A hanging in Iran (Photo: © Reuters); inset: Gholamreza Khosravi
At dawn Sunday morning, June 1, a very resilient political prisoner, Gholamreza Khosravi, 49 was executed for supporting the Iranian resistance group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and for standing firm against the dictatorship in Iran.
Khossravi spent 12 years of his life in the mullahs’ regime dungeons under severe torture and harassment. The mullahs’ henchmen and torturers considered Gholamreza as the key person in the April protest and resistance of political prisoners in the Ward 350 of Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.
The news of Khosravi’s execution came despite widespread international calls to halt the hanging. A day earlier, Canada's Foreign Minister had condemned the regime; Amnesty International issued an urgent call, saying that Mr. Khosravi had been deprived of a fair trial "in total disregard of both international law and the Iranian law" and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, said he was, "Shocked and saddened by Iran's execution of a political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law!"
Despite all efforts from defenders of human rights, the regime carried on with the execution on one of the most important religious holidays when all wanted to celebrate the birth of the prophet’s grandson. Thus, thus happiness was stolen not only from Khosravi’s family but from his fellow countrymen as well.
What should the response be to this inhuman act? Other political prisoners, the people of Iran and those living abroad who have fled Iran because of the tyranny understand that the only real response is to resist even more now until the regime is overthrown.
It would be wise for all those appeasing the mullahs’ in the West to note that Rouhani’s deceitful smile represents the true image of the totalitarian regime in Iran. What is behind Rouhani’s smirk is the step-up of human rights violations in Iran, which is under his control.
The Iranian people’s dark days arose when the mullahs’ took power in Iran. From the onset of their reign, they have formed over dozens of suppressive police forces, including women police - aka “Fati Komandos” - to terrorize the state. Now as the weather starts to get hot, the regime in Iran warns of plans to further clamp down on women and youth on the pretext of engaging in “norm-breaking behavior.”
The Commander of the State Security Forces has announced that up to 18,000 “mal-veiled” women were arrested in 2013. The regime’s offensive has been marked by the stationing of mixed-gender teams of morality police in Tehran’s main squares.
In Tehran, seven people were recently arrested last week for appearing in a YouTube video set to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy.” Their crime? Apparently, dancing and just being happy under the mullahs is a crime. Almost everyone reacted to the arrest of the “Happy” dancers, referring to it as something sadly ridiculous, even though it is a reality for the people living under the mullahs in the Iran of today.
Perhaps only within a short time in office of the new “moderate” president, Rouhani, are eyes slowly starting to see the truth behind him?
Living in such an atmosphere is like having watch dogs waiting for your move, 24/7. It is not hidden from anyone that the mullahs ruling Iran have killed all forms of happiness for the past 35 years when they instituted their rule and suppression of freedom under the name of Islam.
Instead of boasting about Rouhani’s message from Twitter claiming that the happiness of all people in Iran is their right, we should ask him why so many executions have taken place under his tenure, and why have his government’s inhuman policies become so institutionalized that the beheading of a young girl by her father in Kermanshah for having a boyfriend, receives no condemnation? And, if using the banned social networks is a crime, then why is he using it?
But he has done one good thing for sure. He was successful in deflecting the public’s attention away from the nuclear crisis as well as his funding of Hezbollah. And he has gotten Syria’s Assad to stop pestering him on his affiliations with other demons.
The truth is that happiness is the right to all and only when Rouhani and all his other friends ruling Iran are overthrown, will the people of Iran truly dance HAPPY.
Members of the Basij, the ominous volunteer paramilitary corps in Iran
Finally, after three weeks, the world grasped – and subsequently reacted to – the horrific depths of the kidnapping of over 200 innocent Nigerian school girls.
We all agree here that the nature of such an act is inhuman and disgusting because using the lives and futures of young girls as a bargaining tool is simply unacceptable. The event was so heartbreaking that people throughout the world added their voices to the common chorus of #BringBackOurGirls and activities were launched in hopes of having them safely return home.
But where is such savagery derived from? It is from fundamentalism and one thing is for sure, if there is a lack of attention to such nature, it will spread like a plague across humanity.
The evil vision of fundamentalism came to light simultaneously with the coming to power of the mullahs’ ruling Iran. As an Iranian women who has been fighting shoulder to shoulder with thousands of men and women in the Iranian Resistance against the violent misogynist dictators of Iran for over 35 years, I have witnessed first-hand how they have targeted Iranian women. The Iranian Resistance has been shouting about this threat for many years but the policy of appeasing the mullahs has turned a blind eye to this, deliberately at times, to continue a trade relationship with Iran.
We believe the international community must act and use all efforts to ensure the rescue of the girls. A firm and comprehensive stance against this medieval savagery should be adopted because, of course, if a tree is found to be poisonous, it must be rooted out otherwise it will simply spread out somewhere else.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance stated: “Therefore all religious leaders, clerics and the range of Islamic societies must condemn this anti-Islamic act and not to allow the fundamentalists who use religion as a tool to abuse the name of Islam to commit such atrocious crimes that are some of the most barefaced cases of crime against humanity.” She knows very well as her experience has shown that she is the antithesis to the fundamentalist mullahs.
The truth is that you don’t need to be one of the victims’ mothers to understand how sickening the act was. Such harm imposed upon one girl, is harm to all women. So what is left for all of us? Nothing other than to speak up and act.
Because today it’s Boko Haram but tomorrow, it will spread like wildfire unless we declare fundamentalism as haram.
Elaheh Arj is with the Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Paris, France