NY students plan Iran Nokia protest

New York (NY) – At 4:30 pm EST today, American student activists will gather outside the Nokia Store at 5 East 57th Street in Manhattan to protest Nokia’s alleged complicity in the crackdown against Iranian protesters.

The protest is coordinated by Project Nur, a student-led initiative of the American Islamic Congress, in partnership with Students for Justice in Iran and with mobilizing assistance from the “Where Is My Vote?” initiative. Journalist Issa Saharkhiz claims Iranian security forces used his Nokia phone to track him down and arrest him, breaking his ribs in the process.

“Iran has cracked down on nonviolent protestors with surveillance technology developed by Nokia,” said co-organizer Ricky Chen, a student at Middlebury. “Over 10,000 people have sent protest letters to Nokia officials, yet the company continues to deny responsibility. Until Nokia severs its partnership with the Iranian regime, we are boycotting Nokia.”

According to the organizers, the rally’s slogan is: “Nokia out of Iran!” Protestors will be chanting: “Repression we can’t condone; throw out your Nokia phone!”

The protests follow a demonstration last month outside the Nokia Research Center at MIT and a flash mob in Washington, DC. Students plan to expand the campaign to other cities.

“We want Nokia executives to know we will not be silent, and we want Iranian students to know we stand with them,” said Alaleh Solati, a student organizer at American University.

“The latest reports from Iran indicate that detained protestors have been raped in jail. Nokia should be ashamed for helping to enable this crackdown – and Iranian students need to see that we won’t abandon them.”

After the rally outside the Nokia Store, students will gather inside Penn Station at 7:00 pm for a flash mob. Project Nur is a civil rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas among Muslims and between other peoples.