Woman’s Struggle In Iran – A Prison Memoir by Nasrin Parvaz

Iranian women struggle for freedom and equality and their resistance in prison.

Nasrin Parvaz is a member of the Socialist History Society

A crowd-funding appeal…

Woman’s struggle in Iran is the story of my imprisonment for eight years by the Islamic government of Iran.

In 1979, at the age of 20, I returned from England, where I had been studying. I became a member of a socialist party fighting for a non-Islamic state in which women had the same rights as men. In 1982, while waiting to meet a fellow comrade, I was exposed and arrested by the regime’s secret police. In prison, under torture, I refused to reveal my contacts’ names and addresses.

In prison I was brutally and systematically tortured, threatened with execution, starved and forced to live in appalling, horribly overcrowded conditions. Many of my fellow prisoners were executed; some were driven insane by torture and what we had to endure. Others repented their political beliefs only to find they remained in prison for years before their release. I became seriously ill, and was only saved from dying by the help of a fellow prisoner who was a doctor.

Although I was imprisoned and in the hands of my enemies, they could not arrest my resistance, and neither could torture vanquish my struggle. In resisting the Islamic regime, I was not alone, all the other men and women, imprisoned like me, we were all part of the ultimate victory of humanity.

Historical Controversy in Cuba

Jesús Menéndez

Recently there has been a controversy in the Cuban press over the murder of the General Secretary of the Cuban Federation of Sugar Workers in 1947. The journal of the Catholic diocese of Havana, Espacio Laical, published an article by Newton Briones Montoto arguing that he was not murdered by an army officer but was killed in self defence as he fired on the officer first while resisting arrest. Given that the Socialist History Society has recently published an Occasional Paper, Killing Communists in Havana, at the urging of comrades from the Institute of Cuban History and the history commission of the CTC trade union confederation, we wrote a reply based on the research for the SHS Occasional Publication and, to our surprise, the Espacio Laical published it. For those who read Spanish, the article can be found here…

LETTERS OF SOLIDARITY AND FRIENDSHIP Czechoslovakia 1968–71

by David Parker

The  eloquent and powerful letters that make up this volume tell the extraordinary story of how two men who never met or spoke to each other became the closest of friends. It was all the more extraordinary given that Leslie Parker was a veteran member of the British Communist Party while Paul Zalud was a disillusioned former communist struggling to cope under the Stalinist regime imposed on his native Czechoslovakia after the Soviet invasion in August 1968. The relationship began inauspiciously when Leslie saw a letter from Paul in The Times and wrote to berate him for it. The unexpected result was an epistolary journey, conducted in defiance of the censors and concluded only by Leslie’s death, through which in Paul’s words they ‘became friends by wrestling with each other’.

This remarkable collection presents two very different yet complementary minds. Paul’s letters offer an incomparable insight into the processes of ‘normalisation’ whereby an entire country was disciplined; Leslie’s reveal his efforts to sustain his friend’s morale with humour and domestic reportage as well as incisive political commentary. Both men had an instinctive flair for juxtaposing the personal and political, blending the mundane and the philosophical in a literary discourse as moving as it is instructive.

ISBN 978-1-5262-0603-9
Published by Bacquier Books

May be obtained from Waterstones or Blackwells

Climbing Mount Sinai: Noah Ablett 1883-1935

Tonypandy Miners on Strike 1910

Socialist History Occasional Publication 40
by ROBERT TURNBULL

Noah Ablett has been described as the ultimate organic intellectual. An accomplished autodidact, scholar, polemicist, orator and teacher; he was one of the most outstanding, but controversial labour activists to emerge from the period of unprecedented industrial, political and social turmoil which convulsed the South Wales coalfield in the years preceding the First World War. One of the authors of The Miners’ Next Step, Ablett’s premature death robbed the labour movement of one of its ablest advocates.

About the author
Robert Turnbull is a writer and historian. He is a graduate of Ruskin College, Oxford, and the University of Northumbria. He has written for the TLS and BBC History Magazine. He is married with three sons and lives in the North East of England. Rob has a longstanding interest in the history of the South Wales coalfield, where he lived for many years.
He is also the author of Left for the Rising Sun, Right for Swan Hunter: The Plebs League in the North East of England 1908-1926, Five Leaves Publications, 2014