Ahmadinejad's order reigns in Berlin?
THE Iranian authorities have once more been cracking down on trade unionists, and one detained leader has been on hunger strike. Many Iranian socialists and democrats are in exile in the West, of course, and sampling our democratic freedoms. Since western governments are concerned about Iranian president Ahmadinejad's defiant demagogy and Iran's alleged nuclear weapons project, and since we have seen how the Iranian government restores "order" on the streets of Tehran, we may expect sympathetic treatment for Iranian dissidents and exiles, right?
Not so, it seems.
With all the excitement on the streets of London, Athens and Rome in recent days, I missed any reports of a little demonstration in Berlin. Matter of fact, my contacts there have not mentioned it, and only the other evening a friend who had been there looking up his family history on a visit was saying what a laid back place the German capital is.
So I was a little surprised when I saw this Facebook posting by an Iranian friend:
*** SHAME ON GERMAN POLICE ***
1) Iranian Embassy in Berlin DECIDED what SLOGAN is ILLEGAL
2) They IDENTIFIED the Iranians to ARREST
3) They COMMUNICATED this to German Police
...4) German Police using DOGS, attacked the PEACEFUL gathering
5) SOME are in HOSPITAL
ALL happened on 10th Dec => Human Rights DAY
Searching for information I found this:
The Committee of Iranian Political Refugees in Greece and Color of Democratic Election in Germany have issued the following joint statement after the German police attacked and arrested Iranian demonstrators in front of the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Berlin on the International Human Rights Day:
We inform all the defenders of freedom around the world that:
On December 10, 2010, a group of Iranian political activists gathered in Berlin to mark the International Human Rights Day. The demonstration, sponsored by the Committee to Defend Iranian Political Prisoners in Germany, the Association of Iranian Political Refugees in Berlin, and Color of Democratic Election in Germany, ended in violence when German security forces and police intervened and attacked the crowd.
The sponsors of this demonstration have reported that although they had a legal license to gather and protest, German security forces objected to the placard with the words “Down with the Islamic Republic” written on it. Using physical violence, the German police confiscated the aforementioned cloth placard and attempted to disperse the protestors.
During the clash with the German police, an Iranian woman was beaten severely resulting in her fifth cervical vertebrae dislocated and broken. She was admitted to a hospital in central Berlin while a number of other injured protestors were detained by the police for several hours.
The Committee of Iranian Political Refugees in Greece together with Color of Democratic Election in Germany (CODE e.V.) strongly condemns this violent and brutal attack by the German police on the International Human Rights Day. We also consider such aggression displayed by a European government to be a blatant violation of human rights. Additionally, we believe that these shameful acts have happened in total disregard towards the pain and suffering of Iranian people who are fighting against an authoritarian regime.
We hereby request that all political activists and those seeking and defending freedom around the world to raise their voices against this violation of human rights committed by the German government and to protest in front of German embassies worldwide.
The Committee of Iranian Political Refugees in Greece
Color of Democratic Election in Germany
December 11, 2010
Perhaps the German police had seen the news from London and did not want to be outdone by the Met.
Or perhaps the message from imperialist governments, and particular those with business interests in Iran, is "We don't mind threatening war, we don't mind using sanctions which hit ordinary people, and we might even consider 'regime change', but we don't want to encourage regime change from below, and we certainly don't want it from the left!"
And to add to the picture, here is a letter just received by a Manchester student activist and member of Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI) , it comes from a young Iranian comrade threatened with deportation from the friendly land of freedom, Holland:
I've had a long term involvement since 2004 with the leftist students movement who later named themselves as ''Freedom and equality seeking students of Iran''.
Publishing and distributing leftist student magazine, for example the Khak magazine and financial support was part of this involvement.
After the big wave of suppression in December 2007 I Helped the students who were under arrest to escape and hide.
I also helped Kaveh Abbasian to escape from Iran. It was me and another comrade who took Kaveh Abbasian to Iran-Turkey border.
One year after that Hadi Mahboob got arrested and by searching his laptop the intelligence service got all the evidence of Kaveh's escape.
After that I had to start my underground life and then after a couple of months I realised that my only choice was to escape from Iran and I did so. I haven't stopped my political activities since then. At the moment I'm working on an anti fascist documentary and I'm also involved in some anti Islamic Republic activities.
To refuse my comments the Dutch authorities made some nonsense comments. For example they said that since Kaveh Abbasian is my cousin, his support letter doesn't prove anything whereas I have more support letters from individuals and organizations and I also have photos, footage and documents to prove my words.
Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI) opposes imperialist war and sanctions, and supports the struggle of the Iranian working people and democratic forces for freedom and social justice.
For more information, visit the website: