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Repression in Iran

SMCCDI Political Committee
Press release

April 24, 2000

The arrest of two prominent journalists, Mr. Akbar Ganji and Mr. Latif Safari and the closure of dozens of newspapers by the Islamic regime is yet another indication of a shift in the Iranian political scene as the hard-liners are using every means possible to halt the currant of the reform movement.

The press, which has been a major component of the reform movement, has been instrumental in opening the repressive atmosphere in the society. Since two years ago, Mr. Ganji and other journalists have been highly critical of the handling of the serial murder cases and perpetuators of the University incidents where dozens were injured.

The hard-liners headed by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Revolutionary Guards as well as others behind the scene such as former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who faced a major blow following the parliamentary elections are having a hard time facing the truth. However, the violence advocated by proponents of the Velayet Faghigh, and the overturning of vote results in major cities is creating more animosity against those who are unleashing tactics to stop the flow of people’s demand for freedom. Such measures are taken not because the fundamentalists are in a powerful position but because they are weak.

The tide, which began in 1997 has already, gained new momentum. It is now impossible to stop the ocean tide, as it is growing stronger and stronger by the minute.

Iranians are echoing their outcry for freedom and implementation of democratic laws and reforms. Who can stop them now? Only violence and bloodshed advocated by the “Supreme Leader” maybe a temporary solution to this growing tide, however, knowing full well that such measures will only increase hatred and alienation of the regime even more, the Islamic regime will be only digging its own grave faster.

The people have risen, the press has spoken, and the elections have proven that there is no stop to a righteous movement of a nation that desires to free itself from captivity. As Akbar Ganji said before being hauled to Evin Prison, “the future is bright, no one has created the reform, and nobody can stop it."

The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" www.iran-daneshjoo.org

ENDS

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