Atena Daemi said exile has pushed her and her friends closer to their goals and multiplied them in cities across Iran
On the eve of the clerical regime’s election farce in Iran on June 18, 2021, exiled political prisoner Atena Daemi sent out an open letter from the Lakan Prison of Rasht.
Protesting the regime forcible banishment of female political prisoners, exiled political prisoner Atena Daemi declared that she is standing by her people and will not vote in the regime’s election farce. Following is a translation of the text of her letter:
From autumn 2020 to Spring 2021, the authorities sent many of my friends and cellmates to exile in other Iranian prisons. I was also banished to the Lakan Prison in Rasht. They tried to prevent progressive activist women from being together, especially right before the 2021 election. The prison authorities did not know that by such hasty, indiscriminate actions, they created a beneficial experience for each of us. They pushed our people and us closer to our goals, and they multiplied us in cities of Iran!
Over the past years, my family and I experienced maximum pressure from the intelligence services (the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC). In January 2020, when we held a sit-in to protest the slaughter of protesters in November 2019, they took me to the IRGC HQ in Evin. Their agents acknowledged then that they had tried every possible means to “subdue me,” but they reaped nothing but made me more “unbridled.”
They talked about their futile remaining options, which they have deployed thousands of times against other dissident groups and opponents. Their methods include character assassination, moral assassination, issuing flogging sentences and carrying them out, sending prisoners to exile to remote locations, and finally, physical elimination.
I gave them the answers I felt were necessary. Here, I would like to emphasize that they cannot prevent me from carrying on my struggle against oppression and efforts to restore human rights by any of their worn-out tactics.
In any prison, I am free because they will never be able to fetter my thoughts! And I repeat that I enjoy watching their fear and desperation vs. active women and men in political, civil, and ideological scenes because this shows the increasing weakness of those who claim to have power!
Now, on the eve of the election comedy, we see that this comedy’s fixed actors and comedians come on the stage in various colors, with multiple names and mottos, but with one goal. That goal is to save and preserve the Islamic Republic regime. They try to deceive public opinion. But most people are aware that each ballot, blank or filled, means yes to the repeat of history and the inhuman policies of this regime’s 42-year rule. The 4-year presidential terms and their elections are absurd to show people’s turnout and role in politics. They sent my friends and me to exile to different parts of Iran to not say what we must. But side by the side of my people, I say NO to this sham election!
Atena Daemi, June 2021, Lakan Prison of Rasht
Exiled political prisoner Atena Daemi is 32. She finished serving her 5-year prison term on July 4, 2020. But she remained in jail due to new cases filed against her by the IRGC and Intelligence Ministry (MOIS). Two courts sentenced her to a total of five years in prison and 74 lashes.