How Much? How long?
Those of us who were in Iran and participated in the revolution of 1979 remember the days that the Shah's regime, unable to control the people resorted to violence in order to silence them. It didn't work. The Shah was finally toppled and the revolution succeeded. Whether making a revolution to change a regime is the best way is not the subject of this piece.What is the subject is the similarities between then and the present time. Dissatisfaction led the people to rebelious without giving it much thought. It took the Iranians 30 years of misery under the religous theocracy to understand what they really want and how to achieve it. The Iranian people are not after another revolution. They had enough of it. They want religous theocracy be replaced in a peaceful way to a secular republic with democracy as means of governance. The present regime is repeating history by resorting to the same methods as the Shah did. The only difference is that today, with the existence of the internet and mobile phones they can not hide behind lies. Their brutality which is derived from fear of losing power has no boundaries. They attack the peaceful demonstrations by any means. They kill people on the streets in daylight. Kidnap and take the activists into unknown detention centres in order to frighten them and the others. They have done it all through the 30 years of their rule. Today more than ever.
Last Sunday was the day people came out in their thousands to say enough is enough. The response was so brutal that comes close to unbelievable. The number of people killed by various means are up to 15 and maybe more. The number of injured and those detained are unknown. Many hunman rights activists are in custudy. Among them Shiva Nazar-ahari who was previously in prison for 100 days and who is at the moment on hunger strike and according to her mother in a dangerous situation. Among them 5 other human rights activists: Ali Hekmat, Mahsa Hekmat (Journalist), Nemat Vakil (lawyer) and Mohammed Reza Zohdi (editor of a magazine). Two other members of the human rights group have also been summond to court. Among them Mansoureh Shojai, women's rights activist. Worse than that is a death sentence given to Ali Saremi, a political activist who has already spent 23 years of his life in the Shah and this regime's prisons. According to a letter which was published on the internet, he is accused of attending a ceremony at the Khavaran cemetry two and half years earlier in anticipation with those thousands who were executed by the Islamic regime in 1988!
Together with the peace-lovong people of the world, we will be able to change this regime without sacrificing our best brains. Together, we can bring peace to the region. Together, we can make the world a safer place. If the Islamic regime which is a symbol for many renegade and extreme tendecies is toppled from power many radical Islamists will lose their ideological power base and make it easier for the world to achieve peace, especially in the Middle East.
We urge the internatioal community to raise its voice by pressing respective governments to put pressure on the Iranian govenment politically and islote it and condemn its actions against its own people. Together we will bring peace to the world. This is a promise.
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.