A bitter struggle

I translated this short piece from Parastoo Dokuhaki's zan-nevesht blog. Looks timely. Ramin Ahmadi


She is asking me: How is work at “Vaqaye”?

I know she means “Eqbal” newspaper and not “Vaqaye.” It has been nine months since “Vaqaye” was shut down.

“It’s ok. You mean to ask me about 'Eqbal', don’t you?” I said. She laughs. We laugh. Albeit, we laugh with some bitterness.

I raise my hands. Someone, I don’t know who, maybe Taraneh or Farideh or perhaps Nazeli, ties my wrists with a thick blue rope. We have all gathered in the small hall of the Journalist’s Union to protest the closure of “Vaqaye Ettefaqiye” newspaper, our newspaper. The first, and at the moment the only paper, that I had written a piece for every issue.

Our tied hands expressed how we felt. When they were tying my hands my backpack was on my shoulder. Having a hard time to find a place to sit, I could not get my backpack off my back. My desperate effort was a funny scene. I remember that we laughed. Ha Ha . Albeit, with some bitterness.

The constitution, Article 28, states: “everyone is entitled to choose, according to his or her own interest, a job that is not opposed to Islam or public interest or other’s rights.”

The incessant closures of the newspapers, job insecurity, imprisonment for the act of writing and many other problems, have deprived journalists of their constitutional right explicit in Article 28. We don’t laugh. It’s not funny. In the annual memorial of the barred “Vaqaye” newspaper, we are struggling for our human rights. Albeit, a bitter struggle.

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