know that FREEDOM, any degree of freedom, and of course freedom of political prisoners, is directly and negatively correlated with the survival of this regime – a regime that has no plans for managing the socioeconomic disaster it has created in the 34 years of its “nekba” – its catastrophe. It has no means, other than arrests and imprisonment and executions, to deal with the devastated economy of the country, the corruption and thievery. It has no mean to assure payment of sufficient wages for a sustainable life for many millions of working families who live under the line of death and annihilation.
If the killing of Afshin Osanloo, a labour activist and a political prisoner, if the killing in custody of Sattaar Beheshti, a labour activist and blogger – if these crimes indicate the continued determination of the Islamic regime to deal with opposition to the rule of Islamic barbarianism by the same methods it has embraced over the past 34 years, it is the reactions of the people inside Iran and outside of it, the families and friends of political prisoners, the free and independent labour unions, the masses of Iranian people, and of course the prisoners themselves that indicate a change in the balance of power.
From Kahrizak to the killing of Sattaar Beheshti, the regime has paid a price for atrocities committed against our people in its custody. These consequences – and the activities of political prisoners within the walls of Evin and Gohardasht and Sanandaj and Mahaabaad and Uroomieh prisons – indicate more than ever that these walls are breakable, as is the whole structure of the Islamic regime. This without a doubt is a reflection of our country entering a new phase, a phase of unprecedented economic and political crisis, a phase of direct confrontations between the working masses – those who are asking for their fair share of the bread, the masses of labourers whose minimum wages are 4 times under the poverty line – and a regime that can no longer control the animosity within its own ranks, let alone that of the masses.
With every inch forward that Iranian working people advance in their struggle against the regime, the authority of the regime weakens, as does the regime’s control over the prisons, and their ability to arrest the activists. And we too have a role to play here: our role is to support the struggle inside the prisons, and in the society as a whole. Every day for us is a 20th of June, and we will stand here every 20th of June until the walls of Evin are torn down and there are no political prisoners anymore.
We demand the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners, labour activists and prisoners of conscience.
We demand the overthrow of the Islamic regime of Iran by a working people’s revolution.
Mission Free Iran
23 June 2013