Persian2English

Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

Majid Tavakoli’s Speech: December 7, 2008

December 20, 2009

Watch Majid Tavakoli’s speech on YouTube

Highlights from Majid Tavakoli’s Speech on December 7, 2008:


A large portion of my talk today is addressed to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic and the heads of the government. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is so suppressed that our friends in Daftar-e Tahkim Vahdat (a student organization) asked me not to talk about the Supreme Leader and Mr. Khamenei, since he may come for a visit to the university in the next few days. I apologize to everyone. We do not want self-censorship to find its way in the student movement, but we will accept the request of our friends.

Let us talk about the ills of our society and what has brought us together today: enmity with democracy, hatred of freedom, abuse of human rights, suppression of worker activists and teachers, expulsion of university professors from universities, exile of thinkers, intense media censorship, suppression of minorities, closing down of newspapers and publications, turning national media into the government’s mouth-piece,  acting cruelly to the women in the universities, filling prisons with free-thinkers, and torturing people in prisons.

Today, our society is the victim of the incorrect economic policies of an obstinate and oppressive government that has caused various harms to society.

Our country is overflowing with flattery, duplicity, the selling of people, and deception. If yesterday people such as Shaban Bimokh (commonly known as a thug who led his men against the opponents of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, notably during the 1953 coup. In Farsi, “bimokh” means “brainless”) harassed our people, and undeserving rulers such as Mozaffareddin Shah (Shah of Iran between June 1, 1896 and January 8, 1907) and Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar (Shah of Persia from September 17, 1848 to May 1, 1896) sold national capital to foreign countries, today, the Shaban Bimokh’s are under the support of the Mozaffereddin Shah’s and Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar’s.

Selling the Caspian Sea in a cheap game with the Russians, sitting under the shadow of the Arabian Gulf,  working hand in hand with obstinate oppressors such as Chavez, and receiving aids from Venezuela and Cuba, are among the things happening in our country today.

Today, students have trouble entering the university or even their own homes. We saw an example of this today with the gates and the fences, and the security officials surrounding the university. Despite the various security measures taken and the oppressive atmosphere, the university is still alive today. And this last barricade of freedom is today the host of the students’ loud cries for freedom.

Today, the most important mission of the student movement, along with all the beautiful ideals it has (freedom, democracy, human rights, justice, peace, the development and improvement of Iran, and the well-being and security of Iranians), is fighting despotism.

The student movement in Iran, just like 1953 and 1979, and in the entirety of its existence to this day, should stand against governing despotism and oppression. Oppression is oppression, whether it is under the sovereignty of the monarchy or the sovereignty of a Supreme Leader.


Translation: Bahaar, Persian2English.com

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