Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

I found this piece in the New York Postthat provides a bit more background on the Human Rights abuses by the Iranian Regime. Normally I don’t paste an entire article, but felt that posting a segment of the article would change the context. At the Forum offered him at Columbia University, Ahmadinejad proudly proclaimed that Iranian women are the most free women in the world.  Tell that to Ms Azadeh Pourzand.

Her story below…    

pourzand.jpgThey ask me where I am from, and when I say, “Iran,” the words that immediately pop out of their mouths are, “Ah-maa-di-ni-ne-ja-jaa-d! Your president?”

I correct them and say “Ahmadinejad,” and I continue, “Yes, he is, indeed, the president of Iran.” Then they ask, “How do you feel about him?” I choose to respond with an opaque smile and change the subject.

I feel that if I really answer the question, it will take a few hours. The trouble begins when I have to explain that I am not even granted the right to like him or dislike him. The difficulties increase when I have to tell them that I have felt excluded from the politics of Iran since the day I became conscious about the political scene in my country.

I want to tell them about what could happen to those who criticize the politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I want to tell them my story.

My parents are considered serious threats to the Islamic Republic of Iran. My mother, Mehrangiz Kar, a prominent women’s-rights activist, writer and lawyer, was imprisoned in 2000. After two months in solitary confinement, she was found guilty of criticizing the regime and supporting the Reform Movement.

My father, Siamak Pourzand, a 76-year-old journalist, was kidnapped in 2001, held in unknown prisons and treated violently.

His crime, too, was criticizing the fundamentals of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I was 16 when I came to the United States. Already traumatized by Mother’s imprisonment, I now had to face the ordeal of my father’s disappearance.

I lived with my mother, who had been exiled. She was sad, weak and helpless. After three precious decades of having worked and defended women’s rights in Iran, she was now expelled from the land she dearly loved.

So when I am asked what I think of Ahmadinejad, I remain silent.

I pretend that I do not know or much care about the current events of Iran and its critical situation in relation to the United States.

I’d much rather appear an ignorant 22-year-old woman than an abhorrent victim of the authorities of her own country.

Given what I have seen and experienced throughout my life, how could I consider President Ahmadinejad and many other officials of Iran the representatives of my country?

As an Iranian citizen, I have written numerous confidential and public letters to Iranian authorities – including President Ahmadinejad – asking them to at least let me go to Iran and take care of my old, frightened, lonely and ill father.

Not even once have I received an answer. I only wish the leaders of the Iranian regime could taste the bitterness of exile for one day.

Maybe experiencing a small sample of exile will make them less unkind.

How could I consider myself a citizen of my birthplace, Iran? How could I be happy about President Ahmadinejad’s visit to the United States – the country in which I now reside?

After all, it is the Iranian regime that took Iran away from me, with much disgrace.