June 28, 2005

Where is Farshid Faraji?

Posted by NoWarOnIran!

Farshid Faraji, an independent Iranian cameraman, who was arrested by the American military forces in Iraq, is missing. Faraji, who entered Iraq on May 2nd 2005 with a valid visa and proper documents to complete the filming of the documentary, "In Search of Cyrus the Great," does not appear on the Red Cross list. While the Red Cross has registered the arrest of Koroush Kar, the producer of the film, there is no information available about Farshid Faraji’s whereabouts.

After shooting scenes in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Turkey, Faraji and Kar entered Iraq, in order to film the historical site of Babylon, but lost contact with their families after the first week of entering Iraq. Koroush Kar contacted his family and notified them that the he and Faraji were arrested on May 19th, 2005. Farshid Faraji's family, who are gravely concerned about his safety, have not been able to find any information about Farshid from the Red Cross and the Iranian authorities.

Iranian filmmakers and advocacy groups are putting pressure on the Iranian government to take appropriate steps to find Farshid Faraji. We need the help of human rights groups and international advocacy organizations in asking the United States government to provide Fashid's family with information about their son's arrest. We believe that while Farshid is being interrogated, his family has the right to know about his status and his whereabouts.

Thank you,

People who are concerned about Farshid Faraji and his family.

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June 22, 2005

Elections in Iran

Posted by Mana

What is happening in Iran?! I keep wanting to write a post about it, but feel like I don’t have a proper grasp on it. So I keep reading news stories and scratching my head.

Last Friday I woke up and went over the Radisson hotel in Cambridge, MA to cast my vote. I even called my mother before hand to make sure I had the correct spelling (in Persian) of Mostafa. At the polling place there was an AP reporter who asked me questions afterward such as, “Do you feel that these elections are free and fair?”; “Do you think the candidates you have to choose from are representative of political spectrum?”; “How do you feel about the call to boycott elections?”

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June 05, 2005

Petition Against U.S. Military and Monetary Intervention in Iran

Posted by NoWarOnIran!

The office of Senator Brownback, the author of the Iran Democracy Act, and Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, has confirmed that on June 9th, the Commission will hold a hearing on Iran "to discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and the prospect for a joint US Europe response." This hearing is scheduled between 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. at 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C. It is now confirmed that Goli Ameri, the Co-Founder of Iran Democracy Project at the Conservative think tank, Hoover Institute, and Larry Diamond, a Senior Fellow at Hoover, will be among the panelists.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency, which consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce. Goli Ameri was appointed by President George W. Bush as one of three public delegates to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Ameri was the Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon’s first district during the 2004 election cycle. Last year, during her campaign, Ameri wrote an open letter to Secretary of State Colin Powel, encouraging him to take a harder stand on Iran, which stirred much reaction among Iranians. To our knowledge, Ameri has now contacted a selected number of her supporters to attend this hearing. Diamond, who is introduced on Hoover’s webpage as "a specialist on democratic development and regime change, and on U.S. foreign policy affecting democracy abroad," served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad in 2004. In his Iran Democracy Act, Senator Brownback, the author of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, suggested the establishment of an "Iran Democracy Fund," according to the model that allocated money for Iraqi opposition groups in exile in 1998.

Considering the political background of the organizers and participants in this hearing, we are worried that the plight of human rights in Iran may be abused for geo-political agendas that will only harm the development of any viable democratic movement, by the imposition of economic sanctions or military intervention. We believe that the voices of the Iranian diaspora should not be limited to the selected few that claim to represent the will of the Iranian people. Despite our objection to the arrest of Iranian journalists and bloggers in Iran, we strongly oppose military intervention or monetary support for "dissident groups" in Iran or in its diaspora, and ask the U.S. representatives to represent our voices, which are often suppressed in such hearings.

If you are against U.S. military and/or monetary intervention in Iran, please sign this petition. We plan to send this petition to the members of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe by June 7th. Please help us circulate this petition by sending it to others in the community.

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April 21, 2005

Some Questions on Minorities and Majorities

Posted by Mana

This article is truly amazing. Referring to the events in southwest Iran over the last few days, the White House “accused Iran on Tuesday of violating the rights of Arabs and other minority groups and urged restraint in dealing with them.”

Um. Is this the pot calling the kettle black or what! And pointing out that the Bush administration possesses an astounding level of hypocrisy uttering these statements, in lieu of the widespread mistreatment of Arabs (or people perceived to be Arab) in this country, does not mean that I think just because the US discriminates against minorities that Iran can go ahead.

The article further notes: “The United States calls upon Iranian authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with the Arab minority and to "respect the peaceful exercise by the Iranian people of their democratic rights," Ereli said.” Might I quote this to a police officer the next time I am at a demonstration against US government policy and am getting pepper-sprayed and shoved to the ground in hand cuffs? Also, I recall some demonstrations in Iraq last week against US occupation that seemed to have produced little effect… what does it mean to respect democratic rights? Allow the demonstration and then refrain from too violent a reaction while completely ignoring any demands? Does the fact of simply allowing a demonstration to take place constitute a respect of democratic rights? (Perhaps I am too jaded, but talk is cheap and I have yet to see this administration respecting my democratic rights. I wonder what lessons it has – besides the bid for full spectrum domination - to teach other governments.)

What does strike me as weird is this concept of ethnic minority. What does this mean?

Continue Reading "Some Questions on Minorities and Majorities"

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March 17, 2005

March 19th: Hands off Iran!

Posted by NoWarOnIran!

From Over our dead bodies!, Reza Nasri's blog:

We are [two] days away from March 19th. (The day we stood against the whole world to nationalize our oil industry!).
I had previously suggested that we all change the titles of our weblogs on the anniversary of this day to a slogan that would show the world that we (iranians) still stand by our sovereignty and are still committed to the same noble principles that made us fight for our rights 54 years ago.

Many people have come up with great suggestions for the slogan. My favorite one is "Hands off Iran". I think it is simple and has a good connotation to it.

Of course, everyone is free to add other words to this slogan if they wish to, but I suggest that we keep "Hands off Iran" as the common denominator.

We just have [two] days left, so I encourage everyone to promote the campaign on their weblogs and invite others to join.

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March 12, 2005

Gendered War

Posted by Sima

We have written about different issues pertaining to war on this blog. But, one issue that has not been tackled here is the way gender is implicated in the rhetoric of war. There are many questions that one can ask in relation to militarism and its relationship with notions of masculinity and femininity. How do different discourses and practices, including nationalism, militarism, and neo-liberalism, which are present in these times marked by the "war on terror" create subject positions for men and women? What kinds of gendered and sexed subjectivities are produced through performances of nationalism in different locations? How does war effect gender relations in both national and transnational contexts? These are some issues that I hope to bring to this blog through paying attention to politics of representation in different media, from paper print to television, and of course, by looking at my favorite medium, weblogistan.

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March 08, 2005

"People Power" in Lebanon

Posted by Alireza

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan at a White House press conference yesterday:

We want to see the complete and immediate withdrawal of all Syrian military forces and all intelligence services in Lebanon. This [the Syrian decision to redeploy troops along the border] is a half-measure that simply does not achieve that objective. We stand with the Lebanese people. The Lebanese people are the ones who want a country that is sovereign and independent and free from outside interference. And that's who we stand with.
Below are some photos of various protests in Beirut, some from last week, some from today. Some of the protesters are calling for Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon. Others are calling for them to stay. The numbers are apparently quite comparable (if not tilting more toward the pro-Syrian side, which has particularly strong support among the Shi'a community, which now comprises 40 percent of Lebanon's population).

Will the real Lebanese "people" please raise their hands?

Continue Reading ""People Power" in Lebanon"

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