Tuesday, February 07, 2006

می بخشيد كه دو سه روز آپديت نكردم، مشغول برگرداندن نوشته آقای نصيبی برای خوانندگان انگليسی زبان بودم

Following is a translation of THIS ARTICLE posted here earlier.

Tomorrow is too late

Open letter from Bassir Nassibi, Iranian filmmaker in exile,
To Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize

“This Nobel Prize in reality honors the Islamic Republic and an Islamic Iran. It is in the Islamic Republic that Mrs. Ebadi has worked. She showed that work could be done under this Islamic government; that progress will not be achieved with radical feminist slogans.”

Sadegh Zibakalam, head of the welcoming committee for Ebadi, in an interview with Radio Farda

Mrs. Shirin Ebadi,

I may be asked why, more than two years after the Nobel ceremonies brought you fame, honor and capital beyond what you deserve, I’ve decided, while addressing yourself, to talk about the results and consequences of that award.

At the time when, given the joy and enthusiasm felt by many Iranians, doubts about the award and the reason and motive behind it carried unpleasant consequences, I asked the Islamic Republic’s opponents, particularly groups, individuals and organizations with a record of opposition to the regime in its entirety, to look at the matter soberly and with caution. For this I was accused of jealousy and treason. But today, with that inflamed atmosphere in our past, even the very naïve should understand your role and the effect of your presence in salvaging the Islamic Republic.

As you are still on the stage and as it is not clear how much longer you would want to feed off the Nobel, I see a review of your record, after receiving the prize until now, and this time in the form of an open letter addressed to you personally, as necessary. Because we shall translate this text into other languages, I hope to provide open minded people in other countries who remain innocent of the true nature of the Republic of Falsehood and Deception, and those who had high hopes regarding the ramifications of this award in redressing the trampled rights of the suffering people of Iran, with the opportunity to see the truth.

The endurance of one of the most frightful and terrifying regimes in the modern world can be attributed to numerous factors and circumstances, of which we may take into consideration the influence exerted by awards from film festivals, the awards, credits and letters of commendation presented by small and large organizations that claim to defend human rights, and the role of sports arenas. I’ll leave the propaganda in favor of the regime in the area of sports to sports fans and touch the subject here, I think it will suffice, with a brief observation that at a time when there is much talk about inviting or banning the Islamic Republic’s football team, and while other countries do not deem it advisable to send their athletes to the Islamic Republic even for friendly games, Bayern Munich football players go to Tehran and, in a stadium filled with slogans in defense of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear projects, happily play with the football team of the fascist/Talibanist/militarist (according to your own reformist brothers) government of Ahmadinejad.

The regime, always vigilant and mindful of the emotional and political effects of such arrangements, murdered and tortured. It drove millions of young Iranians to drug addiction. It succeeded in lowering the age of the youngest prostitutes to 13. It sold Iranian girls to Arab sheiks. It censured films, books, and newspapers. It made poverty and misery widespread, answered the just cries of the people of Iran with bullets, and sent protesting workers to its dungeons. Meanwhile, it sent the deceitful President Khatami, with his unctuous tongue and wearing the mask of a progressive Mullah, to the political arena (The same Mullah whom, you explicitly stated, you’d vote for again and again were he to run as a candidate ten more times).

Other nations covet the enormous resources of Iran. It is obvious that the presence and endurance of a mafia regime provides them with the best of opportunities for plunder. United States’ secret deals, and the unconcealed looting by European and other states made it necessary for these governments to appease the Mullahs. If we pay attention to the awards and credits bestowed under the pretext of supporting the spread of human rights and step-by-step reforms in the Islamic Republic, we will realize that those thus awarded have all been servants of the regime, that they were born from the belly of the governing body, that they were those who in the scuffles between the regime’s various factions had joined Khatami’s gang, that their report card may even show that they’ve spent a few months in jail, but that such impeachments can also bring prosperity and be a blessing. I’ll refrain from relating various examples, but will fit one example in this letter: Seyed Ebrahim Nabavi, whom it is not clear by what standard has been labeled the prominent satirist of Iran.

Some time ago he received the Prince Claus Award along with 35,000 Euros from the Dutch government. You ought to be familiar with this creature’s record better than I, and know that during Mr. Soroush’s Cultural Revolution, abusing and beating up students was one of Mr. Nabavi’s revolutionary duties. He too, like the butcher Mullah Khalkhali, joined Khatami’s gang and in the recent pseudo-elections (regarding the appointment of a president) crawled under the turban of the murderer, thief and corrupt Rafsanjani. Incidentally, during the awards ceremony Mr. Nabavi himself confessed to ours being an upside down world. He spoke the truth, for instead of charging him for his deeds and handing him over to the arms of justice he was handed an award.

You know perfectly well that Europe’s tributes to the Islamic Republic did not begin nor end with this case. During these years all the awards, credits and generosity of human rights organizations have been allotted to those who, after the arrival of Khatami, had put on the mask of reform, the majority of whom were partners with the regime in killings and atrocities, or had a role in the creation of VEVAK (Ministry of Intelligence and Security) or the Revolutionary Guards.

Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, but you are a lawyer. And you certainly are in the habit of invoking human rights laws in your speeches. Exactly in which paragraph of this charter do they allow for the release of murderers into society without a trial, without studying the motive, without even investigating the scope of the crime? Was not Saeed Hajjarian, Mr. Khatami’s resourceful strategist and one of your reformist associates, a high-ranking security official? How is it possible to be one of the Islamic Republic’s security officials and yet not have been involved in the crimes committed by the regime? Or take Ebrahim Yazdi, who belongs to the so-called “religious nationalists” group and shares your views. He was an important member of the Revolutionary Council during the murderous reprisals that followed the revolution, in courts that had neither defense lawyers nor any regard for the rights of the imprisoned; was he not responsible for the execution of prisoners? Or take Farshad Amir Ebrahimi. Who was he? He was a member of the Basij militia; he was a member of Ansar Hezbollah; he belonged to teams that pursued regime’s opponents. He also claims, for whatever reason, to have distanced himself from Hezbollah. He came to you and related what he had to say. But what of his actions while in Hezbollah? Did he not take part in any atrocity? We don’t know and you, until such time as he is tried by a competent court, cannot give an opinion one way or the other. Who acquitted him? You? Do you, or any other lawyer, have the authority to pass verdicts? This individual too, without his past deeds ever becoming known, acquitted himself with your help and joined the reformists.

In connection with Amir Ebrahimi’s case you spent ten days in jail. Do we even have such 10-days-in-prison prisoners in the Islamic Republic? Even temporary arrests in the Islamic Republic sometime last several months. How were you treated while you were in prison? Were you tortured? Did they, you’ll excuse me, shove your head down the toilet hole as they did with Ahmad Batebi? Was the condition inside your prison similar to that of Zahra Kazemi’s prison or the women’s quarters in the dungeons of the Islamic Republic? Yes, I’m referring to the female section of Evin prison. I’m speaking of a place where very young girls were condemned to death for simply having distributed a single leaflet, where the guards, duty bound and serving Shiite Islam, raped them before execution (pardon me, “entered into a contract of temporary marriage” with them). And of course the nymphs in paradise who see to the sexual needs of Mullahs are virgins, but virgin girls who are pious and Moslem, not the “corrupt on earth” variety. Having thus benefited from Islam’s kind disposition, Hezbollahi brothers take the executed girl’s dowry, along with box of sweets, to her parents. Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, these are not fantasies. These are the realities of those prisons in the Islamic Republic that are not put on display. Ask those who arrange your travels around the world to provide you with some documentary films such as A Few Simple Shots by Joseph Akrami, or Tree That Remembers by Masoud Raouf, or Utopia and Epitaph by Moslem Mansouri. You will see and you will realize that even with hundred Nobel Prizes one cannot wash all that blood and corruption off the face of the Islamic Republic.

But those ten days too were recorded in your human rights dossier and proved to have been quite helpful, and necessary for your Nobel award. There are many researchers and scholars that even under the present condition, knowing the risks and under very difficult circumstances, without receiving an award or without wanting one, are active in many fields. Such efforts are of a personal nature, having to do with the individual’s viewpoint and humanist inclinations; what do they have to do with the Nobel? You are a lawyer, and it is your duty to respect the pledge attorneys take as they commence their profession. It is a duty. It does not require cash prizes. It does not require welcoming or departure committees. And those who betray their professional duties should be reprimanded. It’s like awarding a doctor a Nobel for the medical treatment of her patients.

But awarding you with the Nobel had other reasons. What better way to know these reasons from the lips of the spokesperson for the Nobel Peace Committee, who in an interview with Farad Rahimi, a political activist in Norway, said the following:

“With the election of Khatami in 1997 there was much hope and expectation. Now it seems that this reform movement has lost some of its steam and meaning. It is hoped that this award can breathe new life into the body of the reform movement.”

Were they to compile all your many slogans in defense of your darling president during these two years, they may not be able to fit them all in a single volume.

You have given opinion on every subject. Sometimes you’re an expert in the study of atoms, sometimes a religious missionary. Sometimes you become a historian and speak of Cyrus and the Achaemenids, sometimes you can’t see what is in front of you. While abroad, you appear in the role of a modern woman, and while inside the Islamic Republic change your appearance to that of women from the Stone Age to comply with the regime’s reactionary rules.

During these years, anyone faced with a catastrophe, anyone who came under the regime’s surveillance, believing they had found a shelter would choose your office to plea for justice. Well, could you tell us if there was a single case taken up by you and your office during these years that yielded a positive result? Have any of your short or long announcements had any effect on the regime’s behavior? If not, then what is the difference between you, enjoying international fame and with vast financial resources at your disposal, with a nameless attorney whose hands they’ve bound? They say the regime is ruthless and that you fear it. Firstly, why then do you try to protect the ruthless regime? Secondly, if you too are supposed to be scared, and if your presence is no different than your absence, then what was the motive behind so many celebrations and so much fervor, rejoicing and enthusiasm?

Were your behavior so neutral and indifferent! Your role is not only not neutral, it is carefully calculated, planned and played precisely with an effect in mind. Today everyone knows that the slurring over of the case of murders better known as the “chain killings” was undertaken by Khatami and the 6th Majless, but not everyone, particularly human rights organizations, may know that you were responsible for bungling the case of Zahra Kazemi. At the time I of course predicted your cooperation with the Islamic Republic in the misrepresentation of the case, but I did not have many listeners. Now, Stephan Kazemi, Zahra Kazemi’s son, twice during the conference of the Association of Women’s Studies in Vienna (webcasted via Paltalk also) and in a meeting of Women’s Network in Frankfurt explicitly stated that besides performing in front of television cameras you did nothing positive in relation to his mother’s case, adding (the substance of what he said):

“I’m not the selfish and self centered young man you knew before, one who fought only for his mother’s rights. Today I share the pains of many others, particularly those families that have been denied justice. My hero today is Dr. Shahram Azam, who did something that the Canadian government or my lawyer, Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, refuse to do. Ebadi, although she was my lawyer, would not even phone me during her visits to Montreal. I believe that when it comes to human rights there is not much room for political games.”

How did our people benefit from your numerous trips to Europe and the United States and all your speeches? Any other outcome besides our intellectuals abroad providing the regime with the opportunity to give birth to a child that it had nurtured in the belly of its reformist gimmick and who was named Ahmadinejad? Congratulations for your newborn! Yes, we should ask these intellectuals who had arranged your travels and advertised your programs (from Reza Barahani to Karimi Hakkak, Mehrangiz Kar to Abbas Milani, …and Ms. Shahrzad Mojab, whose participation in these shows was especially regrettable) how it was that they did not know of the objectives hiding behind your award when the Nobel committee stated the reason for its awarding you the prize as you being an Iranian, a Moslem and a woman.

I’ll relate to you, and to those who might still have illusions regarding your objectives, another example of the reaction of our younger generation to your claims. You and all Iranians know Sayeh Saidi Sirjani, but other individuals concerned with human rights issues around the world may not be familiar with her name. Sayeh is the daughter of Ali-Akbar Saidi Sirjani, the scholar, historian and prominent Iranian writer who after being fraudulently charged and arrested by the Islamic Republic underwent the most painful and barbaric forms of torture. They eventually injected him with a chemical and murdered him, closing his case with the announcement that he had suffered from a heart attack. Sayeh, herself a legal expert, without anyone paying attention to her cries, declared Mohammad Khatami and Hossein Shariatmadari, chief editor of Keyhan, to have been responsible for her father’s murder.

When you claimed to be admired by Iranian women and youth, Sayeh became furious and reacted to your claims sharply. Yes, her reaction was sharp and angry, but if I or anyone else were to feel the pain and suffering she holds in her bosom, and to comprehend the nightmare that should always be her companion, we ought not expect her to address the Islamic Republic’s defenders in a mild manner. Begging the pardon of the Grand Dame of Peace, I’ll quote a small excerpt from Sayeh Sirjani’s statement without altering her manner of address:

“Ebadi, shame on you for becoming more expert in fabricating lies than the officials of the Islamic Republic. May we be protected from the lust for power and doubly protected from your gaudiness. Today you’ve humored us again with the statement that the Islamic Republic has made vast progress in the area of the rights of women and children. Have you even seen the children of shantytowns? Do you know of the imprisoned youth? Of the young people who for years have suffered with material and spiritual poverty, non-existence of worthy professors and the absence of a free press? Woman, an Iranian child is an Iranian child, whether in the street, in shantytowns, in university or working as a peddler in the thriving Bazaars of the charlatans ruling Iran. You claim, ‘My reward was much welcomed by Iranian women and young people.’ Ebadi! I’m an Iranian woman. I’m a young Iranian. I say keep your prize…”

Your latest statements concern the nuclear issue. Let us first read an excerpt from an article in Peyknet, the loudspeaker of a part of Tudeh Party (the same group that, as though their Imam is still alive, seems to have been entrusted with his duty of defending ideological positions against imperialism):

“In an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya television, Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Center for Defense of Human Rights in Iran, said regarding the possible US attack against Iran, ‘People have some mild complaints against the government, but in the case of an attack from a foreign enemy, they’ll stand united against that enemy.’”

Do you not owe your fame, reputation and the money placed in your bank account to these same (according to the officials of your regime) imperialists? Were not your many travels, with the huge fees and expenses they involved, provided for from the US budget and the budget of other aggressive states? I don’t know what people will do in response to a nuclear attack, and I don’t give too much value to the bellicose posturing of the US, Europe and the Islamic Republic, and I’ve said many times that they only think of their own economical and political interests. Mr. Bush too, should US interests dictate, will change the Axis of Evil to the Axis of Trade.

But you, why do you belittle and downplay our people’s voice to this extent and claim that they only have some mild complaints? Would all the atrocities committed by this regime during these 27 years occasion only some mild complaints? Even before its founding this regime had turned on its human ovens by setting fire to Abadan’s Cinema Rex (where some 400 people were burned alive), and to this add the first wave of executions by your Islamic government, the disabled, the homeless, the victims of the war with Iraq, and the thousands killed, only in 1982 and 1988, after one-minute trials and resting in mass graves. Let me mention another atrocity committed by the revolutionary guards. In an incident in the town of Azar Shahr, these security forces beheaded the city’s police officers (the town had 40 police officers) in front of their victims’ wives, children and relatives. Cars passing through the town were forced to drive over their remains.

These people, with all their bereavement, and all the humiliation and punishment they’ve endured, they have only some complaints? That’s interesting.

I don’t know how people will react towards a foreign enemy, but I do know that in Iran, those who benefit from such injustice and cruelty, be they “radicals”, “conservatives”, “fundamentalists”, “reformers” or some such garbage, they are all made of the same cloth and are the enemies of our people. When living in a black abyss under the bayonet, what will be the advantage of having them fear a foreign enemy?

For our people to set themselves free, there is no alternative left but overthrowing these criminals, whether or not they get their atom bomb. But in the free Iran of tomorrow, what will be the fate of those individuals who helped sustain this regime? Will the possession of a Nobel Peace Prize result in the reduction or the sharpening of the punishment? I don’t know. Just be cautious. Tomorrow is too late.


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