World without prisons

Mark Fischer heard two of Iran's student activists talk of persecution and imprisonment

A well-attended press conference in central London on September 29 saw two student activists from the Equality and Freedom Seeking Students in Iran describe their experiences at the hands of the theocratic regime. This was the first public appearance of Behrooz Karimizadeh and Kaveh Abbasian outside Iran and followed months of persecution and imprisonment.

The meeting was chaired by Ben Lewis of Hands Off the People of Iran, at the students’ request. They described the evolution of the student movement to the left after disillusionment with the ‘reformist’ trend within the regime. The left student movement revived on the basis of the exhaustion of the ‘reformist’ project, as “students voted with their feet”, in the words of Kaveh.

In response to a question from a Hopi rep in the audience, both students emphasised their opposition to any form of imperialist intervention in their country. This “only creates the conditions for the most reactionary of regimes to flourish”, as one of them put it.

Behrooz pointed out that for a number of militant student activists from Iran who have fled the country, there has been no ‘safe haven’. Harassed and imprisoned in Iran, some have been incarcerated when they make it to ‘freedom’ in other countries - he highlighted the Turkish and UK states as principal offenders.

With this in mind, comrade Karimizadeh concluded the press conference his vision - “We hope and work for a world without prisons.”

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