Date: Jun 18, 1999 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Jun 1999 to 17 Jun 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Jun 1999 to 17 Jun 1999
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There are 3 messages totalling 346 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. PR News Wire/Iran/arrested Jews: Virtual Jerusalem.com Online Petition to
Iran Attracts 10,000 People in First Week
2. Urgent Action
3. Iran: 2 other Students arrested under conspiracy charges

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 12:11:39 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: PR News Wire/Iran/arrested Jews: Virtual Jerusalem.com Online Petition
to Iran Attracts 10,000 People in First Week

Thursday June 17, 9:44 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

SOURCE: Virtual Communities, Inc.

Virtual Jerusalem.com Online Petition to Iran Attracts 10,000 People in
First Week
Petition Calling for the Release of 13 Jews Held in Iran Will Be Sent to the
Islamic Public of Iran's Permanent Representative to the United Nations

JERUSALEM, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Virtual Jerusalem has committed itself to
fighting the arrest of 13 innocent Jews in Iran accused of ``world
arrogance'' and of spying for the ``Zionist regime'' with the creation of an
online petition and comprehensive news site. In addition to the petition,
which has attracted over 10,000 signatures in its first week, the site
includes news updates, the option to send an e-mail directly to the
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, and a
background profile of the Iranian Jewish community.

``Two years ago the Iranians hanged two people arrested on the same spying
charges,'' said VJ News Editor Ilana Sacknovitz, ``and the world did
nothing. This time we can't let their actions go unnoticed.''

The text of a the petition reads, ``We, the undersigned, implore you on
moral and humanitarian grounds to release the 13 Jews who were arrested on
charges of espionage over two months ago.'' Virtual Jerusalem editors have
set a goal of 100,000 signatures for the petition, which will be forwarded
to Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations.

Sign the petition today and get a full news update from
http://www.vjnews.com/iranpetition.htm .

Founded in 1996, Virtual Communities, Inc. (VCI) develops and operates
online communities on the World Wide Web that target specific demographic
groups and provide Internet hosting, e-commerce and advertising services.
The Company currently operates three online communities: Virtual Jerusalem
(http://www.virtualjerusalem.com), Virtual HolyLand
(http://www.virtualholyland.com), and Virtual Ireland
(http://www.virtualireland.com). Virtual Jerusalem is the largest community
on the Internet for Jewish and Israel related content, delivering over 6
million page views per month. Launched on Christmas Day, Virtual HolyLand is
the most comprehensive online community for Christians interested in Israel.
Virtual Ireland provides the best of Irish content on the web within an
online community for anyone interested in Irish culture and Ireland.

CONTACT: Michael Harwayne of Virtual Communities, 212-206-9058, ext. 145, or
mharwayne@vcimail.com.

SOURCE: Virtual Communities, Inc.

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 14:56:43 EDT
From: CHAIRNGO@AOL.COM
Subject: Urgent Action

URGENT ACTION

June 17, 1999

Dear Friends,

I am writing to ask you to send letters of protest to George Rupp,
the President of Columbia University (via fax: 212-854-6466; via
e-mail: rupp@columbia.edu), urging him to investigate the intent
and conduct of the Middle East Institute in organizing the roundtable
discussion on the press in Iran on June 7,1999. Please also urge
him to ensure that events held for the sole purpose of defending
a regime renowned for its human rights violations do not take
place again.

My letter to George Rupp and previous press releases are attached
for your information.

If you have any questions, please write to me at chairngo@aol.com.

In solidarity,
Maryam Namazie

***

June 17, 1999

Mr. George Rupp
Office of the President
Columbia University
202 Low Library
New York, NY 10025
via fax: 212-854-6466
via e-mail: rupp@columbia.edu

Dear Mr. Rupp,

I am writing on behalf of the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance
to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR) and the International Federation of
Iranian Refugees (IFIR) to express my strong concern over the
June 7, 1999 roundtable discussion on the press in Iran. The
roundtable was organized by the Middle East Institute of the
School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and comprised
of a former official of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
and several members of the government-controlled press.

The roundtable discussion was clearly an attempt to legitimize
the regime and justify censorship and repression in Iran. The
panelists did this by excusing violations of human rights and
stating that there was no controls over the press. In fact,
however, according to the regime’s own Press Law, the press’
role is to struggle against manifestations of colonial culture
and promote and propagate authentic Islamic culture and
diffuse virtuous principles. The press is prohibited from
promoting discourse "harmful" to the principles and mandate
of Islam (Middle East Watch, Guardians of Thought Limits
on Freedom of Expression in Iran, August 1993). Any
deviation even by the pro-government press has been met
with repression.

Unfortunately, the University staff contributed to this
legitimization of the regime. At the outset, Richard Bulliet,
the Institute’s Director, stated that the roundtable’s objective
was to improve relations between governments - not the
pursuit of any educational and intellectual purpose. Since
improved relations comes hand in hand with an improved
image of the regime, the roundtable’s moderator, Hamid
Dabashi, professor at MELAC, attempted to prevent the
free expression of opposition in a manner that was at
best inappropriate for a professor at a well-known university.
Dabashi would not allow comments opposed to the regime,
though comments suited to the panel’s purpose were allowed.
He also failed to translate comments by audience members
not promoting the roundtable’s purpose. His e-mail responding
to my press release is a continuation of his misconduct during
the roundtable.

As a former Coordinator of SIPA’s Human Rights Advocates
Training Program, as an activist of refugee and human rights
for the past 12 years, as a person who has worked with
numerous bodies, including Amnesty International, the United
Nations and the International Rescue Committee, and as a
person who works daily with the innumerable victims of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, I am outraged at the Institute’s and
Dabashi’s conduct and intent. In his latest e-mail, Dabashi
has reduced me to a "peti-fascist" and "peti-dictator" while
effectively defending the "journalists" and their deceptive
statements about the realities in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This incident only confirms that the Middle East Institute is
being used to promote a regime which has committed untold
atrocities and to slander its opponents. I urge you to investigate
the matter and ensure that events held for the sole purpose of
defending a regime renowned for its human rights violations do
not take place again. Also, I urge you to ask Dabashi to apologize
to me for his statements both at the discussion and in his e-mail.

I look forward to your response. For more information, please do
not hesitate to contact me at 212-747-1046.

Sincerely,
Maryam Namazie
Steering Committee Member, CHAIR
Deputy Director, IFIR

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S AWARD-WINNING ROLE IN
DEFENDING APARTHEID AND THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
By Maryam Namazie
June 9, 1999

The Columbia University Middle East Institute organized "roundtable
discussion" on the press in Iran on June 7, 1999 firmly placed
the University once again in that award-winning role of defending
apartheid. This time, however, it was the gender-apartheid and
repression of the Islamic Republic of Iran and not that of the
former South African government.

Several awards must be given for outstanding performances in this
tragic drama. An award for his excellent supporting role must be
given to Richard Bulliet, the Director of the Middle East Institute.
At the outset, he clearly set the stage for the panel discussion
(to improve relation$ between the US and Islamic governments).
He also ran (quite fast I might add) to call security when an
opponent spoke out.

Columbia University guards must also receive a supporting role
award for having questioned opponents before the panel, having
banned the distribution of flyers on "Columbia property," and for
showing up in full force at the beckoning of Bulliet to make sure
no opposing opinions were aired.

The regime’s thugs, too, who were in the majority and present
everywhere to create an atmosphere of intimidation, must receive
honorable mention, though they did over-act given their excessive
practice playing such roles in Iran.

The academy award for the most well-played advocate of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, however, must undoubtedly go to Hamid
Dabashi, professor at MELAC (Middle Eastern Languages and
Cultures). Dabashi began his opening statement by denying two
decades of repression in Islamic Iran. Exiles, he stated, were the
result of the Shah's dictatorship, a brutal revolution and the Iran-Iraq
war. He repeated the statement that there was no control over
the press in Iran to make sure that all had heard a panelist well.
His revision of history and facts was remarkable. In the area of
language, his specialty, however, the eminent scholar, was
unfamiliar with the language of opposition though well-versed in
the language favorable to the regime. His censorship of words and
opinions not allowed under the constitution of the Islamic Republic
of Iran truly placed him among his peers - "journalists" and an
official of the regime who had come to defend the regime and
its president.

Dabashi was especially eloquent in translating the excruciating
details given by the regime’s official on paper. Such details
were necessary, since blank paper is just about the only thing
in Iran that has not been tortured, silenced, imprisoned or killed.

When in private Namazie told Dabashi that he should be
ashamed of himself for promoting the regime so blatantly, the
only thing this eminent scholar of language could scream was
"Who the fuck do you think you are?" Dabashi’s hysterical,
finger-wagging mannerisms truly outdid all others.

Well done Dabashi for an award well-deserved! The University
can now be assured that investment$ in the Islamic Republic
of Iran will soon approach those made in the former South Africa.

THERE IS NO CONTROL ON THE PRESS IN THE
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN?
June 9, 1999

A mission from the Islamic Republic of Iran comprised of
"journalists" and a former official of the regime’s Ministry
of Culture and Islamic Guidance responsible for the censorship
and suppression of the freedom of expression spoke at
a roundtable discussion on the media in Iran on Monday,
June 7, 1999 at Columbia University.

The mission comprises of a former official of and several
members of the government-controlled press. This roundtable is
part of Khatami’s "dialogue of civilizations," which hopes to amend
the image of a criminal regime with the help of its cohorts in
the west (including Columbia University’s Middle Eastern Studies).
The discussion aims to highlight the increase of publications in
Iran to declare freedom of expression and press in the Islamic
Republic of Iran!

Despite such attempts, the fact remains that the increase of
government-controlled publications in support of Khatami is not
an indication of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression
is a freedom for opponents and the people and not freedom for
a faction of the regime to expand its activities.

The roundtable is nothing but an effort to justify censorship and
repression in Iran. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, any publication
that is socialist, pro-labor, egalitarian, pro freedom, against religion,
and opposed to the entirety of the Islamic Republic of Iran is
banned and its defenders killed.

According to the regime’s Press Law, the press’ role is to
struggle against manifestations of colonial culture and promote
and propagate authentic Islamic culture and diffuse virtuous
principles. The press is prohibited from promoting discourse
"harmful" to the principles and mandate of Islam. Any deviation
even by the pro-government press has been met with repression.

Clearly, a precondition to real freedom is the overthrow of the
entirety of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR)
International Campaign in Defense of Women’s Rights in Iran (ICDWRI)
International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
Worker-communist Party of Iran - US Committee (WPI)

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 22:26:20 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran: 2 other Students arrested under conspiracy charges

Dear Friends, Dear Participants,

Based on a confirmed news the islamic regime has arrested
on Thursday 6/17/1999; 2 Iranian Students for their political activities...

Heshmat Ollah Tabarzadi (A outspoken student leader and the Editor in Chief
of the "Hoviat e Ma publication") and
Hossein Kashani (Manager of the same publication) were arrested today in the
city of Tehran after having been convoked by the revolutionary court #6 of
Evin (Located in the well known political jail of Evin) and without having
right to a lawyer or the presence of any third party....

Based on this court ruling, these 2 students we're charged for conspiracy
against the islamic regime from one part;
And the publication in a local news paper and radio interviews of articles
and speech in view of the destabilization of the regime from the other part.

You shall note that in an interview with KRSI ( The Radio Iran of Los
Angeles broadcasted in the US, Canada, Mexico and live on the Internet from
one part; And broadcasted by the courtesy of Radio Israel-Persian Service
for Iran) on 6/16/1999 and minutes before heading for this revolutionary
court;
Heshmat Ollah Tabarzadi accused the clerical regime of the Oppression of the
Iranian People and warned the islamic president that he will loose more and
more the Iranian People trust by not reacting about the People's suffer...

Mr. H. tabarzadi added:

" Mr. Khatami shall know that already most of his electors are deceived by
his empty promises and the time will come that a Council elected by the
Iranians will take over the destiny of the Iranians in order to bring them
to Democracy and Secularity....."

Based on these charges and on the barbarian legislation of the islamic
republic named "The new islamic legislation for security
and intelligence" (Trying to bring a Constitutional look to the oppression
of the Iranian People); These 2 students will face death penalty...

Dear Friends, Dear Participants,

In these dark hours of the Iranian Contemporary history and when, finally,
the Free World is protesting about the arrest of 13 other Iranian Nationals
(from the Jewish community);

It will be a honorable geste toward the oppressed People of Iran to make
pressure on the islamic regime for the immediate release of these students
AND all other Political Prisoners....

All those so-called European Democratic Governments that are dealing with
the mullahs shall realize that the life of the clerical Regime in Iran is
reaching its falling edge and day per day the number of public protesters
are increasing inside Iran;

The time will come that the Iranian People freed from the clerical tyranny
will have to choose its future economical partners and allies while
nationalizing the assets of the Governments who choosed to support the
mullahs in their oppression of the Iranian People.

------------------------------

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 16 Jun 1999 to 17 Jun 1999
***************************************************