Thanksgiving In Solitude

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 27, 2009
   As I sit at the dining room table to eat turkey I don't think about how thankful I am. The way I see it I am thankful everyday for being fortunate to live under a roof and to have a family that cares about me. Instead i think about my people in Iran who on this day live in solitude. From citizens living in homes to those trapped in Evin a population is living under military order. As a nice breast of turkey and mashed potatoes lay on my plate covered in gravy I understand today in Iran a prisoner is given a boot to the face as his or her dinner.  
  I think about the three hikers who have been detained for months. Their families leaving a chair vacant at the table to have their loved ones be there in spirit. On the other side of the world the three hikers stare at the walls of silence as they sit there in solace. The growling of their stomachs express hunger and frustration. I think about my good friend Mehdi Saharkhiz's father Isa who sits in his cell with broken ribs with not a single soul willing to help. His son miles away cannot even get in touch with his father to wish him a happy thanksgiving.
  To all the political prisoners in Iran who are spending their time in solitude on a day where we are supposed to be thankful. I am thankful for seeing such brave souls stand up to government tyranny. It is because of your sacrifice that one day the walls of dictatorship will be destroyed. As you are inside behind bars on the outside we continue were you left off and lord willing when you are released you will join the masses in celebration. Happy thanksgiving to you the journalist, the political prisoner, or the wrongfully accused in Iran.

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Reminiscing on Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 22, 2009

   The mountains stretched to the sky while the hot sun beamed on me. I felt as if I was being cooked but I wasn’t surprised after all this was summer time in Shiraz. When I was in high school I visited my relatives and I was at that age where I was able to understand more now than when I was a child. One moment that was embedded in my head for the rest of my life was a theater class that my cousin was part of. This class was taught by Cyrus Shamlu the son of famous Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlu. I was excited to see Iranian theater and to watch and learn from their styles of acting and dancing. I would later find out behind the scenes how ugly and political this all was.


      When I walked into the theater I saw both young boys and girls some young adults. Just by looking into their eyes you can sense their enthusiasm and passion for theater. They also had a lot of questions for me being that I am from America. The hospitality and respect of the people was great. As I sat on the bench to watch the people practice on their dancing and acting I realized how important this was. Beyond theater I saw two sides of the opposite sex in one room performing and having fun. In Iran this is quiet difficult to do. Even in schools boys and girls are kept separate so to have them in one room was shocking to me. In America we take these minimal things for granted the basic human rights in which we have over looked at times. I told my cousin about this and my thoughts and it was then when he told me how much the government had given them a hard time to make this theater class. In Iran in order to have this type of class in which boys and girls are in one room the government has to give them permission and they rarely do. It took about a year to get an approval and this obviously was with certain stipulations.


     To make sure rules were being followed the government would send one of their officials or journalists who are pro government to check out the theater and facilitate. It's always simple to know who is pro-government or not. Once, this man came in and he slowly crept up and was watching everything that was happening from the benches where I was sitting. You could tell he was a conservative pro Islamic Republic figure with his hair combed to the side, clean shaven with a mustache, a bit of goatee, and a thick unibrow. He had a very serious look on his face as if he was trying to look for something wrong to report back to his people. When the class finished the man began to speak with the head of the class. He asked questions about if the boys and girls were touching one another during exercises. He was interested in knowing what they do during their meetings. It was as if he were a policeman interrogating an alleged suspect. 


    It pained me to see how people who want to do something positive for the youth have a government hovering over them who are more concerned about why two opposite genders are in the same room. Instead of promoting the idea of two different genders learning from one another they encourage separatism. Iran to me is the best kept secret in the world. There are so many bright thinkers, artists, and writers but unfortunately they are trapped by the evil powers of tyranny. Its frustrating when higher powers tell you what you can write about or what you can sing about or how you can dance. This is a country being dictated on how to think, how to feel, and what to believe in. Instead of promoting freedom they act like police officers directing traffic. They tell the people when they can go when they should stop.    



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Hunger Strikes Continue In Iran

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 18, 2009
University students all over Iran have begun their hunger strikes. Here is a look at the campus of Khaje Nasir University:

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Dedicated to Ehsan

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 13, 2009
   When the Islamic Revolution and the Ayatollah rose to power the first thing he created was a constitution. In this constitution he clearly prohibits any acts of discrimination of minority groups. In Iran today minority groups such as Kurds and Afghans suffer from discrimination. The Afghans and Kurds treat Iran as many other immigrants treat America a way of having opportunities and to escape the political situations of their countries. The tragedy to this is when they come to Iran they are treated like slaves. Their oppertunities are very limited, finding a job is not easy and they are denied the right to be educated. Ehsan Fattahian was a bright thinker a man a Kurd himself he envisioned a brighter day for his people. A day were minorties in Iran would have equal rights. 
   Ehsan made so much noise in the political community for his fellow Kurds that this woke up the Iranian government and they decided to arrest him. When he was arrested he went through painful sessions of torture. He would later be sentenced to 10 years in exile. This angered Ehsan and he decided to appeal the ruling which caused the Iranian government to claim he was an "enemy of god" and his exile ruling turned into the death penalty. Throughout his time on death row other politically active Kurds bravely wrote articles of Ehsan's story to let people. Groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several Iranian human rights organizations issued statements calling to stop the execution. The online community had 10,000 electronic signatures to ask the Iranian government to stop this at once however the tragic show went on and Ehsan was executed. 
  During the Saddam Hussein era he was infamous for murdering thousands of Kurds which ultimately lead to his execution. The Islamic Republic is doing the exact thing they are executing Kurds to strike fear to their community and prevent them from rising. Again this contradicts the constitution which does not allow people to be discriminated against. Ehsan goes down with bravery and opens the doors to other Kurds to step up to government tyranny. Death is not fearful anymore, death just inspires more martyrs.   

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November 10th protest at Khaje Nasir University

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 10, 2009
Student protest at Khaje Nasir University..spread the word

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Ehsan Fatahiyan 36 Hours Left

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 9, 2009
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  In 36 hours Ehsan Fatahiyan faces execution. He is being executed for his beliefs and nothing more. In a letter Ehsan has written he decribes the injustice he faces and the trumped up charges as he sits in Sanandaj Prison. The following letter was translated by :
The last glimmers of the dusk sun

Are showing me the path on which to write;

The sounds of leaves under my steps

Are telling me “let yourself fall

And you will rediscover the path to freedom.”


I never feared death. Even now, as I feel its odd and honest presence next to me, I still want to smell its aroma and rediscover it; Death, who has been the most ancient companion of this land. I don’t want to talk about death; I want to question the reasons behind it. Today, when punishment is the answer for those who seek freedom and justice, how can one fear his fate? Those of “us” who have been sentenced to death by “them” are only guilty of seeking an opening to a better and fair world. Are “they” also aware of their deeds?

I started my life in the city of Kermanshah, the name of which has always been on the tongues of my compatriots for its greatness; the city which is called the cradle of civilization. As my thoughts were developing, I came to see and feel the injustice and discrimination; an injustice that targeted me not only as an individual but also as a member of humankind. I went in thousand different directions to find out the reasons behind injustice. Alas, they had made the arena so closed for those who were thriving for justice that I could not find my way in. I immigrated to another arena outside the superficial boundaries to find answers to my questions. I became a Komeleh guerilla in order to find my stolen identity. Yet I never separated from my first home, and once in a while I returned there to renew my memories. And then one day, they found me during one of my visits, arrested me and put me in a cage. The greeting my captors reserved for me from day one convinced me that my fate would be similar to those who had walked before me along that road: torture, fabricated charges, biased court, an unjust and politically motivated verdict and finally death.

Let me put it this way: after being arrested on July 20th, 2008, in Kamyaran, I was taken to the Intelligence Ministry’s local office. A few hours later, as I was blindfolded and chained and could not see or move, a person who introduced himself as the deputy prosecutor began questioning me. His questions were irrelevant and filled with made up accusations (let me remind you that it is strictly against the law to interrogate people in places other than courts and tribunals). This was the first of many interrogation sessions I had to face. The same night, I was taken to the Intelligence Ministry’s provincial headquarters in Sanandaj, where I had to attend the real party: a dirty cell with a disgusting washroom. The blankets had not been washed for years. This was the beginning of three months of going up and down the hall from my cell to the interrogation room, always being beaten along the way. The honorable interrogators were so keen to get a promotion or make a bit more money that they accused me of all kinds of bizarre things, even though they knew of the falsehood of their accusation. They used every means in their power to prove that I had taken part in armed operations. In the end they could only prove that I had been a member of Komeleh and had taken part in propaganda activities against the regime. The 10 year sentence handed by the initial court is good proof that I only had one charge. The 1st branch of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj sentenced me to 10 years in prison, to be served in Ramhormoz Prison outside Kordestan. The political and administrative establishment in Iran has always been in favor of centralized policies, but, apparently, in my case, they had decided to reverse course! Recently provincial appeals courts have become the judicial authority to rule in cases related to political prisoners, even in capital punishment cases. Capital punishment cases were the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. So, the Kamayaran prosecutor objected the initial ruling, and, surprisingly, against Iranian law, the 4th branch of the Kordestan Appeals Court changed the 10 year sentence to a death sentence. According to Article 258 of Iranian Criminal law, appeals courts can only issue a heavier sentence when the initial sentence is lighter than the minimum punishment required by law. The indictment presented by the prosecutor stated the charge as Moharebeh (enmity against God). The minimum punishment required by law in similar cases is 1 year in prison. Now, be the judge yourself and compare the 10 year prison sentence (served in exile) with the minimum required to see how illegal, unlawful and political the death sentence is.

Let me add that, shortly before my sentence was changed to the death sentence, I was taken from Sanandaj prison to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center, where I was asked to make a false confession on camera, show remorse for the actions I had not committed and reject my beliefs. I did not give in to their illegitimate demands, so I was told that my prison sentence would be changed to the death sentence. They were fast to keep their promise and prove to me how courts always concede to the demands of intelligence and non-judicial authorities. How can one criticize the courts then?

All judges take an oath to remain impartial at all times and in all cases, to rule according to the law and nothing but the law. How many of the judges of this country can say that they have not broken their oath and have remained fair and impartial? In my opinion the number is countable with the fingers on my hand. When the entire justice system in Iran orders arrests, trials, imprisonments and death sentences with the simple hand gesture of an uneducated interrogator, what is to be expected from a few minor judges in a province that has always been discriminated against? Yes, in my view, it is the foundation of the house which is in ruins.

Last time I met in prison with the prosecutor who had issued the initial indictment, he admitted that the ruling was illegal. Yet, for the second time, it has been ruled that my execution should be carried out. It goes without saying that the insistence to carry out the execution at any cost is a result of pressures exercised by political and intelligence groups outside the Judiciary. People who are part of these groups look at the question of life and death of a prisoner only based on their own political and financial interests. They cannot see anything but their own illegitimate objectives, even when it is the question of a person’s right to life – the most basic of all human rights. How pointless is it to expect them to respect international treaties when they don’t even respect their own laws?

Last word: if the rulers and oppressors think that, with my death, the Kurdish question will go away, they are wrong. My death and the deaths of thousands of others like me will not cure the pain; they will only add to the flames of this fire. There is no doubt that every death is the beginning of a new life.

Ehsan Fattahian,

Sanandaj Central Prison


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November 8 protests

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 8, 2009

A Day In Review

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 5, 2009

13 Aban protests

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 4, 2009

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November 3rd protests in Tehran.

Posted in Uncategorized by iranallday on November 3, 2009
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