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Open Letter to Akbar Gangi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:51 pm    Post subject: Open Letter to Akbar Gangi Reply with quote

Open letter to Akbar Ganji - by Roozbeh Farahanipour
July 25, 2005


The following is the English translation of MPG’s open letter to Akbar Ganji. Akbar Ganji is a former unrepentant Islamic Republic Intelligence Ministry official who used to serve as an interrogator. During the first decade of the Islamic Revolution his name was also well known as the leader of assault teams against women who used press thumbtacks into the foreheads of women for showing too much hair. Later Ganji was promoted to a high-ranking position within the murderous Intelligence Ministry. In the past few years, with very suspicious motivations, Akbar Ganji, claiming to be a dissident reformist, has tried to place himself at the forefront of the Iranian democratic movement.

“Let this body not live if there is no Iran” – Ferdowsi

During the last months I had kept silent regarding your recent situation hoping that the latest actions would be sincerely aimed at attaining your own freedom and seeking forgiveness from the Iranian people for your past crimes; however, your recent letter addressed to Mullah Hossein-ali Montazari has forced me to break my silence and remind you of several historical facts for the record.

Let me clarify that due to my strong belief in Iran and my respect for the will of the nation, I would not permit myself to speak on behalf of the people unlike you, your cohorts and the monopolists of the Islamic Republic. The following therefore shall be the opinion of myself, activists and members of the Marze Por Gohar Party, and those who share common beliefs with us.

We cannot remain indifferent in the face of your project of purifying the image of the murderous Ayatollah Khomenei on which you and your colleagues have been working on for several years. You cannot deny the fact that it was Khomenei himself who laid the foundations for the very same injustices that you are currently referring to, as the father of the Islamic Republic. The “mullah” Montazari to whom you are addressing your grievances and who according to your own admission was the architect of the doctrine of the “Guardianship of Islamic ruler”, is himself much more dangerous and ruthless then the current “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei. Montazari promoted this doctrine while he was selected to replace Khomenei as the Supreme Leader and criticized the doctrine only when he was passed over by Khamenei.

Montazari was originally in charge of exporting the Islamic Revolution today referred to as International Terrorism to places as far as Lebanon, Eastern and North Africa, Philippines and etc. and according to his own memoirs he had been instrumental in the ruthless repression of opponents of the regime. Young people were even executed for jokingly referring to Montazari as a popular cartoon character. I sincerely hope that the democratic movement of the Iranian people will soon come to fruition so that the nation will prosecute your “hero” mullah in a court of law for crimes against humanity and the national interest of Iran.

Mr. Ganji, you must remember that even though you and some of your colleagues who have committed terrible crimes in the past and are today confessing to some of those crimes as mistakes, you all must know that when it comes to crimes against the national interest, a whole generation and inflicting irreparable damage to a culture and country, there will be no differentiation between crimes and “mistakes”.

You may believe that today’s problems are due to a “new monarchy” in our country, but I must emphasize that from our point of view, the problem is the whole clerical establishment which you have been part of and the reform-proof constitution which cannot be amended or secularized unless it is totally and completely replaced. Incidentally, this abomination of a constitution was written by Montazari and a few other fundamentalist mullahs like him.

Following your ongoing campaign of restoring Khomenei’s image, you are claiming that it was Khomenei who caused the overthrow of the Shah; whereas be believe it was the Iranian nation who brought about the downfall of the last Iranian king and Khomenei merely catered to the slogans of the popular movement in order to hijack a democratic revolution and establish a religious dictatorship.

You have also claimed to have initiated the call for ouster of Khamenei, the “Supreme Leader.” I wish you were present during the five day uprising in 1999, when we and the people were shouting “Khoemenei shame on you, abandon your crown.” I wish you would remember that it was your collogues who were trying to silence our slogan by warning the people on your loud speakers not to follow the demonstrators lead by MPG, calling them counter-revolutionaries. It was during the same period that mullah Abdullah Nouri, another one of your collogues, abandoned the demonstrations to protest the insults against the Khamenei and I myself who was arrested following that event was charged with interrupting Nouri’s speech and insulting the “Supreme Leader.” Your slogan of “Khamenei must go” is not by any means anything new, but the problem of our nation today is not just the ouster of Khamenei, Khatami, Hashemi, Kharoubi and Montazari. Mr. Ganji, you all must go.

When Saeed Hajarian, the high ranking intelligence official, and your good friend, had not yet been fired from the intelligence Ministry over misuse of US Dollars counterfeited by the Intelligence Ministry and narcotics in their possession, he was busy working on improving the fearsome intelligence apparatus of the regime. If during the late nineteen nineties he and his team were still working in the Intelligence Ministry would he have portrayed himself as a dissident as a he did and would he still have started his deceitful populist campaign, or would he have rather continued in his job including the international terror network of the Islamic Republic and serving the regime?

You must know that during my interrogations in 1999 the officer of the Intelligence ministry conducting the interrogation clearly told me that nobody is allowed to cross beyond the approved red lines represented by you Mr. Ganji and the mullah Abdullah Nouri and your respective positions.

I know that you are well aware and I must remind you again that huge numbers of political prisoners have been executed for daring to speak their minds while not even being allowed to write a simple will, let alone a letter, pamphlet or a book. You know also how many young innocent girls were executed in the streets for possessing instruments perceived to have a use as a weapon. I have also personally known several prisoners who were executed for going on hunger strikes inside the prison while none of you uttered a single word in their defense.

These days when we see your letters, articles, pamphlets, photos and messages being supposedly sent from your jail cell we only conclude that even in jail you have privileged position. Writing a two page, single spaced letter to mullah Montazari while you are on a forty-two day hunger strike and at the same time undergoing selective surgery on your knee in one of the most modern hospitals in the country approaches outrageous dark comedy. All you and a few other privileged prisoners have accomplished is to have whitewashed the human rights violations of the Islamic Republic in the eyes of the United Nations and western countries, succeeding in omission of the Islamic Republic from the UN blacklist of worst human rights violators in 2003.

The “republican manifesto” which you have supposedly composed inside a solitary cell, was also not a new phenomenon. Maybe you never heard of or read about the publicized ideas of the late Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar or Dariush Forouhar who were brutally stabbed and killed by Islamic Republic assassins for the very same ideas you are now supposedly espousing. You know very well that your friends inside the intelligence Ministry assassinated hundreds of opponents of the regime inside and outside of the country for voicing the same ideas long before you came up with your manifesto.

Your recent publicity campaign has certainly succeeded in diverting attention of international human rights organizations away from the brutal assassination of my comrade in arms, Dr. Kasra Vafadari, in Parsi May 2005 and the unbelievably brutal assassination of the young Iranian Kurdish prisoner, Shovaneh, who was dragged through the streets with a rope around his neck tied to a vehicle last week, and the execution of two young teenagers in Mashad for homosexual acts that took place a few days ago.

I would like remind you that forgiving somebody such as Khamenei, Khatami, Kharoubi, Montazari and high ranking officials of a criminal regime for having committed serious crimes including murder, torture rape, and massacres is not only up to a future democratic government with proper judicial organs and procedures but also up to the families of the victims.

Following the defeat of Hitler’s army in Stalingrad several of his criminal Nazi generals decided to save the Nazi regime and became die-hard opponents of Adolf Hitler, but it was too late. It is better that the founders and commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Corp, the officials of the Intelligence Ministry and other organs of repression within the regime pay attention to these issues. If there is somebody who claims that he is not a party to the crimes of this regime anymore he must first publicly confess to his crimes and then enter the ranks of democratic opposition as a simple activist rather then a champion and leader and hope that the nation will forgive him. Some day the huge monument around Khomenei’s grave that has been built by means of wealth and upon the blood of the Iranian people, will be a museum of the crimes of the Islamic Republic against humanity. I hope this day comes soon.

Down with the Islamic Republic

Long Live Iran

Roozbeh Farahanipour
Marze Por Gohar Party
Iranians for a secular republic
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I am not a Republican but this is a very informing letter.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Artemis site:

Tehran Nostalgia!

Enjoy the good old days that will never return!

Go cry your heart out!

Thanks to the AN-TELECTUALS, Toodeh Party, Mely Mazhabi, Aakhonds, Mojaheds, Fadaiyan & other traitors.

Thanks to nation of sheep who saw Khomeini’s murderous ugly face on the moon & found his hair in Quran!?


We deserve what we have got!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Blank,

Interesting indeed. One could say from an objective observational stance that the writer of the letter above may have personal motivation and intent.

One could also say that Akbar Ganji has realized the error of the path he was on, and sought a different one that has lead him to this point in his life.

One could reasonably surmise that he is trying to bring about change within his limited capacity as one single individual.

One may also see manifest that others become inspired via his attempts to do so.

As there is an equal and opposite reaction in the laws of physics, and politics...the writer has manifested this "given".

At the same time no good deed goes unpunished, so too no bad deed is forgotten or forgiven it seems.

If Akbar Ganji is trying to teach Iranians anything, it is that if one does not hate, one cannot become a victim of hate, even if they kill you.

One may then wonder if he has forgiven himself.

No doubt the regime will try to keep him alive (barely) for the sake of political expediancy, as his death would become problematic for them.

It would also be quite logical for the regime to find a means for him to "discredit himself".

Thus, via his international exposure, his current curcumstances in hospital, (not of his own volition), is unique among political prisoners.

I believe it is incumbant on all to apply logic over emotion, and to properly vette the true source of this latest letter, as it is not clear at this time whether he is in any physical state to be able to communicate.

Nor has he had access to family or attorney for days prior.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Oppie:
I have no evidence whether or not this person (Rouzbeh Farhanipour) has personal vendetta against Ganji. What I know, there were many people that at the beginning of the so called "revolution" collaborated with the ragheads, and islamist, these were so called leftist/islamist 'intelectualls'. They watched as thousands of Iranians were being slaughtered, kept quiet and continued their work with the regime. Then after a while things didn't work out between them, some of them like kotbzadeh, who brought in Khomeini and kissed his hand was hanged. Others like Frouhars (wife & husband) were butchered at their home.
I believe if you shake hand with the devil you might have to deal with its consequences. It is kind of being part of the Mafia, participate in their crimes, and then suddenly you decide you don't want to be part of it...oops I made a mistake, is not going to cut it. The mafia most likely will kill them unless they change identity and go to hiding. What is evident with people like Ganji who suddenly has become "opposition", believes he did not do anything wrong by participating in IRI crimes. As long as these people are in denial and and can't see what they have done, Iranians will remember their participation in the atrocities committed by iri.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was during the same period that mullah Abdullah Nouri, another one of your collogues, abandoned the demonstrations to protest the insults against the Khamenei and I myself who was arrested following that event was charged with interrupting Nouri’s speech and insulting the “Supreme Leader.”


Dear Blank,

It was this in the letter that I was making reference to the possibility of a "personal" motivation.

the Mafiosi thing is true enough, in general, but regardless when the fellow decided to change his ways, it is clear that he's dealing with his own demons, perhaps in the only way he can at this point.

It may be valid to question his role, and I'm not being "devil's advocate" here, simply offering my own perspective from things I've considered as possibilities.

In any case, folks must draw their own conclusions regarding this latest letter. As well as his intent from the one that preceded it here.

Can't never change the past, Blank, but one can and does effect and perhaps change the future, in the present moment:

Source: http://www.regimechangeiran.com

This candle is dying out, but its voice will not

Today, Sunday July 10, 2005 exactly 30 days have passed since I started my hunger strike. In two phases of hunger strike (11 days in late May, and 30 days since June 11) my weight has reduced from 77kg to 55kg, which is a loss of 22kg in 41 days. Many inside and outside the country ask why I have gone on hunger strike and why I am trying to reach legitimate ends through self-destruction. Is it not true that practical rationality demands that the ends and the means to those ends be in proportion with each other? Is it not true that theoretic rationality demands that for all claims (opinions and beliefs) suitable reasons should be offered? Is my action consistent with practical and theoretic rationality? Am I not considered a madman by intellectuals and liberals and human rights defenders? Here I shall try, despite the extreme physical weakness that has completely worn me out, to share my views clearly with everyone. READ MORE

1. The Crime of Dissent: A person who defends human rights and democracy via free expression, and fights authoritarian systems through peaceful means is called a dissident. Freedom of expression is a common goal of all dissidents. In ideological systems, dissidents challenge the ideology of the system by offering rival models. Their only weapon is moral courage in exposing the violations of human rights and the tyranny of the rulers. Wherever human rights are violated and dictatorship and tyranny prevail, and an ideology is there to back these two up, courageous dissidents will appear and despite the hardships oppose this process boldly. If this definition is correct, then given the history of my activities and what I have said and written, I am considered a dissident who is in jail for his dissent. The following two points confirm this claim:

1-1. Demanding democracy: In the words of Claude Lefort, the legitimacy of the power is based on the people but the image of the rule of people is intimately related to the image of an empty space that the executives of the public power cannot occupy. Democracy connects these two conflicting principles: first, that power derives from the people, and second, that power is not owned by anyone. However, democracy continues to live with this conflict; once this conflict is resolved or if it has already been resolved, then democracy will collapse or it has already collapsed.

In Lefort's terms, power is like an empty space and those who hold it are ordinary people who have occupied it temporarily. We are not dealing any more with a know-all, do-all guardian. In this system, there is no law that is unchangeable, whose statements cannot be criticized or protested and whose bases cannot be questioned. In a democracy those who govern are directly chosen by the people to serve and be accountable for a limited and definite time span. Conditional limited power will end by the judgment of people.

I have stressed many times before that the ruling sultanist system of Iran is an undemocratic system. Unelected life-time leader is at odds with democracy. His power does not derive from the people, but rather he is claimed to have been appointed by God to rule over the people. He is not a regular person like all other human beings; his gap with ordinary people is the gap between the shepherd and the herd. This is the content of the incorrect theory of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent [Velayat-i Faqih]. The ruling jurisprudent [faqih] is the custodian of the people and holds absolute guardianship over them. Whereas, a kind of anti-paternalistic argument is behind both democracy and human rights. That is, there exists no superior person who is qualified to decide for individual or collective good (good or prosperous life), unless we have especially and within completely defined limitations given him such a power for a definite time. A virtue is only good if it is chosen freely, and for the choice to be free, there should exist a variety of options so that one could exercise his free will. The highest political figure in democratic systems is a regular human being capable of making mistakes, with definite powers, under the control of the people, and one who is elected by the people for a limited time. However, the theory of Absolute Guardianship of the Jurisprudent and what has been enacted in this regard in the constitution of the Islamic Republic, is essentially at odds with this approach. He [the jurisprudent] is not accountable to anyone, while all the power of the country is in his coil. We are facing two separate issues here. The issue of concept and that of the instances. Not only the theory (concept) of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent is in conflict with democracy, but it also leads to an undemocratic system once it is realized in the outside world. The original theory is incorrect and undemocratic, and as a result its instance, in complete disagreement with democracy, has swayed all of the political arena in his hold and has formed a singular rulership under his orders.

1-2. Struggle for human rights: Human rights form a set of necessary minimum criteria for an individual to be able to lead a life in dignity and honor. David Beetham also considers human rights as the minimum necessary conditions for the individual's healthy and humane life. In the opinion of John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin, justice as fairness, is based on the assumption that all men and women are entitled to the natural right to equality in attention and respect; not a right that they have attained due to birth or trait or merit or moral distinction, but the right they hold as merely being humans capable of planning and demanding justice. In Dworkin's opinion, rights are not a divine gift but derive from the primary right to equality. [John] Finnis, too, shares Durkin's opinion and believes the main root of rights is the equality of human beings. In his words, the modern usage of rights correctly emphasizes [the concept of] equality, the truth that every human being is a fertile land for developing human characters, and that the importance of this development should be considered equally for all. In other words, the discourse of rights keeps the justice in the foreground of our considerations.

The connection between democracy and human rights is one of the problems of contemporary philosophy. Michael Freeman says: "the theory of democracy asks: who should rule?, and answers: people; the theory of human rights asks: how should the rulers behave?, and replies: they must respect the human right of all individuals. Democracy is a collective concept and democratic governments may violate human rights of the individual. On the other hand, the concept of human rights is created to limit the power of governments, and to the extent that it puts the governments under public control, it has a democratic character. However, human rights limit the legitimate power of all governments, including democratic governments."

David Beetham considers public supervision of collective decision-making the core of democracy. In his opinion, the principle of equality of all citizens gives them the right to express their views on public issues through associations of civil society, and participation in the government. If the right of all citizens to express their opinion on public issues, and to supervise the government is the essence of democracy, "to implement this right we need, on the one hand, political institutions such as elections, parties and legislative assemblies and, on the other hand, guarantees for the group of human rights that are called civil and political rights, and which are listed in conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights."

In Beetham's opinion, the common human nature provides a single philosophical justification for democracy and human rights. Man's ability to make informed and logical choices, or to act out of thought and purpose about the issues that affect his life, is a philosophical assumption about the nature of man. Democracy is founded upon admitting "the assumption that man is able to solve the problems that influence his communal or governmental life, such as the right to vote or run for public office." Human beings are capable of making decisions in public and private arenas and of managing their lives. Ronald Dworkin believes individual rights are like trumps in the hands of individuals, trumps that the state cannot overrule even with the excuse of public interest. In his view, the moment these rights are recognized, they cannot be pushed aside. He says if a person has the right to publish his views, government officials cannot violate this right, even if they happen to be correct in believing that it would be in the interest of the society in general if they did so.

The author of these lines has exposed the cases of human rights violations in Iran several times. Here I point out a few examples of widespread human rights violation in Iran:

In the past few years, about 100 journals were banned all at one time and journalists were sent to prison, following the explicit and public speech of Mr. Khamenei claiming that the press has become the base of the enemy. The judiciary officials have announced formally in interviews that they have persecuted the press following the words of the Leader. This is the meaning of freedom of expression in the sultanist regime. After years of hard work and keeping journalists in solitary confinments they were unable to discover even a single enemy base. But the judiciary system never asked Mr. Khamenei to submit his evidence to the court, or documents showing that the press are the base of the enemy, and now that it has become clear that that claim was false, the Leader is not prosecuted for trampling on the right of the press and journalists.

That is, the Leader is not equal to other people. He can accuse citizens with no evidence whatsoever without being prosecuted.

When Mr. Khamenei took hold of the Leadership of the system, he talked about "cultural invasion of the enemy" and the necessity to resist it. This was followed by [TV] programs such as "Hoviat"(1) and intellectual dissidents were butchered in the most brutal way, as agents of enemy's cultural invasion by the top-officials of the Ministry of Intelligence.

Assassinating the opposition outside the country by "Foreign Servicemen"(2) was another part of the project dubbed 'healing through murder'. The terms, Eminence and Gray Eminence were forged to refer to the principle commanders of this project. The killing of Zahra Kazemi was formed on the same background. Zahra Kazemi is the only murder victim of the world without a murderer.

The brutal attack on the dorms of Tehran University and widespread arrests of beaten and oppressed students is another instance of human rights violation in Iran. Nowadays the students are not even permitted to hold a simple commemoration in one of the universities for the occasion. Sweeping political oppression is implemented in order to create a single-voiced society. In such a society only one voice must be heard: the voice of the Leader. There must be only one speaker and the rest should be listeners.

My pen is unable to describe the horrors that occurred in the pollsters' case. In my short leave [May 30 to June 11, 2005] I had a meeting with bloggers. They said that they were all taken to a bathroom naked, and were filmed. Saeed Mortazavi had told them: "One day while you are walking in the street a car may hit you and you'll die. There are many accidents everyday; it would be just one of them."

2. Fascistic Social Justice:

Fascists are against freedom of speech, tolerance, distinction between public and private spheres, civil society, free competitive elections, human rights etc. They defend social justice and use it in order to reach power and not lose it afterwards. But what kind of justice is this fascistic social justice? Theodor Adorno and Sigmund Freud have exposed the content of this kind of social justice. Adorno writes: "The half hidden current of insidious egalitarianism and the universal brotherhood in humility, is one of the elements of fascistic propaganda and fascism itself. Hitler's famous decree for the formation of 'Eintopfgericht' (the One-Pot-Dinner) was a symbol of this very concept. The less their desire is towards changing society's internal structure, the more they rant about social justice and by that they mean, of course, that not one member of the 'society of the nation' must be indulging himself in personal delights. Oppressive egalitarianism instead of the realization of true equality through elimination of oppression, is an essential element of the fascistic mindset."

Freud has also written about this kind of social justice: "Social justice means that we should forbid ourselves a lot of things so that others too would be forced to forbid themselves of these things, or in other words, wouldn't be able to ask for them."

Mr. Khamenei has proclaimed the country's agenda to be the pursuit of social justice and fight against social corruption, not freedom and democracy. When the real opponents of structural changes and fundamental reforms start singing the motto of social justice, it is clear that they are not sincere in their claims. Is it possible to consider human beings (women and men, muslims and non-muslims, clergies and non-clergies etc.) not equal from a legal standpoint and still claim social justice? What has regarding people as minors and one's own guild as their guardians got to do with social justice? Isn't political justice an important part of social justice? Then how can they prohibit important sections of the society from participating in the political arena and trample on their civil and political rights by various tricks, and still claim social justice? Even if social justice is reduced to the distribution of wealth and the fight against economic corruption (abuse of public resources for private use), then there still remains the question of what sort of wealth distribution will an undemocratic sultanist system bring about? Can a system busy in producing loyalists for itself allow a just distribution of wealth? Is it possible, in the absence of free and independent media, to fight those who take advantage of extralegal government funding and those who plunder people's possessions? Only free media, brave journalists and independent civil institutions are able to reveal and disclose the corruption of those in charge. Tyrannical regimes distribute poverty, corruption and prostitution in place of social justice. In whose times did the Ministry of Intelligence get involved in economic activities and business? And who could dare to reveal the economic activities of Ministry of Intelligence while Ali Fallahian was in charge of it? The economic activities of the rulers of the Islamic Republic and the new class produced in the sultanist state have always been immune against any confrontation and still remain that way. The economic corruption of the rulers is the forbidden quarter where people and the media are not allowed to enter. Porta(3) says: "One of the variables that is strongly related to corruption is government's interference in the structure of economic life. Increase in the number of laws and regulations, growth of the public section and expansion of the welfare system all increase the opportunities for getting infected by corruption. Such opportunities also increase by the authority that government officials have in their disposal."

Human experience has shown that corruption is much more probable in absolutist totalitarian systems, where public opinion and the media are not allowed to disclose instances of corruption, than it is in other systems. Minimal government reduces corruption. In dominating maximal governments, who dares to ask, via the media, the question of why that certain "mister" had indecent relations with a married woman and used her to smuggle drugs and weapons out of the country and then killed her once he realized his indecent relations with her was about to be exposed? Why that other "mister" had indecent relations with a married woman and when his case came to get processed, order came from "above" to shut the case down? When even the "honor of muslims" is not spared what is there left to say about corruption. The sons of the privileged can easily gun down someone and be acquitted in public courts.

3. The Project of Heroism and Myth-formation:

The age of heroism and looking for saviors is gone. It is as if heroes and myth cannot be approached. They belong to the forbidden quarters. Some are to the opinion that Ganji has created a situation where he cannot be criticized; so the way out of this dilemma is for him to somehow change this situation. I do not know what kind of reasoning is this that argues, since the unwanted outcome of enduring and resisting tyranny and human rights violations in undemocratic societies is that he who does so turns, in some people's minds, into a hero or mythical figure then we must not confront tyrants and human rights violators. This approach is, in my opinion, completely false for the following reasons:

3-1. Instead of giving up the resistance against tyrants and those who violate human rights, we should refute the pre-modern illusions of the people. We should point out that there are no saviors. All men are regular people and prone to error. Earthly human is sinful and erring.

3-2. We should relentlessly criticize everyone's opinions and beliefs, including dissidents', through deconstruction. Criticism occurs in the public arena. When Sadegh Hedayat, Ahmad Shamlou, Shariati, Motahari, Khomeini, Soroush, Mojtahed Shabestari, Malekian, Shayegan, Ashouri, Javad Tabatabaei etc. could not escape criticism, how could an average journalist do that? It is not at all important that a person does not tolerate criticism, neither is it important that the disciples of a political thinker or activist consider him immune to error, what is important is that criticism be possible so that everyone gets criticized in the public arena, and no one can deceive the people with totalitarian ideologies. Brave intellectuals and thinkers should build the public arena, not wait for the ruling regime to build it for them. Critical rationality is the only weapon in fighting heroism.

3-3. This issue has nothing not to do with heroism. The issue is the following. An individual has been put in jail for years due to his dissenting opinions and views but they haven't stopped at this unfair, unjust and illegitimate act and have forbidden him telephone communication and medical treatment; they say: "you must write letters of repentance and criticize and reject all your previous beliefs otherwise not only will there not be any improvement in your conditions but after the current sentence is over we will keep you in prison for years through a new trial." Is resisting this unfair process heroism? Do my critics invite me to write letters of repentance? The goal of the system is to break and destroy me. Although I have been broken physically during these years but I have tried not to break mentally and spiritually and to say "no" to the ruling tyrants. A "no" that is costing me my life. This body is on the way of complete destruction, but since I believe in the conjectures I have made (all my opinions), I see no reason to deny their truth. It is a trivial fact that all these conjectures must be met with the sword of falsification. Commitment to "critical rationality" is different from "giving up our beliefs by force of prison."

3-4. The political regime of a society is a dress cut to fit the build of its people. If the people prefer a tyrannical political system and think it will answer their needs, no one can prevent them from what they choose. The people can choose a dictatorship or a democracy, to raise the flag of democracy or to put on the veil of dictatorship. Is the heroism of the people who compromise with and tolerate the tyrants worth anything to induce one to sacrifice his life for it? "The people who obey the dictators of whose redundancy they are aware at the same time one way or the other. They mediate between these conflicting views with the assumption that they themselves are the cruel rulers and oppressors."

Prison has not trapped me in illusions. Dejection, hopelessness, despair, isolation, escaping politics and public arena, going after life and its pleasures have become prevalent in our society today. I have never been under the illusion that someone (people) are awaiting me outside [of prison]. Not only that, but my closest friends do not accept my thoughts, talks, writings andbehavior. But none of these facts obliges me to bow before the tyrants so that I may be released from prison. Life in slavery is not worth a dime to me. In the same way that some give themselves the option to cooperate with the tyrants, or to remain silent before human rights violations, I too have the option to oppose the tyrants and say "no" in a loud voice to them and their manners. This is a right that the Mohammedann law confirms:

La yuhibbu Allahu aljahra bialssoo-i mina alqawli illa man thulima wakana Allahu sameeAAan Aaaleeman [An-Nisah:148]

God loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who hath been wronged. God is ever Hearer, Knower. [Women:148]

4. Socratic Death:

Socrates was in pursuit of two things at once. First: Autonomy of the individual against the society (the right to live as an individual). Second: Thinking freely and questioning everything. Socrates did not falter for a moment to put his personal life in danger and invite death in order to show the significance and superiority of individual thought over the group, the society and the government. He proved himself before the city as an individual, by welcoming death. By his death Socrates became the symbol of an individual who existed and lived for himself and independent of the city. But one must not forget that his death was a defeat for the city-state, because it revealed a fundamental deficiency ie. the weakness to recognize the freedom and the autonomous existence of the individual, it revealed that the city-state could not accept the individual's freedom and his autonomous existence.
Tokvil correctly notices: "Our fathers did not know the word "self-belief" that we have devised for ourselves, since in their days no person could have been found who didn't belong to some group, or who was able to consider himself absolutely alone." In the pre-modern times, the idea of an individual, an individual free in his choices and alone in his privacy, was unknown. The birth of a subject who was the master of himself, who was defined by the commitments brought about by his choices, is symptomatic of the fact that he no longer understood himself primarily as a part of an organic whole. A person dissolved in a community cannot make use of the creative and critical facilities of his mind and thought. This is not possible unless the person can see himself as separate from the group and the community.

Foucault quotes Baudler as saying that modern man is an individual who creates himself as a work of art. The autonomous individual is a dissident, he "differs" from others, he is a maverick. Not only does he create the style of his own living, but he chooses the fashion of his death by himself as well. Isn't death also the creation of a work of art? Particularly in a system where individualism and freedom of thought are not recognized.

Difference is the necessary condition of man's growth and flourishing. It bestows upon each member of the human race, man and woman alike, the choices that give value and meaning to his or her autonomy. Individual autonomy can only be realized in a "multi-cultural" society, a society where the presence of different cultures makes meaningful choices possible. It has to be accepted that autonomous individuals are capable of choosing between several teachings and life patterns. According to Ulrich Beck, the German sociologist, individualization in modernity means that people have to create their own life story in the absence of certainties and fixed obligating traditional norms, and by the emergence of new ways of living that are constantly under change and evolution.

Socratic death is a style of living, a style of living that men of wisdom have not ceased to praise throughout the history. The choice of death, if one is forced to deny one's individuality, and is deprived of the opportunity to think freely, talk freely and live freely, is a choice, against which reason has no objection left to present. Unconditional freedom or indefinite hunger strike is based upon such theoretical background.

5. Dracula, The Bloodsucking Vampire:

Franco Moretti writes in a psychoanalytic-marxist analysis of the novel Dracula: "Dracula does not like shedding blood. He needs blood. His ultimate goal is not to destroy and waste other people's lives out of indulgence, whim or fancy, rather his goal is to use their lives…. His nature forces him to fight to become unlimited and to dominate over the entire society. For this reason it is impossible to "co-exist" with the vampire. One must either surrender to him or kill him to rid the world of him and him of his curse… . Dracula is a real monopolist. He is lonely and a dictator and will not accept any competition… . He does not limit himself to joining to himself (in the literal sense) the physical and moral powers of his victims, he is up to making them his, forever… man's condemnation before Dracula, like before the Devil, is "not for a definite period" but for entire life… . The vampire, just like the monopoly, destroys the hope that man's independence can one day return to him. He threatens the idea of personal freedom… . When Dracula threatens the freedom of an individual, that person is incapable of resisting or defeating him alone and by himself. Man's individuality is under the threat of being dominated by the Vampire. "a handful of isolated people don’t have the power to face the concentrated might of the vampire, either".

Although the dictators have managed to bring my body under their domination, since they have not succeeded to take away my spirit and my thought in their grips and to make them theirs forever, they can't stand my face and so crave for my blood. Recently Saeed Mortazavi has told some officials in a meeting: "So what? What happened when Zahra Kazemi was killed? Human rights organizations condemned Iran in a couple of declarations and the case was closed. Zahra Kazemi is in her graves now. Ganji's death will also end after a couple of similar declarations. Ganji is better dead than alive".

In the alley screams an owl wet from rain
Someone's biting the dust by a tall wall
I have been imprisoned by the shadows of night
The night imprisoned by the cold net of the sky
I have to go on along with the shadows
Every night to the dark town of madness
The light of my star is fading out
I have been caught between life and death once more
Darkness comes along with his cold claws
In the cold earth my heart…….

The person who recounted these sentences to me, swore to me that "Your death is their dream. You are an obstacle for them. They can’t wait till you die". That compassionate person wanted to convince me by this to break my hunger strike. But I was reminded of Milan Kundera. In his novel "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", recounting the situation after the "Spring of Prague", Kundera writes:" Is it better to shout out and hasten our death or to keep our silence and lengthen our slow and gradual dying"

With my silence of the past couple of years I was lengthening my gradual dying. My Acquiring all sorts of diseases in prison, only made them happy. Whenever my medical documents were presented so that I could be sent to medical centers out of prison, the prosecutor’s office prevented my leave so that I would gradually die inside prison. Now that I have shouted out I have hastened my death, but I have also managed to show to the entire world how ruthless and inhuman the sultanist system ruling Iran is in reality and what it has in store. This system has not yet actualized its complete tyrannical potential. Let the world learn what goes on inside "Hotel Evin" and its "Suites".

Hafez used to say:

The ease of the this world and the next is in the interpretation of these two words
With friends, compassion, with enemies, tolerance

But Motahhari used to say Islam has gone even further than this:

"With friends, compassion and generosity, with enemies, compassion and generosity too... to have compassion is to be compassionate towards one’s enemies as well."

Forget about compassion with friends and enemies: They aren’t strong enough to fight their enemies and have to retreat continually before them, so, they try to satisfy their frustration by pouring all of their wrath on the heads of internal dissidents.

6. Rejecting Sultanism, the Pre-Condition for Demanding Democracy:

Today, the opposition groups in the Middle East have opted for the strategy of fighting personal rulers. Egyptians demand the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, Syrians, of Bashar Asad, Libyans, of Moammar Gadhafi, Saudis, of Malek Fahd, etc. In the Republic of Azerbaijan democrats demand that Ilham Aliev and in Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov resign. Dictators for life are under attack everywhere. This is a time when democracy has worldwide appeal and lifetime rule is not at all defensible and should be sent to the archives of history. As if the personal dictators of the Middle East are not satisfied with decades of tyrannical rule over their countries, they want to extend their dictatorial rule in any possible way. We are witnessing in Egypt now that people in the streets of Cairo publicly demand that Hosni Mubarak should step down.

In the political arena, there is competition over attaining political power. But the necessary condition for such a competition is the presence of alternative leaders (with alternative programs). The person who wants to take control of the political leadership of a country should compete with other leaders in a free and fair election so he can hold the power for a limited time and [later] peacefully relinquish his power to other leaders through free elections and the negative vote of the people.

I have clearly said time and again that 16 years of personal rule is enough for Mr. Seyed Ali Khamenei. Although expressing such demands in the region of the Middle East has become commonplace and harmless today, the ruling regime of Iran considers such demands as equal to blasphemy. It is interesting to note that the regime of Iran broadcasts the demonstrations against Mubarak on the IRIB [state television] and shows that Mubarak's opposition do not get into much trouble, but here [in Iran] demonstration against Khamenei is impossible and costly, and even expressing the demand for his resignation by a dissident will cost him dearly, i.e. the system [of Iran] admits that it has fallen behind and is less tolerant than the regimes of Egypt and Azerbaijan.

I do not believe at all in the theory of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent [Velayat-i Faqih] and I think it is anti-democratic and violates the human rights. I will not stand the master-slave relationship, in which the Leader ascends to the ranks of a god and people descend to the level of slaves. I apologize in the place of Mr. Khamenei to students, journalists, bloggers, isolated clergies who are Objects of Emulations [maraje'], families of the victims of serial murders, the family of Zahra Kazemi, ... for all that has gone to them in these years. I strongly apologize in place of Mr. Khamenei to the families of the executed prisoners of the summer of 1988 all over the country. I ask for forgiveness in place of Mr. Khamenei from the noble people of Iran for what the Council of Guardians and the judiciary system have done in these past years. Six days from now (Saturday July 16, 2005) will be the 2000th day of my imprisonment (90 days in the first arrest in 1997 and 1910 days in the current one). That is, I was forced to endure 2000 days in prison for expressing my dissenting opinions and beliefs. But two thousand days of jail in the sultanist system is not sufficient for otherness, for being unconventional, and for dissent. The punishment for "difference" is much heavier. Tolerating difference is the essential and inseparable component of democratic politics. Intolerance and oppression are the main components of authoritarian regimes. I have never resorted to violent methods and have only demanded change in the current political regime through peaceful means.

In the first book of the Republican Manifesto (March 2002) I suggested that the regime should hold a referendum. But since it is clear that the regime will never accept such a demand, I saw the only way to reach such a target to be civil disobedience. I have preferred a republic to the system of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent since many years ago and I have considered civil disobedience to be the road that would lead to it.

This candle is about to die out. But this voice will not be silenced. This is the voice of peaceful life, tolerating the other, love for humanity, self-sacrifice for people, seeking truth, seeking freedom, demand for democracy, respecting the opponents, welcoming different lifestyles, separation of the state and the civil society, separation of the private sphere and the public sphere, separation of religion and state, equality of all humans, rationality, federalism within a democratic Iran, rejecting violence,... .

This candle is about to die out, but this voice will raise louder voices in its wake.

The black coffin of night
Resided in his eyes
The star turned off
And fell on the ground.

Akbar Ganji,
Evin Prison
July 10, 2005

(1) "Identity," a series of TV programs made to "expose" the foreign dependence of intellectuals and writers, at the direction of Saeed Emami, Deputy Minister of Intelligence. Emami was arrested in the arrests made after the project of murdering writers and intellectuals in the Ministry of Intelligence was exposed and mysteriously "committed suicide" while in custody. GO BACK.

(2) Perhaps a pun intended in the original Farsi: "farangi karan" is used to refer to "Greco-Roman wrestlers," a national sport in Iran. GO BACK.

(3) Donatella della Porta [?] GO BACK.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran dissident 'cannot see wife'
By Pam O'Toole
BBC News

Mr Ganji's wife has regularly visited her husband in a secure ward
The wife of Iran's best-known political prisoner, journalist Akbar Ganji, says officials will not let her visit her husband, 49 days into a hunger strike.

Massoumeh Shafeih says she will not be allowed access until she stops giving interviews to the foreign media.

Mrs Ganji said she received the message when she called the hospital where he is held to arrange her next visit.

Mr Ganji was jailed five years ago for linking senior Iranian officials to the murders of prominent intellectuals.

His hunger strike is aimed at achieving his unconditional release.

During her last visit, on Thursday night, Mrs Ganji said her husband looked as though he may only live for a few more days.


Since Mr Ganji started his hunger strike, his wife has been foreign reporters' main source of news about his condition.

Profile: Akbar Ganji
Although most Iranians know about his fast, Iran's official media has stayed largely silent.

The hardline judiciary insists that he is not on hunger strike, saying has been hospitalised for treatment on a knee injury, and is in good condition.

But Mrs Ganji maintains that during her last visit, late on Thursday night, Tehran's chief prosecutor was present at Mr Ganji's bedside and told her that doctors did not expect her husband to last the night.

She said Mr Ganji - who has lost more than 25kg in weight - looked as though he may only live a few days.

Mrs Ganji said she later tried to persuade her husband to take food, or at least to agree to be fed serum through an intravenous drip, but he refused.

She said he then tried to get out of bed, walked a few steps and collapsed unconscious.

At that point, she said, she authorised the hospital to give him serum via a drip, which it did.

Mrs Ganji said that when she called the hospital on Friday to arrange her next visit, she was told that she could not see him again while she continued giving interviews to the foreign media.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have been in error saying he had no acces to family "for days prior" to the last letter, but he was denied access to attorney, and the above post speaks for itself, as he's being isolated totally now, with the prosecuter at his bedside....

any further letters must be seen in this context.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rafsanjani wants dissident freed
By Frances Harrison
BBC News, Tehran

Ganji has been hospitalised and can no longer walk unaided
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has appealed to the judiciary to free an imprisoned writer who has refused food for 49 days.
Mr Rafsanjani is the latest in a growing list of people, including US President George Bush, who have called for Akbar Ganji to be released.

His family say his health is deteriorating fast.

Akbar Ganji went to jail for implicating top officials in a series of political assassinations.

Mr Ganji has been drinking only tea and water for the duration of his hunger strike.

Although he is hospitalised, doctors say there is little they can do as he refuses medication.

His family are due to hold a prayer meeting for him in the evening.

Few options

It was during Mr Rafsanjani's presidency that Mr Ganji wrote about the political assassinations.

In a strange twist, Mr Rafsanjani has now said he feels sorry for Mr Ganji and has made some recommendations to the judiciary about how to resolve the case.

Another senior politician who stood in the recent presidential elections, Mehdi Karroubi, is also reported to have asked Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to intervene.

But the spokesman for the judiciary has said the only way Mr Ganji could be freed is if he requested a pardon.

The writer has refused to do this, for fear of renouncing what he wrote.

Meanwhile, one of Mr Ganji's lawyers has complained to the judiciary that his house was searched last week in violation of the constitution, and his family harassed in the process.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Leave Ganji alone. His supposed alleged plight and hunger-strike is suspecious. There are lots of other heros. The regime is using him a pawn to take attention away from the real events taking place (like what's happening in Kurdestan and Khorassan). Quiet frankly, I don't feel sorry for him all that much. Liky you said, you join the mafia to get in on the action and there is a price to pay.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am suspicious of anyone that collaborated with iri and then suddenly becomes "opposition" to them, especially when killer Rafsanjani is asking for his freedom & not all other innocent people who did not cooperate with the regime and were killed or are languishing in jails.
As long as these so called 'oppositions' don't own up to what they did to Iran by collaborating with our enemies (ragheads), confess and ask for forgiveness from Iranian people, they are the same traitors as they were 26 years ago.

Last edited by blank on Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally what I see happening is more light shead on all political prisoner's circumstance, the IRI's brutal repression in various cities is being covered by wire services, globally. And I think folks tend to ignore the man's words...there are "no hero's including Ganji", jusy regular folk who have to stand up.

Ignore him if you like, but the world hasn't, and the IRI is the loser in the end for his effort....

Regardless of who he was in the past, Ganji has taken a different path than he was on, this warrior has chosen his "death ground" well to fight his last battle, in the same spirit that gave rise to the words, "Give me liberty or give me death." as the Declaration of Independance was signed over 200 years ago in my country.

The man makes his last stand honorably, honor that if not the man. Those that ridicule this warrior's path of heart are niether brave enough nor patriot enough to take his place. Where I ask is the honor in that?

Usery of him such as the repugnant one has (Ras.) and others to make themselves seem less evil than they are is to be expected and should be transparent for the manipulation that it represents...

ba sepaas,

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An honorable person is the one who admits to his wrong-doings in the past, and ask for forgiveness; not a person that is in denial, and either thinks he didn't do anything wrong or it was such a small mistake that does not deserve forgiveness from the people he betrayed; which shows the mindset has not changed I will leave it at that, I believe most Iranians that are familiar with his past, would agree with my statement.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Blank,

I understand where you are coming from, and it's a valid point of view.

But does not action speak louder than words? Would his words result in forgiveness? I think not.

By the same token his action now will result in his freedom, one way or another...through death, or the regime's release of him....posing a legal precedent for the regime to release all political prisoners....or a huge out cry globally for that.

Not that the regime gives a damn about the rule of law, but I think you see my point.

Perhaps then he will be worthy of forgiveness, either by the people, or by his ultimate judge of character.

Time will tell in either case.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's really the fact that former supporters of the regime like Ganji have become its most dangerous opponents that spells great danger for this regime. A coalition is building greater in size than that that overthrew the late former Shah. It must be hard for people who have been consistent supporters of constitutional democracy for the past 25 years to see the recent converts grab all the publicity. But it is a fact that the late deciders are always the people who move things past the tipping point in a democratic revolution, and quite often they wind up gaining disproportionate glory and/or prominence.

I don't see Ganji's course of action over the past several years as self-seeking or careerism, it's likely the only thing his pursuit of truth will get him is in unmarked grave. Rather than abuse him for being on the wrong side ten or twenty years ago, I believe all energy should be spent on making use of his offered sacrifice as a weapon to batter down the walls of the regime.
The Sun Is Rising In The West!Soon It Will Shine on All of Iran!
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