[The views expressed in this blog post are the author’s own.]
The following letter, calling for a secular-democracy in Iran, was published on August 10, 2019 and it was signed by a group of outstanding Iranian women living in exile who promote women’s rights, human rights, and democracy.
The idea of writing this letter was developed between the three Iranian women living in exile, Dr. Marjaneh Rouhani, Ms. Nahid Shahin, and myself. The letter was written by Dr. Rouhani on August 9th, 2019, and each of us had our own collaborative responsibilities in the creation of the letter.
Dr. Marjaneh Rouhani founded the the Apadana Freedom Foundation, a non-profit and non-political organization in May 2019. The foundation encourages ordinary citizens of all backgrounds and life experiences to support different proposals and projects regardless of their political or party affiliations. The foundation is dedicated to establishing a democratic government in Iran.
The foundation’s letter outlines concerns about the grave violations of human rights in Iran which are happening because of the current regime. The women who signed the letter escaped the Islamic Republic in Iran and what they see as the government’s gender apartheid policies.
The motivation behind writing this letter was to broadcast the voice of the people, especially Iranian women inside our country, regarding their demand for human rights, freedom, and equality. Upon monitoring the events and protests in Iran, we as Iranian activists in exile, decided to be a voice for people fighting for regime change.
The letter calls for unity among Iranians around the world as, with hearts full of pain, we have all witnessed the gradual destruction of our beloved Iran at the hands of the Islamic Republic which has governed Iran for the past 40 years.
Brave Iranians’ daily embattlements with the regime continue under the most difficult and treacherous circumstances. Many Iranians have brutally perished and remarkable talents wasted, demoralizing many with inequality and oppression of human dignity.
- The letter says:
“Fellow citizens: On the eve of the 113th anniversary of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, we emphasize that what transpired in 1906 through to 1912 was The Constitutional Revolution, and what transpired in 1963 through to 1969 was the White Revolution. However, what transpired in 1979, after 40 years of disclosed evidence, documents, and living testimonials, we emphatically declare this as the catastrophe of 1979.
The catastrophe of 1979 led to the illegal cessation of Iran’s constitution of 1906 and to the abolition of basic human rights; especially impacting women’s suffrage under Sharia law, succumbing them to gender apartheid, and creating grave danger for anyone who protests against this discrimination. They have been and are subject to suffering humiliations, beatings, imprisonments, tortures, and brutal executions.
In a world where women in many countries are progressing in the political, economic, scientific, cultural, artistic, and sports fields, Iranian women courageously fight tremendous repression only to face brutal violations of their basic human rights.
We, together, with peaceful equality, are seeking women and activists inside Iran and around the world to protest against the multi apartheid occupying regime in Iran. In this regard, we emphasize that the Constitutional Revolution and White Revolution are national treasures and the heritage entrusted to us by our grandmothers and grandfathers who fought for freedom and democracy, are “Not Subject to Holiday,” and remain the law of the land to guard the territorial integrity of Iran and to protect the human dignity of all Iranians.
We, along with all Iranian freedom fighters inside Iran and abroad, who hold up the true Lion and Sun Flag of Iran, stand by the true law of Iranians, the Constitution of 1906, and it’s White Revolution Reforms, and do hereby call for its immediate enforcement under the United Nations charter for humans rights and international treaties. Like any other free country, we call for this until such a time as free elections will be upheld in Iran so that a parliamentary constitutional assembly can update the law of the land and create a secular democracy followed by referendum for this type of governance by Iranians for Iran.”
The Apadana Freedom Foundation, a non-profit and non-political organization that was founded in May 2019 by Marjaneh Rouhani, MD, encourages ordinary citizens of various backgrounds and life experiences with the brutal theocracy of Islamic Republic Occupied Iran to network and join in to support different proposals and projects regardless of their political or party affiliations. They provide accurate news coverage to aid and empower victims and general society to achieve freedom and democracy for now and future generations.