Free Our Women. Free Asieh.
I wonder where I would be if I was still living in Tehran. Would I have been brave enough to have followed the others to the peaceful protest of this week? Would I have been arrested abruptly and violently, dragged through the city, and shoved into a crowded holding cell, only to be transferred blindfolded to Block 209 of a horrible jail? I don’t know. I do know that my heart weeps for the plight of Iranian women, caught in the hands of barbaric laws which not only don’t protect them, but at every turn take away something from their freedom, their dignity, their individuality, and their humanity, degrading them to second class citizens, devoid of rights to custody of their own children, rights to a fair marriage, rights to choose their own clothing, and many other basic human rights. It is true that no human being in Iran is treated with dignity, but it is particularly horrible for women. One of the arrested women, Asieh Amini, is a blogger, whose blog I visit every night, occasionally leaving comments, comments which she sometimes answers. My unmet friend, Asieh, shares a name with my grandmother. Through her infrequent postings, she appears as such a soft, yet strong soul. You can feel her “woman-ness” through her words of wisdom, compassion, and humor. The reason she writes infrequently is that she is a women’s and children’s rights activist, traveling all over Iran, witnessing, reporting, and following up on abused women and children. Asieh is the voice of collective consciences of every Iranian man and woman. She won’t let go of that abused 12 year old boy in Hamadan. She won’t let go of that young woman in Rasht, waiting to be executed because she killed someone in self-defense. I have never met her, but I feel like I know her and I love her and my heart feels imprisoned thinking of her in jail. I want to shout to the world: It’s not fair! I know better, though. I go and help my friend put his articles about the women into English, so the world could hear. That’s how I can help. Those women in prison cannot afford their supporters to fall apart on them now. Not now. Much like she won’t let Behzad and Delara down, I won’t let Asieh down. http://www.iranian.com/Shorts/2007/march2007.html#7c