The one million signatures campaign-week 3


by ramintork

This is just a reminder of what this campaign is all about and why you should help us.

A while ago I came to the realization that other than short term campaigns like the UN three day hunger strike, the green scroll, and our support for Majid Tavakkoli that unlike the protesters in Iran our community outside Iran rarely catches the Western media attention or if it does it is the media for our community that mostly covers our interests.

I noticed that other than lobbies for business, and some lobbies that were being sponsored by IRI, our community lacked a coherent ‘Human rights for Iran’ group. Sure enough there have been individuals who have been putting their life into such issues but as a community when compared to say the Cubans of Miami, or the Jewish lobby of New York, we still have to learn to use the law and legislative power to make long-term strategic changes. So for instance there could be campaign to stop juvenile capital punishment in Iran but our Iranian community at least in Europe lacks political muscle and still does not seek legal change to stop European companies selling web filters, phone tapping equipment etc. that are being used to capture and torture protesters in Iran. Just to give you an example, when last week I went to the ’16 Azar’ demonstrations in front of the Iranian embassy in London I found that there were three groups of secularists, reformists, Marxists standing next to each other but not talking to each other standing on a busy road, and pretty much being ignored by the passing cars on a December evening traffic. Our opposition leadership is not all that effective either. There are individuals who constantly write about Human rights issues and there are many petitions but these petitions do not turn to legal change in the West.

Several weeks ago I found out that the Lisbon treaty caters for something called ‘citizens initiative’ i.e. if you collect one million signatures from EU citizens you could without the need for a member of European parliament take a petition to that parliament and make a law change, ever since then after one petition which I closed I have come up with a petition to go ahead and make a law change at least in Europe. We saw how the one million signatures in Iran captured people’s imagination, but what amazes me is the lack of enthusiasm that exists for an action that can bring about long-term change here. A change that would show our community as a powerful voice for Human rights, a change that would show us as humans so if the drums of War start beating our community on the outside would be powerful enough to appeal to the people of West directly rather than go through their politicians and stop such a war.

Unfortunately since I started canvassing, and going round to Human rights meetings, or talk informally to people in media other than support from a few friends in our IC community I’ve had one death threat from an IRI agent who unlike our community had realized the potential for my campaign so the wrong group is taking me seriously!

Needless to say that in the event of a war that could be nuclear (bunker busting bombs use a small nuclear war head or the one that don't like GBU-39 would blow a nuclear wind of the enriched material or bring it to underground water supplies) and could easily wipe out six million people if dropped near dense areas I am going to keep on knocking at all doors and expect people to eventfully listen and join this campaign. Without resources, but I am waiting for several things before I raise the profile of this campaign, firstly I’m waiting for a Human rights solicitors to take up our cause, and I am going to talk to the Iranian desk of Amnesty International in January and get support. Other than these blogs I will be writing articles both in English and Persian and publish them not just in IC but also in other places. The way we will be collecting signatures would be via Universities. There are Iranian student unions in almost every University and we want to recruit them and get them to collect those signatures. The online petition is global and it is there to show support so anyone can sign it, the paper signatures will be for EU citizens so that we can make the law change.

If you want to sign our petition here is the link:


We also have a facebook group, please join us and show your support.


Finally, here is the wording of the petition:

To: International Communities

Demand to the International Communities to take Urgent action in order to stop the trade in technology used for the purpose of persecution and oppression of any kind by any organization, corporation, private or public company within their national dominion, as well as their economic and political union to Iran.

We the Iranian people, with this petition echo the cry for freedom from our homeland to you the people of the world and demand the support of all political, humanitarian, and judicial bodies across the globe to take new or existing political and legislative action to stop any organization, corporation, private or public company within your national dominion as well as economic and political union from trading in technology used for the purpose of persecution and oppression of our people.

We urge you to consider the magnitude of this petition, which today we bring to you, the good people of the world and in which the interests, not of one country, nor a region, but of the whole world, and of posterity, are involved.

We demand that you recognize that today just as the slave trade once had to be abolished that you find the trade of technology used for the purpose of oppression as morally unacceptable, and that you take the protection of Human rights beyond your sovereign states and include it in your code of conduct for International trade.

Specifically, the trade of technology for intrusive monitoring of emails, private communication, electronic surveillance systems, SMS monitoring and internet filtering system by companies such as Nokia and siemens which has resulted in the arrest, imprisonment, torture and rape of thousands of peaceful demonstrators since last summer has to be stopped.

We signatories of this petition demand that all those legal entities that represent us, as their electorates be they our Government or our Government within an economic and political union in which legislative or political decisions are made to make the appropriate political and legislative change and implement the demands of this petition.

Thank you.


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Thanks benross and vildemose

by ramintork on

I have now looked at vildemose link, this is great.

The EU relevence was to use citizens' initiative but I think there should be action all the way round. This should be a global action.

The issue is critical but more than anything the process of creating a lobby in US and EU for Human rights, a lobby that uses law change to fight IRI is very important.



by benross on

Ramintork: Have you seen this?

I guess Ramin wants an action in EU. This idea is for U.S

Either way, I think if the Iranians abroad speak with a single voice (and ignore the ignorant!) have much better chance to do anything in U.S or EU.


Dear all

by ramintork on

We are all here in IC and the blog so please let us all focus on the subjects and questions. I've had a death threat over this already so I hope this subject is dealt with in a more serious tone than the usual IC blog subject matter.

The reason that the petition is still here in IC is because I consider all of you as my friends and I want to pick your brains over the subject before it gets bigger.

Dear Irandokht

This petition does not place sanctions on Iran, it is to stop companies like Nokia and siemens selling technology that is used for oppression of people in Iran. To shorten it, the petition says:

“Specifically, the trade of technology for intrusive monitoring of emails, private communication, electronic surveillance systems, SMS monitoring and internet filtering system by companies such as Nokia and siemens which has resulted in the arrest, imprisonment, torture and rape of thousands of peaceful demonstrators since last summer has to be stopped.”

To answer your questions: 

I have contacted Human activists on the outside who have contact with the inside but with this petition I don't have to get Ms Ebadi's approval for instance to know that a petition for stopping such technology is valid. I shall be meeting the Amnesty international Iran desk person in Jan ( or at least someone has promised they would make this happen).

Going back to my earlier petition which has created some confusion

The very first petition was created to canvass support and get main opposition figures behind it and in fact I did explain the possibility of having to change that petition when it was introduced.

More than anything we are going to need a strong lobby for Human rights outside Iran.

The petition represented here I will emphasis does not place a sanction on Iran, and is not for canvassing, it is something that is valid and I plan to see it through.

Just to clarify

The strategy for the first petition which is now closed by the way was: 

If Human rights is sidelined in the deal between IRI and G8 that we would use such a controversial petition to capture media attention towards Human rights in Iran. Alternatively if a war breaks and Iran uses the population as human shields and starts genocide that our protest would be seen as a means to highlight Human rights.

I noticed that the concept was complex and created concerns similar to yours so I closed that petition. It is tough enough to get people to turn up for demonstrations in front of the embassy so a petition such as the earlier one is not going to fly unless it is picked up by someone like for instance Sazegara, or makhmalbaf and be explained in a communication form that the masses understand.

This task has to be done, we must I insist form a Human rights lobby for Iran that uses legislative techniques before it is too late.Finally, a petition has a certain wording that becomes fixed when created so I can't change this petition to something that you don't like. Also because I mentioned citizens' initiative to change EU law and that has a criteria, there are two types of petition, an online version which is global and still carries weight, and a legislative paper copy that when we have managed to get support we will distribute to Universities.


میرزا چغندر

Nope, YOU get out Benross...

by میرزا چغندر on

Seems you have realized how wrong you were to tell someone get out of the site; you are, now, claiming this particular blog was your intended noncompetitive domain. Well, that too is wrong. This site is run as a public forum....

You see I just remember again; why am I trying to teach you manners? You and the likes of you are  Reza Jaan's problem, I let him fix you guys. 


it's just the

by benross on

it's just the beginning.

Indeed, it is just the beginning. BTW how smart of you to remember me!

This blog belongs to Ramin who takes an initiative abroad and discussing it. Whoever I am, I'm not the one who discourage him nor commenting totally out of the subject matter. You are. Get out.


Ramintork: Have you seen

by vildemose on

میرزا چغندر

Benross Vs. Irandokht or, anyone for that matter...

by میرزا چغندر on

Who exactly do you think you are? How dare you say who is suppose to be here or, not.

As a matter of fact I just remembered you are one of those 'Pahlavists" with their typical monopolistic mentality. Keep going, show your true color; it's just the beginning.



by IRANdokht on

I find your comment and your personal attacks totally offensive. 




by benross on

You signed a pro-sanction petition only for public awareness? Which "public" is that, EU or Iran?

The petition meant for EU. About getting their oil at the cost of empowering those who suppress their own people. And I saw it as a public awareness initiative in EU, and not exactly a realistic objective. The power that would stop EU from buying oil from countries like Iran can do a lot more with a lot less harm. It didn't seem obvious to others it seems as much as it did to me.

My main support was toward someone who took initiative to do something abroad. You are against Iranians taking initiative abroad. So we have fundamental differences. In my view, you shouldn't even be here in IC. If you see your duty to support whatever is coming from inside Iran, then wait for their directives and do it. Why preaching in IC? Your presence in IC is only to discourage initiatives such as Ramin's. And this is not an innocent presence in IC. I answered your question this time. But I will ignore you next time.

IC has room for people who want to chat. Stay there.


Benross / Ramintork

by IRANdokht on


What do you mean by:

"For me, the petition meant public awareness not a realistic objective"

You signed a pro-sanction petition only for public awareness? Which "public" is that, EU or Iran?


Sorry for jumping in Ramin jan,

I have not commented on your petition in the past three weeks because I wasn't going to sign it. I take petitions seriously and I won't put my name on something that makes me feel uneasy which is exactly what your petition does. You speak of human rights but you are asking EU to punish the same people and make their living conditions even harder. 

Ramintork aziz

Have you contacted any human rights activist in Iran? Have you asked them what they want from EU and the citizens of EU and US? Have you at least read their statements on the subject of sanctions?




Benross Aziz

by ramintork on

Believe me, I intend to take action with this new petition. I agree there were concerns about the hardship of the first petition which is why I withdrew it. This petition is simply to stop companies like Nokia selling technology used to catch protesters.

So I can't see why it doesn't get the support.

I am grateful to you for responding to my call for support. Ultimately as stated we need to form a Human rights lobby and in some ways a petition that can be used for law change rather than vent emotion is what we need and this petion when it flies will use citizens' initiative of the Lisbon treaty. The online version is global, the EU version will be EU specific.


Dear Ramin

by benross on

When you first introduced your initial petition, I copied and pasted the content in an email and sent it to the people I had in my address book.

For me, the petition meant public awareness not a realistic objective. But surely, it didn't take long to get feedbacks that this was the harshest possible sanctions and Iranians will suffer greatly etc. etc.

I first tried to explain what was the purpose of this petition, but it didn't take long for yourself, to realize that the first petition wasn't going to fly.

Now it came to me, since you are so honest and open about it, that the lack of support may come from somewhere else. It may come from your observation from the state of various groups protesting in 16 Azar. If those people don't come to protest together, such petition may not go the way you hoped for. We must first build up a unity in public discourse, before engaging Iranians toward specific actions. This is -I think- what I was trying to do here in IC otherwise the only actions which will get public appeal, will be those events which are emotionally charged for the heat of the moment, without giving any specific significance in the direction that our fight is taking.

Keep up the good work. I signed your petition. But human rights is something to take, not to ask. This, requires other political objectives. 


There are now two petition spots for our petition

by ramintork on