I talk of a City Where You Are the Potentate

By: Hoda Aminian

Monday 12 May 2008

Translated by: SZ

Apparently there is no end to your assault, your assault on the lionhearted women of this land who want nothing other than breathing in an atmosphere filled with equality. Yesterday we were worried about Delaram’s prison sentence; today we are worried about Mariam who did nothing other than providing information to people, and you have taken her to prison. We are worried about Hana and Roonak whom you have imprisoned for being human and for demanding equality.

Now I want to tell you on behalf of all those who are imprisoned, about the heavy hearts of the people of my gender who have let out clamors to demand their rights and now you want to silence their outcry by throwing them in prison.

I want to talk of women whose tears are a testament to the adversities and many tribulations that they have suffered. I want to talk of mothers who have been imprisoned in their houses for a lifetime and in the end have had to leave their lonely prison without getting anything out of their precious lives. I want to talk of the bruised bodies of women who continue their marriage because of the lack of the right to divorce or for fear of not being able to see their children again. I want to talk of girls who are exchanged like merchandise in the hands of men and sometimes end up with their heads cut off by these men. They have no rights or even a safe haven where they can cry their pain away.

I don’t know if you have ever heard the moaning of the women of this land who have no help or support. These are the women who have nurtured you in their bosom from your birth to your death. I don’t know if you have heard anything about the burnt bodies of the daughters of this land who have become victims of your written and unwritten laws and find their only way out in burning their bodies. If you don’t know, I want to tell you that my imprisoned friends have seen these people that I have talked of, they have felt their pain, and they have stood up to fight for their rights. My imprisoned friends have struggled to make the voices of these women heard; they have strived to tell the untold stories of these women and make you listen, but you have sternly plugged your ears and have closed your eyes to all these injustices. But your attack on us is not the end of us and we won’t let that be our destiny. It is as though you think: "This is the only way to reach paradise."

If you only open your ears, you’ll hear us. You’ll hear us from all over the large expanse of this land and this is not only the call of just a few that can be silenced. It is the call of hundreds of men and women who together shout: "A different world is possible."

The same voices that you were trying to silence can now be heard everywhere. They can be heard in all the streets, alleys and byways of not only this city, but this whole country. And you remain resolute in your belief that you can silence these voices by imprisonment and lashing. But you should know that nothing can stop this wave anymore. And for a long time we have been murmuring:

Where love is not a love poem,
But it is an epic poem
The present state of everything will be reversed,
Prison is the paradise of the free people
Torture, whip and chain are not intrusions into the realm of humanity
But a measure of human values
I talk of a city where you are the potentate.

Read the original article in Farsi, which was written in November, at the time, Maryam Hosseinkhah was in prison on charges related to the Campaign.


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