I ask you to read this message to the end.
By the time you have read it, hundreds of children, men, and women—young and old—will have been killed, arrested, tortured, or sexually assaulted by the Islamic regime in Iran. These atrocities are occurring in the streets and residential suburbs all over Iran. Over the last few days, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Azerbaijan have been targeted.
Many people have disappeared, and no one knows their fate. In the last sixty days, more than a hundred children never returned to their homes from the streets.
Severe suppression of schoolgirls occurs every day. Repressive forces attack schools and use ambulances or cars of companies under their control to kidnap schoolgirls, take them to unknown places, beat them, and worse. Schoolgirls are specifically targeted because they are the pioneers of this revolution. While they are taking off their hijab in front of the mullahs in the schools, they bravely chant: “Women. Life. Freedom”; “Mullah, get lost”; or “death to Khamenei.”
People all over Iran are mourning. They are not even allowed to hold funerals for their children and loved ones killed by the regime because repressive forces attack all gatherings including, and especially, mourning. They arrest, torture, and kill mourners.
Today, Iran is mourning its beautiful, brave, and educated children.
I, Shokoofeh Azar, keep asking myself: what can I do as a writer and a former journalist who lives far away from her homeland? I have been participating in the weekly protests in Melbourne, writing articles, doing interviews, and trying to finish my second novel as soon as possible (which is, again, written against the corrupt and murderous regime in Iran) Is there more I can do?
I am making a direct appeal to you who receive this message to help me and Iranians all over the world to fight against the regime in Iran. We, the people of Iran, are looking forward to the democratic future of Iran and the Middle East, and we are using all our power to bring this democracy into being.
I ask you to talk to others about the Iranian revolution, to join us at demonstrations wherever they are happening, and to publish photos and videos of the Iranian revolution on your social media accounts. Take a step, even a small one. If it is in your power, I encourage you to organize special information sessions t your companies, offices, schools, universities, festivals, bookstores, media outlets, etc. and inform people about the brutality of the Iranian regime.
Declare solidarity with the people of Iran.
We are strong together. Together, we can put pressure on the Iranian regime so that it knows that killing, raping, and torturing of protesters who gather peacefully in the streets is internationally condemned.
In the 5 minutes that you spent reading this email, there is a child in Iran who has not come home. There is also a young girl who will never see her lover again, and a mother who will never see her child.
Please be their voice.
Saadi, the great Iranian poet, says:
The children of humanity are each others’ limbs
That shares an origin in their creator
When one limb passes its days in pain
The other limbs cannot remain easy
You who feel no pain at the suffering of others
It is not fitting you be called human.
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree,
shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize