Human rights and children’s rights activist, political prisoner Atena Daemi, has sent out an open letter from Evin Prison declaring her solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising.
She reiterates in her letter, “For a long time, it’s been the government that’s been sowing violence and now they are reaping its product.”
While expressing her desire to be free and alongside her people, Atena writes in her open letter, “If desiring freedom and basic rights is considered a crime, I stand by you and proudly call myself a criminal.”
Following are excerpts of Atena Daemi’s letter from Evin Prison:
I’m an evil, a seditionist, a rebel, a rioter, a criminal and a protester!
These are the adjectives used these days to refer to protesters in Iran… Today, they call independent protesters as vagabonds and rebels and urge their decisive suppression because they did not lead these protests.
These days, people have come to the streets to peacefully express their demands and cry out against the pressures and the oppression of a 40-year despotic rule which were growing by the day. But when (the regime’s forces) began their suppression, murders, brutality and arrests, people also became angry in defending themselves and their demands.
Their fury is described as a crime, but in reality, the word, crime, is much too small in comparison to the crackdowns, executions and oppression of these 40 years.
They didn’t say a thing about targeting and spraying the protesters these days with big capsules of pepper and tear gas, and this is why they had to build fire.
They don’t say a thing about thousands of Basij forces and security guards who were suddenly unleashed with their batons and clubs to beat up the people.
In my view, violence is not acceptable regardless of who commits it and why. For a long time, it’s been the government that’s been sowing violence and now they are reaping its product.
Those who suppress are the ones who infuriate the people these days…
Such crackdowns and murders, such detentions and incarcerations, such threats, intimidation and terror, are the price for freedom. The price of reaching our rights. It is the price of mankind’s happiness. This price must be paid and we will pay it.
We must not abandon resistance for even a moment.
We must consciously stand up to suppression. We must learn our lessons from Iran and the world’s history, because history is constantly being repeated.
No victory has been achieved easily. And no oppression has been everlasting.
We are the generation of the distorted revolution of 1979, the generation of the eight-year war, the generation that was suppressed and executed in the 1980s. We have been forgotten and we do not have any weapon but our cries!
Today, more than any other time, I wish I were free and beside my people.
These days, I am grieving more than any other time that I am imprisoned.
But from behind the bars of Evin Prison and from inside the women’s ward, I address the honorable people of Iran and say, “If desiring freedom and basic rights is considered a crime, I stand by you and proudly call myself a criminal.”