Amidst the continuation of the mass protest movement in Iran, covering many cities, the spokespersons of the ruling dictatorship have announced in recent days that indictments have been issued for the initial 1000 detained protesters and that their trials are set to begin imminently in the “Revolutionary Courts”. According to various reports, around 14,000 people have been arrested during the recent popular protests around Iran and are under acute pressure in the regime’s prisons and detention centres, with concerns growing for their safety and wellbeing.
On Thursday 3 November 2022, protesters marked ‘Arbaeen’ or the 40th Day commemoration [marking the end of the length of initial mourning in Iranian tradition] following the death of Ms. Mahsa Amini on Friday 16 September and the beginning of demonstrations that have rocked the Islamic Republic in the weeks since. Such protests took place across several cities – notably Karaj, Isfahan, and Arak – and drew in large numbers of the people of our country. Additionally, despite the regime’s claims that the protests were subsiding, large-scale spontaneous demonstrations took place in several districts of Tehran as well as other big cities – including Tabriz, Shiraz, Rasht, and the cities in the Kurdish region of the country – against the crimes of the theocratic regime and emphasised the people’s demands for freedom and liberation from the chains of the medieval dictatorship.
In recent days, we have also witnessed the regime’s security apparatus trying to exert its control on the extremely volatile situation across the country. On 28 October 2022, the Ministry of Intelligence and the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) issued a joint statement with the title: “The first joint statement of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Intelligence Organisation of the IRGC concerning the interventions of the American Administration in the recent riots in the country.” This statement is a continuation of the default recourse to the conjuring of falsehoods by the Ministry of Intelligence and the broadcasting front of the regime (Sedaye Sima) and their counterparts abroad in order to suppress and silence this movement by sewing divisions in the ranks of the protesters and amongst the beleaguered people and accusing their nascent movement of civil and social activists – including journalists, students, trade unionists, workers, cultural activists, and human rights defenders – of having treasonous connections with foreign governments, especially the US.
To the same ends, the Public Prosecutor and the “Revolutionary Prosecutor” of Tehran have announced the issuance of criminal cases and indictments for more than 315 of the recent protesters, in Tehran area alone, on the charges of “gathering and collusion with the intention of acting against the security of the country”, “propaganda activity against the system”, and “disturbance in public order”.
Also, in an announcement published on 2 November 2022, the Iranian Writers’ Association disclosed that a “court” session had been convened for two members of the Syndicate of the Bus Drivers (Sherkat-e Vahed); Reza Shahabi and Hassan Saeedi, which was held in their absence and in which both were sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, a two-year ban on living in Tehran and neighbouring provinces, a ban on all activities in virtual (online) networks, a ban on membership of political parties, and a ban on leaving the country. Members of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations (ITTA) have also faced draconian prison sentences; Rasul Bodaghi was sentenced to 5 years and six months, Jafar Ibrahimi to 5 years, and Mohammad Habibi to 4 years and 6 months. Meanwhile, the first court session of Keyvan Mohtadi, a writer, translator, and member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, was also convened.
At the same time as these widespread arrests and prosecutions, we are witnessing bloody and violent repression and inhumane acts being carried out by the special units of the police force, the regime’s militia (Basij), as well as plainclothes agents and provocateurs against the defenceless people in the streets and academic campuses. Such actions serve to clearly reveal the brutal and ferocious nature of the regime’s repressive machinery. This oppression of the masses of the people takes place in tandem with the moves of Ebrahim Raisi’s administration to continue to implement economic ‘shock therapy’ – i.e. an unhindered free market and rampant privatisation – causing the skyrocketing of inflation and the plunder of the remaining assets and property of the people of our country merely for the benefit of the parasitic capitalist strata and foundations, as well as those individuals and corrupt institutions affiliated with the IRGC and the theocratic establishment.
The continuation of the courageous struggle of the people against the theocratic regime, which is now entering its eighth week, has created serious challenges for the ruling clerical government in Iran. Despite the brutal repression, including the killing of hundreds of our fellow compatriots; the arrests and detention of thousands more; and the establishment of what are essentially kangaroo courts by the regime’s non-independent judiciary; as well as the disgusting spectacle in recent days of forced televised confessions by torture victims, including Toomaj Salehi [a rap artist], the courageous struggle of our country’s people – which started with the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” and protested the murder of Mahsa Amini by the so-called “Morality Police” – continues on in the spirit of the motto of the students fighting for freedom: “We swear by the blood of our comrades, we will stand until the end!”
The Tudeh Party of Iran once again condemns the conspiracies [mal-designs] of the regime’s security apparatus against those struggling for freedom and declares that it stands firmly with the people’s movement of our country, with the freedom-seeking and courageous women of the country, with the youth and students, with the activists of the civil movement, with trade union and labour activists, and the country’s workers and toilers in their struggle against the ruling dictatorial regime.
The Tudeh Party of Iran believes that this principled and bona-fide people’s movement will ultimately be able to overcome all the difficulties that lay ahead and pave the way towards the establishment of freedom, social justice, and confronting imperialist interference, as well as securing the will and resolve of our people to establish a national democratic government. In order to achieve this goal, all efforts must be made in the of direction of unity of action and for the organised and extensive cooperation of all social strata, i.e. workers and toilers, teachers and retirees, students and youth of the country – and to prepare the conditions for a general strike in the country aimed at paralysing [before bringing down] the system controlled by the corrupt and anti-people ruling regime.
Together with the fighting and vigilant people of our country,
- We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all those imprisoned for their political, trade union, or conscientious activities!
- We call for the widening of international solidarity with the Iranian people’s movement and the organisation of a global campaign for the release of those arrested in recent weeks in Iran!
- We call for an end to the wave of bloody and violent repression of the beleaguered people’s protests!
- We call for the formation of a fact-finding committee, under the auspices and supervision of the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate all the recent crimes and brutal inhumane repression perpetrated by the regime in Iran!
Towards the preparation and organisation of labour strikes and ultimately a decisive general strike!
Warm salutations to the courageous struggle of the people of our country!
Tudeh Party of Iran
3 November 2022