Havaar honors Nasrin Sotoudeh

On October 17, Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh began an indefinite hunger strike. Her simple request, for which she was prepared to give her life, was for the government to allow her family the right to visit her in prison and for her 12 year old daughter to be able to leave the country. After 49 days, the authorities relented, and she ended her fast on December 4th.

For people of conscience everywhere, Nasrin serves as a powerful example. A nonviolent critic of Iranian authorities and a tireless activist on behalf of children and victims of abuse, she was arrested and sentenced to 6 years in prison for her writings and statements.

Union Square in New York City


Havaar members gathered in Union Square shortly after Nasrin ended her hunger strike to spread word of her struggle and stand in solidarity. In the same vein, the members came to raise awareness about the impact that American threats of war and continuing economic sanctions are having on activists like Nasrin and Iranians in general.

Contrary to the stated logic of the Obama administration, sanctions do little to empower Iranians to stand up for their rights. The threat of war, similarly, has created a state of emergency in the country and an environment where criticizing Iranian state repression is far more perilous.

For a number of New Yorkers, whether Iranian or not, seeing Nasrin’s picture and her message on display was an important chance to engage, spread awareness and build a solidarity rooted in the genuine common struggle of American and Iranian people for a more just, representative and humane political order.

Iranians and Allies Protest Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, and Obama

During United Nations General Assembly Convening, Havaar Says That Each Government Acts Against the Interests of the Iranian People


September 25, 2012, New York —Today, on the occasion of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s final visit to the United Nations General Assembly, the New York-based group Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression was joined by allies to voice opposition to the Iranian government’s repression of the Iranian people and to call for an end to crippling sanctions and threats of war by the U.S. and Israeli governments.
Protesting outside Ahmadinejad’s Manhattan hotel, members of Havaar and their allies held giant posters bearing images of 24 Iranian political prisoners from all walks of life, including the young human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahahi, and labor leader Reza Shahabi, sentenced to four and six years respectively for their political activities. Havaar members said, “We protest Ahmadinejad and hold up photos of imprisoned Iranians in lieu of all those who can’t. It’s a basic act of solidarity with the disappeared and the broken, and with those who continue to demand accountability and justice at great risk to themselves.”

Simultaneously Havaar protested against the American and Israeli government’s policies of sanctions and threats of war.

“Our primary concern is the welfare of the Iranian people, and of people all over the world struggling against repression and violence, be it foreign or domestic,” said Havaar. “We condemn the violence of the Iranian government against fellow Iranians, just as we condemn the increasingly aggressive U.S. and Israeli policies of sanctions and threats of war. The sanctions imposed on the Iranian people are not an alternative to war, but wage war on the Iranian people by other means. They operate as collective punishment, and must end. We hope that people the world over will stand in solidarity with the Iranian people against all the violent forces that seek to obstruct their dreams for a free and just society. ”

“Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression” is a grassroots group of Iranians, Iranian-Americans and allies who have joined together to categorically oppose any military action and sanctions against Iran. Havaar stands in solidarity with the Iranian people’s struggle against war and sanctions and against state repression, asserting that all of these forms of violence hurt the lives and aspirations of ordinary Iranians. Visit havaar.org and http://www.facebook.com/HavaarForJustice.

Havaar Protests Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, Obama & Their Threats to Iranian People


WHAT: Demonstration Against Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, Obama & Their Threats to Iranian People
WHEN: Tuesday, September 25th @ 5pm-7:30 or 8pm
WHERE: At or near the Warwick Hotel (54th St. and 6th Ave.), New York City

Make sure to check back for updates before the demonstration on our Facebook event page!

The Iranian head of state, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be attending the UN General Assembly in the last week of September. In 2009 Ahmadinejad retained his office through rigged presidential elections that were backed by severe repression of protest, and since that time he has repeatedly denied the existence of political prisoners and grave human rights violations in Iran.

Also present during the General Assembly will be U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama has escalated crippling sanctions against Iran that are already doing grave harm to the lives of average Iranians– and most of all to the poor and vulnerable–while continuing to threaten the possibility of military strikes that would have devastating consequences. Netanyahu has raised his war-mongering to a fever pitch in recent weeks. Netanyahu, Obama, and Ahmadinejad may have different and often conflicting agendas, but these leaders and their governments are all threats to Iranians and to peace in the region.

JOIN Havaar as we raise our voices in protest, in front of Ahmadinejad’s hotel, against the crimes of his government, including the lack of accountability for the torture and killing of dissidents, and the continued unjust detention of Iranian political prisoners — including union organizers, student activists, and advocates for the rights of all Iranians. Join us to simultaneously express opposition to US-led sanctions and American and Israeli threats of war against Iran.

We will voice our strong opposition to Ahmadinejad and the egregious crimes of his government, while doing everything we can to prevent our legitimate grievances from being exploited by political forces in the United States and abroad that seek to advance a belligerent agenda of war and sanctions against Iran. Such belligerent policies–whether advanced by Democrats or Republicans, by Israelis or EU member states, or by violent and deeply anti-democratic political formations like the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) –are unconscionable and do violence to the lives and aspirations of the Iranian people.

Note that this will be the last time that Ahmadinejad will be addressing the UN, so, let’s make sure we send him off properly!

JOIN US, whether you are an Iranian, Syrian, Palestinian, American, Egyptian, Pakistani, Honduran, Somali, Yemeni, Greek or Spaniard, join us wherever you are from, to stand with the people claiming the commons, and against the torturers and warmongers, wherever they are from! Justice is indivisible!

Join us! Spread the word !!

Visit Havaar’s website and join our announcement list to stay in touch with us: http://havaar.org/contact/

Email us at info@havaar.org with any questions.


Preparing for the anti-Ahmadinejad, anti-sanction and anti-war demonstration on Tuesday! Join us on Sep 25th, 5 pm, in front of Warwick Hotel -- 65 West 54th Street, Manhattan, New York