Monday, 17 May 2010

Showing the way to the small fish

News from Iran that isn't being widely covered over here: a general strike in eastern Iranian cities and executions of trade unionists. One of the victims was also a teacher, and, it seems, a remarkable one:
The crime committed by teacher and trade unionist Farzad Kamangar? “Enmity against God.” After a trial that lasted a mere seven minutes, Kamangar languished in prison for nearly five years before he was hanged last Sunday. In his last letter from Evin prison, he wrote: “Is it possible to be a teacher and not show the way to the sea to the small fish? Is it possible to stare into the eyes of the children of this nation and remain silent? Is it possible to accept the responsibility of being a teacher and informing the people, but not say anything?”

The anniversary of Ahmadinejad's non-election is on June 12th. We can expect more of this in the coming weeks. I'm not sure what good it does but I nevertheless think it's important not to lose sight of the cause of these brave dissidents.

 H/t Harry's Place.


zmkc said...

Thank you very much for pointing in that direction - would never have seen it otherwise. There must be something, even if only the action of small fish, that people in the west can do.

Barendina Smedley said...

Iran really does appear to be a pretty grim place these days when it comes to human rights, e.g. that all-important right not to be imprisoned and executed.

Over the past couple of weeks, one friend has brought to my attention the plight of several members of the Baha'i faith, locked up for two years now without being charged with anything whatsoever, while another friend is working to ensure that an Iranian woman now living in the UK isn't deported back to Iran, where the fact that she has made a film about her lesbian experiences apparently would not endear her to the authorities there. And heaven only knows what else is going on amongst ordinary Iranians who, for whatever reason, haven't come to anyone's attention here in the UK but who are presumably living in fear all the same.

I'm glad you mentioned this awful story, anyway. I am not sure there's an enormous amount that any of us can really do to help, but I can't help feeling that bearing some sort of witness has got to be better than remaining silent.

worm said...

I find stuff like this! more depressing

Vern said...

Good that Obama's been speaking out about it, however.

Gaw said...

z: I'm simply not sure. But as Barendina says 'bearing some sort of witness has to be better than remaining silent'.

Barendina: What's happening there as well as being horrible seems to me to be tremendously important - it's something like the cockpit of our time. And yet despite this importance, what's happening there can only really be resolved by Iranians.

Worm: Your link doesn't work, old boy.

Vern: Blimey, what's come over you?

Vern said...

Nothing, I'm afraid- that was mere sarcasm of the heaviest kind.

Hey Skipper said...

The crime committed by teacher and trade unionist Farzad Kamangar? “Enmity against God.”

Almost enough to make you think Hitchens might be on to something.


Heavy, yet effective.