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Fighting the Iranian Tyranny

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Posted on June 17 2010 3:14 pm
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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Amir Fakhravar, an Iranian writer, student leader and former political prisoner. Currently he serves as president of the “Iranian Freedom Institute” and is Secretary General of “Confederation of Iranian Students.”

FP: Amir Fakhravar, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about where the freedom movement stands in Iran today.

Let’s start with you telling us a bit about your background and how and why you ended up being a student leader.

Fakhravar: Thank you Jamie for having me here. Let me start by giving you a little background on the atmosphere in the universities in Iran in 1994 when I was a medical student. To combat student protests after the 1979 Revolution, a Supreme Cultural Revolution council was formed that closed the universities for 4 years (1980 to 1984) and  after reopening  purged thousands of students and professors, with an unknown number of them killed and imprisoned,  and banned all student organizations except Tahkime Vahdat (a pro-Khomeini organization). For the following ten years, an ominous aura of fear dominated the campuses in Iran.

I had formed a theatrical group on campus that year because all other sorts of student organizations were prohibited. On December 7, 1994, we held a conference in conjunction with the department of cultural activities of the Urmia Medical School entitled “A study of the impediments to student participation in political activities.”

Nobody else volunteered to speak, so I went first. During that speech, I asked,

“How is it that during the reign of Reza Shah, a dictator by your account, a penniless cleric could enter the parliament and declare that he had the power to depose of the first person in the country but today can we cannot utter the mildest criticism against the two hundredth person in the country?”

I added that I was aware that with this speech I could be arrested and that is exactly what happened. I was 19 years old at the time and this was just one of a series of arrests.

FP: Can you talk a bit about your imprisonment? I apologize very much for asking about such painful things.

Fakhravar: Probably the worst days of my imprisonments were the ones in solitary confinement.

Read the Rest at FPM

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