We are in a struggle for democracy
Freedom and the struggle for democracy sometimes have a have a price, sometimes a terrible price needs to be paid. Should young school children, just teenagers, have to pay this terrible price, and give up their lives, so all can enjoy freedom and democracy?
The violent and brutal #regime of Iran is killing #children in cold blood, #young children, much younger than myself, beautiful young girls and boys, who have committed no crime, who have just danced and cried and spoken out for the freedom to protest against hateful laws. School children who have not yet reached the age of 18, all wish for a country in which they could live with freedom, enjoy common human rights to dignity and safety of their bodies and minds. These are rights and freedom that should be available to all, but such rights are denied to ordinary citizens of Iran. The children took it upon themselves to protest, risking their lives for the sake of their fellow citizens. They have been met with brutality and violence from the illegal and brutal Iranian regime.
The uprising was triggered uprising by the arrest of a young woman, #Mahsa_Amini, and the #Iranian police murdered her giving bogus religious reasons. This has led to widespread revulsion amongst the young people of Iran. And so it should. We should all be revulsed by such a killing. Now many demonstrations have started in streets, and people are increasingly speaking out fearlessly. The police began to suppress the demonstrators and shoot without any regard for the value of their fellow human beings.
Now we have another beautiful young girl, just 16 years of age, murdered by the regime. Her name is #Asra_Panahi, beaten to death by the security forces, whose first job should be to protect the people. Her alleged crime: she refused to sing a pro-establishment song! Incredible, to see such courage!! This is how a dictatorial regime tries to extend its authority over the people, through violence and hatred. Eventually, one day, the people will prevail against such demonic regimes, but right now they are paying the ultimate price.
#Nika_Shakarami, Iranian security forces stole her body of a 16-year-old protester and buried her secretly in a village Nika was missing for 10 days after protesting in Tehran on 20 September. Nika’s family finally found her body in a morgue at a detention centre in the capital.
Another beautiful young teenager, just a few years younger than me, #Abolfazl_Adinezadeh, only 16 or 17 years of age, shot dead for joining anti-government protests on 8th October. His father cried at the funeral: “What crime had he committed, that you sprayed his stomach with 24 birdshot bullets?”
This Iranian uprising against the dictatorial regime reminded me of what happened in Syria at the beginning of the revolution in Syria, the arrest of demonstrators, the grotesque repression, and the shooting with bullets. It was young people that started to protest in Syria. Now young people in Iran. Yet the regime responds with the same violent repressive playbook. Can you imagine the pain and suffering? Can you imagine this untold suffering? For the family of these children the suffering and pain will last a lifetime. A lifetime without their precious and cherished children.
I stand with these and all other wonderful young people, those who have stood up for their human rights. And paid with their lives. I know their suffering and I stand with them.
There is no fault in these children. They are not the criminals like their murderers. These are nothing but children, innocent children who aspired for change, for the right to live with dignity and freedom of expression. They do not deserve to be killed for their innocence, their honesty, and the demand for their freedom.
These fantastic, beautiful young people are the future of their country, the future of the world. They are the next generation. How dare the government kill them?
Their hopes and aspirations will prevail one day. No brutal regime can last for ever. The tormenters will be brought to justice in international courts, and the regime declared illegitimate. One day. One day. May it be soon. Please do not stand by and watch silently.
My thoughts are with the families of these beautiful, incredible young people. May they not have died in vain. May they not have died in vain.