Friday, July 3, 2009

Statement by Dr Arash Hejazi who witnessed Neda's death and is now threatened by the government for being a conspirator in her death!!!!!!!!

Title: A Note for Future Generations
Translation: Naj

’My fear, is just of dying in a land, where the wage of an undertaker is higher than the price of a man’s liberty." (Ahmad Shamlu)

After my interview with the BBC (June 25, 2009) concerning my personal observations of the savage killing of Neda Agha Soltan, the news headlines have indicated that my arrest warrant had been issued by the Iranian government. As I stated in the interview, such an act of repression to hide their heinous crimes was not unexpected from a government that is founded on the basis of lies and injustice. In this interview, I anticipated that they will [deny] my statements; that they will point several accusations at me. This government is so obsessed with hiding its incompetence in finding and prosecuting the main actors in the death of this poor girl, that it is trying to lay the blame on any individual, organization or country that has had nothing to do with this.

They have been pressuring my family and friends in Iran—who have no relation to this matter. My father, a 70 years old emeritus university professor has been summoned without having any role in any of these matters.

I just did what any honorable human would have done in similar situation: to save a victim and to express and testify the realities when the government’s media were distorting the truth.

I have always lived to suffer no regrets. I was among the first medicines who rushed to Bam in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, just to be near victims who were about to loose all hope.

This time, my proximity to this victim was accidental and I didn’t foresee entering the events that ensued. But this time, it wasn’t the nature claiming a victim, but the greed of power had wasted her blood.

I am a writer too and if you read my stories, articles and prose, you would realize that I have always defended the human rights and I have always paid the price.

I have tried to live an honest and honorable life, I have never betrayed my values.

I am confident that in what I did to save Neda, and in the later recounting the events, I did the right thing. I believe God is the lord of the brave. I have faith that truth will emancipate us. I acted according to my conscience, and if I have to pay a price for that, so be it. But I have a right to defend my honor and dignity.

God be my witness that I have said only the truth of my observations.

The Islamic revolution and the Islamic republic were founded on a principle to which people have remained committed. In the battle against the past despotic regime, also during the war with a dictator who ran Iraq with and iron fist, it was this faith that mobilized people to defend their country with their blood.

But, these lies discredit all claims of this particular government: this government that perjures the WWII history, that claims freedom of speech is granted in Iran, that claims there are no political prisoners incarcerated in Iran, that claims there is no censorship in books, information, media, and press; and pretends to respect civic rights such as the right to peaceful assembly, right to protest, right to equality irrespective of gender, religion and ethnicity.

In the past 20 days, the world has witnessed the falsehood of all these claims in the teary eyes of the courageous Iranians. I am sure that the world will not believe this new lie and will know that a physician, a writer and a publisher has done nothing but acting conscientiously in rushing to help someone in need, and retelling the truth.

Neda was not the only fallen individual in these events. Have all those innocent killed in these events victims of a global conspiracy? Why aren’t the killers of other victims prosecuted? Or could it be the insolence and incompetence of the armed militia who could not tolerate the lawful and thoughtful protest of their fellow Iranians to injustice?

I am but a witness. Why should a witness be prosecuted instead of a murderer? Has not enough blood been shed? Should I have remained silent in the face of this horrendous crime? Is this the message that we are leaving for our future generation?

I am confident that no world citizen will abandon supporting me and thousands of my fellow Iranians who were beaten, imprisoned, chased and dragged to ground and to blood, just because they wanted to be a free nation joining the path of justice and prosperity of the world such as to share with others their rich culture and their courageous history.

I am proud to be part of this movement. What I have done, any man of honor would have done. This is why I am threatened. All these martyrs did what any free man would have done. this is why they are killed, by the dark hand of the hatred for all which these martyrs stood for: Liberty, Honesty, Justice.

Arash Hejazi, July 2, 2009


Anonymous said...

That is very moving. thank you. How difficult it is to have self-integrity and not be able to control events around you. Why do they seek to silence their most vibrant voices?

I hate that the IRI government is treating arrested protesters, journalists, et al. like they are all criminals and enemies of the state - they are not. They apparently are still holding Iranian Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari without legal counsel and a false confession too. The propaganda is so transparent! I watched Bahari's films at the link...I did not know an Ayatollah had a sort of self-help call-in line for people. Interesting. A video of Qum religous people using the Internet for the Koran. How subversive!

These are not all enemies or foreign agents out to so calculatingly undermine Iran; they would do the same in other countries as we do here in the US. The government does not need to make enemies out of people to keep unity against enemy governments. I'm sure Iranians will unite against a foreign threat.

It is infuriating what the IRI is doing to its own people. I fear the same for my own country one day.

Mr. Hejazi quoted Shamlu. I came across the below poem in early 2008. I like Persian poetry, but not the IRI's sense of "justice".

A Cry

There is left to me
no stronger wish
than to rise
in search of a lost cry.

With or without
the help of a
paltry lantern
in every corner of the earth
in every cranny of the sky.

The cry that rose
one midnight
from my life
from I know not what neglected need,
and escaped into the shrouded skies...

All you gates of the universe!
assist me
in finding my lost cry!

-Ahmad Shamlu
(translated from farsi by Firoozeh Papan-Matin & Arthur Lane)

David said...

Dr. Hejazi is a very well spoken man! I commend him for his courage, and I wish him well.

Naj, I have thought some about your comment to me about religion and politics in Iran. Dr. Hejazi is an excellent example of how religious beliefs can be a motivating force for good. In the past, religion and politics have converged to the benefit of millions of human beings. We have the examples of Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. They were both very religious men who took powerful moral stands in support of human rights and freedom. Farther in the past, there was the abolitionist movement that ultimately ended slavery in America. I think you were trying to tell me that something similar is happening right now in Iran. From what I have seen, I agree. Religion can be a force for good if it is wielded by good people.