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A Dissident Ayatollah Speaks From an Iranian Jail

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Editor's note: The following is a letter written from prison from Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, who was a senior (Shiite) member of the clergy in Iran.

Boroujerdi is currently in the ninth year of an 11-year sentence for advocating for the "radical" position of separation of state and religion in Iran as well as speaking against Islamism and the country's leaders.

He has been held in solitary confinement, malnurished, tortured, beaten and exposed to chemical agents. His wife has been raped in fron of other family members. He now suffers permanent neurological damage and medical help has been denied to him.

The following is his letter written to his attorney's:  

 

To the Attention of my Dear Representatives and Wonderful Attorneys

With greetings and respect and wishes of increasing success,

 

As you are aware, I have been at the service of religion, minus politics, since twenty years now, at the beginning of which, due to my independent religious thoughts and opinions, I was imprisoned at the secret prison of Towhid, which is located next to the central post office, and was tortured with hideous devices, destined for a physical and mental breakdown; and fourteen years before that, following a non-political monotheistic publication, I was also imprisoned for a few months in ward 209 of the Ministry of Intelligence, and was subjected to harassment and persecution. Also, during these nine years, as a defender of human rights, I have experienced all kinds of torment to the point that I have lost all of my health, and have no hope to continue my life – my legs are becoming paralyzed, my eyes are becoming blind, my lungs are in danger of failing, my heart is on a path to a heart attack, and my brain is bringing me closer to death. Nine years – every second of which has been accompanied by a mountain of excruciating pressures.

It is a pity that despite my fame and my out-spread insights and diversity of thought, no doctor from international institutions, or an attorney from legal and judicial organizations have yet came to visit me.  I sometimes think that if in my place, an animal was subjected to the brutality of the Islamic regime in Iran, the animal protection organizations would have cried out a thousand times.  But alas! Defending a religious leader who does not wish to sell himself to the rulers of the brutal regime in Iran is ignored and no effective and appropriate action is taken for him.

Since two decades my family have been distressed and upset – my children are deprived from continuing their education and suffer from lack of livelihood. Ten years ago, before the aggression of the rulers of the regime started against me, I had a unique private library that contained antique books and rare to find manuscripts, which during those days were evaluated to be worth ten billion toomans; and one of the directors of the Astan Quds Razavi (charitable foundation in Mashhad) had announced his interest in buying them and had started negotiations in view of transferring them to the relative library, which coincided with the regime’s reaction and as a result was plundered by the security forces.

 Now that the subject of the human rights in our country has turned into a new and serious chapter for the United Nations, and has become the first subject of interest for the Security Council observers after the end of nuclear negotiations, please follow up on my pending case in an open and suitable manner, and please do not delay, as my slogans are directed towards saving the Middle East, and my divine insight for reviewing the basis or the infrastructure of the Quran, which will be a means of putting a damper on the terrorist actions of extremist Islamists.  This oppressed, alienated and helpless prisoner is expecting credit, economic and media assistance from all protectors of Justice and the heralds and preachers of peace and those advocating freedom of speech and expression.

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 This humble servant of religion and humanity shakes the hands of all my supporters, friends and companions and those in agreement with my humanitarian line of thought, and in this regard I bow and prostrate in front of them. I hope that the vital issue of freedom, in all its aspects, will be brought to the attention of Iranians residing abroad, and our nostalgic compatriots may understand my daily life, and will not forget this victim of political Islam, and in turn will become the echo of my cries.

 

Seyed Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi

August 2015

Iran- Tehran- Evin Prison

 

Clarion has interviewed Taybeh Hosseini, President of the Boroujerdi Civil Rights Group, who graciously allowed us to publish the letter. Read the interview here to learn more about this organization and its work. 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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