On November 11, 2009, Ehsan Fattahian, a young Kurdish activist and political prisoner was executed in Sanandaj, Iran. He had been arrested in July 2008 and imprisoned for his association with Komalah, a Kurdish opposition group which considers itself Marxist. His execution was carried out by the Iranian government despite expressions of protest inside and outside Iran. The English translation of Fattahian’s last statement is being reprinted from the official website of the Iranian Green Movement. My corrections have been interpolated in square brackets. For more information about Fattahian’s case, please see the article, “What Happened to Ehsan Fattahian?” in Tehran Bureau (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/11/what-happened-to-ehsan-fattahian-the-kurdish-activist.html)
Continue reading Last Statement by Kurdish Activist, Ehsan Fattahian
Translator’s Note: The official unemployment rate in Iran stands at 18%. Unofficial rates however are as high as 40%. The official minimum wage is $263 per month, and the legal working day should not exceed 8 hours or a total of 44 hours for 5.5 days. (1) Many of the unemployed have no choice but to accept lower wages and longer working hours. Below are large excerpts from a report by the reformist Iranian Labor News Agency, which describes the types of jobs, wages and working hours that unemployed Iranians are forced to accept.
For more information about poverty in Iran and about the history of the Iranian Labor News Agency, please see my translator’s note to the article entitled “Poverty Line: A ‘Hoax?” (2)
Continue reading The Poor Face a Logjam in the Labyrinths of Work
Translator’s note: At a recent press conference in Tehran, fraudulently elected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that customary approaches used by economists to determine the poverty line are a “hoax” and cannot be used as a measure to prove that there is poverty in Iran. Existing facts, however, contradict Ahmadinejad’s statement.
Continue reading The Poverty Line in Iran. A “Hoax?”
Translator’s note: The study of the humanities has become a major focus of Iranian university students during the past decade. Over half of Iran’s 3.5 million university students are enrolled in various branches of this field. In order to combat the effects of this field of study on the minds of young students, the Iranian government has launched a campaign against the humanities. At the recent shows trials of reformists, the prosecution specifically attacked western philosophers and academics for supposedly having instigated the latest protest movement. On August 30, Ayatollah Khamenei also addressed a gathering of professors and university administrators with a stern warning. He blamed the humanities for Iranian students’ “lack of faith,” and called on professors to “identify the enemy” and to revise this field of study. Below is a response from a student at Amir Kabir University in Tehran. Amir Kabir University has been the site of several important human rights protests during the past few years.
Continue reading Iran’s University Students Defend the Humanities
Fatemeh Sadeghi has a PhD in political science and has taught at the Islamic Azad University of Karaj near Tehran. Soon after the publication of her controversial article, “Why We Say No to the Compulsory Hijab” in May 2008 ( see translation available on this blog at http://iranianvoicesintranslation.blogspot.com/2009/07/fatemeh-sadghi-is-assistant-professor.html ), she was suspended from her teaching post at the University of Karaj. In the article below, she takes a strong stand against the fraudulent June 2009 presidential election and presents a brief sociological analysis of changes in Iranian society during the past 30 years. Excerpts follow.
Continue reading Feminist Political Scientist Analyzes Transformations in Iranian Society Today