Sunday, October 15, 2006

NUS Statement of Solidarity with Iranian Students and Workers

National Union of Students(NUS)in UK have issued the following statement in support of Iran's prisoners of conscience:

Against war, against theocracy - solidarity with Iranian workers and students!
Free Ahmed Batebi and all political prisoners in Iran! Protest when
Muhammad Khatami visits St Andrews!

Former Iranian president Seyed Muhammad Khatami will be visiting St Andrew’s university on 31 October to deliver a lecture on “dialogue among civilisations” and receive an honorary degree from university chancellor and Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell. Meanwhile, Ahmed Batebi, an Iranian student activist arrested by Khatami’s regime during pro-democracy protests in 1999 and kept inside throughout his term in office, is seriously ill in jail.

Ahmed was jailed when he appeared, clutching a shirt stained with the blood of one of his comrades, on the front cover of the Economist. He was elected as Honorary Vice-President of NUS as a gesture of solidarity between British and Iranian students. He was released last January but re-arrested in July. Even Hessam Firoozi, the doctor who treated Ahmed
in jail and had expressed concerns to the press about his wellbeing, has now been arrested!

At the same time, it is important to remember that Ahmed is only one of thousands of political prisoners in Iran, jailed to expressing even the mildest opposition to the Islamic Republic regime.

Khatami is on the “reformist” wing of the Islamic Republic - which makes him a “moderate” right-wing religious fundamentalist. He is fully committed to the theocratic system which has oppressed the Iranian people, and workers, women, lesbian, gay and bisexual people and young people above all, for the last three decades. During his time in office, tiny modifications to the Islamic Republic’s regime of terror were massively outweighed by the stepping up of neoliberal economics and attacks on the living standards of Iranian workers.

We are deepy disappointed that St Andrews Students’ Association has declared itself in favour of Khatami’s visit, bizarrely dismissing the repression he carried out as “tensions which existed within Iran during his presidency” and claiming that he “adopted a brave stance to promote
liberal values in the face of great adversity”. This is an appalling betrayal of Iranian students’ struggle for freedom.

As students, young people, feminists, LGBT and labour movement activists in Britain, we express our wholehearted solidarity with the democratic and working-class opposition in Iran - against both the US’s threat to kill thousands of Iranian civilians in another war and the barbarity of the Iranian regime. We therefore demand that Khatami’s honorary degree be
withdrawn unless Ahmed Batebi is released. When Khatami visits St Andrews, we will be protesting to express our solidarity with Iranian students and others fighting against the theocratic dictatorship for democratic and social rights.

Sofie Buckland, NUS National Executive and Education Not for Sale

Joe Rooney, NUS National Executive, ENS and Young Greens
Keir Lawson, Scottish Socialist Party student organiser
Jack Ferguson, Scottish Socialist Youth national organiser
Laura Schwartz, ENS Women
James Alexander, National Union of Students Scotland President
Gemma Tumelty, NUS National President
Stephen Brown, NUS National Secretary
Joe Rukin, NUS National Treasurer
Colleen Dowdall, NUS-USI Convenor
Scott Cuthbertson, NUS LGBT Officer (Open Place)
Claire Anderson, NUS LGBT Officer (Women’s Place)
Veronica King, NUS VP Welfare
Ellie Russell, NUS VP Further Education
Wes Streeting, NUS VP Education
Kat Stark, NUS National Women’s Officer
Alex Kemp, NUS Students’ With Disabilities Officer
Sam Lebens, NUS National Executive and Co-convenor, NUS Anti-Racism,
Anti-Fascism Campaign
Louise Sweeney, NUS National Executive
Steven Findlay, NUS National Executive
Richard Angell, NUS National Executive
Aled Dilwyn Fisher, LSESU Environment and Ethics Officer, Young Greens

note: Batebi was today allowed temporary leave from prison. International solidarity does yield results, lets keep the momentum going!


Anonymous said...

Very inspiring! Well done!

Anonymous said...

That's excellent news! Well shame about St. Andrews union and their silly comment which made them look nothing but misinformed.

Anonymous said...

Batebi is freed via

Azarmehr said...

While we are joyous about Batebi receiving leave on the condition of putting up more than $150K, we should not forget that this is not an unconditional release. The NUS and other human rights activists should keep the momentum going for the release of Batebi and other prisoners of conscience.

Anonymous said...

Will BBC Persian or VOA Persian broadcast this statement and the NUS support for Iran students? My guess is NO, they will spend 10 mins of their airtime talking about some prisoner in Guantanamo!
Lets hope I am wrong.


Anonymous said...

See NUS Petition:'s%20Trip.doc

Anonymous said...

Dear Potkin
Once again you have been fooled and upstaged by the IRI mafia. your demand that 'We therefore demand that Khatami's honorary degree be withdrawn unless Ahmed Batebi is released 'has come to nothing.
They have released Batebi on parole, like they have done before to take the international pressure off themselves till thing quite down, and can snatch him again when the Khatami's visit is over. Does that mean that you no longer oppose this criminal coming to UK and preaching his evil thoughts and getting a doctorate to boot...No I still oppose this charade and condemn this whole project. Although the following open letter to the St Andrews SU is a long letter but I hope that you can include it on your webolg so that others can read it too.

To: The University of St Andrews Students’ Association
Dear Sir
I have noticed that one of your twice yearly election is about to take place this October.
The history of this democratic procedure, according to the information supplied by your Student Union information Pack dates back to 1886 Universities (Scotland) Act. which means that in your University, for the past 120 years there has been a formal procedure for the students to democratically elect and appoint their representatives so that these elected officers can voice the general opinions of the Student body to the authorities inside and outside of the University and to organise and manage their affairs.
Unfortunate this basic human rights has been denied to me and my compatriots.
We have been prevented to select and vote for our own representatives in a free and democratic system and have been unable to chose our own elected representative to govern us — by our own so called Government.
I have also noticed that your Student Union has stated, that after informed discussion and debate with senior academics and authorities on the matter of invitation and bestowing of a law doctorate to Mr Khatami, 'The Students’ Association fully backs the decision by the University of St Andrews to award "HE Mohammed Khatami an" honorary Doctorate of Laws.
The Student Union has further declared without reservation that the 'Students Association' believes that Khatami himself has predominantly adopted a brave stance to promote liberal values in the face of great adversity. And that his personal courage, combined with his subsequent work in building interfaith dialogue and communication (notably through the Dialogue of Civilisations project), coupled with his notable achievements as a scholar, makes him a very suitable candidate for such an award.
I strongly object to all your assumption regarding the Criminal mullah Khatami and believe St Andrews University and in Particular The Student Union by agreeing to this act are making a big mistake and is bringing sham to this venerable institution.
First of all he is NOT a HE. If you mean His Excellency but are really afraid to actually say it load and clear.
He is a lowly preacher, a mullah.
He is furthermore an apparatchick and an apologist for the dreaded and the terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran who was appointed to read the sermons in the Hamburg masque by the Late Shah of Iran.
He became prominent during the upheaval of the 1979 by lining himself with that other criminal Mullah 'Khomeini' and under his cloak, help the Mullah's Mafia to turn a peaceful and respected country into a terrorist and detested country that we see today.
Contrary to what you might think he has never been 'the democratically elected representative' of the Iranian people as there has never been a free or democratic election in Iran since this lot usurped power from the poor Iranians.
Any way the elections have always been fixed and whoever the regime sees fit comes out of the election ballot boxes, as the real power is in the hand of a few un-elected mullahs who consider that the vote of the people equates to the howls of dogs and animals which should not interfere with the direct voice of GOD whom they are the only ones who are prive to.
That is to say the voice of the MEHDI, the lost soul who directs the affairs of State in the IRI and appoints the levers of power by appearing only in the dreams and fantasies of the few who KNOW and are CLOSE to this sprit.
The criminal acts perpetuated under 8 years of Khatami's so called presidency are too numerous for me to mention here but you can see all the documents if you care to visit the following 'example' site's. and and they will covey to you why there is so much hatred against this man from the majority of the Iranian people.
He has no 'Personal' courage to stand up and say anything worth listening to.
Even after the IRI humiliated and nearly killed him and his own brother, he did not have the guts or the courage to come to his brother's aid let alone to stand up to those un-elected few on behalf of the people, although he was supposedly elected by millions of people who were duped into believing his smiley face and sweet claptrap noises regarding how 'Islam' was compatible with democracy.
We now know better. we do not believe this charlatan any more.
I am Glad to report to you also that this man's invitation to Vatican for a conference on Interfaith discussions has been revoked and he is no longer welcome to Vatican in order to represent the smiling face of Islam at these sorts of gathering because everyone has become aware of his empty words and lies.
And as for his notable achievements as a scholar, have you ever read any of his treaties? If you have good luck to you. I suppose you now know with which foot to enter the LOO and what is the best way of cleaning your bottom after you have been to the loo.
Finally let me inform you also that the money and the books being "donated" by Mr. Ansari and Mr. Kharrazi is only a political move on behalf of the ruling Mafia to give a fig leaf to this brutal and Fascist regime. These books, if they have not been confiscated from Iranian libraries and are new ones, they have been written to REWRITE and misrepresent the great and noble history of Iran and the Iranian nation.
I cordially invite you to take some time and educate yourselves regarding this man and not become the tools of the establishments, the likes of Menzis Campbell and Ansari.

Fereydon Abdollahyan
London, England.

Aryamehr said...

It's great that Batebi is out but it's only for 48hrs supposedly according to this report!

Azarmehr said...

Absolutely. This is only a conditional leave with a very heavy bail. The NUS should continue to demand Batebi's UNCONDITIONAL release without bail.
The NUS realises this. The problem however at the moment is St. Andrews' Student Union.

Anonymous said...

That is great and hope you can keep going like that maybe you can cancell Khatimai's trip in total.

Anonymous said...

آزادی موقت احمد باطبی که شرف دانشجوی ايرانی است بايد تبديل به آزادی دايمی وی شود و نيز ديگر اسيران سياهچالهای حکومت نکبت فاشيستی اسلامی بايد آزاد گردند. همصدا با دانشجويان آزاد انديش بريتانيايی بايد فرياد زندانی سياسی آزاد بايد گردد سر دهيم و به افشای مانکن ويترين جمهوری اسلامی يعنی آخوند خاتمی که سالها وزير سانسورچی ارشاد و سپس سالها رييس جمهور تبهکار حکومت اسلامی بوده است بپردازيم

Azarmehr said...

A better result than cancelling Khatami's visit will be the UNCONDITIONAL release of a prisoner of conscience. In any case it is not up to me but up to the NUS and the UK academics whether they have the will and foresight to cease such opportunity and bring about pressure that will result in the release of a political prisoner.

Azarmehr said...

در تایید صحبت پاشا ما در ضمن باید بر روی رسانه های فارسی زبان فشار بیاوریم که چرا اینگونه اکسیون های همبستگی را که مایه دلگرمی مبارزین داخل کشور نیز خواهد بود را منعکس نمیکنند؟ چرا بجای مصاحبه با حدر جون و پخش مزخرفات حسین جون با چند تن از سران اتحادیه دانشجویان بریتانیا که این اعلامیه همبستگی را امضا کردند مصاحبه نمیکنند؟

Anonymous said...

I salute the NUS for their realistic stance on Khatami's visit. But let us not forget that this visit was planned and prepared for by the new mouthpiece and apologist of the pro-reformist Islamic theocracy, namely, Ali Ansari, the founder of the Institute of Iranian Studies at St Andrew's which is due to be opened by Khatami. Ansari who is now the darling of that faction of the British media and politicians who promote Islamic democracy is being groomed to be the academic face of the Iranian Islamic democracy in the UK. Ansari is the same person who supervised the PhD studies of a former London based Iranian diplomat supected of involvement in bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina while on an apparent diplomatic mission there. Is it now so surprising for the St Andrew's who appointed Ansari, a suspected terrorist's teacher, to an academic post to give another ally of the terrorists, Khatami, a doctorate?

Bardia said...

unfortunately the most of people who live in iran think smoothly about khatami's smile and they don't consider the plan behind it.however we must do more to wipe off governments'faces.