On the 20th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in Iran

In the summer of 1988, in Iran, following the defeat in the eight years reactionary war with Iraq, the regime of the Islamic republic that had used the war to consolidate its rule through intensifying suppression and terror in the country and had filled the prisons with communist and other revolutionary and progressive militants, in order to avert the danger of mass uprising and revolution, commenced on a horrendous crime. From June till September 1988, the regime and its henchmen eliminated at least 18,000 political prisoners across the country.  This crime against the people of Iran and the elimination of the best sons and daughters of the oppressed people added to the tens of thousands of progressive people that were executed and killed since the coming to power in 1979 of this counter revolutionary regime, almost wiping out two generations of revolutionaries and progressive elements from Iranian society.

Yet, not long after, the struggle of the workers and other toiling masses, women, students, national minorities and revolutionary and progressive elements re-emerged threatening the very existence of the murderous regime. In July 1999, the students opposing the repressive regime, launched a six day uprising that tore off the mask of regime of Mr. Khatami, the so called smiling liberal mullah, a favorite of the western media. The criminal regime ordered a brutal clamp down in the universities and demanded the severest punishment for the students. More than 1500 students were arrested and many were given long prison sentences. But resistance continues. Following the coming to power of Mr. Ahmadinejhad, repression, terror and murder has continued unabated.  In the last year alone the just struggles of workers, students, women and other oppressed sectors of society have been violently attacked.

In January 2006 on the eve of the strike to free its leaders from prison the independent Bus Drivers Union were attacked and in one night over 1200 workers were arrested and imprisoned. In May 2006 the regime brutally attacked the widespread protest of the Azari people demanding their national rights. At least 60 people were killed in these attacks and thousands were arrested. Attacks and suppression against Azari, Arab, Kurdish and Baluch national minorities have continued.

Since January 2007, with the worsening economic and social crisis, the people launched a number of major strikes and mass protests. The regime responded with brutal attacks and widespread repression against the people.

As the struggle of the oppressed people of Iran in the face of the intense crisis of the regime intensifies, prisons continue to be filled with political prisoners. Thousands of workers leaders, participants of May 1st demonstrations, students, journalists and web loggers, activists of the women’s movement and indigenous peoples and national minorities continue their resistance against this barbaric regime from behind prison bars.

But notwithstanding the attempts of the regime to suppress and stifle the resistance, the struggle of people of Iran continues unabated.

On the 20 anniversary of the martyrdom of 18,000 political prisoners, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), condemns the regime of Islamic republic for its reactionary and barbaric crimes against the people of Iran.

We remember the peoples’ martyrs, the thousands of heroes and heroines that have laid down their lives upholding the aspirations of the workers, other toiling masses and the most down trodden sections of society in Iran. Their struggle and their resistance in the face of the inhumanity of the imperialist powers and the reactionary regime of Islamic republic, their torturers and executioners, in its very essence re-creates and gives rise to the deepest values of selflessness and sacrifice that moulds the spirit of new generations of freedom fighters that join the growing ranks of revolutionaries fighting for social liberation against the parasitic system of exploitation and plunder by monopoly capitalism that rules all of us.

The spirit of revolutionary defiance is exactly what the imperialist powers and reactionary regimes wish to crush. Committing more crimes and atrocities they develop more hi-tech tools and methods to physically and mentally torture and bring their captives to submission. Yet at every turn they fail miserably to crush the militant and defiant spirit of the heroic political prisoners that arise from the midst of class struggle to fight and resist oppression.

The imperialist powers and the reactionary regimes in their service have never succeeded and will never succeed to stifle the struggle of the workers and other toiling masses and quench the desire of the oppressed people of this world to be free from war, exploitation and plunder.

ILPS stands side by side with the Iranian people in their democratic and anti-imperialist struggle against the dependent regime of Islamic republic, including all its various factions.

The ILPS supports the struggle of the workers and other oppressed people of Iran for social liberation against this reactionary and backward looking regime and all the factions of the comprador rulings classes in Iran and their imperialist masters.

ILPS pledges to support the struggle of workers, women, youth and the national minorities inhabiting Iran.

We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran including activists and leaders of labour, students, women and national minority movements!

June 20, 2008

ILPS – Third International Assembly
Approved Resolution by the TIA Plenary Session on June 20, 2008

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