Prisoners of Persia

Photo essay: Remembering those behind bars in Iran -- in Persia, Iowa

by Jahanshah Javid
I wanted to do something in honor of prisoners of conscience in Iran. Thousands have been locked up simply because they have a different view and dare to express it. They are not criminals. They are Iran's best and bravest. I asked Nazy Kaviani, who follows human rights matters, to send the names of 150 current Iranian prisoners on stickers along with ribbons. I displayed them in Persia, Iowa. It's a special town for obvious reasons. I have visited twice before, and have become something of celebrity there for putting this tiny town on the Internet map (see 1996 story from first visit, "Persia, Iowa", second visit in 2001 "Found it").

* Photo essays in this series: Part 1: "Land of the Free"; Part 2: "Liberty Street"; Part 3: "Wild Wild West"; Part 4: "Cowboys & Iranians"; Part 5: "Prisoners of Persia" Part 6: "Taking Jesus by the Horns" Part 7: "Love of Liberty".


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Jahanshah, Now I'm officially proud of you!

by Saeed Tavakkol on


A great homage to all prisoners of conscience. Let’s not forget that every one us could have been behind bars if we were in Iran just for freely expressing ourselves. Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in prison.



by P_T_B_A on

That was a cool thing you did, JJ.  Thanks a bunch.

David ET

What a beautiful gesture

by David ET on

Thank you for the effort and thank to the People of Persia, Iowa. 

Had this posted on Iran Secular //


If you post the photos with a Persian introduction, it can be also posted on sites such as Donbaleh and Khodnevis.


Way to go JJ

by Bavafa on

The least we can do here is to bring this criminal able act to every one's attention and conscience.

Dorood bar shame va dorood bar tamame azadi-khahan dar zendan-haye Iran

'Vahdat' is the main key to victory 


Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Jahanshah for publicizing names of political prisoners

by Anahid Hojjati on

Even though people of Persia, Iowa did not do this, they will get to know about it and might mention it to friends and family, so whole group of Americans will get to know about political prisoners in Iran. We need more actions like this. Thanks.


خیلی حال کردم!


That was really nice!

Organic NUTritionist


by Organic NUTritionist on

yes jahanshah joon, thanks, that was very kind of you to do.  you're the best.


In any case,...

by Parham on

... that was a beautiful thing to do.
Zende bashi!

Jahanshah Javid

People in Persia

by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks Parham.

I was in town only for a day and a half. It would take some diplomacy and convincing to get the people involved in something like this. The mayor was not in town; I think he would have been sympathetic. Time was short... I wanted to make a point in the most efficient way possible, given the circumstances.

The whole project cost lest than $300 and took less than 24 hours of work from start to finish.


Way to go Jahanshah!

by Parham on

I wonder how long it took you to stick all of those ribbons...

One little note though: One would hope it was the people of Persia, Iowa who took the initiative of doing something like that instead of it being an Iranian (/American) going there and sticking those ribbons... I guess we're not there yet.

I also hope you won't get in trouble for doing that either...

And as I know the story of how it happened, I should also say way to go Nazy Kaviani.

Darius Kadivar

I remember your article on this town when I first discovered IC

by Darius Kadivar on

I found it fascinating all the more that we have a similar area here in the outskirts of Paris called Persan Beaumont, the name of which has always intrigued me:


Great Photo Essay and noble Initiative indeed!