Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Executions in Iran

Together with a number of volunteers, we have been preparing a campaign to mark one year of crackdowns on dissent in Iran. That campaign focuses on prisoners of conscience in Iran and those political prisoners in danger of execution. This morning, when we got up and turned on my email, the first message was from a dear colleague who linked to the AP article on the early morning execution of 5 of the people we had come to know through our work. "I can't stop crying," she wrote. "I do not know what to do." (She subsequently wrote an elegant post at
Shirin Alam-Holi

We can mark their lives.

Shirin Alam Holi was a young Kurdish woman who was accused of planting a bomb. In her own words, she tells us of her arrest: “The interrogators were male, and I was tied to a bed with handcuffs. They used their fists, feet, electric batons, and cables to beat my head, face, body, and soles of my feet. At that time I could not even understand and speak Persian. When their questions remained unanswered, they beat me again till I passed out.”
In a letter written just seven days ago, she wrote:

When I entered this prison my hair was black, now after three (3) years of imprisonment, my hair has started to turn white. I know you have done this not only to me but to all Kurds including Zeynab Jalaliyan and Ronak Safarzadeh… The eyes of Kurdish mothers are full of tears, waiting to see their children. They are in a state of constant worry, in fear that each phone call may bring the news of the execution of their children.

Today is May 2, 2010 and once again they took me to Section 209 of the Evin prison for interrogation. They asked me to cooperate with them in order for me to be pardoned and not executed. I don’t understand what they mean by cooperation, when I don’t have anything more to say than what I have already said

Mehdi Eslamian was executed a little more than a year after the execution of his brother for allegedly participating in a bombing in Shiraz. He was tortured for 14 days and denied medical care.

Ali HeidarianAli Heidarian was a Kurdish rights activist accused of participating in armed conflict as was Farhad Vakili.

Farzad Kamangar
was a teacher whose cause has become international. Human rights organizations, Iran's teachers' union, and international education groups all joined together to protest his incarceration and sentence of execution. Kamangar wrote recently:
Farzad Kamangar
Is it possible to carry the heavy burden of being a teacher and be responsible for spreading the seeds of knowledge and still be silent? Is it possible to see the lumps in the throats of the students and witness their thin and malnourished faces and keep quiet?

Is it possible to be in the year of no justice and fairness and fail to teach the H for Hope and E for Equality, even if such teachings land you in Evin prison or result in your death?

Others are in danger of execution:

Abdolreza Ghanbari, a school teacher who participated in the December demonstrations on the Shia holiday of Ashura.

Ahmad Danseshpour is alleged to have sent videos and pictures to the MKO and whose mother and father Motahareh Bahrami and Mohsen Daneshpour Moghaddam have also been sentenced to death.

Ali Saremi , member of the MKO, was arrested last year when he attended a memorial for the 1988 mass killings of political prisoners. (It's worth noting here that many members of the Ahmadinejad administration were directly responsible for the killings.)

Ali Massouni is another protester. Ali Omid Mehrnia has relatives at Camp Ashraf (MKO camp in Iraq), as does Alireza Nabavi.

Amir Reza Arefi is accused of having ties with a monarchist group. His sentence is being appealed.

Aziz Mohammadzadeh is another Kurdish rights activist sentenced to death.

Read what others are saying:

They EXECUTED Her: Shirin Alam Hooli

: Bios of the 5 Executed Prisoners of Conscience
Enduring America: Iran: Farzad Kamangar’s Last Letter “Is It Possible to Teach and Be Silent?”
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: About Farhad Kamangar


Anonymous said...
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Oscar said...

I want to know more about Iran , Regards from Perú

Anonymous said...

so sorry and so sad to read about the execution of the teacher Farzad Kamangar and the other person.
How all the millions people in Iran can't save persons from execution?
the west country worry about other thing, some died people in In Iran don't interesting them.

Anonymous said...

Salaam, I am a research scientist trying to understand Iranian bloggers. I would appreciate your participation by emailing me your responses to iranianblogsurvey[@]

Your blog identity:
Is your blog name the same your true identity? Why?

Why do you blog in English?

Do you only blog in English? Why?

Did you blog about the most recent Iranian elections? Why?

Thank you very much for participating.

Anonymous said...

the e-mail. not correct Mr. Anonymous

Blitz said...

This is terrible! Mullahs in Iran are continuing various forms of persecution and repression of people.

Weekly Blitz is continuing to publish articles, investigative reports, interviews and editorials on the repression of Iranian regime.

We welcome pro-democracy forces in the world to visit and read articles, commentaries, investigative reports, interviews and editorials on Iran.