ٍCommittee to Fight Death Threats
At the bottom of this page, there is a copy of one of the latest death threat emails that has been sent to me and this one is in Persian. The sender of the threat, after giving four-letter family swear words to me, has written that whatever Savak had done to me I deserve, and has written that it is because of people like me that Iran is in bad fortune, and at the end has written that God willing, I will see the death of my kids in front of my eyes.
This is not the first time that I have received these types of threats by email or by phone, and usually I add the address of the sender to my email filter, to automatically delete the emails from that source, and of course most of these do not have a correct sender address, and one has to filter by MessageID which is not that easy, and even then they create another bogus sender address and the whole game is repeated again, and most of the time I just ignore all of these and do not let it to waste my time.
Of course, there are occasions when I had the time, and I did Internet trace of some of these emails , and in some occasions I even showed the relation of some of them with specific individuals and political groups. But in this article, my issue is not any specific political group that the sender of following threat may be related to, and whether this harasser is a former Savak agent or is an agent of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) pretending to be a Savak agent, and all the headers of the email are copied below and anyone interested can do an Internet trace of the source for themselves.
My discussion here in this article is the issue of death threats for political and ideological views, as a human right issue. Some Iranians at the time of Fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini for killing Salman Rushdie, thought that to be a minor issue, and thought the human rights in Iran is more important, but in practice similar treatment was given to people of other ideas, who held "less" dangerous views, such as Forouhars, which proved to us that these crimes and threats, if not stopped, will affect everyone, even the former supporters, when the case of Aghajari was the best example, who himself was a supporter of Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie, and the same people later issued similar fatwa for his death. One should stand up to the death threats, no matter who is threatened, and one should not let it go when the political views of the one who is threatened is not our views.
I was one of the first Iranians on Internet forums, who openly condemned Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa of death threat to Salman Rushdie for the author's views. At the time, some people would discuss whether Rusdie was an able writer or not, or whether he had insulted Islam or not, or whether he is a good man or not. My response was that the issue is his right to live without being threatened to death, regardless of how he thinks, and that is all. My family and I, all these years, were even openly threatened to death on the Internet discussion forums. And many of the posters of such threats even live inside the U.S.
Is it a crime to make death threat by email, or by posting death threat messages on discussion forums? Yes it is a crime. Here the point is not about wishing a system, like the system of Islamic Republic, to be dead. The discussion here is about threatening a specific individual to death. Then why doesn't anybody do anything about it? Some people, the same way they thought of death fatwa of Rushdie, think our movement has more important issues than this and they try to trivialize these issues. Of course, most of the time this is the facade and these people like Chamberlain, who tried to appease Hitler, think that they are helping themselves by such positions, and forget that finally there was the turn for England.
Of course, there has been cases when the threat came openly from the IRI regime, and those who were threatened, correctly reported it to police. the most obvious example being that of Salman Rushdie, who used both police and private security, and not only the harasser were not able to achieve their goal of silencing Rushdie, his books even became bestsellers. But regardless, those who tried to put down his efforts to stand up to these executioners were wrong especially the ones who call themselves human rights activists.
But in most cases, the victims of the death threats, either did not have the time to personally pursue the matter, or did not have the technical skills to trace the emails and forum messages to the Internet source, and also did not have the time to contact FBI, police or similar authorities in other countries, and the human rights organizations have not created the facilities for the victims to contact them.
In my opinion, it is time to put an end to this situation, and not to allow these intimidators and executioners to take away freedom of expression and thought from others because of people's fear for their life. The same way that Salman Rudhdie's case showed, these threats were one day pointed at him, but the next day they were pointed at Bakhtiar, Boroumand, Kurdish leaders, and Forouhars. It means that today I can be the target, because my ideas are not liked by the death threat makers, and tomorrow you can be their target because of your political and ideological views, to consider your death justified, and just as those who threatened Rushdie to death, later made issued the same threat to the one who supported Khomeini's death fatwa, namely to Aghajari.
In my opinion, all Iranian political groups, should stand up to this serious threat to the freedom of expression and thought. If a Committee to Fight Death Threats and similar threats is formed, those who receive such threats in email, at discussion forums, or official and unofficial press, can send those threat emails and forum messages to the committee for investigation. This was suggested to me recently by a friend of mine who believed that these actions should be taken seriously, and I replied to him that unfortunately our movement is in denial of this problem, let alone to so something about it. But how can such a committee work.
This committee can have a specialist section of Internet experts to trace the Internet source of these messages , and depending on the scope of the issue, it can contact FBI, police, and similar authorities at the national and international levels, the thing that most individuals personally either do not have the time, expertise, or the patience to do, and as a result they choose silence or self-censorship in front of these harassers. In fact, there are many Internet experts among Iranians who can be very effective in the technical section of this committee. In countries like the Islamic Republic of Iran, where the regime works hand in hand with the terror groups, like the hit groups that have been threatening Salman Rushdie, this committee should contact international authorities to prosecute the executioners.
These are not personal threats. And we forgiving them is not our modesty, and in our society such threats was the reason, that even before IRI, ended in the death of Ahmad Kasravi, and our political community because of so-called more important issues, did not take these seriously and these violations of human rights have continued.
These people like the Savak of the Shah, and the Vevak of Islamic Republic, want to push people to silence regarding the political issues and silence is not humility. Let me say that contrary to what some in our political movement think, these issues of despotism are not particular to pre-modern society of Islamists and Islamic Republic. These threats, in Modern forms, were continued during the regimes of Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah in Iran. From the death injections of political opponents at the time of Reza Shah to the crimes of Savak at the time of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. At the international level, Hitler's fascism with its gas chambers and concentration camps were all modern and not pre-modern. Thus let's not justify the modern dictatorial regimes.
These are not the problems of any one individual to advise them to tolerance. In fact, these harasser want to create the atmosphere of terror and fear, to scare the ordinary individuals from expressing their political and ideological views, and it is the duty of every free thinker, regardless of their political and ideological views, to stand up to the ones threatening political and ideological freedom. In fact, the best response to the writer of this death threat is that all the misfortune of Iranian people is because of those who step over human rights, who still do not respect the minimum of the human rights of Iranian people, meaning to have the right to freedom of expression and thought without facing death threat to themselves and their family by these fascist executioners.
Hoping for a Futurist, Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
February 4, 2005
IRI Terrorists' Death Threats from inside U.S. Soil 
Komala, the Flag Holder for Iran's Unity 
The Threat Email is Attached Below:
From: "nima" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 00:21:53 +0100
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koskesh haghet bood har balai ke Savak saret avard. Bekhatar in madar
jendeha ayne to hast ke irani inghadr alan badbakht shodan.
Be omid khoda ke marge bachehato joloye cheshmet bebini