Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Do we have to celebrate or mourn?

Kaveh Moizafari was released!

Rouhi Shafii

The other day, this piece of news appeared on my email more than 10 times. Various people on the group emails sent this happy message to me and each other. Happy? Did I say? Kaveh has been in out of prison several times in the past. His crimes? Being a journalist and husband to another journalist, Jelveh Javaheri, who herself has been in and out of prison for crimes she has not commited. If I return to Iran, I will probably be locked in prison and the keys thrown away. Iranian prisons, like prisons in any other dictatorial country, past and present, are full of people whose only weapon is the words theyr write and that in the minds of the dictators and autocrats shape as weapons of mass destruction. Do we have to celebrate Kaveh's release or should we mourn the loss of human dignity in a country whose King Cyrus wrote the first human rights manifesto some 2500 years earlier and the words of its eminent poet, Sa'adi are printed at the enterance to the United Nations building?

 As created from the same essence

children of Adam are on body and mind.

Restless are other organs

when one is not well and in pain.

Ironically, it is in the land of Sa'adi and Hafiz and Rumi that has turned into the bloodbath of free thinkers and intellectuals and even those who merely want a normal life. A life that can be lived without fear from the pious brothers and sisters who are mecenaries of a regime that has denied the people their basic rights: right to choose what they want to wear, right to listen to the music of their choice, go to a park for a stroll without being chased and reprimanded for laughting or just being happy. Simple pleasures of life! 

The land of our great poets who have written volumes on love & beauty and pleasures of life and rose gardens, who have taught us to value life and its pleasures, has turned into a nightmare for ordinary people. Nowadays, all we talk is dungeons and dark basements where our youth are being taken, abused verbally and physically and tortured and we think dark thoughts. We think of the amount of therapy a prisoner needs in order to recover from the trauma of prison.  A young man who has been gang raped repeatedly and will never be able to lead a normal life. The women who have been raped and gone through the trauma of the dark rooms and secret corners of the cells. We talk of Hengameh Shahidi, the woman journalist who has been taken for a mock hanging with the rope around her neck on sevaral occasions just to intimidate her. And Silvia Haratounisn, the Arminian woman  who has been in Evin with no prospect of release, or the young French girl who was taken for a 200,000 Euros ransom and whose fearful face I can not forget. So, to be happy for the release of Kaveh does not decrease the pain we feel for so many others, men and women.

Nazafarin, sister of Shiva Nazar ahari who has been kept in prison for more than two months, wrote a piece for her sister in which she asks these questions at the end?


Are they humans, those who have kept you for so long? How can a human do such things to other human? They are not humans!









About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
View latest posts