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Manifesto by Abdolali Bazargan, Akbar Ganji, Mohsen Kadivar, Ataollah Mohajerani and Abdolkarim Soroush

(NOTE TO EDITORS: The following is an English translation (from the Persian) from the Jaras Web site of the manifesto signed by Iranian reform-movement founder and scholar Abdolkarim Soroush; dissident cleric Mohsen Kadivar; former parliamentarian and Islamic Guidance Minister Ataollah Mohajerani; investigative journalist Akbar Ganji; and Abdolali Bazargan, an Islamic thinker and son of a former prime minister.)

By Abdolali Bazargan, Akbar Ganji, Mohsen Kadivar, Ataollah Mohajerani and Abdolkarim Soroush

We fully support the positions of the leaders of the Movement in Iran (Mousavi, Karroubi, and Khatami), and believe that the optimal demands of the Green Movement of the Iranian people at this point are as follows.

1. Resignation of Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [as the president] and holding a new presidential election under the supervision of neutral organs; abolish the vetting process of candidates [by the Guardian Council] and formation of an independent election commission that includes the representatives of the opposition and protestors, in order to draft the rules and regulations for holding free and fair elections.

2. Releasing all the political prisoners, and investigating the torture and murder of the protestors over the past several months in open courts in the presence of a jury and the attorneys of their [the victims'] own choice, and compensating those who have been hurt and their families.

3. Free means of mass communication, including the press, the Internet, voice [radio] and visage [television]; abolishing censorship and allowing banned publications [such as dailies] to resume; expanding non-governmental TV and satellite channels; ending the filtering of the Internet and making it easily accessible to the public, and purging liars and provocateurs from [national] radio and television.

4. Recognizing the rights of all the lawful political groups, university student and women movements, the NGOs and civil organizations, and labor unions for lawful activities and the right to peaceful protest according to Article 27 of the constitution.

5. Independence of the universities [from political meddling and intervention]; running the universities democratically by the academics themselves; evacuating the military and quasi-military forces from the universities, and abolishing the illegal Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution [that interferes in the affairs of the universities].

6. Putting on trial all those that have tortured and murdered [people], and those who ordered the past crimes, particularly those over the past several months.

7. Independence of the judiciary by electing [rather than appointing] its head; abolishing illegal and special courts [such as the Special Court for the Clergy]; purging the judiciary from unfair judges, and banning judiciary officials from giving political speeches and carrying out orders of higher officials [the president and the Supreme Leader], instead of implementing the laws fairly and neutrally.

8. Banning the military, police, and security forces from intervening in politics, the economy, and culture, and ordering them to act professionally.

9. Economic and political independence of the seminaries, and preventing politicizing the clerics to support the government, and banning the use of Friday prayers sermons for issuing [by the clerics] illegal and anti-religious orders.

10. Electing all the officials who must become responsive to criticisms, and limiting the number of terms that they can be elected.

Not meeting these [legitimate] demands of the Green Movement and increasing the [violent] crackdown and oppression will not only not help us to pass the [present] crisis, but will also deepen the crisis with painful consequences, for which only the Supreme Leader will be responsible.