Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'The children of the revolution will accept the ayatollah's rule no more'

Afshin Ellian was born in Tehran and came to the Netherlands as a political refugee in 1989. He works as a professor of legal philosophy at the University of Leiden and is a columnist for the Dutch NRC Handelsblad, the German Der Spiegel and The Wall Street Journal

Below an Open Lettern to Ayatollah Said Ali Khamenei,

To His Excellency Ayatollah Said Ali Khamenei,

A year before the Iranian Revolution, a member of my family had the great privilege of praying beside you. Later, during the revolution, this anecdote became a source of great pride within our family. This relative of mine had prayed with you and yet he, like myself, was forced to go into hiding soon after the revolution.
Excellency, we had not committed any crime. We merely disagreed with the repressive measures instituted by imam Khomeini - and that had become a punishable offence.
I was not even 18 years old when I was forced to flee my own country. Against all the hopes of those of us who participated in the Islamic revolution, the revolution enacted a system of political violence which created an unprecedented flood of political refugees and led to the murder of thousands by a regime which claimed to liberate them from tyranny. In the 1980s, thousands of Iranians, who fought with you against the shah, were executed, convicted by revolutionary tribunals, without legal representation, with no official charge. Among those killed were two members of my own family. One is buried in a mass grave. In 1988, in the space of a few weeks, thousands of political prisoners were given a summary hearing, slain and thrown into anonymous graves on the orders of imam Khomeini.

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Day Opening - July 14


France, 14th of July