A virtual international protest in Azadi Square for Majid Tavakoli
Amnesty International is partnering with United4Iran to do a virtual Azadi Square protest this spring to show solidarity for imprisoned Iranian student activist Majid Tavakkoli. Mr. Tavakkoli, who will be 25 years old next month, is currently serving an 8 1/2 year prison sentence and is in poor health. He was arrested in December 2009 after making a speech to commemorate Students Day in Iran. Azadi (freedom in Persian) Square in Tehran was the location of major peaceful protests in the wake of the disputed June 2009 presidential elections. We are encouraging activists to "rename" places in their communities and campuses Azadi Square, take a picture perhaps with people (or even one person) holding a sign, and sending it to Amnesty. I will shortly be sending you an Azadi Square tool kit. We plan to do a virtual protest on Azadi Square (using google maps to show the various "other" Azadi Squares together with the original Azadi Square). Please find more information below and look out for the tool kit I'll be sending soon. Thanks.
Iran country specialist, Amnesty International USA (see below)
Shine a Light on Azadi Square
In Iran, students continue to face egregious forms of repression and human rights abuses, as the Iranian authorities attempt to exert control over students opposed to their policies. Those who dare speak out, do so at great risk and with devastating consequences.
Majid Tavakkoli is one of the hundreds of people who have been jailed in Iran for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression. Majid, a student leader, was arrested in December 2009 after speaking at a university rally. He is now serving a term of more than eight years in prison for simply criticizing the government.
Azadi Square (Freedom Square) in Tehran is a place where demonstrations have occurred throughout Iran's history. Recently, it was the site for student led demonstrations in 2009, which took place in the days and weeks following the disputed Presidential elections in Iran.
Take Action: A Virtual International Protest in Azadi Square
This spring, Majid Tavakkoli's birthday, we will shine a light on freedom of expression in Iran through a virtual protest in Azadi Square.
It's easy. Here's how:
• Temporarily rename prominent places on your school campus or community Azadi Square;
• Do this informally by simply posting a sign or try to get a more formal proclamation made by your student government or city officials;
• Get creative, or feel free to use our template signs (coming soon). Here are some suggested slogans.
[Note: Amnesty International does not take a position on any political party, agenda or ideology in Iran, but instead, focuses on the human rights violations. Please only include messages which focus on human rights.]
• Take a picture to document this momentous event. The picture can be by yourself or with a large group of people;
• Upload your photos. These pictures will be used to create a virtual protest in Azadi Square, calling for the freedom of Majid Tavakkoli and all prisoners of conscience in Iran.
Questions? Contact: Ilona Kelly, Individuals at Risk Campaigner – Africa and the Middle East, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.