Koohyar Goodarzi, A man for all seasons
He is young, energetic and very, very intelligent. He is from the city of Kerman where its winters are crisp and cold and summers dry and hot. Kerman has produced many brave men and women who have stood for the rights of people and freedom for Iran. During the constitutional revolution in 1905 many distinguished Kermani politicians contributed to the overthrow of the Quajar Dyunasty and the establishment of parliament. During the Shah's regime in the 1970s, the first woman that was tortured and then executed was a woman from Kerman. During the 31 one miserable years of the Islamic repulic rule many Kermani writers, intellectuals and activists have been barred from work, dismissed from jobs, detained for their political beliefs and driven out of the country into foreign lands where they have proved themselves as hardworking and successful.
Koohyar Goodarzi comes fron Kerman. His last message to me on the facebook came from Kerman where he returned after he was dismissed from University. He said its cold here and I asked him to go into the ancient ba'azar and see if the famous shop in the middle sells 'Faloudeh', a local delicious mixture of cooked starch with rosewater and sugar which cools the body in summer and which I used to love having it when accompanied by my mother and grandmother in the hot summer days of Kerman during my childhood.
Thinking that a brights person such as Koohyar whose heart is as wide and generous as the summer breeze in the deserts surrounding Kerman, who is kept in prison for thinking differently and believing in the rights of humans to freedom and is tortured for that, simply breaks my heart. Thinking that his bewildered mother has to travel to Tehran every month to see her son for a short time also breaks my heart. She knows how bright her son is. She knows how much pressure his young son is bearing for saying no to the torturers and refusing to cooperate with them.
Kooh in Persian means mountain and Yar means friend. Koohyar is standing like the mountains that suround his town and can be seen in the distance on those long sunny days: tall, strong and unrepenting. My thoughts are with him and his mother whose heart is broken but still insists that her son is defending the rights of Iranians and no matter how much pressure the interrogators put on her son she has not weavered for one moment to ask him to give in. That means that her son will empty himself of all human principles that he is standing for. She said in her last interview that she has tried to stay in a closed area for a short while to place herself where her son is kept for months and she couldn't stand it although she knew very well that she has done it as an experiment. How strong must he be who has stood his grounds and said no to the interrogators who are blood-thirsty for a 'confession'?
Koohyar is standing for something that is necessary for a nation to survive. Freedom, respect for human life and human dignity. We must support Koohyar and tell her brave mother that she is not alone, that Koohyar is the brave son of a nation which is standing against tyrany, ignorance and brutality. We must demand Koohyar's immidiate release as he has not committed any crime but defending the rights of humans. WE must urge the international community of human rights defenders to raise their voices against the abuse of human rights in Iran and for the release of Koohyar Goodarzi.
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.