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UPDATED Iran's 16 Azar: The Arrest of Majid Tavakoli

Setareh Sabety sends us a report on an event which we briefly noted yesterday:


UPDATE 9 December 1115 GMT: Human Rights Activists in Iran have posted more information on Tavakoli's arrest.

UPDATE 9 December: Setareh Sabety notes that Fars News has tried to discredit and degrade Tavakoli (as well as insulting women), with this "report": "The leader of Mousavi`s rioters was captured while in disguise and fleeing the security forces.Dressed as a pious woman and even sporting a purse to complete the look,he failed to reach his target and was arrested by the security forces."

This does not even deserve the label of propaganda, let alone news

Majid Tavakoli, a student at Polytechnic (Amir Kabir) University in Tehran, was arrested on his way out of the University after he gave a moving speech at ceremonies/protests held on the National Student's Day in Iran.

Iran: The Arrest of Majid Tavakoli “His 16 Azar Speech on Video”
Iran’s Arrest of Majid Tavakoli: “Khamenei in Hejab/We Are All Majids”

According to the Amir Kabir student newsletter, Tavakoli was arrested last winter and served three months in jail after an appearance at commemoration ceremonies for former Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan. Tavakoli also spent over a year in jail after a 2007 arrest, and according to sources, he was tortured.

A human rights activist who has been working in Iran for years told me that Tavakoli's arrest does not bode well because the regime may try to make him a scapegoat, painting him as the leader and instigator of the massive protests that took place today. “His only chance is that the international community supports him,” claimed the activist. That is a dramatic statement: usually families and friends of a prisoner take a back-door route to getting release orders; an appeal to the international community comes only to cases that look hopeless.

This was Tavakoli's last entry on Facebook, posted on Saturday:
Only two more days (to 16 Azar). I have spent ten exhausting days on the road with more than 100 hours of driving and now I have to leave for Tehran. Looking at my mother's tearful eyes and father's anxious glances and despite all the difficulties only the true wish for freedom can maintain my drive and steadfastness. And so once again I welcome and accept all the dangers, standing next to my friends with whom I am honoured and proud to be on 16 Azar shoulder to shoulder we will shout against tyranny. For Freedom.

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Reader Comments (6)

This doesn't look good at all. I must have seen 4 or 5 reports from Iran during the course of 16 Aban that the regime was seeking to arrest him. Unless those reports were all wrong, which I tend to doubt, it is yet further evidence that he was not detained spontaneously for giving that speech, but was rather something of a "marked man." That can't bode well for him at all. All my condolences and best wishes to him and his family. He is a very brave man and I'll be praying for him.

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Scott

Kevin Scott
I don't understand why do you say : " all my condolences " ; he's not dead !! if tomorrow the green mouvement win, all the prisonners will be released as soon as !! don't " create a sensation " please and be more hopeful for the futur of these young people emprisonned in the jails of this " stupid " regime !

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterange paris

Brutal and sickening.

December 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJosh Shahryar

[...] policy at the University of Birmingham who has followed events in Iran closely for the blog “Enduring America,” Mr. Tavakoli’s last entry on Facebook, posted on Saturday, read: Only two more days [to [...]

December 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIran’s State Media Mocks

[...] is a translation of Tavakoli’s last post on Facebook from the blog “Enduring America.” Only two more days [to Monday's [...]

[...] have been upset days now since your goons picked up Majid Tavakoli on December 7 after he denounced your tyranny. They forced him to wear women’s clothing so that he [...]

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