Sorena, my son, there was a time that your little photograph was the companion of my longing eyes, in the back of the trenches. We scraped off the earth from our bodies and went on to protect the country.
You were the most of my country and I had shielded your life with mine; not alone, with thousands. I was not alone …
One day, as bitter as these ones, the barrage of bullets and shells made earth the cradle of hundreds of bravehearts … they passed away, calmly, smiling with the memory their mother, wife, child … and content of receiving the bullet and sparing the blood of another …
I too got my share: a boot drenched in the blood of my face, electric wires in my flesh … I was content to be a war prisoner in exchange for your freedom, for your laughter. I was not alone.
Our identification was anonymity. We were the lost ones; we died one by one of disease, of torture, or under gunfire. There were no signs of our imprisonment.
I pledged my heart to the prison bars to see you free; my uniform bailing the wounds of my comrades and friends … to protect you.
But today is more bitter than those days … you are chained. You are not laughing. More than a month has passed and I know nothing but that you are chained.
Damn me; could you have inherited the prison from me?
Why am I alone? Where are my comrades? What if they slap you? What if they don’t know that you have fought Iraqi invaders since age of 20; pulling shells out of my skin.
I am alone.
Sorena; I have not forgotten the Zanjan university scandal: [In 2008, Sorena provided evidence that a dean of the university was attempting to rape a female student]
Those who violated the boundaries of the body of the children of this soil were not my comrades.
Those who tried to cover it up were not my comrades.
Those who imprisoned you and denied you the right to education, were not my comrades.
I know my comrades well!
Let me assume those who do this are not of us; they are aliens who wreak injustice.
Let me assume that all my comrades were killed and I remained alive to suffer … until perhaps one day, if there is a living martyr will hear me call out.
Once, I gave all I had for you to be free. Today that you are not free, I give all I have to see you alive … and to see you again.
Signature: Asghar Hashemi
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Thinking of lawyers, doctors; thinking of journalists, students; thinking of poets, of thinkers. thinking of all those whose unforgivable sin is to be intelligent; to learn, to question, to challenge; thinking of the human right activists; women activists, labor activists ... thinking of the horror the regime of Iran has promised to the greens over the upcoming days that Iran holds Iran accountable to the slogans of the revolution. I cannot feel excited about this 22 Bahman; because my sentiments about it have not changed from last year.
I hate revolutions; no matter how romanticized they are. I hate blood; I hate violence; I hate idealism; I hate fascism; I distrust their sustainability. I believe in evolution; in growth; in small steps; and I believe in compromise as long as it is possible, but then break up: divergence of paths and not collision, not pulling nor pushing.
A few days back; there was a very sad letter circulating on internet, by the father of Sorena Hashemi that touched me through this protective foam I am wearing around my heart these days. Sorena is an activist who was arrested in 2008 for exposing a case of sexual harassment committed by someone close to Ahmadinejad! In Iran, the rapists don't get tried; unless they are poor and belong to the disenfranchised, society, in which case they are hanged! In Iran, those who are the victims of rape by big shots are the ones who are imprisoned, intimidated, and suffer retribution! A few weeks ago, Sorena and his co-activist friend Alireze Firouzi went missing! To go "missing" in Iran is rather common! Even the judiciary system, with all its criminality, admits that there are units that operate outside the sphere of the judiciary control. In other words, all three levels of government: the executive; legislative and judiciary branches ADMIT that their abilities to do their job is limited by shadowy supra-legal (i mean above the law here) organizations!
In any case, the letter of Sorena's father, himself a war veteran (a prisoner of war, actually) hints at the militaristic background of these supra-legal shadows: "they are not my comrades; let me assume all my comrades were killed in the war ... let me assume these are aliens ..."