Welcome to cryfreedom.net,
formerly known as.Womens
that hopes to draw and keeps your attention for both the global 21th. century 3rd. feminist revolution
and especially for the 'Woman, Life, Freedom' (translated the Zan, Zendagi, Azadi) uprising in Iran and the
struggles of our sisters in the Middle East.
JINA MAHSA AMINI
The face of Iran's protests. Her life, her dreams and her death.
In memory of Jina 'Mahsa' Amini, the cornerstone of the 'Zan. Zendagi. Azadi revolution.
16 February 2023 | By Gino d'Artali
Read all about the assasination of the 22 year young Jhina Mahsa Amini or Zhina Mahsa Amini (Kurdistan-Iran) and the start of the Zan, Zendagi, Azadi (Women, life, freedom) revolution in Iran 2022
and the latest news about the 'Women Live Freedom' Revolution per month in 2023: September 30 - 16 -- September 17 - 1 -- August 31 - 18 -- August 15 - 1-- July 31 - 16 --July 15 -1--June 30 - 15--June 15-1--May 31 -16-- May 15-1--April--March--Feb--Jan
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that may hopefully interest you click on the image:
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Here we are to enter THE IRANIAN
WOMEN'S REVOLUTIONISTS against
Dear reader, from here on the 'Woman,
Life, Freedom' pages menu will look a bit different and this
to avoid too many pop-ups ,meaning the underlined period
in yellow tells you in what period you are and click on another
underlinded period to go there. However, when needed a certain
topic will be in yellow meaning it's a link to go that topic and
will open in a new window. If you dissagree about any change feel more than free to let me know what you
September 22 - 21, 2023
September 20 - 19, 2023
stories not for the faint of heart:
September 8, 2023
September 15 - 11, 2023
When one hurts or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
and: My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi figlio, non esistono notizie <vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da qualsiasi notizia.> Translated: <My son, there is no such thing as so called 'old' news because you can learn something from any news.>
JINHA - Womens News Agency - September 22, 2023
<<Hoda Sadeghi arrested in Ilam
News Center- Iran has launched a new wave of arrests against people including activists, protesters and artists. According to the received reports, Hoda Sadeghi, one of the citizens attending the commemoration ceremony held at the Behesht Reza cemetery for Mohsen Qeysari, who was shot dead by Iranian security forces last year during the <Jin, Jiyan, Azadi> protests, has been arrested and taken to an unknown location by Iranian security force. Local sources reported that Iranian security forces attacked the people attending the ceremony held in the Haniwan town of Ilam on Thursday (September 21) and arrested Hoda Sadeghi, her father Mahmoud Sadeghi and Mohsen Qeysari's brother Mohammad Hossein Qeysari. The arrested people have been reportedly taken to an unknown location.>>
NCRI - Womens committee - September 21, 2023 - in Women's News
<<Suppressive Hijab and Chastity Bill is Approved by the Mullahs’ Parliament
The clerical regime's parliament adopted the controversial and suppressive Hijab and Chastity Bill in an open session on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the speaker of the mullahs' parliament, said the bill had been ratified in coordination with the Iranian Judiciary. The Judicial Branch declared its agreement in writing to the parliament. One hundred and fifty-two (152) members of the parliament voted in favor, 34 against, and seven abstained. The new suppressive Hijab and Chastity Bill will be enforced for three years on a trial basis after being approved by the Guardian Council. A group of UN Human Rights Council-appointed experts slammed the suppressive Hijab and Chastity Bill in a statement on September 1, and said it could amount to <Gender Apartheid.> The experts urged the Iranian authorities to <reconsider the compulsory hijab legislation in compliance with international human rights law, and to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights for all women and girls in Iran.>
Suppressive Hijab and Chastity Bill is Approved by the Mullahs' Parliament
Moussa Ghazanfarabadi, a mullah and the chair of the parliament's Legal Commission, told the open session: <The bill submitted to the parliament by the government and through the Judiciary contained 15 articles. It did not consider cultural issues. Some 35 articles were included which deal with cultural issues and predict the obligations of the executive apparatus in culture building and confronting the enemy's psychological war.>
Ghazanfarabadi explained, <The bill has five chapters. The first chapter deals with generalities; the second chapter defines the general duties of executive organs. The third chapter defines the special obligations of executive agencies like the national radio and television and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The fourth chapter outlines the general duties and social responsibilities, and the fifth chapter outlines the crimes and offenses. All agencies are obliged to follow up the offenses and file cases with the Judiciary.> Fearing public reactions, the clerical regime's parliament refrained from debating the bill in its open session and invoked an article of the constitution that permits the formation of a committee to approve legislation for <experimental> implementation.>>
Center for Human Rights Iran
<<International Community Should Call for an End to Gender Apartheid in Iran
September 20, 2023 - On the anniversary week of the eruption of Iran's <Woman, Life, Freedom> movement, sparked by the killing in state custody of a young women just three days after she was arrested for alleged inappropriate hijab, the Iranian parliament passed a bill that intensifies punishments against Iranian women and girls accused of wearing inappropriate hijabs. This legislation exposes them to heightened levels of violence. <The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is trampling the rights and freedoms of all women and girls in Iran by criminalizing freedom of expression,> said Jasmin Ramsey, deputy director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). <This includes the countless brave women who continue to risk their lives in peaceful defiance against the state's forced-hijab law by appearing unveiled in public.> <One year after the killing in state custody of Mahsa Jina Amini soon after she was arrested for alleged improper hijab, not one Iranian official has been held accountable, not for her death nor the killings of hundreds of protesters who rose up this past year,> Ramsey said. <Instead, all women in Iran are being subjected to collective punishment.> CHRI has issued a stark warning that the <Chastity and Hijab Law> not only violates due process rights, denying women in Iran a fair trial before punishment, but also exacerbates discrimination and violence against women in the country.
Women in Iran Now Face More Violence, Discrimination
In June 2023, a woman in Tehran shared her experience of the law's consequences with CHRI: <A few days ago, a man on the metro pushed me hard because I wasn't wearing a hijab and I fell on the ground. Then he dragged me....If the police hadn't arrived, the man wouldn't have left me alone.> This new law not only places undue burdens on ordinary citizens but also fosters vigilante violence, encouraging them to participate in the state's enforcement of hijab regulations. Through a system of surveillance and reporting, it also leaves women even more susceptible to violence. Alarmingly, even before the law's official ratification, judicial authorities have shuttered restaurants for serving unveiled women, and women have been denied access to banks for appearing without a hijab. These unlawful actions have occurred before the law's ratification. Proposed in response to the growing number of women and girls appearing in public without compulsory hijabs over the past year, the bill passed with 152 votes in favor, 34 against, and seven abstentions. Jasmin Ramsey, deputy director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), criticized the Iranian parliament, stating, <The parliament of the Islamic Republic has again displayed to the world that like the old men who rule over Iran through force, they are neither interested in nor accountable for the rights and demands of the people of Iran. Their only aim is to maintain their power.>
Hijabless Women Deemed <Prostitutes>
The newly passed <Chastity and Hijab> bill, comprising over 70 articles, now awaits review and approval by the state's <Guardian Council,> which seems likely. This council, composed of six clerics and six jurists, is headed by the 97-year-old ultra-conservative cleric, Ahmad Jannati, and is charged with vetting all legislation to ensure it compliance with the Islamic Republic's interpretation of Islamic law. Presently, women in Iran can face fines, arrests, or imprisonment for not adhering to hijab regulations. Article 638 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code stipulates penalties, stating,<Women who appear in public places and roads without wearing an Islamic hijab shall be sentenced to ten days to two months' imprisonment or a fine of 50 thousand to five hundred rials.> The human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was imprisoned under this law in 2019. Moreover, women can be charged with prostitution or <promoting prostitution> if they resist wearing the veil or advocate for a woman's right to dress as she chooses, as outlined in Article 639. This offense carries a punishment of one to ten years' imprisonment. The proposed <Chastity and Hijab> bill goes even further by equating the act of appearing in public without a hijab, whether in person or on social media, with harm to society, deeming it equivalent to <nudity.> The bill introduces a range of additional punishments, including fines, restrictions on accessing bank accounts, confiscation of personal vehicles, travel limitations, bans on online activity, and imprisonment. Saeid Dehghan, an Iranian human rights lawyer, criticized the bill's legality, citing a violation of Article 9 of the Constitution. This article explicitly states that <no authority has the right to abrogate legitimate freedoms, not even by enacting laws and regulations for that purpose, under the pretext of preserving the independence and territorial integrity of the country.>
Dehghan further emphasized the bill's problematic nature by highlighting the lack of clear definitions for key terms such as <violations of social norms” and <hijab.> This absence of clarity not only opens avenues for manipulation and misuse of the law but also increases the risk of citizens' rights being infringed upon due to the ambiguity.
Global Action Required to Unite Against Gender Apartheid in Iran
UN human rights experts have strongly denounced the Islamic Republic's practice of <criminalizing the act of refusing to wear a hijab,> asserting that it constitutes a clear violation of women and girls' freedom of expression. They emphasize that this violation can lead to potential infringements on other fundamental rights, spanning political, civil, cultural, and economic domains. Simultaneously, women's rights activists launched a campaign in March 2023 aimed at securing formal recognition of gender apartheid as a crime under international law. The campaign's ultimate objective is to dismantle the structures perpetuating gender-based discrimination and inequality in the Islamic Republic of Iran and under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Despite facing immense adversity, Iranian women continue their peaceful defiance against the hijab law, even within the confines of prison. Prominent human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, from inside Iran's Evin Prison, recently published a letter in the New York Times. In it, she wrote, <The regime seems to be purposefully propagating a culture of violence against women. We are fueled by a will to survive, whether we are inside prison or outside. The government's violent and brutal repression may sometimes keep people from the streets, but our struggle will continue until the day when light takes over darkness and the sun of freedom embraces the Iranian people.> During his address to the UN General Assembly in New York, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi faced condemnation from UN human rights experts for his government's violent repression of protests. They expressed ongoing concerns about the policies and practices in Iran, which, they argued, result in total impunity for grave crimes committed under international law in the year following Mahsa Jina Amini's killing. <The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran could have learned important lessons from the tragic death of Jina Mahsa Amini. But its response to the demonstrations that have led to the deaths of hundreds of protestors since September 2022 shows that authorities have chosen not to,> they stated. CHRI urges the international community to urgently call for the repeal of the state's forced-hijab law and to demand and end the systemic repression and gender-based discrimination against women in Iran that it represents. <The hijab should be a choice, not a tool of state repression. Iranian women's courageous stance against this government of old men deserves international support,> said Ramsey.>>
JINHA - Womens News Agency - September 21, 2023
<<Jina Mahsa Amini nominated for EU's Sakharov Prize
News Center- The EU Parliament has announced the nominees of the EU’s 2023 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, annually awarded to individuals and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Jina Mahsa Amini, who was killed in custody by Iran's so-called <morality police> on September 16, 2022 and the women of Iran the women of Iran were nominated for the prize by the European People's Party (EPP). Afghan education activists Marzia Amiri, Parasto Hakim, and Matiullah Wesa, Afghanistan, were nominated for the prize by 59 MEPs.
The vote on the three finalists will take place on October 12 and the award ceremony will take place during plenary sitting in Strasbourg on December 13. The annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded to individuals and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms since 1988. It is named in honor of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov.>>
Iranwire - September 20, 2023
<<Ex-Bodybuilder Arrested while Trying to Leave Iran
Former bodybuilding champion Khaled Pirzadeh has been arrested at the airport in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz and placed in solitary confinement. Intelligence agents apprehended Pirzadeh on September 19 without showing an arrest warrant, as he was preparing to travel to Turkey with a valid passport, sources told IranWire. Intelligence agents informed the family that he might be transferred to Tehran for further interrogation. Prior to making travel arrangements, Pirzadeh was officially informed that he was not subject to any travel restriction, the sources said, adding that his daughter was hospitalized due to stress caused by his arrest. Pirzadeh had previously been arrested in June 2019 and later sentenced to seven years in prison by Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolution Court for "assembly and collusion" and "insulting the leadership." He resorted to hunger strikes on multiple occasions and, in January 2022, he sewed his right eyelid to protest the conditions of his incarceration. When Pirzadeh was released from prison in February 2023, he was unable to walk due to a spinal cord injury and an anxiety disorder.>>
JINHA - Womens News Agency - September 20, 2023
<<Iranian parliament passes bill toughening penalties for women defying hijab law
News Center- The Iranian parliament has passed a proposed bill toughening penalties for women and girls, who defy the country's hijab law on Wednesday. Today, the bill was passed in the parliament with 152 votes in favor, 34 against and seven abstentions. Now, the bill requires approval from Iran's Guardian Council to enter into force. The bill was prepared after the <Jin, Jiyan, Azadi> uprising that started in Iran and Rojhelat Kurdistan following the killing of Jina Mahsa Amini in custody by Iran's so-called <morality police> on September 16, 2022. According to the bill, women and girls, who defy the hijab law, will be first 'warned' by SMS or similar methods. Women and girls who do not comply with the hijab law for the second time by ignoring the warning will be fined. If they do not pay the fine in one month, the amount will be automatically deducted from their bank accounts. If the warning is ignored for the fourth time, the judiciary will file a lawsuit against women and girls or they will be arrested.
The bill also includes articles about businesses in Iran. According to the bill, businesses such as stores, restaurants and cafes may be temporarily sealed if they do not comply with the Hijab law. According to the bill, those engaging in social, political, cultural, and artistic or sports activities will face penalties or fines if they do not comply with the hijab law. The bill also says that anyone who <mocks> the hijab on social media or otherwise will be fined and can face a ban on leaving the country for up to two years.>>
NCRI - Womens committee - September 20, 2023 - in Women's News
<<Fatemeh Ziaii and Azar Karvandi in dire health conditions in Evin Prison
Fatemeh Ziaii and Azar Karvandi are supporters of the opposition PMOI
Political prisoners Fatemeh Ziaii and Azar Karvandi are detained in dire health conditions in Evin Prison without being allowed medical leave. Political prisoner Fatemeh Ziaii suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease of the central nervous system. Her illness has advanced under stress in prison and she hardly has any mobility. In the meantime, Azar Karvandi was taken to a civic hospital last week after experiencing intense pain in the chest. Angiography revealed that two of her arteries had been blocked.
Fatemeh Ziaii Azad was arrested for the 6th time and detained in Evin Prison
Who is Fatemeh Ziaii Azad?
Political prisoner Fatemeh Ziaii Azad (Hoorieh), is a supporter of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Agents of the Intelligence Ministry broke into her residence on September 10, 2022, and arrested Fatemeh Ziaii Azad. They took her to Ward 209 in Evin Prison. Fatemeh Ziaii Azad is 65 and formerly served five years (1981-1986) on charges of supporting the PMOI and spent time in the Residential Unit, where PMOI women were viciously tortured. She was also jailed in 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2019. Fatemeh Ziaii Azad has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), requiring constant medical care. Her two daughters are members of the PMOI/MEK.
Azar Karvandi Musazadeh to serve 5 years in Evin Prison
Who is Azar Karvandi Musazadeh?
Azar Karvandi Musazadeh reported to Evin Prison on Sunday, July 30, 2023, to serve her five years. The 24th branch of Tehran's Revolutionary Court sentenced Azar Karvandi Musazadeh, 60, to five years in prison on charges of <propaganda against the state> and <assembly and collusion aimed against national security> through collaboration with People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The trial was held on January 6, 2022. Azar Karvandi is a former political prisoner of the 1980s who spent long years in the clerical regime's dungeons. Her husband was executed during the 1988 massacre. Ms. Karvandi Musazadeh was also arrested in the 2010s and spent some years in jail.>>
JINHA - Womens News Agency - September 19, 2023
<<'The Islamic Republic of Iran aims to silence filmmakers by arresting them'
News Center- The Iranian Independent Filmmakers' Association (IIFMA) has released a statement condemning the arrests of protesters, artists and former political prisoners before the anniversary of the <Jin, Jiyan, Azadi (Women, Life, Freedom> uprising. Pointing to the fear of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The statement said, <On the anniversary of the murder of Jina Amini, the repressive regime of the Islamic Republic used inhuman practices against protesters, artists and former political prisoners. It aims to silence filmmakers and artists by arresting them and imposing psychological pressure on them. We, as the independent filmmakers of Iran, condemn the inhuman practices of the regime and demand immediate release of artists and political prisoners.> >>
Iranwire - September 19, 2023
<<Elon Musk Jokes about Iranian Complaint Letter against Starlink
Tech billionaire Elon Musk has said he had received a letter from Iranian officials to complain about the satellite Internet service Starlink, which helps Iranians circumvent the government's restrictions on accessing the Internet. Musk - the CEO of SpaceX, which operates Starlink – held a live discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 18 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, touching on a range of issues including antisemitism on social media and the Iranian threat. Netanyahu took the conversation with the owner of X, formerly Twitter, to Israel's regional foe Iran, saying, <It's a bad actor that chants, 'Death to Israel,' 'Death to America.' ’'You don't want them to have the ability to reach Fremont or Dallas.> Musk recalled the Iranian letter, joking he was surprised it did not have <Death to America and Israel> written on it, leading Netanyahu to exhort him not to be <calmed> by the letter's tone. <These regimes are based on the ability to control the minds of their people,> he said. In December, as Iranian authorities imposed increasingly severe restrictions to access the internet in an effort to limit information about protests that had broken out nationwide, Musk said SpaceX was close to having 100 Starlink satellites active in Iran.>>
Iranwire - September 19, 2023
<<Jailed Iranian Singer Yarrahi Faces Raft of Charges
Iranian singer Mehdi Yarrahi's case has been sent to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, his lawyer says, adding that the date for the court hearing has not been announced yet. The lawyer, Mostafa Nili, said on September 19 that Yarrahi is accused of <propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic,> <inciting corruption,> <producing and publishing content against public morality and decency> and <encouraging others> to commit crimes. Yarrahi was arrested on August 28 following the release of his song Roosarito, or Your Headscarf in English, which encourages women to remove their mandatory headscarves. The song was accompanied by a video showing women in various social settings without their hijab, some dancing to the music. Yarrahi dedicated the song to the <brave women of Iran who shine courageous ly at the forefront of the 'Women Life Freedom' movement,'> a reference to the monthslong nationwide protests sparked by the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody for an alleged hijab violation. As a protest against Yarrahi's arrest, Iranian social media users posted and shared videos of their own dance performances and renditions of his songs. Artists, political activists and journalists have also rallied behind the singer since his jailing. A growing number of women refusing to wear a head covering have been arrested and prosecuted, while dozens of businesses have been closed for failing to enforce compulsory hijab rules for women visitors. >>
Watch 2 videos in support of the Jina Amini revolution here:
Mehdi Yarrahi 'Soroode zendegi' (Live's anthem)
Shervin Hajipour <Baraye>, (For)
Iranwire - September 19, 2023
<<Siamak Namazi Decries Islamic Republic's <Gratuitous Cruelty>
Siamak Namazi was among five dual American Iranian citizens who flew out of Tehran and landed in Qatar on September 18 in a swap for five Iranians held in the United States. In a statement issued on Namazi's behalf after the plane carrying the group arrived in Doha, the 51-year-old former prisoner decried the Islamic Republic's <vile path to profit> of holding foreigners hostage. <Over the past 44 years, the Iranian regime has mastered the nasty game of caging innocent Americans and other foreign nationals, and commercialising their freedom,> he said, calling Tehran's Evin prison a <dystopian United Nations of Hostages.> <While my captors epitomized the baseness of humanity, many of my fellow prisoners personified its nobleness,> Namazi said, citing six environmentalists and a member of the Baha'i faith. <The only message that Iran's leaders send the world by incarcerating such extraordinary people is that it revels in the endless depth of its gratuitous cruelty,> the former American prisoner added. Namazi was detained in Iran in 2015 and was later sentenced to 10 years in prison on internationally criticized spying charges.
This is the full text of his statement:
I would not be free today, if it wasn’t for all of you who didn't allow the world to forget me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for being my voice when I could not speak for myself and for making sure I was heard when I mustered the strength to scream from behind the impenetrable walls of Evin Prison. For almost eight years I have been dreaming of this day. Now that it is finally here, I find my ineffable joy of my forthcoming reunification with my family is laced with sorrow - a painful and deep feeling of guilt for taking my breaths in freedom while so many courageous individuals that I love and admire continue languishing behind those walls. They are detained for demanding the dignity and freedom that every human being is inherently entitled to; for reporting the truth; for worshipping their God; for being a woman. For nothing. All the political prisoners of Iran, a country where the indomitable courage of women leaves us in awe, deserve their liberty. As a hostage, 2,898 days of what should have been the best days of my life were stolen from me and supplanted with torment. What I want more than anything is assurance that no one else will know the interminable anguish that my family and I experienced. But sadly, many are suffering those miseries right now. People like Ahmedreza Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish physician who has been on death row on trumped-up charges for over seven-and-a-half years now. The only thing keeping him standing is the dream of someday holding his son Ayro, his daughter Amatis, and his wife Vida in his arms again. While my captors epitomized the baseness of humanity, many of my fellow prisoners personified its nobleness. People like Niloufar Bayani, Sepideh Kashani, Houman Jokar, Taher Ghadirian, Amirhossein Khaleghi, and Sam Rajabi - the renowned environmentalists whose eminent goodness shines so vividly that it can illuminate Evin Prison’s bleakest cells. People like Sepehr Ziaei who, despite having been repeatedly jailed for being a member of the Bahá’í faith, always brightens up the other inmates’ days by cracking radiant smiles and corny jokes. The only message that Iran’s leaders send the world by incarcerating such extraordinary people is that it revels in the endless depth of its gratuitous cruelty. I am not special. All I did was not give up and survive. But my heroes are my mother, Effie, and my brother, Babak, who suffered with me every single day that I was a captive. They stood stalwart by us when my father Baquer and I came under siege by a dark and dastardly regime and when we got left behind by those who should have helped. And as they suffered in unimaginable ways, they worked, they persevered, and they prayed. They never lost hope this day would finally come. They made the impossible possible. Speaking of superstars, it would be remiss of me not to mention the relentless and unflinching Jared Genser. He and his remarkable colleague Skylar Gleason were far more than my pro bono counsel over seven long years - they stuck by me, they advised me, they fought for my freedom, and they kept their sacred promise to stand by us until the end, no matter how long it took to succeed. They never gave up. They are part of the family and I am forever in their debt. While in Evin Prison, I experienced the worst of humanity every day. But outside of those walls, there were countless people who reminded me of the best of humanity. They learned of our family's suffering and, in innumerable small and big ways, contributed to our freedom. From my local lawyer to my classmates from White Plains High School, there are literally scores of people that I need to reach out to thank. I am greatly beholden to the Emir of Qatar and the governments of Switzerland, Oman, the United Kingdom, and the many others who helped secure our release. Likewise, I must express my deep, if belated, appreciation to the United Arab Emirates and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for the profound kindness they noiselessly showed my father. Thank you all! Shukran jaziran! Most importantly, my heartfelt gratitude goes to President Biden and his Administration, which had to make some incredibly difficult decisions to rescue us. Thank you President Biden for ultimately putting the lives of American citizens above politics. Thank you for ending this nightmare. Thank you for bringing us home. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! But I am afraid there is much left to do. Your continued dedication to this cause is crucial for protecting the lives and security of Americans in the future. Over the past 44 years, the Iranian regime has mastered the nasty game of caging innocent Americans and other foreign nationals, and commercializing their freedom. By now Evin Prison is virtually a dystopian United Nations of Hostages. We must urgently channel the grievous pain of the victims of this wickedness into the kind of measures that would upend the cost-benefit calculations of Tehran's foul business. For if we keep this vile path to profit free of risk and toll, this venal regime will keep treading on it. Again. And again. And again. Mr. President, the tale of my eight-year captivity is ultimately a stark reminder that once our citizens are seized by a rogue state, we are left with no good options. Therefore, as I take my first breaths of freedom while you engage with world leaders at the United Nations, I urge you to initiate a game-changing global endeavor aimed at preventing hostage-taking in the first place. It is only if the free world finally agrees to collectively impose draconian consequences on those who use human lives as mere bargaining chips, that the Iranian regime and its ilk will be compelled to make different choices. Sadly, until then, we can anticipate more Americans and others falling victim to state hostage-taking - a horror that, thanks to you, my family and I will strive to put behind us starting today.
With this statement, I hope everyone will forgive me for needing a while to get reacquainted with liberty. Before anything, I must deal with some health issues, spend time with family and loved ones, and simply enjoy some of the many things I have long been denied. I must get to know the tall and remarkable law school students that my little niece and nephew have transmogrified into. I also desperately need to be in nature and in places with open vistas. I want to see foliage instead of walls and wardens. I want to lay back on the grass, with the warm sun on my face, and gaze up at the open blue skies. My other pressing <needs> include visiting the Apple Store to replace all the devices my captors took as bounty. I am dying to find out what gadgets now exist - when I was taken hostage, the iPhone 6S had just come out. You cannot imagine what an eight-year itch feels like. Let me end by reminding everyone that the greatest fear of any political prisoner is to be forgotten. While today the focus is on celebrating the recovery of five innocent Americans from Iran, we must renew our commitment to the fight to secure the release of all those wrongly imprisoned or taken hostage in Iran and around the world, including foreign or dual nationals. Thank you again to everyone who made this day possible.>>
Liberation Front 2019/cryfreedom.net 2023