Join The Virtual Protest In Iran's Azadi Square

Amnesty activists carry out Azadi Square action

Shortly after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, authorities renamed a large public square in Tehran Meidan-e Azadi, or Azadi Square. This square was the site of large demonstrations in the wake of the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential elections; thousands of peaceful protesters were arrested, beaten and tortured for exercising their right to freedom of expression while dozens were killed by security forces.

And at the same time that the Iranian government publicly declared their support for the democracy activists in Egypt and Tunisia, they denied a permit for a peaceful solidarity demonstration in February, and have only intensified their brutal crackdown on civil society activists. The irony is not lost on most Iranians, who deplore the glaring disparity between the Iranian government’s high-flown rhetoric and its appalling treatment of its citizens.

Amnesty International’s new Azadi Square action will bring attention on the incongruity between the rhetoric and the reality, and to call upon the government to end their repression and fulfill the promise of freedom implied by the name of the most prominent public place in Iran’s capital.

The Azadi Square action, a joint effort with United4Iran, is part of Amnesty’s campaign on behalf of imprisoned student activist Majid Tavakkoli and the hundreds of other prisoners of conscience in Iran. Majid Tavakkoli was arrested shortly after making a speech to mark Students Day in December 2009. He was beaten in detention and held in solitary confinement. He was eventually convicted of “participating in an illegal gathering,” “propaganda against the system,” “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “insulting the president” after an unfair trial in a Revolutionary Court and sentenced to more than eight years in prison. He is currently serving his sentence in Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj, and is in poor health.

Several prominent prisoners of conscience, including Majid Tavakkoli, have held hunger strikes to protest the dangerously squalid conditions in the prison. While we are focusing on Mr. Tavakkoli, in solidarity and admiration for his enormous courage—and for the enormous price he is paying—we recognize that he is one of too many Iranians—including human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, journalist Hengameh Shahidi, and Kurdish human rights defender Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand—who languish in Iran’s prisons.

Amnesty activists are urged to send a birthday greeting to Majid Tavakkoli who will turn 25 on May 22. Amnesty International and United4Iran are collecting video birthday greetings sent by activists for a birthday video.  We want to let him know that people around the world are remembering him while he spends his birthday in prison.

We’re also asking you to participate in Amnesty’s virtual Azadi Square action. It’s very simple. It involves temporarily renaming a prominent place in your community or campus “Azadi Square.” Then one or more people can stand there holding a sign saying “Azadi Square,” “Where is our Azadi” or another slogan and have a picture taken and sent to Amnesty International. Of course, we encourage people to hold larger and more public actions if they can, but even one person with a sign can carry out this action!

We will collect all the images and juxtapose them with the original Azadi Square. This action is intended to send a message of support to all the courageous Iranians who would be taking an enormous risk if they congregated in the “real” Azadi Square to exercise their most basic human rights.

Instructions on how to participate in the Azadi Square action >

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10 thoughts on “Join The Virtual Protest In Iran's Azadi Square

  1. ========================================================
    A Statement by President Obama on Syria on April 22, 2011

    ” Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies. ”

    ========================================================

    What is President Obama referring to exactly by "Iranian assistance"?

    Probably to all the reports that the Iranian government has sent teams of Iranian Army and Lebanese Hezbolla snipers into Syria to mow down innocent unarmed men women and children by the hundreds every week now.

    Iranian and Lebanese Hezbolla snipers perfected this technique during all the killings last year in Azadi Square so now they think they can save their puppet Assad in Syria with the same method.

    I can't believe the world is just sitting back and letting Iran and Hezbolla get away with this a second time, first Azadi Square and now in Syria.

    Oh right, I forgot, the world is just too darn busy bravely from 20,000 feet dropping massive bombs on civilian homes ( war crime anyone ?) murdering Qaddafi's small grandchildren in Libya to have any time to spare even a single thought for defending the innocent of Syria.

  2. ========================================================
    A Statement by President Obama on Syria on April 22, 2011

    ” Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies. ”

    ========================================================

    What is President Obama referring to exactly by “Iranian assistance”?

    Probably to all the reports that the Iranian government has sent teams of Iranian Army and Lebanese Hezbolla snipers into Syria to mow down innocent unarmed men women and children by the hundreds every week now.

    Iranian and Lebanese Hezbolla snipers perfected this technique during all the killings last year in Azadi Square so now they think they can save their puppet Assad in Syria with the same method.

    I can’t believe the world is just sitting back and letting Iran and Hezbolla get away with this a second time, first Azadi Square and now in Syria.

    Oh right, I forgot, the world is just too darn busy bravely from 20,000 feet dropping massive bombs on civilian homes ( war crime anyone ?) murdering Qaddafi’s small grandchildren in Libya to have any time to spare even a single thought for defending the innocent of Syria.

  3. I wonder how the United States is so eager to promote democracy in Iran and at the same time support human rights-violating regimes in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

  4. I wonder how the United States is so eager to promote democracy in Iran and at the same time support human rights-violating regimes in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

  5. We want to have the basic rights that as a human we deserve. Freedom of speach, right to vote, equality between all races and tribes, freedom of religions, freedom of choosing the type of dressing for our women, …
    We iranians want to be friend with other nations and live peacfully together in a world that has no racism and no violance…
    I'm 17 now! I hope I see my country free oneday soooooooooooooon…

  6. We want to have the basic rights that as a human we deserve. Freedom of speach, right to vote, equality between all races and tribes, freedom of religions, freedom of choosing the type of dressing for our women, …
    We iranians want to be friend with other nations and live peacfully together in a world that has no racism and no violance…
    I’m 17 now! I hope I see my country free oneday soooooooooooooon…

  7. Dear Fereydoun,

    You are right about the US support to Saudi Arabia & Bahrain.

    Saudi Arabia not only targets Bahrain's democracy forces, but promotes the corruption of the prodemocracy forces in Syria by infiltrating them with the agents of the would – be power grabbers Abdul Halim Khaddam & Rifaat al – Assad.

    With US backing & with Jordan, Saudi Arabia's moving ahead with its own agenda of antiShia, anti – Iran counterrevolution across the Middle East. Bahrain is only part of that drive.

    Taking advantage of the pent up prodemocracy aspirations in Syria, the Saudis & Jordan are trying to destabilize Syria in their own interests.

    Jordan's giving the Muslim Brotherhood in Daraa & Homs logistical facilites & arms.

    A Salafi – linked guerilla group in Daraa are being armed by Jordan & the Saudis as well.

    This local unrest is tribal in origin.

    At the same time the US & Israel are working with the Saudis & Jordan from the Saudi Embassy in Belgium, where Khaddam the emigre has moved from Paris, for French law doesn't allow political asylum seekers to work against their country of origin.

    On April 10, near Banyas, 9 Syrian soldiers were killed in the bloodiest incident of the Syrian unrest.

    The Syrian army also doess its own repression of the genuine democracy forces.

    But the Israeli Zionist blogger Judonimh's assertion here that "Iranians" & "Hezbollah snipers" are killing "hundreds" of women & children are figments of filigree'd fiction.

    Syria is definitely authoritarian, but she's no puppet of Iran, but Iran's chief Middle East ally.

    & to say Syria is Hezbollah's puppet is too stupid to waste comment upon.

  8. Dear Fereydoun,

    You are right about the US support to Saudi Arabia & Bahrain.

    Saudi Arabia not only targets Bahrain’s democracy forces, but promotes the corruption of the prodemocracy forces in Syria by infiltrating them with the agents of the would – be power grabbers Abdul Halim Khaddam & Rifaat al – Assad.

    With US backing & with Jordan, Saudi Arabia’s moving ahead with its own agenda of antiShia, anti – Iran counterrevolution across the Middle East. Bahrain is only part of that drive.

    Taking advantage of the pent up prodemocracy aspirations in Syria, the Saudis & Jordan are trying to destabilize Syria in their own interests.

    Jordan’s giving the Muslim Brotherhood in Daraa & Homs logistical facilites & arms.

    A Salafi – linked guerilla group in Daraa are being armed by Jordan & the Saudis as well.

    This local unrest is tribal in origin.

    At the same time the US & Israel are working with the Saudis & Jordan from the Saudi Embassy in Belgium, where Khaddam the emigre has moved from Paris, for French law doesn’t allow political asylum seekers to work against their country of origin.

    On April 10, near Banyas, 9 Syrian soldiers were killed in the bloodiest incident of the Syrian unrest.

    The Syrian army also doess its own repression of the genuine democracy forces.

    But the Israeli Zionist blogger Judonimh’s assertion here that “Iranians” & “Hezbollah snipers” are killing “hundreds” of women & children are figments of filigree’d fiction.

    Syria is definitely authoritarian, but she’s no puppet of Iran, but Iran’s chief Middle East ally.

    & to say Syria is Hezbollah’s puppet is too stupid to waste comment upon.