away in Evin
The UN must work
to free political prisoners NOW
July 17, 2005
It was three years ago, when I called Kobi my stepmother
and found out that her brother
Dr Hossein Ghazian was arrested by revolutionary guards
and sent to prison. I actually
remember that day very well. It was cold
and rainy; when you looked outside the window,
you felt a sense of suffocation. Dark clouds had
invaded the blue sky.
On that day, like every other Sunday, I called
my parents. Like many other Iranians who have fled Iran and live
all over the world; the same is true for our family. We are all
over the globe. I have family members in Iran, Germany, England
and USA. So, almost every week I call them just to keep in touch.
day unlike any other day it didn't feel right.
heard Kobi's voice at the other end, it was shaky and she sounded
very angry. I also felt upset and angry, but helpless. She said her brother
was working with Abbas Abdi and several others to gather statistical
polling they were doing, in order to find
out if Iranian people would prefer to renew relations with United States.
At first I said what an intrepid move from the group.
Then she said in a trembling voice: but the government knew all
about it and had given its blessings to go ahead with conducting
the poll. So, when I asked what had happened, she
didn't say anything. I think she was as perplexed as I was about the whole
Since then, Dr. Hossein Ghazian has being in prison.
The first year of his sentence he was placed in solitary confinement
with any outsiders. He is as confused and puzzled as we are. He can not
comprehend the charges that are laid against him, which are ridiculous
Ghazian has a Ph.D in sociology and is a recognized expert in the field
of political surveys. He has been part of Khatami's inner circle.
At the time of his arrest Dr. Ghazian, along with Abbas Abdi and
others were working as
a team for Ayandeh
Research Center in Tehran. He is imprisoned primarily for exercising
his freedom of expression which should be guaranteed by Article
19 of the Universal
of Human Rights and the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.
Ghazian has fought for his country
in many ways.
He thought that finding out the true feeling of the population may help
what policies to follow when it comes
to the U.S. His father, who just recently passed away,
spent years in
prison under the Shah's regime and during the Iran-Iraq war,
he fought along side
many young Iranian soldiers to defend our motherland from invaders.
According to Kobi, her father did not die from the
years in prison and tortures
that he had endured in the hands of the Shah's secret police or from
during the war when he injured his back and for years had to
be treated for wounds caused by chemical weapons used by Saddam
Hussein's army. Rather he passed away as a result of pain, the
pain of seeing his
prison for believing
in justice and freedom for all Iranians.
Evin is unlike any other prison in the world. There,
life will be changed forever. The psychological and physical tortures
that political prisoners endure
are horrific and unbelievable; it can break any mountain.
plight can be reversed immediately and his public functions restored,
as he is true patriot with proven credentials in serving our country's
and who deserves appreciation for his valuable and unique service to
our society, instead of punishment. And here's where we need the United
Nations to step in.
When the UN was established after
WWII the sole purpose was to create an organization that would
provide assistance to people
mistreated by their governments. But throughout the
years UN has become a corporation, merely to please its sponsors
My brothers and sisters are dying and being tortured on the daily
basis in Iranian prisons and what is the UN doing? Nothing. What
a shame. How are you going to answer millions of Iranians when
Akbar Ganji or Hossein Ghazian and many others die in prison?
How are you going to justify doing nothing to save their lives?
I am angry and disappointed. I despise the
General Kofi Annan who has no idea what his role is. For god's
sake people are dying in Iranian prisons! I hope he will
finally put pressure on the Iranian government to set Ganji,
Ghazian and all political prisoners free. I beg your organization
lets not waste anytime before it is too late.