[FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great
Views expressed here are not necessarily the views & opinions of ActivistChat.com. Comments are unmoderated. Abusive remarks may be deleted. ActivistChat.com retains the rights to all content/IP info in in this forum and may re-post content elsewhere.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Akbar Ganji, has been released from prison

Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> News Briefs & Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:28 pm    Post subject: Akbar Ganji, has been released from prison Reply with quote

Iran's top dissident released from jail
Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:37 AM GMT
Printer Friendly | Email Article | RSS

By Saeed Komeijani


TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's most prominent political dissident, Akbar Ganji, has been released from prison after six years behind bars for criticising some of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic.

Ganji, a journalist, was jailed in 2000 after writing articles linking senior officials to the serial killings of political dissidents in 1998.

His articles particularly targeted powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's president from 1989 to 1997.

A cheerful but thin and heavily-bearded Ganji welcomed reporters into his Tehran apartment. He stuck to pleasantries and sidestepped politics.

"Thanks for coming," he said, grinning. "I am so sorry it is such a small place."

Lawyer Youssef Mowlaie told Reuters Ganji had been released late on Friday evening. He predicted a legal wrangle over whether Ganji would have to return to Tehran's feared Evin prison for a few more days.

Mowlaie said he reckoned his client's jail term ended on March 17, but a senior judiciary figure disagreed.

"Currently, he is on leave and his sentence will end on March 30," Mahmoud Salarkia, deputy prosecutor-general for prison affairs, told the official IRNA news agency.

Salarkia said Ganji was allowed to return home for seven days to celebrate the Iranian New Year holiday which starts on Monday night. However, Ganji's wife insisted her husband was staying at home for good.

Ganji spent stints in solitary confinement and fell gravely ill in July, weakened by a hunger strike aimed at persuading authorities to release him. The reporter's case sparked outrage from the United States and European Union.

Ganji, born in 1959, was a devoted follower of the 1979 Islamic revolution and served in the hardline Revolutionary Guards. He has been criticised for his propaganda work and his surveillance of Iranian student activities in Turkey.

However, his political views changed sharply and his letters from prison broke two of Iran's biggest taboos, both criticising the system of clerical rule and levelling personal attacks on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

(Additional reporting by Alireza Ronaghi)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 4993

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:56 pm    Post subject: 2006 Golden Pen of Freedom Acceptance Speech by Akbar Ganji Reply with quote

cyrus wrote:
Golden Pen Winner Seeks 'Global Citizens'

The Moscow Times

Igor Tabakov / MT

Ganji accepting the Golden Pen of Freedom award in the Kremlin Palace.

Iranian dissident and investigative reporter Akbar Ganji holds his Golden Pen of Freedom award, which he received from World Association of Newspapers and the World Editor Forum at a mutual meeting of the 13th World Editor Forum and the 59th World Newspaper Congress in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, Moscow, Monday, June 5, 2006. According to the World Association of Newspapers, media organization leaders from over 100 countries were attending the annual event.(AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

World Editor Forum's President George Brock, right, hands over the forum's prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom award to Akbar Ganji, a prominent Iranian dissident and investigative reporter, at a mutual meeting of the 13th World Editor Forum and the 59th World Newspaper Congress in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, Moscow, Monday, June 5, 2006. According to the World Association of Newspapers, media organization leaders from over 100 countries were attending the annual event. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji, accepting the Golden Pen of Freedom award Tuesday, called for a world of "global citizens" who honored the human rights of all.

Invoking the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, famous for arguing for a "perpetual peace" based on universal freedom, Ganji said equality and governmental transparency would allow people to lead "an authentic life."

Ganji, who spent six years in an Iranian prison for writing articles accusing that country's Intelligence Ministry of killing five dissidents, added that as people sought to topple totalitarian regimes they must "forgive but not forget."

"Anger, hatred and violence cannot create a democratic society," he said.

The journalist traveled to Moscow from Iran to accept the award at the 59th World Newspaper Congress. As Ganji approached the podium at the Kremlin Palace, the international crowd of journalists and others gave him a standing round of applause.

The award is presented annually by the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum.

WAN calls Ganji one of Iran's "leading investigative journalists" on its web site. It also says his book, "Dungeon of Ghosts," a compilation of his newspaper articles, helped topple hard-liners in the February 2000 parliamentary elections.

2006 Golden Pen of Freedom Acceptance Speech by Akbar Ganji


Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji who spent the last six years in jail for criticising the Iranian authorities has been awarded the 2006 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize from the World Association of Newspapers. Following is Ganji's full acceptance speech.

Akbar Ganji after his last release in March 2006

Ladies and gentlemen:

In the presence of representatives from the world media gathered here, let me begin by thanking the World Association of Newspapers for giving me the Golden Pen Award. I am humbled by the honor. I think the prize should in fact go to all Iranian dissidents and freedom-fighters.

And in this category, more than anyone the prize should go to those who fought for freedom and human rights and were as punishment slaughtered during what came to be known as "Serial Murders." The prize should go to the prisoners who in 1987 were executed while serving their sentences in prisons across Iran. The prize should go to all of those who were tortured and paralyzed only because they worked in journalism, and contributed to defending free thought in the country. The prize should go to all the dissidents who were deprived of their social rights, and imprisoned. The prize should go to all those who have been forced into exile only because they dared to think and live differently, and continue to be deprived of their right to return to their country and have been left with no choice but to live in exile.

The prize should go to all the Iranian intellectuals who worked hard in the last two decades to inform Iranians about freedom and liberty. Here I stand on behalf of all of these groups and accept this prize in their name and in order to show appreciation for their glorious struggle.

What will follow are the views of only one Iranian dissident about the current world conditions. They are no more than an effort to "think out loud," an attempt to offer problems for a dialogue, for an exchange of views and finally for critical but reasoned discussion. What I offer here is a synopsis of a lengthier piece whose text has been made available in both Persian and English.

Our ideal is the creation of a humane world, but in fact we live in a world steeped in reckless and widespread violence, a world of genocides and civil wars, of ethnic cleansing and gross violations of citizens' rights in many corners of the globe. These instances of moral depravity have deprived all of us of the chance to live in a secure world of enduring peace. But in our world today, there are also bright lights of hope. Today, more than ever in human history, thanks to improved means of communication, people, free from their ethnic, racial, and religious identities-or more specifically, free from any secondary identity-simply as human beings, are concerned about the fate of other human beings.

Today we are witnessing the birth of a new moral concept in the world: Global citizenship. Today vast numbers of people no longer consider themselves merely the citizen of a state, no longer feel compassion only for their compatriots, but rather consider themselves also citizens of the world. They feel compassion with other global citizens. Our gathering here today is the best example of solidarity among citizens of the world. But we must accept that we are only at the beginning of the road. There are still too many calamities around us, calamities like terrorism, coercion, dictatorship, discrimination, and war.

These are indications that we need to still find ways to expand this solidarity, and give reality to the concept of world citizenship. In my mind, Kant is the philosopher who can be most helpful to us on this path. According to Kant, humans have rights by the mere fact of their humanity, and in that sense, humans are all equal, and laws are just only if they treat everyone without exception, equally, and they can safeguard the liberty of all. Kant invites us to be humble and benevolent. Such benevolence and humility require us to always put ourselves in the place of the other, and do unto others as we do unto ourselves.

Only in this way can human solidarity be strengthened. Only through this perspective will we consider our gifts and privileges, as well as our needs, things we must share with others. According to Kant, humans are ends in themselves, and must never be used as means to other ends. An authentic life is one wherein every individual has the right to pursue his or her own goals, and is not deemed merely a tool to be used by others to achieve their goals. If we can create equality for everyone, then this authentic life can become a reality, and people can, in cooperation and competition with one another, pursue their goals successfully, and have a chance to offer their values for scrutiny and discussion in the public domain.

Today we need to help create and strengthen a truly viable, clever, and vital public domain, and we ourselves must move in that arena, and use it to control and curtail power and criticize those politicians who have turned human beings into tools and means. Only through such a public sphere can we stand up to ideological and intellectual totalitarianism that wishes to impose its vision of a perfect world forcefully on everyone. As Kant has written, the principle of human freedom is the foundation of a democratic state and for him, freedom is when no one can coerce me to pursue my happiness according to their vision. Everyone must be free in their pursuit of their own happiness.

Central to this idea of freedom, and democracy is that women must have equal rights with men, and must be allowed free and equal access to the public sphere. The worst kind of despotism is a patriarchal system wherein men define everyone's norms of happiness. But we can go one step further than Kant, and declare that if we are to have a world where each individual is free to pursue his or her own goals and idea of happiness, we must cement a solidarity against violence and those who promote it.

The foundation of this solidarity can be Jesus Christ's famous aphorism, "Love Thy Neighbor." But we must have an expanded view of what neighbor means: My neighbor is not just my "brother in faith;" any human being anywhere in the world, regardless of their dress, their color, their gender, and their faith is my neighbor. I must respect their dignity. Citizens of the world under every name are my neighbors. A violent act against any citizen of the world is a violent act against all of us.

Defending the rights of these neighbors can create the kind of solidarity we need, the kind that deters violent forces from treading on the rights of even the most unknown citizen of our world. The other principle we must cultivate is the notion of publicity and transparency in politics. These characteristics were amongst Kant's ideals as well.

Every decision in the public domain, particularly every political decision, must be made publicly and transparently. It must be open to the scrutiny of everyone. We must shed the light of enquiry into the dark house of politics. Only this way can we criticize, analyze, and deconstruct the decisions that are intertwined with our fate. Only this way can we approve, improve, or reject these decisions. Today the role of the media particularly is to focus this light into these dark houses.

Our world today suffers from violence; this violence has many facets. It creates different forms of pain and suffering. Terror, oppression, imprisonment, and solitary confinement are only the more obvious facets of this violence. They are the tools of despots and dogmatists, who use them to force their ideas and ideals on the citizenry. Human rights knows no boundaries, and accepts no exceptions. The idea that this religious tenet or that local cultural norm render certain human rights obsolete or impractical must not be allowed to be used by despots to legitimize their despotism.

Today we must struggle against violence in every one of its facets. Today the kind of revolutionary violence referred to by people like Sartre, Fanon, and Marcuse are no longer legitimate. We have seen how violence only begets violence; how revolutionary violence destroys both the bad and the good. We must no longer use violence as a weapon to fight violence. Peaceful resistance, peaceful civic resistance, must replace revolutionary violence.

My slogan for fighting against oppression and violence is simple: Forgive, but never forget. Forgiveness is a virtue that overcomes even legitimate anger and hatred. Forgiveness foregoes revenge. But forgiving injustice does not mean forgetting it. It does not mean foregoing the struggle against it. Forgiveness only implies giving up hatred and vengeance. Forgiveness leaves hatred to the hateful, ill-wishing to evildoers, and revenge to the vengeful. But forgiveness does not condone forgetting the crime. Nor does it condone our duty to resist bravely the criminal rulers or the dogmatic defenders of past crimes. We must always remember that the crime and the injustice did occur. We must always remember the conditions that led to the creation of fascism, totalitarianism, and other forms of dictatorship, that have been the source of injustice.

And we must inculcate this knowledge into our individual and collective memory, so that we can ensure that they shall never happen again. Paul Ricceur said it best when he declared that moral and committed humans hear constantly in their memory the voices of all the oppressed, from behind prison walls, concentration camps, and torture chambers. They hear these cries and never allow these voices of conscience to be drowned out. The principle of "Forgive but never forget" is the sine qua none of a democracy, free from violence. After discovering the truth, after shining the light of truth into the dark houses in which violent decisions have been made, after exposing injustice, we will forgive the despots and the criminals, so that the vicious cycle of violence does not continue. Anger, hatred, and hostility cannot create a democratic society free from the scourge of violence. That is why we need to forgive, but never forget. Forgiveness does not wash away the crime, or mangle our memories; it only does away with the need for hatred and revenge; it does not obviate struggle, but only the need for hatred. Those who forgive go on with their fight against evil with a heart filled with joy and free of hate.

War is the other scourge of our time, and our citizens of the world have as their goal an end to all wars, and the achievement of an enduring peace; the kind of enduring peace first advocated by Kant. According to Kant, enduring peace can come only if democracy spreads around the world. Democracies usually don't enter into wars with one another. Today, only citizens of the world can, through the requisite sense of responsibility that comes with such citizenship, stop the khodsar decisions of khodsar governments in fanning the flames of war.

Now that I have these few words, I can with a more deliberate consciousness accept, on behalf of all the citizens of the world, and as a humble member of this great community that fights every facet of violence, the Golden Pen Award.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 1672

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice words from people like Ganji, who participated in the "Revolution" and helped to bring the plague of iri. The first thing out of his mouth should be asking Iranian people for forgiveness for his past actions.

Regarding Osanloo, from Liberator........

SEE CLIP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XervL0dlVD4&search=iran

First of all let me say that I think Mr Osanloo is a brave man.

Now to the speech that he made in the clip. He says:

"man enghelab kardam ke esteghlal dashte basham, azadi dashte basham, edalate eshtemai dashte basham...dokhtaramoono bekhatere faghr be fahsha nabaran to dubai, nabaran be eslamabad, nabaran be karachi o kuwait."

Mr Osanloo, with all due respect "ghalat kardi enghelab kardi". You are witness to what your "ANgholab" has done to yourself, to your people, and to your country. I hope today you do see that the Iranian government that you "revolted" against was reformable, unlike the ANTI-IRANIAN beast you brought to power, and that your voices WERE affecting the Iranian policymakers in the late 1970's; it is never too late for one to act in the interest of ones country. It was not too late, but you took it one step further and today you are regretting it. You could have had what you wished for today only if you had not been so short-sighted in 1979.
Leaving that aside; you are a brave man to reject this system, the way you have done in the above clip. I hope that you've realized your mistakes.
I do not know of what your political views are today but as long as you agree with me on two things:

- Overthrow of the Islamic Republic
- A free and fair National Referendum to be held where Iranians determine the futur of their country

I will set aside my political views to fight for YOUR freedom. The above are two basic requirements that I believe the majority of the Iranian Nation agrees upon. If you agree with the above as well, which I believe you do, more power to you and more power to your fellow workers in this struggle. More power to all freedom fighting Iranians!

Ba Sepaas
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> News Briefs & Discussion All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group