Advancing IEC Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners – Plans for early 2022

November 27, 2021


The Emergency Appeal (EA) is as timely as ever and continues to be our most important political tool and guide to working to free Iran’s political prisoners.

  • It sets correct moral and political terms for actually freeing the prisoners with its powerful content and demands, its wide embrace of justice-seeking people, and the breadth and prominence of its many signers – from 40 countries and every continent save Antarctica.  
  • Critically and uniquely, it calls on people in the U.S. and globally to stand against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s brutal repression, while also opposing U.S. threats or aggression on Iran.
  • The Emergency Appeal has crossed borders and forged an international community of people from all walks of life fighting for Iran’s political prisoners.

Now we need to spread it further and wider and enlist many more, all across the globe.

In the words of world-renowned Argentine-Chilean-American novelist, playwright, and human rights activist Ariel Dorfman:

"If I have signed on to the Emergency Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran, it is because I know that this initiative will effectively call attention to the situation of men and women in that country who, if enough pressure is brought to bear on its leaders, could tomorrow be liberated from terrible conditions and extraordinary injustice…I am convinced – from personal experience – that the prisoners themselves are given strength to survive and persevere …They know others, faraway, care what happens to them, and we should not let them down.” (Read complete statement)


The International Emergency Campaign has accomplished a lot in 2021:

  • Participation by notable people and social forces in the February and September programs held at Revolution Books New York co-sponsored by the IEC.
  • Issuing the Emergency Appeal in March, circulating it and gaining high-profile signatories, and raising $14,000 to publish it in the Summer issue of the New York Review of Books, as well as taking out online ads for it in The Nation and Ms magazines.
  • Creating a beautifully designed and resource-filled website in English with a Farsi page.  
  • Issuing near weekly updates and press releases, as well as important articles by IEC supporters published in Ms. Magazine, CounterPunch and CounterCurrent, and a number of radio interviews on Pacifica radio stations. The Emergency Campaign has been spread on social media and discussed in Farsi Clubhouses. All this has put it before hundreds of thousands, including prominently in the public square via The New York Review of Books ad.


 We need to take the International Emergency Campaign to a whole new level.  Here are some key ways we can in the coming weeks and months:

  • We need a new wave of signers to the Emergency Appeal globally.  Enlist many more current signers and supporters to help spread it (e.g. on social media), donate and raise funds, issue solidarity statements, provide quotes for press releases or updates, and share their thinking about going forward.  Reach new spheres of society to sign the Appeal and support the work of the IEC such as progressive artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, and actors.
  • Zoom EVENT at San Francisco’s United Universalist Church Social Forum.  This is set for January 9, 2022 at 1PM Pacific Time.  It will feature presentations by Larry Everest of the IEC, Mariam Claren of the #FreeNahid Campaign, and Dr. Azam Niroomand-Rad, an emeritus professor and EA signer.  More info coming soon.
  • Publishing the Emergency Appeal in other publications in the US in 2022, and in other countries and languages, possibly Germany, Turkey, France, the UK and elsewhere in working to isolate the IRI politically, limiting its freedom to brutalize prisoners, and stepping up the pressure on it to free them.  On-going fundraising as a feature of preparation to further publish and advance the campaign in 2022.
  • Forge closer working relationships between the IEC, the Burn the Cage/Free the Birds movement in Europe, with family members of prisoners, as well as with IEC supporters worldwide globally.  
  • Monthly English language IEC Clubhouses to bring people together globally to discuss the Campaign and make and implement plans.  This will include outreach and organizing in the Iranian Diaspora, which is a critical force politically and financially for this campaign.
  • Working with Human Rights Groups, forging closer relations and collaborative efforts which could have a big societal impact.  

In sum, many more people worldwide now need to sign and spread the Emergency Appeal as our most powerful tool to shine the global spotlight on the situation of, and the fight to free, Iran’s political prisoners.  

WHO WE ARE:  The IEC was formed in the U.S. in late 2020 in solidarity with a call from supporters, friends, and families of Iran’s political prisoners and the “Burn the Cage, Free the Birds” movement in Europe…. (Go to About Us for full description)

This is a condensed version of our plans through early 2022. Read the full plan.