International roundup: Iran, Cuba, Ireland, Namibia, Afghanistan

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Save Iranian Trotskyists

A tidal wave of repression launched by the Khomeini/Bazargan government of Iran has resulted in the executions of at least 70 Kurdish leaders and an unknown number of women and gays. Thousands of anti-Shah fighters, including 14 members of the Trotskyist Iranian Socialist Workers Party (HKS), have been imprisoned. Twelve of the 14 HKS leaders face death, and world protest is being mobilized in their defense.

The Kurdish leaders were summarily executed during heavy fighting against Islamic troops.

Women have been executed for adultery and prostitution; one woman was executed for adultery while her lover was given 100 lashes.

Freedom fighters risk jail and censorship of their press under the sweeping crackdown on all dissidence and on the radical Left.

Twelve HKS members were condemned to death and two to life imprisonment for advocating socialism in Iran, but an international protest campaign has apparently stayed the executions.

A demonstration of 3000 in Paris demanded freedom for the HKS prisoners and all anti-Shah fighters and an immediate halt to the execution of women, gays, and national minority leaders. Protest is growing worldwide.

Protest the imprisonment of anti-Shah fighters!M Condemn the official murders of Kurdish leaders and women! Demand that the lives of HKS members be spared!

Launch a protest campaign in your area! Show Khomeini that people all over the world identify with the advance of revolution in Iran. Call on the Left, unions, and all human rights organizations to join in picket lines and demonstrations to protect political freedom in Iran!

Send telegrams immediately to: Ayatollah Ruhollan Khomeini, Qum, Iran; Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan, Tehran, Iran; Hassan Nazih, Director, National Iranian Oil Company, Takht Jamshid Avenue, Tehran, Iran; and the Iranian Consulate, Washington, D.C.


In a tepid replay of the 1961 missile crisis, Capitol Hill is abuzz with bluff and bluster over the alleged presence of 3000 Soviet ground troops in Cuba.

The Carter administration acknowledged the existence of the troops just before the opening of the conference of nonaligned nations in Havana. What a coincidence! Senators up for reelection pounced upon the issue to parade their get-tough-with-the-Soviets bravado while Carter played the pacifier role.

Nobody mentioned, of course, that the U.S. owns and maintains a military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, and has combat troops encircling the Soviet Union — in West Germany, Turkey, Greece, Japan, and South Korea. Cold war hypocrisy makes for hot politicking.


Assassinations carried out by the Irish Republican Army have spotlighted Northern Ireland’s fight for independence and provoked Margaret Thatcher, the Tory Prime Minister of Britain, to vow “war” on the IRA.

IRA guerrillas took credit for the August 27 executions of Lord Louis Mountbatten and two members of his family. Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth, was England’s last Viceroy of India and a famous World War II naval commander.

In a separate incident, 18 British soldiers near the British border in Northern Ireland were ambushed and killed by IRA guerrillas.

On the day of Mountbatten’s funeral, Thatcher met with John Lynch, Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, who agreed to share intelligence information on the IRA and to help Britain “stamp out terrorism. “

The IRA has announced that “many more deaths” will follow if the British do not pull out all troops from occupied Northern Ireland and grant independence to that oppressed land, still a colony under the thumb — and thumbscrews — of British imperialism.


Namibia, the African nation bordered on the south by South Africa and on the north by Angola, is the scene of heavy fighting between liberation forces and South African troops.

South Africa governs Namibia but is losing political ground and scrambling for a Zimbabwe-style “solution” to the demand for independence.

A tenuous coalition of pro-South African puppet organizations is desperately trying to set up a legitimate-appearing government for Namibia. Meanwhile, South African troops are stationed there and vicious attacks have been launched against the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), the military arm of the independence movement.

South Africa has arrested and jailed thousands of SWAPO members under cover of the “Terrorism Act,” conducts raids against SWAPO bases, and seeks the intervention of UN “peacekeeping” forces to oversee South African-run elections.

Earlier this year, South Africa sent a gang of hoodlums into SWAPO offices to ransack equipment and steal information. But the SWAPO guerrilla fighters are intensifying their armed struggle, using heavy weapons and taking the offensive against South African bases and military installations.

The increasing number of South African casualties resulting from engagements with SWAPO forces serves warning on the imperialists and all supporters of apartheid that no freedom fighters in Southern Africa will slacken until they overcome.


Former military officers, religious figures, and dispossessed landlords, supported by U.S. imperialism, are spearheading a reactionary movement in Afghanistan which threatens the Kremlin-backed regime of President Hafizullah Amin. Amin took office in mid-September after former President Nur Mohammed Taraki was deposed.

Taraki came to power in 1978 through a coup engineered by the Afghan Communist Party. But the serious rebel threat evidently produced an internal split in the party which was resolved by a violent seizure of power by Amin.

Since its rise to power, the Afghan Communist Party has directed a program of major social reform.

Extensive land reform is underway, peasants’ debts have been cancelled, women’s status is improving, trade unions are legalized, and schools and medical centers have been built.

The Communist regime has won widespread support, but the successful reforms infuriated the Right, which organized a counterrevolution, aided by the Khomeini/Bazargan government in Iran and the military junta of General Zia ul-Haq in Pakistan.

The heaviest fighting has taken place along Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan, which is the base for the two major rightist groups, the Islamic Party and the Islamic Brotherhood. The Pakistani junta has served as a go-between to channel military aid from the U.S. to the insurgents.

The Iranian Islamic regime condemns the government as anti-Islamic. Khomeini/Bazargan fear the popular social reforms in Afghanistan, which pose a threat to their own regime.

The Communist government has achieved fundamental social and economic advances. Despite its Stalinist origins and support, it is a progressive regime. But it is in danger of defeat, and if toppled, the reversal of social reform would deal a severe blow to Afghan workers and peasants, and adversely affect the advance of revolution in neighboring Iran.

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