Sunday, December 05, 2010

National Student Day in Iran-LA program

In observance of The National Student Day in Iran, students will be rallying once more in their plight for justice and democracy faced with the brutality of a regime that will have no reservations in arresting, torturing, raping and executing those who dare to speak up, and stand up for their civil and human rights.
On Dec. 5th 2010 we are rallying in solidarity with the student movement in Iran and are asking you to join us in t...his endeavor. As the Iranian National student day is approaching, Amnesty
International has announced a campaign supporting Majid Tavakkoli, imprisoned student leader, who may spend more than 8 years in prison for simply criticizing the government. So on Dec. 5th we are also collecting letters for the “Write For Rights” Amnesty International letter writing campaign, in which we are demanding the unconditional release of Majid Tavakkoli.
On this day we are calling on the International community to demand and pressure the Iranian government to release ALL political prisoners without condition. We are also demanding the cessation of arrest, torture and execution of political activists, human rights activists, and all other citizens who exercise freedom of speech against a government that continuously violates the covenant of the human rights declaration.

در حالی که مردم آزاده دنیا روز های 12-4 دسامبر را به عنوان دستیابی به اعلامیه جهانی حقوق بشر گرامی میدارند، بهترین فرزندان ما دانشجویانی که تنها جرمشان آزادی خواهی است، اینک در پشت میله های زندان نه تنها از ابتدایی ترین حقوق انسانی خود بی بهره اند ، بلکه مورد شکنجه های قرون وسطائی , تجاوز جنسی و اعدام قرار میگیرند.
برقراری حکومت نظامی در دانشگاهها، حمله های وحشیانه به خوابگاههای دانشجویی، محرومیت از تحصیل، زندان، تهدید و ارعاب ، هیچ یک نه تنها دانشجویان ما را از مبارزات خستگی ناپذیر خود بازنداشته ، بلکه در پرچم داری این جنبش اعتراضی مصمم تر و استوار تر نیز ساخته است.
اینک توجه جهانیان چنان به جنبش دانشجویی ایران جلب شده است که سازمان عفو بین الملل نیز مجید توکلی را به عنوان سمبل دانشجویان معترض در بند، برگزیده، به عنوان یکی از 12 زندانی سیاسی و مدنی از سراسر جهان، خواستار حمایت بین المللی از اوشده است. در این کمپین عظیم بنا است بیش از 350000 نامه از سراسر جهان توسط انسان هایی که آرزو مند عد الت و آزادی هستند در حمایت از این زندانیان نوشته شود.
ای هموطن, اینک این وظیفه من و توست تا با تائید و امضای این نامه های اعتراضی به سازمان عفو بین المللی تقاضای تلاش آنها برای آزادی دانشجویان در بند رژیم را بنمائیم, جوانان دانشجوئی که جوانی خود را برای ازادی و سربلندی من و تو در سیاه چالهای رژیم و با تحمل انواع شکنجه های قرون وسطائی از دست میدهند.
جمعی از ایرانیان مقیم لس آنجلس با حمایت بسیاری از گروهها برآنند تا روز یکشنبه 5 دسامبر در بزرگداشت روز دانشجو گرد هم آمد تا اعتراض خود را با تظاهراتی که به شیوه سکوت برگزار می شود به نمایش بگذارند. در این گرد همایی، کمپینی برای امضای نامه نیز در حمایت از مجید توکلی بعنوان سمبل جنبش دانشجویان ایرانی در بند برگزار خواهد شد
بیایید تا با حضور خود نشان دهیم که جنبش دانشجوئی ایران در راستای جنبش عمومی مردم ایران
همچنان زنده است و جوانانش را پشتیبانی می کند.

Sponsored by:
Organizing Committee for the Iranian National Student Day
Amnesty International
Supporters of Mourning Mothers / Valley; Los Angeles

Society for Democracy in Iran (Southern California)
Iranian Students of Southern California

گروههای حامی:
انجمن دمکراسی برای ایران / جنوب کالیفرنیا
حامیان مادران پارک لاله ( مادران عزادار ایران)/ لس آنجلس- ولی
کمیته برگزاری روز دانشجو درلس آنجلس
دانشجویان لس انجلس

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Presentation by Cklara Moradian“Mapping the Invisible: On Kurdish Womyn and the Embodiment of Perpetual Assault,”

Dear Friends,

This coming Monday November 29th, 2010, I will have the honor of presenting part of my work in progress:
“Mapping the Invisible: On Kurdish Womyn and the Embodiment of Perpetual Assault,”
at a forum on Gendered Violence organized by the CSULA Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities, and the dedicated students in PHIL/WOMN 413: Issues in Feminist Philosophy led by the amazing Dr. Anna Carastathis.
I have attached the poster and schedule for your viewing. I would love to see some of you there if you have time.
If you are on campus, you can always come during the hours that you're not in class/work yourself.

In the light of this short notice and the timing of the forum (day-time), I will make my paper available on-line in the coming weeks for anyone who might be interested in viewing it.

Note to students interested in Feminist Philosophy and/or FMLA members, this is a great forum to pick up relevant materials. Our prolific Dr. Talia Bettcher will also be presenting at this event.

Much due respect,

Cklara Moradian
See the program
Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities (King Hall D4051) &
Dean’s Conference Room, (Music Building 129)
California State University, Los Angeles
10-10:15am WELCOME
King Hall D4051 Walk Over to Dean’s Conference Room, Music 129
10:15-11:00 PANEL 1
Music 129 Linda Greenberg, “On Gendered Violence and Literary Genre”
Nadia Zepeda and Audrey Silvestre of Conciencia Femenil,
“Heteropatriarchy: Game Over! A movement that is not down for all of us
is not down for its people”
11:00-11:45 PANEL 2
Music 129 Linda Fischer, “You Can Make A Difference: Effective Programming
and Training”
Cklara Moradian, “Mapping the Invisible: On Kurdish Womyn and
the Embodiment of Perpetual Assault”
11:45-12:15 PANEL 3 –MA students in PHIL/WOMN 413
Music 129 Santiago Vidales, “Gendered Violence in Colombia”
Jacklyn Juetten, “A Political and Social Approach to End Anti-LGBT
Jessica Ruiz, “Empowered Consciousness: Perceiving Outside of
Patriarchal Conditioning”
12:15-12:45 LUNCH
King Hall D4051 Lunch is provided for presenters and registered participants
12:45-1:30 POSTER SESSION – MA and BA students in PHIL/WOMN 413
King Hall D4051 See reverse for research poster titles and creators.
1:30-1:45 Walk over to Music 129
1:40-2:30 PANEL 4
Music 129 Talia Bettcher, “Transphobic Violence and Oppression”
Riel Dupuis-Rossi, “Justice for Sex Workers: Two Community-Based
Art Projects”
2:30-3:00 Closing Discussion and Reflection
Organized by the students in PHIL/WOMN 413: Issues in Feminist Philosophy (on Gendered
Generously supported by the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities.
12:45-1:30 PM, KING HALL D4051
Posters were created by BA and MA students in PHIL/WOMN 413 in order to share with the
broader community a process of independent inquiry and the results of students’ initial research.
Each student focuses on a form or an aspect of gendered violence, formulates a research question
and argues for a thesis informed by preliminary research. Each poster also showcases an activist
organization that aims to combat or eliminate the form of violence under discussion. As you view
the posters, please feel free to ask the creators of the posters any questions, or share with them
any comments you have about their research project.
Brandon Edgar, “Spousal Rape”
Allyse cobb & Joshua De La Cruz, “Rethinking the Sex Work Industry”
Araz Hachadourian, “Domestic Violence and Poverty in India”
Brenda Davidge, “Feminicides of Guatemala: Crimes without Punishment”
Emi Torres, “Rape as a Weapon of War”
Kevin Deegan, “A New E.R.A.: Strategies for Effective Rape Avoidance”
Irene Orozco, “Sexual Assault Awareness”
Corinne Love, “On Our Monitors: A Critique of the Pornography Discourse”
Mecca Tanksley,“Crafted Perceptions and Defective Behaviors: The Effects of Negative Media”
Carlos douglas, “Amplifire of Violence”
Maria Herrera, “Women in Law Enforcement”
We would like to thank the following people for their invaluable assistance and support of this
Dr. Talia Bettcher, Director of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities
Ms. Lucy Tambara, Coordinator of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities
Ms. Donna Balderrama, Administrator of the Department of Philosophy
Dr. Molly Talcott, Professor in the Department of Sociology
Dr. Dionne Espinoza, Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
We are grateful to all the presenters for sharing with us their experiences, analyses, research, and
inspiring activism.
The organizers: Brandon Edgar, Allyse Cobb, Joshua De La Cruz, Araz Hachadourian, Brenda
Davidge, Emi Torres, Kevin Deegan, Irene Orozco, Corinne Love, Mecca Tanksley, Carlos
Douglas, Maria Herrera and Anna Carastathis

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women



On the 17 December 1999, the General Assembly at its 83rd plenary meeting of the fifty-fourth session, on the basis of the Report of the Third Committee (A/54/598 and Corr.1 and 2), adopted Resolution 54/134 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The General Assembly expressed alarm that endemic violence against women was impeding women’s opportunities to achieve legal, social, political and economic equality in society. The Assembly reiterated that the term “violence against women” refers to acts capable of causing physical, sexual or psychological harm, whether in public or private life.

The UN General Assembly invited Governments, the relevant agencies, bodies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other international organisations and non-governmental organisations, to organise on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem of violence against women.

Previously, 25 November was observed in Latin America and a growing number of other countries around the world as “International Day Against Violence Against Women”. With no standard title, it was also referred to as “No Violence Against Women Day” and the “Day to End Violence Against Women”. It was first declared by the first Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia (18 to 21 July 1981). At that Encuentro women systematically denounced gender violence from domestic battery, to rape and sexual harassment, to state violence including torture and abuses of women political prisoners. The date was chosen to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters. It originally marked the day that the three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were violently assassinated in 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship (Rafael Trujillo 1930-1961). The day was used to pay tribute to the Mirabal sisters, as well as global recognition of gender violence.

The Mirabal Sisters
The three sisters, Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa were born to Enrique Mirabal and Maria Mercedes Reyes (Chea) in 1924, 1927 and 1935 respectively in the Cibas region of the Dominican Republic. All three were educated in the Dominican Republic, Minerva and Maria Teresa going on to achieve university degrees.

All three sisters and their husbands became involved in activities against the Trujillo regime. The Mirabal sisters were political activists and highly visible symbols of resistance to Trujillo’s dictatorship. As a result, the sisters and their families were constantly persecuted for their outspoken as well as clandestine activities against the State. Over the course of their political activity, the women and their husbands were repeatedly imprisoned at different stages. Minerva herself was imprisoned on four occasions. Despite Trujillo’s persecution, the sisters still continued to actively participate in political activities against the leadership. In January 1960, Patria took charge of a meeting that eventually established the Clandestine Movement of 14 June 1960 of which all the sisters participated. When this plot against the tyranny failed, the sisters and their comrades in the Clandestine Resistance Movement were persecuted throughout the country.

In early November 1960, Trujillo declared that his two problems were the Church and the Mirabal sisters. On 25 November 1960, the sisters were assassinated in an “accident” as they were being driven to visit their husbands who were in prison. The accident caused much public outcry, and shocked and enraged the nation. The brutal assassination of the Mirabal sisters was one of the events that helped propel the anti-Trujillo movement, and within a year, the Trujillo dictatorship came to an end.

The sisters, referred to as the “Inolvidables Mariposas”, the “Unforgettable Butterflies” have become a symbol against victimisation of women. They have become the symbol of both popular and feminist resistance. They have been commemorated in poems, songs and books. Their execution inspired a fictional account “In the Time of the Butterflies” on the young lives of the sisters written by Julia Alvarez. It describes their suffering and martyrdom in the last days of the Trujillo dictatorship. The memory of the Mirabal sisters and their struggle for freedom and respect for human rights for all has transformed them into symbols of dignity and inspiration. They are symbols against prejudice and stereotypes, and their lives raised the spirits of all those they encountered and later, after their death, not only those in the Dominican Republic but others around the world.

Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence came out of the Global Campaign for Women’s Human Rights. In June 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) with participants of the first Women’s Global Institute on Women, Violence and Human Rights, a forum involving 23 women from 20 countries called for a global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The campaign would highlight the connections between women, violence, and human rights from 25 November to 10 December 1991. The time period encompassed four significant dates: 25 November, the International Day Against Violence Against Women; 1 December, World AIDS Day; 6 December, the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when 14 women engineering students were gunned down for being feminists; and 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Co-ordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership, the annual campaign, is observed globally by activities at the local, national, regional and international levels. Activities include radio, television and video programming; press conferences; film screenings; workshops, seminars, panels and other meetings; demonstrations, protests, marches and vigils; photo, poster, art and book exhibitions; lectures, debates, testimonies and talks; petition drives; public education campaigns; concerts, plays and other theatre performances; street dramas and other community programmes; distribution of posters, stickers, leaflets, information kits and other publications;

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign is inspired by the strength and commitment of the movement that works tirelessly to eliminate gender-based violence in the home and in the world. Over the years, the 16 Days network has multiplied and now includes participation from more than 800 organisations in over 90 countries. The growth of the Campaign exceeded initial expectations - not just in the numbers of those participating but also in spirit. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence has become an annual event in many towns, states and regions. Women's human rights activists have used this 16-day period to create a solidarity movement which raises awareness around gender-based violence, works to ensure better protection for survivors of violence and calls for its elimination. The 16 Days solidarity network welcomes those who join the campaign annually by co-ordinating activities in their own regions.

The organising strategies employed by groups during the Campaign vary and are reflective of the region and its current political situation. In 2000, the Centre urged that organisations link to global events such as the recent five-year review of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing +5) and the upcoming World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (31 August - 7 September 2001 in South Africa) to pressure local and national governments to implement promises made and increase their commitment to women's human rights in the future. The Centre encourages activists to use this 16-day period to raise awareness in student, local, national and regional communities by co-ordinating events such as tribunals, workshops, festivals, etc.

SOURCE: This note was provided by the Division for the Advancement of Women of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The "feminist encuentros" are conferences of feminists from Latin America who come together every 2-3 years in a different Latin American country in order to exchange experiences and to reflect upon the state of the women's movement. Sexuality and violence in their wide ranging forms and contexts have always been included in the wide ranging themes of these gatherings. These encounters have stimulated the creation of regional networks, workshops, video and radio programs, women's studies curricula, and a growing number of women's documentation centers throughout the region which are dedicated to collecting and making available information about the history and priorities of the women's movement. They have also provided a space for formulating and discussing the focus of a growing number of women's magazines and newsletters, which contain articles, analysis and reports of the wide ranging actions being undertaken by women throughout the region.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carol Prounhuber on Dr.Rahman Qasemlu

The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd: Dreaming Kurdistan

This bold journalistic testimony reads like a novel as it spins the story of the brutal assassination of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the Iranian Kurdish leader killed in 1989 while negotiating a supposed peace accord for his people at the behest of Iranian government emissaries in Vienna.

Ghassemlou was a visionary and cultivated leader of the Iranian Kurdish revolutionary movement and a respected interlocutor for the West. He brought the concepts of democracy to his country. Educated in Paris and Prague with a PhD in Economy, he spoke eight languages. Beloved by his people, Ghassemlou was ahead of his time, leading a movement to oppose the theocratic regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini for ten years. Soon after his untimely murder, responsibility was directed towards Iran; yet no one was ever tried or punished for the crime. To this day, many unanswered questions remain.

This story depicts the real events reconstructed through copious research and interviews taken with fifty individuals who played —and continue to play— important roles in Iran and Iraq. Among them: Jalal Talabani, current President of Iraq; Abolhassan Bani Sadr, ex-President of Iran; and Ahmed Ben Bella, ex-President of Algeria. Above all, the author’s first-hand knowledge of Ghassemlou gives this story an authenticity and gripping reality.

Ghassemlou’s light and unfulfilled desire for Iranian Kurdish autonomy still permeates the volatile politics of this remote Middle East region that waits with dignity to play its role upon the world’s political stage.

It was in Paris, in 1983, that I first met Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou. We were introduced at the Kurdish Institute, where I was attending an art exhibition with the filmmaker Yilmaz Güney and his wife, Fatosh. I had met Güney at the Cannes Film Festival in 1982. That year he had won the Golden Palm Award, and the publicity that followed brought worldwide attention to the plight of the Kurdish nation.

As a Venezuelan journalist, my limited impression of the Kurds was that they were fierce warriors who lived in unknown and distant mountains somewhere in the Middle East. Yilmaz Güney taught me about the free-spirited Kurdish people, opening my eyes to the oppression they had endured for centuries. Their situation touched me deeply and I began to write articles on the Kurds for Venezuelan newspapers and magazines.

One year later in Paris, I found myself standing face-to-face with this sophisticated, charming, and charismatic Middle Eastern leader of millions of Kurds in Iran. Ghassemlou spoke eight languages with ease. He began reciting Sufi poets like Hafiz and Rumi in Farsi and then seamlessly rendered them in French. I was struck by his knowledge of Western art and culture. To the assembled group, he described his life in the mountains alongside his people. That evening Ghassemlou was the center of attention with his powerful presence, broad smile, and refined sense of humor.

After our meeting in Paris, Ghassemlou invited me to come to Kurdistan. Two years later, I arrived there alongside the French Gamma TV crew to film the Kurdish conflict in Iran. The seed for this book was planted at that time.

Once I saw the Kurdish people up close and the promise that Ghassemlou presented to this war-torn land, the Kurds began to occupy an endearing place in my being. When I showed him a eulogy I had written for Güney after his death, Ghassemlou turned to me and said: “When I die, I would like you to write a book, telling the story of my life and the Kurdish cause.”

—from The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd

Home | About Carol | The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd | Reviews | Photo Gallery | The Books - All rights reserved - 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Noam Chomsky points North Ireland model for Kurdish problem

  • By Patrick Mac Manus-International Peace and Conflict
  • 11/10/2010 00:00:00
Noam Chomsky says the North Ireland peace process can be a model for solution of the Kurdish problem. Chomsky — a world-renowned linguist and professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Richard Falk and other academics, intellectuals and journalists met this weekend at Istanbul Bilgi University for the 7th annual "Gathering in Istanbul for Freedom of Expression."
In an interview for ANF Turkish Service Chomsky said the success of North Ireland peace process can be a model for the solution of the Kurdish problem. He pointed out some recent positive developments on Kurdish issue but warned that more needed to be done. He said that he supports the process and called for support of political and civil powers. Chomsky said that Kurdish problem can be solved by carefully examining Irish and Spanish models. He said that all sides should listen to each other, understand their needs and show every effort to reach to a satisfying solution for both sides. Chomsky also said that he supports a general amnesty for Kurdish guerillas.
One of the prominent linguistics of the world Chomsky said the Turkish governments denial of education in mother language is a sign of insincerity. "There are television and radio channels in Kurdish but the prohibitation of education in Kurdish is totally unacceptable" he said. Chomsky critisized U.S. for its role in the war between Turkey and the PKK reminding that Washington was the leading provider of arms to Turkey during the war. He also accused U.S. press institutions which has offices in Turkey of auto-censorship saying the events in Turkey is not covered in a neutral manner by the U.S. press. He said that U.S. is an ally to Turkey and supports Ankara in every manner. He reminded the support of Washington regime during Saddam era when Kurds were massacred with chemical weapons and called Kurds to always remember what happened. "U.S. was never a friend to Kurdish people. Kurds should understand this. Kurds has no friends but the mountains. They should remember this,” he said.
Noam Chomsky points North Ireland model for Kurdish problem
  • By Patrick Mac Manus-International Peace and Conflict
  • 11/10/2010 00:00:00

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mr. Azad Moradian's speach on the KNCNA 22nd Annual Conference, San Diego State University, California June 2010:

Kurdish National Congress of North America: Strategy and Tactic for a new era

kncna_22nd_azad_01.jpgDear President of KNC,
Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for attending KNCNA’s 22nd annual conference. I congratulate the board of advisers, board of directors, members, and the supporters of the KNCNA on the 22nd anniversary of excellent work for the promotion of the Kurdish issues in the North America. I hope that the 22nd conference will be able to successfully reach its goals as it has always done. Every year we gather to reflect on our progress thus far, bring awareness to current issues pertaining to Kurds and Kurdistan, and outline how to move forward.

In the short time that I have with you today I want to take a look at two very important aspects of any organization: strategy and tactic.

Strategy is defined as the overall campaign plan or goal of an institution. This is often confused with tactic.

When KNC-NA was established by a group of distinguished intellectuals following the 1988 chemical bombings of Halabja and the subsequent massacre of the Kurds in Northern Iraq, they agreed to mobilize under the slogan of a United Kurdistan. They were catalyzed by genocide and remained primarily focused on this region for the next decade or so. Some of the objectives of KNC as quoted directly from our website were: “Unite Kurds living in North America to work for common goals, to promote the idea of a United Free Kurdistan, and to strengthen the voice of all Kurds living in the USA and Canada.”

As with all strategy, this overall goal involves complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. Tactics are then defined as the actual means used to gain the objective or strategies previously decided on.

kncna_22nd_038.jpgAlthough the founders of KNC-NA envisioned an organization, which pays equal tribute to all Kurds regardless of geographic location, it seems that throughout the years, the primary focus of this establishment has been Iraqi Kurdistan.

This has perhaps been due to the makeup of KNC’s leadership, the historical events at the moment, and the geopolitical importance of Iraqi Kurdistan during the 1990’s and then during the US led war in Iraq.

The tactics that KNC has used to promote the Kurdish agenda has been to be a voice for the victims of Halabja and Anfal, as well as strengthen ties between Kurds in dispora and the governments in our host countries. This can be seen as strategically wise for KNC because this organization was able to work on the issues most historically urgent for Kurds as well as most newsworthy.

The leaders and founders were able to establish themselves as an authority on current events regarding Kurds and political movements in the region and have been consulted by various agencies.

Another reason why KNC might not have been able to focus on other parts of Kurdistan might have been lack of expertise. This is understandable considering our sheer numbers in North America. We are a very small minority here and have yet to establish a truly educated and organized community. We must be realistic on our outlook. With a population of 300 million in the United States alone and a vast landscape stretching from coast to coast, 20,000 Kurds will have a very difficult time coming together and bringing their talents to form a well-rounded minority group.

kncna_22nd_azad.jpgThis country is also made up of many diverse minority populations, all with their own demands. In order for Kurds in diaspora to be recognized as a minority with a unique history and specific needs, much more must be done. KNCNA can play a very crucial role in this. However, in order to do this our tactics must be current. Our strategy will always be focused on what our founders had in mind but tactics and alliances might need to be reconsidered and then executed.

I believe KNC has an even bigger role to play. The events taking place in the Middle East today will have a direct impact on Kurds, not only in the region, but also on those of us living in diaspora.

The potential to make an impact on policies and lives of Kurds are enormous. All of this has to be done with a fresh outlook.

We cannot continue to use the same tactics we have used in past to move towards our strategy of serving all Kurds. Today Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iran face serious threats and need the attention of the international community more than ever. Just as in the 1990’s when KNC brought the western communities’ attention to Iraqi Kurdistan;

We now have the potential to zoom in on these regions. We must have the right leadership with such vision, as well as the right connections. We cannot have biased opinions about working with opposition groups or other ethnic minorities in the region, and must redefine what it means to live as a Free Kurd in place like Iran or Turkey.

With all smart goals and strategic planning, an organization must move with the times. It is important for our organization to look at our tactics and find more innovative ways to sail towards our strategy of a United Kurdistan.

Like any other successful organization, KNC needs to be able to self-evaluate and adapt to the new geopolitics of the Kurdish region. Any delay in the systematic reexamination of KNC’s tactics may cause an adjustment disorder similar to any system and phenomena. In fact, ignoring the new system of the region is like ignoring the needs of our people who are working in the grassroots level and can be costly.

kncna_22nd_036.jpgTurkey moves towards cultural freedom, while Iraq is moving towards federalism. Although the situation is Iran been bleaker the overall consensus is that the focus should be on Human Rights of Kurds first and foremost. In Syria, the recognition of Kurds as a citizen is one of the most significant issues today. None of these means a derailment from a Free United Kurdistan. Rather these are tactics and diplomatic maneuvering.

During the years after the fall of the Soviet Union, borders were carved up and nations were formed; however, today the international community is not interested in nationalism and state formation, but rather in democratization and standardization of rights. Any deviation from this agenda comes of as extremism.

Unfortunately, in a brief analysis of KNCNA’s work in the past few years, one can see a strong indication of reluctance within the leadership to change tactics. There has been a major sense of resistance to move with the times. KNCNA has been unable to differentiate between the overall strategy of holding on to the slogan and dream of a Free Kurdistan and the need to realistically measure the challenges faced by Kurds under each regime in the region

The danger of not reevaluating our tactics is a continuous isolation of the Kurds in diaspora and subsequently less attention and solidarity from the International community to our cause. Our very small presence in the Armenian Genocide Remembrance day is a perfect example of a tactical mistake on our part. A lack of connection with Greek communities and their lobbies is yet another mistake because they could be extraordinarily important especially when issues of Turkey’s human right abuses are brought up.

If we believe that a Free Kurdistan is not compatible with working with non-Kurdish opposition groups in the Middle East who are fighting and struggling with the same regimes in the region, then we will have a much more difficult battle.

Often pro-democracy opposition fronts of all ethnic groups have the same common goals as Kurds, and we need to build strategic alliances. In order to do this we have to have a presence during critical historical events.

knc_039.jpgFor example, the last 12 months could have been a fantastic opportunity to direct the attention of the International community to the plight of the Kurds in Iran. This opportunity was missed. Unimaginable events swept Iran, which took the international community by surprise. It demanded solidarity from the Kurdish Community in diaspora precisely because Kurds in Iran have suffered the most from the regime in Iran and will need the support of other ethnic groups in Iran in the coming months. Our Kurdish community has been almost entirely absent because they have considered the movements in Iran inconsequential and irrelevant to a Free Kurdistan. This type of mentality is not compatible with 21st century politics and needs to be updated.

knc_092.jpgAs Kurds we have to be honest with ourselves and look at our history critically and analytically. We have been one of the biggest losers of history. Yes, we have been betrayed by world powers in the past and continue to struggle with challenges to be recognized. Yes we lack adequate resources to educate our youth and keep them from being executed. Yes, we have been under oppression and have faced genocide, war, and ethnic cleansing. However, we cannot ignore the very fact that we have also often lacked strong compassionate leadership. We have often lacked the right strategy and tactic. We have done too little too late. We have often been silent when we should have shouted, or not acted when we should have been up in arms. Many times when we should have been at the negotiating tables we were too busy fighting amongst ourselves for power and position. Many times we just simply did not understand the systematic geopolitical, economic, social, and cultural aspects of the times we lived in.

If we do not learn from our history then we are bound to repeat them. The prices of losing opportunities are irreversible. As someone who comes from a family of martyr, who has lost many close relatives to the Kurdish plight, as someone who has spent many long months in prison and many long days in the mountains as well as a refugee, I understand first hand what it means to be a Kurd without a land. I also understand that shouting slogans will not save children from execution. We need diplomacy and strategy, lobbies and resources, leaders and funding, as well as dedication and compassion. Yes we can move KNCNA towards a more pragmatic and mature tactical roadmap.

Thank you

The speach has been edited by Cklara Moradian

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Rumor Mill's OPEN MIC/Performance Night

at The Rumor Mill's OPEN MIC/Performance Night

Thursday, July 8, 2010 from 7:30-10:00 pm
opening the show will be Soraya Fallah, who holds an MA in International Relations and Law, and is the Chair of the Kurdish Women Rights Committee. Soraya will be singing a song or two in her native Kurdish, offering a musical glimpse into a culture remote from ours, usually read or heard about only in news reporting on the war in Iraq. Accompanying Soraya will be multi-instrumentalist George Also appearingGyznalyan, a graduate of Roman Millikan Music college in Ervan, Armenia, who plays professionally in Erebuni Band. He frequently appears with Soraya in support of anti-genocidal and Kurdish women's rights issues.

Musicians, actors or other performers interested in participating in future Open Mic/Performance Night events–with comedy routines, dramatic readings, music, one-act plays or performance pieces–are all welcome. Please contact event programmer Joe Staats at 310-889-6172 , or use the sign-up sheet found on the Rumor Mill counter.
Following will be COMEDY: ROUND TWO !! this Thursday, July 8, 2010 from 7:30-10:00 pm brings the return of the funny in the form of actress/comedienne/writer–and host–Sardia Marley with a brand-new group of five sublimely ridiculous, seriously disturbed, and wickedly sarcastic individuals. (Warning: these comedians are also often dressed funny by their mothers, and should not be approached by civilians unarmed with a sense of humor!). This week’s group of miscreants notoriously includes Steve Schneider (“Steve lives on a boat in Marina del Rey”: rock on, Mr. S. !) ; Grace Fraga (who describes herself as a “Latino female, 102-years-old, living in Beverly Hills”—and, trust us, all blond bombshell centenarians-plus should look this good! Grace has entertained the troops in Iraq, and is a veteran of such notable comedy venues as Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, and The Improv); Chris Adams (who has performed in Last Comic Standing, at the Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, and The Improv. Chris is currently getting ready to storm the beaches of the Thames River, scale the Big Ben clock tower–and take London, U.K. by storm); Rhune Gill Kincaid (of whom little, alas, is known—come Thursday night to find out more!) and Paul Cibis (of whom it has been truthfully reported: “When not busy performing stand up around Los Angeles, or writing, directing, and editing hilarious content for The, Paul is forever trying to outrun his past as a highly trained international assassin. It is best not to become too involved with Paul, as that is a surefire way to get yourself killed, either directly by one of Paul’s enemies looking for vengeance, or accidentally, by a bullet/explosive/poison dart/throwing star intended for Paul himself.”)

Monday, June 28, 2010

imminent danger of execution Zainab Jalalian

Zainab Jalalian
Age: 27
Location: Reportedly moved to Evin Ward 209 on 27 June, in imminent danger of execution; Moved to Ministry of Intelligence detention center on March 5, previously held in Kermanshah Prison.
Date condemned: 26 November 2009
Charge: Mohareb

We have assembled Contact information and sample letters to Iranian officials and to the UN Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding Zainab Jalalian's case. Please also sign the Petition to the United Nations regarding her case.

Zainab Jalalian was charged as Mohareb ("war against God") due to her membership in the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a separatist organization that is illegal in Iran. Zainab's plea to say goodbye to her family was met with, "shut up" by the sentencing judge, and she was condemned to death by hanging. As Zainab was not permitted legal representation, the Islamic Republic violated her rights under Article 10 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also guarantees the right to legal counsel in Article Article 14(3)(b) and (d).

Zainab's death sentence is based on her supposed involvement in PKK. "Mohareb" is a politically-motivated charge meaning, "armed war against God." The Islamic Republic uses this charge to condemn people for acting against the state, usually when there is no other remotely justifiable reason for their imprisonment. The Islamic Republic continually intimidates its oppressed Kurdish population by imprisoning, torturing, and executing them on false charges of threatening national security.

Nothing about Zainab's imprisonment, trial, and death sentence abide by international law. Both the UDHR and the ICCPR guarantee a fair trial, which Zainab was denied. She was not given a fair or impartial hearing, and denied the opportunity to examine witnesses against her or to have witnesses on her behalf. Zaiab's basic human dignity has been violated through these proceedings, and her execution is an abomination. Even if she was a member of PKK, the death sentence is a violation of Article 6(2) of the ICCPR: "In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes."

Human Rights Activists News Agency and Green Voice of Freedom reported on March 5 that Zainab had been transferred from her prison in Kermanshah to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center. In the past, this has often indicated that a prisoner is about to be executed.

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action Alert for Zainab Jalalian and Hossein Khezri, who are believed to be at risk of imminent execution. We have assembled a sample letter you can send to Iranian authorities regarding these two cases.

UPDATE 26 June: Zainab Jalalian's sentence has been upheld and advanced to the enforcement section. She is in imminent danger of execution.

From the source:

"Following the confirmation of the death sentence of Zeinab Jalalian by appeals court and Supreme Court, the case was referred for the preparation of the execution...Zeinab Jalalian’s sentence was confirmed in the Appeals Court and was also confirmed by the Supreme Court, and has been referred for the preparation of the execution, within the past 48 hours, authorities are waiting for a special letter for carrying out the execution."

With thanks to MrZand for translation.

UPDATE 28 June: Mission Free Iran has provided sample letters to send to both United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Florian Westphal and Dorothea Krimitsas of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Activist @shariatmadari has created a video for Zeinab Jalalian. Bloggers can embed this video using code from his site.

United For Iran has created a Facebook profile badge for users to raise awareness about Zeinab.

We are asking everyone to write to the United Nations, the Iranian Judiciary and other influential figures. Zeinab's lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, has stated that United Nations intervention is the only chance to save his client's life.

What can be done?

Take Action
Sign Petitions
Learn More
- International Laws
- Declarations of Human Rights

Stop the Executions

Bitte helfen Sie!!! Leben in Gefahr!!!

Lieber Human Rights Organisationen:

Ich schreibe Ihnen mit der dringenden Bitte, dass Sie mit den Behörden zu intervenieren in der Islamischen Republik Iran, die Vorbereitung auf weibliche kurdischen politischen Gefangenen Frau Zeinab Jalalian auszuführen sind. Multilaterale Organisationen haben bisher geweigert, in Schritt und setzen einen Stopp des verbrecherischen Handlungen von der Islamischen Republik verübt. Ihr Mandat Ihre Organisation fördert die Arbeit der Gefangenen Besuch in Situationen der inneren Gewalt, wo die Genfer Konventionen nicht anwenden, verpflichten. Ich bitte Sie, in Schritt und fordern einen Stopp dieses und andere laufende strafrechtliche Verfahren und barbarisch in der Islamischen Republik.

Die UN und alle anderen bilateralen und multilateralen Organisationen blieb im Gefängnis von 1988 Massaker in Iran, wo Tausende von politischen Gefangenen, wie Ms. Jalalian heimlich hingerichtet wurden und in Massengräbern verscharrt schweigen. Wir werden nicht tatenlos zusehen und zulassen Schweigen zu diesen laufenden Verbrechen zu decken. Wir fordern jetzt handeln.

Bitte kontaktieren Sie UNHRC (+41-22-917 9220) oder (+1-212-963 5012), sofort zu handeln, um ihrer Hinrichtung zu stoppen! Wenn Sie nicht erreichen, die verantwortliche Person, eine Nachricht hinterlassen. FAX: 00442079561157

Please help!!! life in danger!!!

Dear Human Rights Organisations:

My name is Ms Zeinab Jalalian (زینب جلالیان). I am a 27-year-old Kurdish female political prisoner in prison in Iran. My death sentence was confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court.

I am currently ill because of torture and I don’t have any lawyer to defend me. I want to tell you that my trial took only few minutes. The Court told me: “You are an enemy of God. You must be hanged very soon.” That was the sum of my entire court process. I asked the judge to give me permission to say good bye to my mother and family before my execution. He told me to “shut up” and rejected my request

Please also contact UNHRC (+41-22-917 9220) or (+1-212-963 5012) to act immediately to stop her execution!! If you do not reach the person in charge, leave a message.

On behalf of Zeinab THANK YOU...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

PANEL: Kurdish Human Rights

from left to right
Dr.Najmadin Karim, Soraya Fallah,Azad Moradian, Salah Piroti

Kurdish National Congress of North America , 22nd Annual Conference

The Kurdish National Congress of North America
will gather for its annual conference at San Diego University in San
Diego, California. This will be KNC-NA's 22nd annual conference.

Division of Kurdistan: Its Impact on the Unity of Kurdish National Psyche

for more information please contact 0018184349692

كنگره ملي كردها در امريكاي شمالي ٢٢مين كنفرانس ساليانه خود را در روزهاي ٤ تا ٦ زوين سال ٢٠١٠ در دانشگاه ايالتي كاليفرنيا در شهر سان ديه گو برگزار مي كند.ورود براي عموم آزاد است. براي اطلاعات بيشتر مي توانيد با اي ميل
و يا با تلفن٠٠١٨١٨٤٣٤٩٦٩٢ تماس بگيريد

كونگره نه ته وي كورد له باكوري ئه مريكا ٢٢ هه مين كونفرانسي ساليانه ي خوي له شاري سان ديه گو ي وه لايه تي كاليفورنيا له
شويني زانستگاي سان ديه گو، له روژاني ٤ تا ٦ مانگي ژوين به ره ي وا دابات. بو زانياري زيادتر ده توانن بهژوماره تليفوني ٠٠١٨١٨٤٣٤٩٦٩٢ پيوندي به گرن. پيلاوي هه مو ميواناكان له سه ر چاومان
Start Time:
Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:00pm
End Time:
Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 3:00pm
San Diego University in San Diego, California
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA

Monday, May 17, 2010

protesters gathered across the Iraqi border in the Kurdish city of Suleymanieh against executin of Kurds in Iran

Iran's Kurdish Question
The Islamic Republic's recent execution of five Kurds has sparked outrage in northern Iraq, and renewed unrest at home.

Two days after the hanging of five Iranian Kurds in Tehran, protesters gathered across the Iraqi border in the Kurdish city of Suleymanieh. Thousands of them crowded into the city's leafy Freedom Park, where Javad Alizadeh, a well-known former political prisoner in Iran who had recently left for Iraqi Kurdistan, addressed the gathering. The Iranian regime "follows neither the principles of republicanism, nor does it abide by holy laws of Islam," Alizadeh declared. "The Islamic Republic has shown in the past 30 years that it only cares about its own survival and it will not abstain from committing the vilest of acts in achieving its goal."

The memorial was one of the greatest outpourings of Kurdish opposition to the regime in recent memory, and one among numerous protests and hunger strikes -- quiet ones in Iran, less so in Iraq's Kurdish region, where Kurds were once persecuted but now enjoy relative autonomy -- that have broken out since the execution on May 9. The victims, the Iranian authorities claimed, were activists for Kurdish autonomy; two of the five were accused of belonging to the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), a Kurdish nationalist group that Iran considers a terrorist organization. The uproar has prompted, and been worsened by, the government's refusal to allow the families of the five victims to be buried publicly, for fear of massive protests.



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The executions and other crackdowns in Iran have set up a bind for the country's Kurds, who increasingly fear that the price of political activism within Iran is death or imprisonment -- but worry that their abilities to pressure the regime will be lessened if they instead choose exile in northern Iraq, where the Kurds enjoy protection by their own defense forces. Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, religious and ethnic minorities have faced worsening discriminatory practices in Iran, the Kurds (who are also mostly Sunni Muslim in majority Shiite Iran) among them. When human rights and political activists have protested the unequal status, the Islamic Republic has prosecuted many of them. Most recently, Kaweh Ghassemi-Kermanshahi, a member of the central committee of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, was arrested after he spoke to the foreign media; he has been in detention for nearly 100 days.

The demonstrators in Suleymaniah hope their protests and vigils will inspire the Kurds in Iran to rise up, despite their fear of Iran's security forces. (They succeeded last Thursday, when Iranian Kurds responded by launching a general strike and shuttering their shops.) Salahaddin Mohtadi, an exiled Iranian Kurd in Suleymaniah who has been fighting for Kurdish independence in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, believes that Iran's recent actions could be the goad that activists need to form a broad Kurdish front that transcends political rivalries. "The execution of political prisoners can be a great opportunity to create a large coalition among Kurdish parties against the central government of Iran," he said.

For More
Visit for on the ground coverage of events in the Islamic Republic.

On the evening of May 10, hundreds of Iranian and Iraqi Kurds took part in a protest gathering at the Shneh Dari Park in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, where demonstrators lit candles in memory of Sunday's victims. Farhad Pirbal, a dissident Kurdish author who spoke at the event, compared what is happening now in Iran to the repression of Iraqi Kurds under Saddam Hussein. "There was a time when Baathist agents executed young Kurds right here in the neighborhood just because they were carrying cassette tapes with Kurdish music on them," Pirbal said. "But now, we are here at this very place in freedom protesting against a regime that hangs Kurds for the crime of defending their own rights."

"No dictatorship can last forever," he went on. "There was a time when the demise of the Baath regime seemed impossible. ... I am sure that there will be a day when the Iranian people will be free of dictatorship and achieve liberty."

Life in the Kurdish provinces in Iran, meanwhile, remains tense. There is a heavy security presence in places such as Kamyaran, Sanandaj, Mahabad, and Saghez, and local Kurdish media reported that 15 students were arrested Wednesday morning in the Kurdish city of Marivan. Thursday's strike in the region was reportedly the largest in recent years; bazaars were empty, students and activists stayed home, even government offices were closed. These five executions, the activists believe, don't just mark the end of the victims' lives, but also the beginning of a new era in which the Iranian regime will have to answer to its critics.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The statement of Kurdish PEN Centre Regarding execution of 5 political prisoners in Iran

The statement of

Kurdish PEN Centre

 regarding the execution of the patriot intellectuals of Kurdistan

in Eastern part of our homeland


We at the Kurdish PEN Centre believe that the killing and execution of freedom loving intellectuals who follow a peaceful path to practice their rights is a horrific act very far from the principles of humanity.


According to the known international standards such acts can only be committed by totalitarian oppressive regimes.


The execution of five heroic Kurdish freedom loving individuals by the Iranian regime has caused another shock to the world's public opinion.


Ferzad Kemanger was a teacher in villages of East Kurdistan, passionately teaching his community's children how to read and write. His love to humanity was endless and without prejudice.

He was a teacher, journalist, and a wise short story writer who was using a beautiful simple language for the awareness of his peoples and readers.


Elî Heyderiyan, Ferhad Wekîlî, Şirîn Elemhulî Atêşga and Mêhdi Islamyan, each and every one of them was serving their community peacefully in their own ways. They had a humanitarian manifesto while being social activists.  


We appeal to the Iranian officials, to end these horrific acts against the Kurdish people, for we believe the solution to the Kurdish cause peacefully and via dialogue is the best democratic way, which is the only way to change the situation for all the people in the region and to bring peace to their lives.


Let the dictators have lessons from history and remember the fate of the dictators such as Hitler, Mussolini, Nero, Saddam Husein and other criminals.

The Kurdish PEN Centre strongly condemns the execution of the Kurdish intellectuals and freedom loving patriots and reminds the world that those heroes have followed others with their sacrifices to pave the way to peace and freedom.


Kurdish PEN Centre