Nobelpris-modtager smugler brev ud fra fængslet

På søndag burde Narges Mohammadi befinde sig i Oslo for at modtage Nobels Fredspris. Men der kommer til at være en tom stol på hovedscenen, hvor Narges skulle sidde, fordi de iranske myndigheder ønsker at lukke munden på den ukuelige menneskerettighedsforkæmper, som sidder fængslet i Iran. Det er dog lykkedes hende at smugle et takkebrev ud fra fængslet. Læs brevet her:

Narges Mohammedi er et symbol på den lange hårde kamp for menneskerettigheder i Iran. Selvom præstestyret slår hårdt ned på alle dem, der kritiserer styret – inklusiv hele Kvinde, Liv, Frihed-bevægelsen, nægter hun at give op. Hun tror på, at menneskerettighederne vil sejre – også i Iran.

Amnesty International har igennem mange år støttet op om hende – tusindvis af aktivister har lavet kampagner for at få hende løsladt og er dybt engageret i hendes sag. Narges Mohammadi har selv sagt, at det er støtten fra de mange aktivister verden over, der giver hende styrke til at fortsætte.

“At Narges Mohammadi bliver tildelt Nobels Fredspris er en kæmpe anerkendelse af hendes arbejde og et stærkt statement til det iranske præstestyre om, at lige meget hvor hårdt de slår ned på menneskerettighedsforkæmpere og hele Kvinde-Liv-Frihed-bevægelsen, så glemmer omverdenen ikke det iranske folk og de overgreb, de bliver udsat for”, siger generalsekretær i Amnesty International Danmark Vibe Klarup.

Prisen giver også håb til dem, der kæmper for menneskerettigheder i Iran – inklusiv de mange aktivister, som har engageret sig i hendes sag og kæmper for hendes løsladelse.

Her er takkebrevet, som det lykkedes Narges Mohammadi at få smuglet ud af fængslet i Iran:

Honorable Chair and Members of the Nobel Committee,

I would like to express my gratitude to the Nobel Committee for its powerful, clear, and meaningful recognition of The Power of Protest demonstrated by the people of Iran in their revolutionary and social movements. The moment that the voice of Ms. Berit Reiss-Andersen, the  honorable Chair of the Nobel Committee, was broadcast by the state television of the Islamic Republic in the women’s ward at Evin Prison, conveying protest and criticism, this powerful echo merged with the stirring cries of Woman, Life, Freedom raised by my cellmates and crystalized the power of  Iranian protesters in the world.

In two distant places, but at the same meaningful historical moment, the waves of this formidable slogan demonstrated the widespread and diverse power of the people and their decisive role in today’s world.

This year’s selection of the Nobel Laureate for Peace, the announcement for which started with the slogan of the revolutionary movement of Iranian protesters, is a commendable action by the Nobel Committee and marks a turning point in empowering protest and social movements worldwide as key forces for fundamental change in contemporary human societies which finds direction and purpose through the selection of a human rights defender.

We, the people of the Middle East in countries like Iran and Afghanistan, have experienced life under tyranny and discrimination and discovered the necessity of implementing the concepts of freedom, democracy, and human rights even before recognizing and understanding them through the study of scholarly theories and scientific texts. We have arisen to fight against the violators and enemies of these concepts because from our very childhood we are exposed to the domination, blatant and hidden violence, tyranny, and discrimination of authoritarian regimes in our daily lives.

At the age of nine, when I heard my mother’s cries of mourning after the execution of her niece, a university student, and my grandmother’s lamentations because her son had been tortured, my childhood dreams were cruelly shattered. At that time, I had no understanding of the concepts of execution and torture. In the 1980s, no one heard the stories or the voices of those mothers who were pleading for justice. It was the decade of executions, torture, rape, and assault in prisons, crimes one of the policy makers and enforcers of which was Ibrahim Raisi, the current President of the Islamic Republic. No-one was hearing anything then because authoritarianism cloaked in the mantle of religion imposed widespread suppression, poverty and unbridled misery on Iran. 

I was a 19-year-old girl when I was detained because of wearing an orange coat. At the detention centre, breathless with disbelief, horror and shock, I saw grim looking men in black uniforms with whips in their hands who relentlessly lashed the bodies of four women who had been detained without due process of law similar to tens of others. Many years later, the world witnessed last year that a young woman by the name of Mahsa-Jina Amini was confronted by the Morality Police on the pretext of wearing an improper “hijab” and as a result lost her life. Hundreds of protesters were shot with rubber bullets and real ones and were killed, six protesters were hanged from the gallows, and a wave of arrests, torture, solitary confinements, assault, persecution and harassment engulfed protesters and women. Universities were invaded by repressive security forces, civil institutions and activists were cracked down on more than ever before, and even those families that were seeking justice were imprisoned.  

I hereby declare that the Islamic Republic imposes compulsory hijab on the society not out of concern for religious obligations, nor for the sake of social customs and traditions, nor as it claims, to preserve the dignity and prestige of women; rather, it openly forces the compulsory hijab on them for the purpose of suppressing and controlling women and for extending that control to the entire society. Thus, it legalizes and institutionalizes discrimination and oppression against women. But Iranian women are conscious of this and therefore, will not tolerate it.

The compulsory hijab is a means of control and repression imposed on the society and on which the continuation and survival of this authoritarian religious regime depends; a regime that has institutionalized deprivation and poverty in society for forty-five years; a regime built on lies, deception, cunning, and intimidation; a regime that has jeopardized peace in the region and in the world with its tension-fueled and belligerent policies.

In Iran today, women and the youth are the largest and most radical and progressive social groups that fight against religious authoritarianism and want to bring about fundamental change with an aim to achieve lasting peace in Iran, in the Middle East, and in the world.

The world observes that the revolutionary movement of Woman, Life, Freedom continues its campaign and resistance in Iran, and is a hard struggle for the survival and the real life of society. The strength of this movement lies in the agency of Iranian women. We assuredly know what we want far better than what we do not want. We believe in it, commit to it, and are certain of victory!

We, the people of Iran, demand democracy, freedom, human rights, and equality, and the Islamic Republic is the main obstacle in the way of realizing these national demands. We have decided and are struggling to transition away from this religious authoritarian regime through solidarity and drawing on the power of a non-violent and unstoppable process in order to revive the honor and pride of Iran and human dignity and prestige for its people.

Finally, with a heart filled with love, hope, and enthusiasm I offer my warmest greetings and sincere gratitude to the honorable Nobel Committee on behalf of the forty-six women prisoners of conscience and political prisoners at  Evin Prison, women campaigners with diverse political and intellectual orientations from past decades, Baha’i prisoners of conscience, environmental activists, intellectuals, passionate women protesters in the Mahsa-Jina Movement, journalists, and university students.

I would like to thank  the global media, the  journalists who are our resounding and vibrant voices in the world,  the world’s feminists who consider women’s rights as a gauge and a measure for democracy, ethics, peace, and human life, and have constantly pushed the world forward, the human rights institutions that are the foothold and refuge for humanity,  Amnesty International,  civil societies and networks,  social movement organizations, people who are an undisputed force,  eminent thinkers and politicians who uphold human rights and peace as inseparable from their politics, artists who present to the world a true picture of what is happening in Iran, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, writers, PEN International, Nobel  laureates, Ms. Shirin Ebadi, all my colleagues in civil institutions in Iran, my cellmates throughout my years in prison, the nameless and faceless women who took to the streets to protest and withstood resistance, the mothers pleading for justice, my family and Kiana and Ali, and all those who congratulated my selection. I am grateful to all of you and urge you to support the people of Iran until the final victory.

Victory is not easy, but it is certain.

Narges Mohammadi

Evin Prison

October 2023

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