A big thank you to the IS Middle East Team, especially Ann Harrison and Drury Dyke

Last Iranian year was a difficult and turbulent year for the Iranian people. Iran was about to have its presidential elections after 5 years of Ahmadinejad’s presidency which brought economic disaster, political chaos and international humiliation and hostility to Iran. We began year 1388 (2009-2010) with much hope for change. We naively believed that in a fair and free elections people will oust Ahamdinejad  and select a less arrogant and more moderate person who will deal with Iran’s enormous problems. Elections in Iran have never been free or fair the way they are in most countries. Presidential candidates are vetted by layers of councils and closely selected by the supreme leader from among the top personalities within the ruling elite. However, from among the 4 candidates, two of them Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi seemed to have a programme which was moderate and promising. Millions of people voted in the elections. Millions hoped to replace Ahamdinejd by one of the two candidates. Hopes were dashed when on the voting day the country went under a military coup and Ahmadinejad was declared the winner before the votes were even counted. People along with the two candidates were in a state of shock when the supreme leader confirmed the results and closed the doors to any hope for change.

People poured on the streets in their millions demanding their votes be counted and declared the results unconstitutional, undemocratic and unfair. People were on the streets for four months continuously demanding their votes back. Demonstrations turned into street battles where tens if not hundreds were killed by the riot police, special security personnel, revolutionary guards, Basiji militias and plain-clothes thugs. Thousands were beaten up and scores were ill by inhaling teargas and peppergas. The number of detainees is unknown. The number of those who were raped and tortured in prisons in unknown. The number of those who have disappeared is unknown. The future of Iran is unknown.  The regime raids people’s homes in the middle of night, ransacks the house, takes the children away and threatens the rest of the families with severe punishment if they speak out. Sometimes they take a whole family into detention. No explanation is given. The regime has created a state of military-security where every voice of opposition is crashed. The regime has not permitted any international organisation to visit the country and report on the situation of human rights. That does not mean that human rights organisations were kept silent about the widespread abuse of human rights in Iran.

Among many organisation which reported on the situation in Iran and tirelessly followed the events and sent tens of urgent actions and statements throughout the world and in a way made a difference as we often heard from those who were released was Amnesty International’s Middle East Team especially Ann Harrison and Drury Dyke. We Iranians owe the Team a big thank you as you have stayed with us and became a strong voice of opposition to the extreme brutalities of the Iranian regime. We owe you a big thank you for understanding our situation and followed our prisoners in and out of prisons and let the world know that Iranians were not alone in this battle. You stood on the side of the right of humans and we never forget your understanding and your empathy which often brought hope into the dark cells of Evin prison. We thank all those who believe in the dignity of humans and believe that they can make a difference. Ann and Drury, you have made a difference and we thank you for all you did and all you will do in the future. We have a long way to go before our people are free from ignorance, brutality and tyrants. It is good to know that you are with us on this road.

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