FREE MY AUNT!
FREE MY AUNT! Zohreh Tonkaboni is the symbol of a generation; the generation of Iranian women and men who have dedicated their entire life to the struggle for freedom; the generation who had spent its youth protesting against the Shah and years of its adult life in the prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The generation whose path had been changed by the turns of history and whose once not so distant dreams of a better Iran had been taken away from them in the nick of time; the generation that had lost its vision of a better Iran after the Revolution of 1979. The generation who had endured years of prison and torture and had witnessed the execution of wives, mothers, husbands, fathers, children, brothers and sisters with disbelief and whose cries for justice had gone unheard. Now that after many decades, the world has heard their struggle for freedom, now that after years of protesting they finally have the opportunity of hearing the voice of their nation for freedom, their basic human rights have been taken from them. The cold and heavy doors of Evin prison have closed behind them and once again this notorious prison has become the host of these well known and well loved personalities. Zohreh is one of many who have lived this destiny; men and women who have shared these stories with my generation for years to raise our awareness about human rights abuses in Iran. We have grown up with them, have heard their stories and also tried to learn from their victories and defeats. Some of us have had the opportunity to get to know these personalities; they have been our “aunts” and “uncles”, the way in Iranian culture persons close to the family are designated by the young. They not only fought for freedom but they also sacrificed their lives and dreams for this cause. Now, many of them are in prison. Now we demand that our aunts and uncles be freed. Now, it is the turn of our generation!