Democratic Republic of Iran جمهوری دموکراتیک ایران

The Only Way Forward

نامه محمد مصطفايي به خامنه اي پيرامون پخش برنامه هشت و سي دقيقه تلوزيون /Open Letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei by human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei

پارسى

Your Excellency Ayatollah Khamenei, The leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

My salutations,

This is the first time I am writing a letter addressed to you; it will also be the last time I am addressing you, because I believe you do not possess the merits to lead a democratic country and system. You know very well that you took the helm of leadership through deception, lies, hypocrisy, and duplicity, and have attained the title of “ayatollah” through recommendation and expediency, and have become undeservedly the leader of Iran after the death of Imam Khomeini. In any case, fate was such that you are leading a country that eight million of its people are living among the diaspora and are unable to return to their homeland as a result of your incompetence and establishment of a non-democratic dictatorial system. I hope you will read this letter written by a son of this land, or at least [I hope] it is passed on to you after your “anonymous agents” have read it.

Mr. Khamenei,

I was seven years old when I stepped foot in a society that its inception was marked by the rule of Khomeini and people like you and your powerful gang. I began to work at the age of seven as a result of poverty. My parents were also working hard. I had to knock on every door to buy warm clothes for the winters. I will never forget the days I would knock on any door in Tehran to make a miser earning and ask any decent and indecent person for help. I will never forget the slaps I received and had to endure [to obtain] a piece of bread. I will never forget the days where I had to work and suffer with my parents until 2:00am. I will never forget the blisters and swellings on my hands as a result of the harmful and dangerous work I was engaged in; including working at the hot furnace used for making ceramics. I will not forget how I had to swallow my words and suffer in silence while being beaten and slapped by my teacher for not doing my homework because I had no time to study.

I will not forget that during my childhood I was very envious of [the kids] who had bicycles. I will not forget the sadness of not being able to play with kids my age and the hours I spent crying [as a result]. I will never forget my mother who endured a lot of pain and suffered many long years.

The pain and tragedies my mother and I suffered resulted in my decision to change the course of my life. I made the decision to study law after I finished my military service. Since you were after stuffing your pockets with the revenue coming in from the oil and other industries, people like me were deprived of our social rights. Since I had to work during my childhood I was one of the most unsuccessful students during my elementary years all the way through my secondary studies. After working hard day and night, I succeeded in obtaining admission to the Law program at the Faculty of Law and Humanities in the University of Tehran. Finally, after years of studying I was able to become a lawyer—a lawyer who vowed to be a defender of the weak and the oppressed.

Mr. Khamenei,

I briefly described my life so that you would not think it was easy for me to obtain the job I loved so much. I suffered for 30 years under the reign of you and incompetent people like you. I worked hard to finally establish a proper social status for myself. I am proud to be the defender of those whose rights have been violated, and I was working tirelessly to restore their rights. The majority of the people who came to my office were people whose rights were violated by the uncontentious judges of the violent and savage judiciary system. These were judges who knew nothing but how to commit violence and impose inhumane punishments such as stoning, execution, long-term prison sentences, etc.

Mr. Khamenei,

When I was a child I witnessed my own suffering, pain, and misery, and when I became a lawyer I bore witness to the pain and the sobs of those who would enter my office. Every day a crying mother would come to see me for help or a father would plea to me to save his child’s life. Since I had experienced pain and suffering, I also felt their pain that was the result of the injustice and oppression you and your agents brought upon them.

Mr. Khamenei,

I compromised my personal and family life during my work as a lawyer. I worked day and night. I would not see my daughter so I could save the lives of those who were taken as prisoners by your scoundrel cronies. My wife, out of respect for my ideals, tolerated all this. I was able to, thanks to God, save the lives of 50 people, and secure the freedom of numerous innocent people who were imprisoned.

Mr. Khamenei,

Since seven years ago, whenever I heard someone’s rights were being violated, I would represent them. I would travel to various prisons in the country to seek justice for a victim. I would cry out that children [and those who committed an offence while] under the age of 18 should not be executed. I would cry out that stoning is a barbaric act, and amputation of the hands and legs, lashings, arbitrary arrests, and the unlawful detention of individuals is harmful to the so-called Islamic republic. I would knock on any door to save the lives of the children [on death row]. I would use my own personal income along with contributions from generous and benevolent Iranians and foreigners to pay the blood money that saved the lives of people who did not deserve to be executed and to secure the release of people who had been arbitrarily imprisoned for years.

I will never forget Fatemeh, the Afghan woman who was in jail for two years. If I had not picked up her case, she would remain in jail, and perhaps would have been executed by now. I will never forget how I secured the freedom of the transsexual prisoner who was held in solitary confinement for months, and was being raped every day by the prison guards. I will not forget the woman whose cruel husband had thrown acid on her face and fled. There was nobody to help her, but I was able to provide her with welfare and medical attention. I will not forget Hedieh, the 14 year old girl who was jailed in Evin on the charge of [engaging in an] “illegitimate relationship”. After some time she was exiled to Rajai Shahr prison and held among the dangerous prisoners. She was eventually murdered by one of her cell mates. I will not forget Rahim, the young citizen of Tabriz whose wife your government agents fancied and thus had him unjustly executed, and sentenced his wife to stoning. I will not forget my pleas to save the life of Behnoud Shojaee, who was jailed since the age of 17, and whom your executioners hanged before my eyes. I will not forget the sad memory of my clients who had been tortured by the police and Intelligence officials.

Mr. Khamenei,

I took on the cases of hundreds of individuals who had sought help after their rights were violated by your security and judicial institutions and with the permission of you and your cronies like Janati, the Larijani brothers, and Ahmadinejad.

Due to my opposition to the sentence of stoning, I would take on all the stoning cases that were brought to my attention. I found it important that a helpless person had been sentenced to stoning and the butchers of the judiciary were thirsty for his or her blood. But where are you dear Mr. Khamenei to see what crimes and atrocities are being committed in the judiciary and the Islamic republic prisons, in particular in the security “Guantanamo” ward 209 in Evin prison?  We both know very well that you are the main culprit behind all these crimes. It is you who has closed your eyes as you issue any order to protect your power.

Mr. Khamenei,

I did not give in to the threats I received from the judiciary and security systems, [no matter] how many times I was interrogated, because it is not important to me. I had accepted that I would deal with the difficulties [in the course I had chosen]. Last year, out of duty, I took on the case of Sakineh Mohammadi who was jailed in Tabriz prison on the charge of adultery while married, an offence she had not committed. The news of her imprisonment was passed on to me by one of my clients who was also jailed in Tabriz prison. The preparations for execution of the stoning sentence were underway, and my efforts [to stop the sentence] were not bearing any results; all the doors I went toward were closed. I had no choice but to inform domestic and international journalists so Islamic republic authorities who were turning a deaf ear to the pleas of my innocent client would hear her voice.

After the news was spread, many politicians voiced their support, however, I have never wanted to take advantage of a case. [The] case of Sakineh Mohammadi] has turned into a sensitive international [matter].

Subsequently, I was summoned and interrogated for four hours in court. On that day, I did not think I would be released, but by God’s grace the magistrate of branch 2 of the Evin prison court let me go. Several hours later I went to my office and found out that security agents had raided my office, but left after realizing I was not there. However, numerous agents were waiting to ambush me outside. It seems they were blind and did not see me entering my office. In a few hours, I found out that they took my wife hostage and stated that until I turn myself in they would release her. That is why I decided not to succumb to the illegal requests of the judicial-security authorities. After a few days, I had no choice but to leave Iran, and that is how my wife was released from the hands of your security agents. After leaving Iran through the Iran-Turkey border, I turned myself in to the Turkish police. The news of my detention was published in a Turkish newspaper. A team of Intelligence and foreign affairs officials came to Turkey from Iran to negotiate my extradition to Iran. Nevertheless, the support of European and American governments saved me from falling into the hands of your agents.

Mr. Khamenei,

Your “crusader soldiers” feel furious and stung that they were not able to get their hands on me and arrest me even after taking my wife hostage. They were not able to catch me and extract confessions under torture as they did from Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, Sakineh’s son, and Houtan Kian, Sakineh’s other lawyer, and use it as propaganda. I was not caught by your soldiers so I [would be able to] spread the voices of the oppressed women and children in jail and tell the world about the crimes you have committed against humanity.

Mr. Khamenei,

Even if I had fallen into the hands of your agents, I would not have been afraid. My blood is not more red than the thousands of prisoners who were arbitrarily and summarily executed in 80′s and 90′s. My blood is not more red than the numerous adolescents, youth, men and women who were attacked and killed by your agents on the streets of Tehran. I am no different than the political prisoners who are deprived of their right to visit their families and children. My blood is not redder than Sohrab’s or Neda’s and those killed in Kahrizak detention centre.

Mr. Khamenei,

After your agents were unable to arrest me, they resorted to character assassination. One day they called me a fraud, the next a fugitive lawyer. On Monday, on the TV program 8:30, they called me a “mercenary of the West”, and accused me of ties with the Labour Communist Party. Meanwhile, they kept asking me through different channels including the Iranian Embassy in Norway, to return to Iran so that they could carry out their malicious plans.

Mr. Khamenei,

I have stated repeatedly that I have no ties to any group, and I am an independent lawyer. Even if I was cooperating with a group, that would not be an offence. All those who live outside Iran, whether they are communists, PMOI members, Toudeh partisans, etc. are victims of the crimes you and those like you have committed. They are trying to restore their rights. Fortunately, the majority of them today are defenders of human rights, while you are a human rights violator.

Mr. Khamenei,

I am certain that you will not reach anywhere through torturing, forcing, imprisoning, and coercing individuals, suppressing those who protest your wrong policies, and broadcasting deceitful and false programs and reports on TV. I advise you to stop committing crimes in the name of Islam. Stop enslaving and discriminating against women, executing and stoning, and stop hostage takings in the name of Islam. I recommend that instead of extracting confessions under torture, consider abolishing inhuman punishments from the law. Then again, you and your agents, some of whom are anonymous and some are known, do not deserve to rule and govern anyway.

(English text revised and edited by Persian2English)

Filed under: iran election, Iran News, Iranian protests, Mohammad Mostafaei, revolution, ایران iran,

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