23 Maj 2016

Narges Mohammadi skriver från fängelset

Den iranska journalisten och människorättsaktivisten Narges Mohammadi har enligt uppgift nyligen dömts till tio års fängelse, bland annat för att ha "spridit propaganda mot systemet" och ha varit medlem i "en illegal organisation med syfte att skada den nationella säkerheten".

Den senare åtalspunkten gäller hennes medlemskap i organisationen Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty som arbetar mot dödsstraff i Iran, en fråga som Mohammadi varit mycket engagerad i.
 
Narges Mohammadi är också medgrundare till Iranian National Peace Council, som består av författare, artister, advokater och aktivister som arbetar för mänskliga rättigheter i Iran. Hon är även engagerad i Defenders of Human Rights Centre, som förser politiska fångar med försvarsadvokater. 
 
Mohammadi lider av en neurologisk sjukdom och har i omgångar vistats på sjukhus. Med anledning av detta har rättegången mot henne skjutits upp flera gånger, men förra veckan dömdes hon enligt uppgift till tio års fängelse.
 
2011 mottog Narges Mohammadi Per Angerpriset med motiveringen "För att genom personligt mod och trots upprepade grova kränkningar av hennes frihet och säkerhet, på ett uthålligt och offentligt sätt ha kämpat för mänskliga rättigheter och kvinnors frihet i Iran".
 
Nyligen valdes Narges Mohammadi till hedersmedlem i Svenska PEN.
 
I texten "Manifest", från rättegångsdagen den 21 april i år, skriver hon från fängelset om kvinnliga identiteter, bland annat om att förena moderskap och aktivism.
 
 
 
Manifest
 
I was born in April 44 years ago. I got pregnant in April 2006. I was an April-woman and got the spirit of motherhood from April, the month of birth and growth. I don't think these two events – my birth and my giving birth to two human beings into this world – are incidental, as I don't think my being a woman is incidental.
 
Then I think of the days I was a physics student at the university. I started civil and political activities at the university and the arrests and interrogations of the Ministry of Intelligence and the university security didn't stop me. It was in my full power now to choose who I wanted to "become". I intended to object to and criticize the unreasonable "definition" of freedom and justice in the society, despite my family's occasional disagreements because of the pain and discomfort their families had come to bear for such activities. Did I have the "right" to "choose" and "become", against my family's will, especially my father and mother's?
 
During my activities I became acquainted with Taghi. I "chose" him as my husband. Taghi was released from prison after 11 years and had immediately started his social- political activities, and I chose "becoming" the wife of a man, which I was sure would have lots of consequences and hardship. And I experienced his first arrest while I was a newlywed. I "became" pregnant and gave birth. I chose to "become" a mother.
 
Now could I chose both "becoming a mother" and "becoming a human rights activist" or should I have given up one of them considering necessities?  
 
When I was born, coming to this world wasn't my own choice. I was born a female and it wasn't my own choice, either (though I don't consider it incidental), but when I grew up I chose to "become a human rights activist", to "become the wife of a political activist" and to "become a mother" with full awareness and of my own will. 
 
I bonded struggle, womanhood and motherhood and in the course of life, in the struggle between human desires and the false "definitions" of "humans in the society", "woman in the family" and "being a mother" I took a path full of obstacles and hardship, but I chose it responsibly. I love my mother but it didn't stop my activities because not taking this path was seeking convenience, justified by ethical duty towards father and mother, and taking this path was acknowledging responsibility, and I chose responsibility over my comfort and convenience. 
 
A day came when I myself became a mother, and this time I faced the same dilemma, but in a different form. I wondered if I had to stop feeling responsible and rein the passion of mind and soul and stay at home to fulfill the motherhood responsibility defined centuries ago, just because paradise is promised to the mothers who act in certain ways ordered by certain people.
 
I was at the same time surged by such thoughts as should one retire from criticizing a dark and narrow society which displays injustice in form of death penalty, prison, solitary confinements, torture, poverty, corruption, prostitution, deception, unemployment, depression of the youth and discrimination against women just in order to be allowed to the utopian paradise promised to a mother?
 
What is this virtue of motherhood which, when attained, brings one to the cross-road of many questions and doubts in personal, family and social life? Is mother just a reproduction machine to breed humans and get modernized by modern technology? Or is it the embodiment of a human in the uterus of a woman, or even breathing soul into human in the womb of a woman, which reveals love and compassion in the process of creation and birth?
 
Motherly love is not only the love for the child formed in her own womb, but for all humanity and society. Otherwise, not only won't it bring people together for sustainable global peace, but, by limiting a mother's love to her own children and ignoring the conditions of the human life and the conditions of the society and the world to which we belong, it will lead to selfishness, division and even war. As a result, motherhood should become more critical and mothers should remember that responsibility towards their children is the responsibility towards the next generation.
 
I love my dear Ali and my dear Kiana, but I couldn't and didn't want to close my eyes to seeing labor children whose heights were less than the height of the bumper of the cars in the city, seeing the acid- attacked faces of women whose fanatical and deceived attackers weren't tried, not even one of them, seeing that my Kurd fellow citizens, who deprived of a just trial, were sentenced to death by hanging. I couldn't contend to my fake freedom and being with my children while the society was turning to a wasteland, to diminishing the meaning of freedom to being with my mother and my children, as this kind of freedom is indeed boundless captivity.
 
And today is my birthday and the day of my trial. A trial based on accusations such as defending human rights, feminist activities, opposition to death penalty, meeting Mrs. Catherine Ashton, demanding the release of political prisoners, ending the house- arrest of the green movement leaders and persistence on the fulfillment of the civil society. And this coincidence has one message for me at the age of 44, that is the reason for my "being" and the process of my "becoming", my "becoming a wife, a mother, a human rights activist, and now a prisoner".
 
I am delighted and elated by this pleasant process of becoming despite its pain and sufferings. And this is the culmination of the power of a woman, a wife and a human rights activist in a country named Iran. I want to stay a human rights activist with a motherly love and all my feminine features. Although uniting these three causes pangs of pain in my heart and makes my eyes rain tears like the spring clouds.
 
This is the reason for my coming to existence in a morning 44 years ago. I am a mother suffering because of my separation of my two beloved children, a faithful wife for my husband and a loving daughter for my mother, who strongly and commitedly believes in human rights and won't give up for a moment trying to accomplish it in my country, even if every birthday in my life is the day of my trial, the trial for my birth, my being a woman, my being a mother and my being a human rights activist.  
 
Narges Mohammadi