Iran: Opposition Announces “Year of Persistence”
Published on the website of German weekly magazine “Focus” on 19. March 2010
Source (German): http://www.focus.de/politik/ausland/iran-opposition-ruft-jahr-der-beharrlichkeit-aus_aid_491155.html
English translation by @germantoenglish
On Friday, Mir Hossein Moussavi prepared his supporters for a “year of persistence” in the struggle against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A withdrawal would be tantamount to “treason against Islam, the nation, and the blood of the martyrs”, said Moussavi in a message published on his website on the occasion of the Persian New Year, the festival of Nowrooz. Considering the “justified demands” of the people after the disputed re-election of Ahmadinejad in June, the opposition will continue to face “problems”. Moussavi questions the official outcome of the presidential elections in which he was defied by Ahmadinejad.
Khatami calls for more freedom of opinion
Reformist former president Mohammad Khatami called on the government to release political prisoners on the eve of the Iranian New Year, which will begin next Sunday, and to allow criticism within the regulatory framework. “We should learn our lessons from the recent events and take a new direction” the former president, who supports the Iranian opposition movement, was quoted by the website Parlemannews.ir.
In the mass protests against Ahmadinejad’s re-election last June dozens of government critics were killed, several thousands of protesters were detained. The Iranian judiciary issued ten death sentences and several heavy prison terms in connection with the protests.
Detention and ban on political activity for supporter
Apparently, an ally of reformist ex president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has now also been imprisoned. According to Mir Hossein Moussavi’s website, Hossein Marashi was transferred to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after an appeals court confirmed his one-year prison sentence on charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” He also received a six year ban on political activity. Marashi belongs to a political group that endorsed Moussavi in his election campaign.