Iran: The latest open letter from Kurdish human rights activist

Farzad KamangarThis is a letter posted on about two days ago. It was written by Farzad Kamangar,  a 33 year old Kurd from Iran.  He is a teacher, journalist, human rights activist…and currently  a political prisoner.  He was sentenced to death by the Iranian Revolutionary Court on 25 February 2008 after a trial which took place in secret, lasted only minutes, and failed to meet any standards of fairness.

The following is Farzad’s latest letter to Mohseni Ejeie, the head of Iranian intelligence.  It was translated from the original by Kamal Soleimani.

Mr. Mohseni Ejeie,

I’ve been imprisoned for months now, in a prison that is supposed to tear down my will, my love, my humanity and to make me as obedient and docile as “an obedient lamb.” For months I’ve been confined in a prison with walls as high as history itself.

Those walls are supposed to become a distance between me and the nation I love; and to become an eternal distance between the children of my homeland and me. Nevertheless, every day I’ve gone out through the small crack in my cell and traveled to farmlands. I’ve found myself among people and have felt what they have felt as they have perceived their sufferings in my imprisonment. The prison has made our bonds much stronger than they were before.

The prison is supposed to take away from me the sense of light and the sun; however, in the prison I am observing the growth of a violet in the dark!

The prison is supposed to make me forget the meaning of time and its value; but I’ve lived outside of the prison for some moments and have brought myself back into the world to choose a new way.

I too have welcomed humiliations, insults, and assaults bit by bit and wholeheartedly, the way those before did it in here. I am hoping that I might be the last person from this afflicted generation who had turned the darkness of their cells into a life with their love for the dawn.

But, one day I was called muharib (the enemy of God) by those regime that thought I’ve fought their God; so they weaved their rope of justice to bring an end to my life one morning; and from that day on, I’ve unwillingly waited that morning. Now, since they are fervent in taking away my life with the love I hold for my fellow human beings, I have determined to donate my organs to those whom my death might grant them a life.

I want to donate my heart, which is full of mercy and love, to a child. It does not matter where the child lives: whether she is living on the shores of Kan or in the outskirt of Mount. Sabalan or on the edges of eastern desert or on the heights of Zagros where everyday she watches the sunrise. All I want is for my impatient and disobedient heart to keep beating in the chest of a child. A child who is more audacious than I am in talking of his childhood wishes at nights to the moon and the stars; and in asking them to watch her, to not betray her childhood wishes when she grows up. I want my heart to keep beating in someone’s chest who is concerned about those kids that lie down hungry at nights in their beds. I want it to go to a child who will remember Hamid, a 16 years old student, who wrote this before hanging himself, “The smallest wishes of mine did not come true.”

Let my heart keep beating in someone’s chest, whatever her language or her skin color. Let it be in a worker’s child, so that the roughness of her father’s calloused hands will revive the spark of rebellion against inequality in my heart.

Let my heart keep beating in the chest of a child who will soon become a teacher in a small village and every morning children come to him with beautiful smiles to share all their happiness with him. May the kids know nothing of poverty and hunger anymore; and have no grasp of words like “prison, torture, injustice, and inequality.

Let my heart keep beating in a corner of this big world. It is a heart of someone who has a lot of stories from his land and his people whose history is filled with pain and suffering.

Let my heart keep beating in the chest of a child, may she one morning sing this poem in my mother tongue:

Min demewi bibim be baye

Xoshewiti mrov berim

Bu gisht suchi em diniyaye

Meaning: I want to become a wind; to bring the message of “loving fellow human beings” to every corner of this world.

Farzad Kamangar,

The section of infectious diseases; the prison of Karaj

29/ 12/ 2008

Written: 26/ 12/2008, security section 209 Evin.


3 thoughts on “Iran: The latest open letter from Kurdish human rights activist

  1. It’s a shame for the regime of ayatullah what is hapenning now in Iran.

    Pîroz be ji we re the new site:

    and good luck for you.

    Zinar Ala from Spain

  2. Zor sipas! Acabo de cambiar mi sitio con “blogspot.” Ya veremos si este funciona mejor.

    He leído tu entrevista en La Vanguardia…muy interesante.


  3. To Farzad*, the Teacher Who Teaches on the Death Row

    Farzad you remain a teacher …
    You’re the blaze to burn ignorance and injustice. You are the star in a dark sky. The burning candle in “Zahak’s dungeon”; a dungeon, with “walls as high as history itself” but so insufficient to mute you. These walls are not enough to conceal your height from your people’s sight and to darken the rays of your candle light. These walls are humbled and amused by the loftiness of your stature. The walls long have been used as the site of horror and exhibition of tyrants’ might. They are erected to tear down freedom lovers’ “will, love and humanity and to make them as obedient and docile as an obedient lamb.” Now, those walls, meant to fraught, have become as spurious as the distance between you and the people, as evanescent as those lines that are dividing your nation’s whereabouts. In truth, the walls embody the frustration and fright of the guard[ians] of darkness and the night. Their height and solidness is thrown in to a total doubt. The ceiling of the Zahak’s dungeon has become a sky for “a disobedient star [from up above Zagros] that shoots from one corner to the other tearing down all darkness with light.” A star, whose movements is watched by our youth from across the homeland for their wishes to come true. “This inflicted generation’s” hearts rejuvenate as they once again believe life is worth living. They watch the rise of that star in the sky of their own hopes. No “matter where they live; whether on the shores of Kārūn, in the outskirt of Mount. Sabalan, on the edges of Eastern desert or on the heights of Zagros where everyday they observe the sunrise”, all think of him as their hope; their teacher. His defiant and yearning heart will keep beating and continue to inspire. Every child sleeps with his lullaby and wakes up with his songs, full of stories from their land. The songs contain the love of Mam and Zeen, relate the stories from Dersim and Baytushabab; they are the weeps of Badinan and Halabja. They are the lyrics of hope from the founders of the first Kurdish school in Maku, in 1913, for geyandini (development and training) of a generation, a generation that was to be “more audacious in telling their childhood wishes to the moon and to the stars.”
    This, the founders cherished to teach the children, the heirs of this land, pride and humanity. The prison guards still use batons when our children’s teacher requests a paper and a pen to write his stories. They can not listen to his songs and they are blind to see his love. The children know that no one can bar them from singing. Now, all of them can sing loudly with a clear throat in a decipherable language! They all sing. They see their teacher compel the guards of Zahak’s dungeon and Zahak himself to listen his songs. The children hear their ancestral songs from the tongue of such teacher; he is “enclosed in a cell” but his voice is heard through the cracks in the walls. Their songs as their language can be “imagined in.” Neither Tehran nor Ankara, nor Baghdad will turn their language into an undecipherable noise from the mountains. Despite their effort, they will fail because this language is breathing. It’s being taught in the dungeon by Farzad.

    *Farzad Kamangar, 33 years old Kurd, is a member of the human rights’ activists, a teacher, and a journalist in Iran. He was in charge of public relations of the Kurdish branch of the teachers’ union before the union was outlawed. In July of 2006, upon his arrival in Tehran to follow up with his brother’s medical treatments, Farzad was arrested. His prison conditions, torture, and 7 month of solitary confinement has been documented by human rights organizations, including Amenity International. On February 25th 2008, Farzad was sentenced to death for “risking national security.” Below are links to some of Farzad’s letters.

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