What unites them? They lived in lands far apart, spoke different languages, did not know each other.
Who are they?
Hitoshi Igarashi (age 44) was a respected Islamic scholar in Japan and the translator of The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna (Ibn Sina). His translation of the controversial novel, Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie was his death sentence.
Foruzan Abdi Pirbazari (age 30) was the captain of Iran’s Women National Volleyball team and a sympathizer of an opposition group. She had been sentenced to five years in prison for her political affiliation, but instead of being released, she was secretly hanged in a Tehran prison for not having recanted her beliefs.
Paola Sara Czyzewski (age 21) was studying law in Buenos Aires. Paola was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She and 84 others died in a bombing of a cultural center to punish the Argentine government for their decision not to transfer nuclear material to Tehran.
Mohammad Baqer Latifi (age 41), was serving as an engineer in the Iranian armed forces before the 1979 revolution. Colonel Latifi was executed, not for crimes he had committed, but for the simple act of being associated with the former regime.
Janet Lee Stevens (age 32) was an American citizen, a PhD student in Arabic literature, a social activist with Amnesty International and a freelance journalist living in Lebanon. Janet was in the US embassy cafeteria on April 18, 1983 when a truck loaded with 2,000 pounds of explosives slammed into the building.
Reverend Hossein Sudmand (age 39) was a Muslim-born convert to Christianity who was “serving God” in Iran. He was killed for his religious beliefs and as a warning to others who may be tempted to change their religion.
Farzad Kamangar (age 35) was a teacher and human rights activist from Iranian Kurdistan. Farzad believed in peaceful civil resistance as a means of eliminating discrimination based on belief. He shunned violence. He was falsely accused of terrorism and hanged.
What unites them? They lived in lands far apart, spoke different languages, did not know each other. What unites them is the decision of the Islamic Republic’s leaders to arbitrarily and violently deprive them of their right to life; what unites them is that they were not guilty of any crime; what unites them is that they were denied the right to due process and the chance to defend themselves; what unites them is the indescribable suffering inflicted on their loved ones who are denied the right to truth and justice; what unites them is that they are now all the honorary citizens of a silent city named Omid (hope in Persian), a memorial in defense of human rights. There, along with many others, they are remembered.
They have a message for us
Their very presence in Omid is a compelling reminder that our fight for human rights is necessarily global; that no matter how distant the land where a universal right is being violated, its violation makes the world unsafe and threatens us and our loved ones at home. They posthumously urge us to take action, for inaction emboldens the perpetrators.
We did hear their call at the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF): for more than ten years ABF has been documenting every single case of every single victim of the Islamic Republic of Iran, no matter their religion, nationality, politics, or alleged “crime”. Omid is now home to more than 16,000 victims.
But ABF needs your help and financial support to make sure that the victims’ memories are not fading into oblivion. We want to continue restoring the memory of the thousands more victims whose stories have not yet been told; to challenge those who killed them with the truth – for the truth is the power of the powerless, and a necessary path to a better future.
Please help us by making your year-end donation today:
· By credit card – through Paypal
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(Please type Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation in the “Find a Charity” box)
· By mail – print and complete this form and mail with your check to:
Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
3220 N Street, NW, Suite 357
Washington, DC 20007
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-governmental organization, founded in April 2001, and dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democracy in Iran. The Foundation is an independent organization with no political affiliation and is committed to promoting human rights awareness through education and the dissemination of information as necessary prerequisites for the establishment of a stable democracy in Iran. Please visit us at www.iranrights.org and www.facebook.com/iranrights. All donations are tax deductible