IRAN, 21 June 2017-- Commemorating the day of Martyrs and Political Prisoners in Iran coinciding with the June 20th, Mrs. Sholeh Pakravan, a well respected activist and mother of an executed Iranian icon, Reyhaneh Jabbari has written a letter demanding justice for 120,000 martyrs and thousands of political prisoners in Iran.
Mrs. Pakravan in her letter writes: Today is the day when we remember political prisoners, both those executed over the past decades, and those who are held in prison right now.
Back in the origin of the day, 19 June 1981, I was no older than a teen. The day when fire was opened on demonstrators, following which only the names of young girls and boys who were executed were published in newspapers. The day that became a turning point in the history of people’s fight for freedom.
What started years later by civil activists, was once again faced with a wave of repression, capture, and even massacre.
Back then, I had no idea what arrest and execution meant. For me, they were just two words the huge pain hidden within which I didn’t understand. I was unaware and now I’m ashamed of my unawareness.
It should’ve passed years so I sat behind court doors to understand what oppression really means. What injustice really means.
It should’ve passed years so I myself waited behind prison doors to learn the meaning of frustration, to understand the meaning of death penalty, and to feel the pain of losing a family member through execution.
When I say I’m ashamed of my unawareness, I mean if I, we, voiced solidarity with those victims back then, maybe we could’ve prevented such inhumane laws from being legislated.
Getting informed of the situation the prisoners and their families are living in is a duty to be shouldered by all and every single person in society, so we won’t be ashamed in coming decades.
Informing the community is now being done to some extent thanks to social media, although more could’ve been done in this regard.
Justice seeking by families will continue until all gallows are sent to museums and prisoners of conscience are only history.
Until prisoners of conscience and the death penalty are still in place, we will keep commemorating victims of injustice year after year, without making any change in the fate of today’s children and tomorrow’s prisoners, today’s teens and tomorrow’s food for execution machine.
It’s been years the judiciary has been standing against people’s legitimate demands.
Several decades have passed while we’ve witnessed how people’s bodies and souls were subject to more chains, so much so that today we see amputations, flogging, and executions carried out in public, labor activists tortured, and hundreds more instances of hostility with humanity.
Right when embezzlement, plundering, and murder scandals of regime heads were revealed during election debates, Esmaeil Abdi was on hunger strike, protesting about teachers’ lost rights.
When ministers and lawyers were hypocritically smiling and shaking hands with international officials, Jafar Azimzadeh, Arash Sadeghi, Saeid Shirzad, Rajabian brothers, and dozens more prisoners were refusing to eat, shouting justice by sacrificing their health.
When they were bragging about signing citizenship rights, Atena Daemi was fighting to prevent families of prisoners from being taken hostage to shut the protesting prisoner’s mouth.
When the same laws, injustice, and repression methods have been going on over the past four decades, it’s on us to look for other ways to realize lost rights and establish justice. So we’re no longer ashamed of future generations, executed youth, and fallen loved ones of our recent history.
I, as someone who lost her loved one through execution, will not remain silent and continue to seek justice until those who killed my innocent child are put to a fair trial. On the way ahead, I’ll stand by thousands of other justice seekers to shout justice, abolition of death penalty, prohibition of torture, and release of prisoners of conscience. Long live freedom, long live life. No more execution, in any form and for any excuse.