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Iran’s Boris Yeltsin

28 July 2005

Ganji has been called Iran's Vaclav Havel, Bobby Sands, and now he is called Iran's Boris Yeltsin.

Amir Taheri has an excellent article on Ganji. He writes, "Since 1979, when the mullas seized power in Tehran, an estimated 2.3 million Iranians have spent some time in prison because of their opposition to the regime. In a sense anybody who is somebody in most walks of life has had some experience of prison in the Islamic Republic. And that includes the Shiite clergy. More mullas have been imprisoned in the past 27 years than members of any other social group in Iran. The revolutionary regime has also executed over 100,000 of its real or imagined opponents and driven a further 4.5 million people into exile, without a second thought."

So, why has Ganji received special attention? According to Taheri, Ganji is pure product of the system itself but he has succeeded in liberating himself, morally and intellectually, from his Khomeinist illusions.

Time will tell whether he is Iran's Havel, Sands or Yeltsin.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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