Thursday, June 09, 2005

Reza Pahlavi of Iran Announces Hunger Strike in Support of Iranian Political Prisoners

Reza Pahlavi of Iran, in response to a direct invitation by political prisoners in Iran, pledged his solidarity and announced his plans to go on a three day hunger strike starting Friday, June 10.

"Solidarity with political prisoners of Iran and support for the
legitimate quest for freedom, human rights and economic opportunity in Iran transcends all political boundaries and ideologies," said Reza Pahlavi, opposition leader to the clerical regime of Iran.

Yesterday, in a communique, signed by numerous political prisoners, in Iran, the June 17 presidential elections were rejected as "sham and undemocratic." Calling for a boycott of the elections, the communique also cited the regime's abhorrent violations of human rights in Iran and announced the collective plan of the prisoners to go on a hunger strike as an act of nonviolent defiance of the regime.

Highlighting the demands of the communique, Reza Pahlavi said, "Iranians of all walks of life demand: freedom of speech; the unequivocal observance of human rights, by the regime; the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Disillusioned Iran students turn backs on election

Whether cowed by crackdowns, pacified by an increase in social freedoms or simply resigned, Iran's students are no longer the force that once spearheaded a revolution or agitated for liberal reform.

With just over a week to go before a presidential election in which the Islamic state's clerical leaders have said it is a national and religious duty to vote, student leader Abdollah Momeni is calling -- quietly -- for a boycott.

It appears the last resort of a group whose hopes for reform through the ballot box have all but vanished, at least for now.

"Voting in this situation would be an approval of the current system," said Momeni, 28, the secretary of the largest pro-reform student movement, the Office to Consolidate Unity.

"With the current international situation, the Islamic Republic more than ever needs people's votes to demonstrate its legitimacy. By boycotting the vote, we want to show that there is a legitimacy problem."

Tehran 'Flower Clock' rivals Big Ben

The world's biggest clock was installed at Abbasabad district of the capital city on Tuesday in a ceremony attended by a number of urban officials.

'Flower Clock' which measures 15 meters in diameter and weighs 750 kgs was installed at a cost of six hundred million rials.

The clock was built by the private sector in cooperation with Tehran Municipality in two years.

The private sector is entitled to use necessary facilities in the vicinity to publicize the `Flower Clock' for three years to recoup the expenses incurred in its design and construction.

The clock is equipped with separate motors to set its triple hands in motion. It is designed to operate with minimum error and is automatically set up by a computerized system.

Iran university students on hunger strike as protests rise

Students in the University of Yazd (central Iran) have started a hunger strike today in protest against a recent government clampdown on student activists.

The students said they began their hunger strike after recent threats by the authorities against them. A number of students have been arrested by the secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, on bogus charges.