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January 1, 2024

The message of the Emergency Appeal is more crucial than ever because 1) the lives of Iran’s political prisoners ARE in the balance, more so as we write with the outbreak of war in the region that threatens to widen; and 2) our Appeal calls on the people of the world, and NOT to rely on any government or institution, to free these brave frontline resisters against the oppressive regime. This line of delineation is urgent and missing in the world today.

If you want to join the struggle to free Iran's political prisoners, you need to respond to this email and volunteer with the International Emergency Campaign (IEC). Our Appeal uniquely makes clear the necessary political terms to free Iran’s political prisoners: it proceeds from the interest of humanity and not from the interests of the governments and related institutions. It sharply states:

The governments of the U.S. and Iran act from their national interests.And, in this instance, we the people of the U.S. and Iran, along with the people of the world, have OUR shared interests, as part of getting to a better world: to unite to defend the political prisoners of Iran. In.  the U.S., we have a special responsibility to unite very broadly against this vile repression by the IRI, and to actively oppose any war moves by the U.S. government that would bring even more unbearable suffering to the people of Iran. We demand of the Islamic Republic of Iran: FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW! We say to the U.S government: NO THREATS OR WAR MOVES AGAINST IRAN, LIFT U.S. SANCTIONS!

Photo: Instagram @narges_mohamadi_51

Narges Mohammadi recently won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. While this shined an international spotlight on freeing her, as well as all the political prisoners, the regime responded by denying her a scheduled visit with her lawyer due to her refusal to wear a hijab.  It was the same week that 16 year old Armita Garavand was put in a coma for not wearing a hijab. The Islamic theocrats continue to intensify vile repression, especially towards hijab-less women.  Yet there is also the continuing defiant spirit of political prisoners in Iran, and the ongoing defiance of Iranian people overall since the historic Women-Life Freedom uprising.  All this calls on us to step up support and solidarity in the struggle to free these imprisoned sisters and brothers in Iran with increased urgency and determination.

Ongoing IEC Volunteer Activities

  • Browse and visit the IEC website.  
  • DONATE,  including for publication - help get the Emergency Appeal into student/community/church publications, magazines and journals.
  • Research the repression and resistance of political prisoner-related news for IEC updates
  • Networking and phone banking with friends and supporters of IEC
  • Break down borders/language barriers – translate to/from Farsi, Spanish and English from social media and news media
  • Bannering on busy campuses, bridges, roadways or protests – see IEC website for ideas

Food for Thought from IEC organizers

The IEC aims to free the political prisoners with a strategy that is rooted in the reality that both the Islamic Republic and the US are oppressors—one is a global empire and the other is a regional wannabe. This is captured in:

1) a graphic by IEC supporters in Colombia (at left), and

2) Comment by Palestinian author Rasha Hilwi :“a regime that oppresses its own people cannot be part of my path towards freedom.

Think George Floyd and Mahsa Amini. Yet too many “progressives” engage in “willful blindness” of the history and nature of one or the other of these oppressors. Who and what does that serve?

In appreciation of previous IEC achievements and in consideration of future plans

A most heartfelt thank you to all IEC volunteers who have unselfishly poured precious time and energy, sweat and tears, into the urgent struggle to free our sisters and brothers locked in Iran’s prisons.  Thank you to the hundreds who donated generously, the thousands who signed the Emergency Appeal. Thanks to those who took the IEC message to events/protests, those who issued solidarity and press statements, those who hosted, spoke at, attended and built for IEC programs (and vigils) with the Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, programs at Revolution Books NYC, roundtable at DePauw University, poetry reading at Revolution Books in Berkeley, translated between English-Farsi-Spanish, researched and wrote weekly updates, sent eblasts to signers, built and maintained a top notch website. Thank you to dear friends and comrades who took this struggle into the streets/campuses/protests in many cities in the US, in Colombia and Europe who demonstrated, held teach-ins, literature and banners under the unique and delineating politics of the IEC.