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More protests in Iran

13 June 2005

The Association of Writers in Iran has called for a protest and sit-in in front of the Evin Prison in Tehran tomorrow to show their solidarity with political prisoners. This happens on June 14, from 4-6 pm. The families of political prisoners and student associations are also joining in.

The number of political prisoners on hunger strike has reached 17. Some of them like Mr. Naser Zarafshan are on their 6th day of a hunger strike and his health is deteriorating. Mr. Zarafshan has been in prison for three years. Among the political prisoners on hunger strike is journalist Akbar Ganji who just returned to prison to commence his 6th year in prison.

Last time (earlier in June) a group of family members protested in front of Evin prisoners they were arrested and jailed. Among those arrested was Mr. Zarafsahn's wife, Homa Zarafshan.

Support for these brave political prisoners is coming from many different political directions. Three days ago, Reza Pahlavi, the oldest son of the late Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, announced he will hold a three-day fast on behalf of political prisoners in Iran to show his support for their cause. Ironically, his father was ousted for many reasons but most importantly for having many political prisoners in his own prisons.

The only candidate speaking about the political prisoners has been Mr. Moin. Just yesterday, the spokeswoman for Mostafa Moin told reporters that if Moin gets elected, he will free political prisoners. But will he really have the power to do so?

Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

Many on the Left want to return to a politics based on class, not populism. They point to Left populist parties not reaching their goals. But Chantal Mouffe argues that as the COVID-19 pandemic has put the need for protection from harm at the top of the agenda, a Left populist strategy is now more relevant than ever.

Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

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Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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