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Middle East Iranian communists appeal for support for political prisoners

IRANIAN communists appealed for international support today to secure the release of thousands detained in a government crackdown.

The Tudeh Party of Iran released a statement calling on “all the freedom-loving and progressive forces of Iran and the world” to do all they can to establish the whereabouts of those held by the Iranian regime.

It called for the establishment of international campaigns to press the Iranian government for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, the number of which has grown since the start of anti-government protests last month. 

“When the flames of the mass protests are still burning across the country, it is a priority,” the statement read.

More than 2,000 people have been arrested by the Iranian authorities. Many of them are missing and believed to be facing torture.

An estimated 100 students were also held in pre-emptive arrests last week to prevent them taking part in protests.

Prominent pro-reform journalist Mohamed Aghazadeh has written to the Iranian authorities in an open letter circulating in Iran and said he will not eat or drink until his son is released from prison.

He explained that he had kept his son indoors for seven days to keep him safe, but Iranian authorities came to their home and took him away as part of the student arrests last week.

Mr Aghazadeh believes that his son is being tortured as his Facebook and email accounts have been accessed despite not having his smartphone on him.

British-based Iranian solidarity group Codir joined appeals for support, saying it feared that trade unions and the labour movement were afraid of voicing support for the Iranian people because of Donald Trump’s support for the protests.

But assistant secretary Jamshid Ahmadi said that supporting the Iranian people in their demands for “peace, justice and democracy” must be a priority.

He said that US backing for the anti-government protests “does not mean however that the Iranian people’s demands are not legitimate. 

“They are clearly a response to the oppressive regime which exists in Iran and their demands for change must be supported,” he said.

Mr Ahmadi called on trade unions and peace and human rights organisations to write letters of protest to the Iranian embassy.

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