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02-02-2010

Kayvan Farzin

Amnesty International have released details of a crackdown on anti-government protestors in Iran. Here’s what you can do to help their situation.

Sometimes we forget how lucky we are and how much we take for granted.

Freedom of speech is a phrase often glibly used, usually taken to mean the freedom to insult anyone we don’t like. But for many people around the world it’s a bit more important than that.

Behrang Tonekaboni and Kayvan Farzin were arrested at the offices of Farhang va Ahang, an Iranian monthly music magazine, on 5th January. Behrang, 28, is the magazine's editor and Kayvan is the music critic. Behrang’s mother Lily Farhadpour, a journalist and a member of Iranian NGO Mothers for Peace, was also arrested at her home on 20th January.

At the moment circumstances surrounding their arrest are sketchy. But there’s a strong chance that it’s linked to the post-election protests as many journalists and human rights campaigners have been rounded up by the authorities in recent months.

Amnesty has received numerous reports of people being tortured in detention, and some people have died as a result of torture. There are genuine fears that Behrang, Kayyan and Lily could face the same treatment.

We can all take action online by writing to the Iranian authorities, urging them to reveal why they’re being held and where they are. Behrang, Kayyan and Lily should also be given access to lawyers and any medical assistance they need.

And most importantly, if the only reason they’re being held is because they peacefully expressed their views, they should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Take a minute to read this ...... and another to give thanks that you’re allowed to.

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