With the recent news of a mother and two of her adult children being sentenced to death by the Islamic Regime courts, as well as many other gross human right violations including peaceful protestors being sentenced to death, prisoners being raped and tortured in prison and many activists being sentenced to heavy jail terms the question many of us are asking is What Can We do to Help?
Ten years ago many of these human right violations would have been a secret, hidden behind locked doors. It was very difficult to receive information about political prisoners and most often we would not find out about executions until AFTER they were carried out. The situation has changed drastically however, in the past few years and in particular since the June [s]elections. At a time when some of the most well known Iranian human rights organizations are directly linked to the Ministry of Intelligence and the Regime is actually allowing for some of this news to be publicized it is quite difficult to figure out what needs to be done to help the situation.
There is no doubt that human rights work is extremely important, and we must be the voices of those who have risked their freedom and lives to fight for freedom and democracy in Iran. We also must keep in mind the fact that for every political prisoner we hear about there are 100’s we will not hear about because the Regime will not allow for us to know about them. For each death sentence we become aware of there are many others we will never hear about until after the executions are carried out, if ever.
Given this situation focusing on human rights on a case by case, or even issue by issue basis is simply not enough. We might be able to campaign for some political prisoners but what about many others who we might not even be aware of? While petitions are helpful in bringing about awareness about the situation, they are not practically useful as we all witnessed in the case of Ehsan Fatahiyan. Although more than 10,000 signatures were gathered in a matter of few days the execution was carried out anyway...
This is a clear sign that the Islamic Regime no longer cares about public opinion, and while for years the Regime may have carried out these human rights violations behind closed doors, today it has no problem doing it openly to instil fear in activists and show Iranians what will happen to them if they dare stand up against the Regime. At the same time it’s a way for the Regime to mock activists abroad by showing them that it has no regard for public opinion and that it will do what ever it pleases.
So the question remains what can we and should we do? While it is very important for us to be the voice for those who have risked their freedom and very lives to fight for freedom and democracy in Iran, we must also focus on the root problem which is the Islamic Regime. Human rights violations are like symptoms of a disease, while medication can be used to relieve the symptoms one can never permanently get rid of the problem unless one deals with the root cause, the disease.
In the case of Iran focusing on human rights alone is certainly not enough and at best will relieve the symptoms briefly, but as long as the Islamic Regime is in power the executions will continue, rapes and torture will continue and the oppression of an entire nation will continue.
It is very important to focus our time and energy on Regime Change, as that is the only real, long term and permanent solution to human rights violations in Iran. Although focusing on human rights alone is “safer” more “politically correct” and “fashionable” it certainly does not give us the desired results. We have to make a conscious choice to focus all of our energy and focus on Regime Change in Iran and to support our compatriots in Iran who are risking everything to fight for a free and democratic Iran.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran