This was an informative and challenging session for all participants; new, cutting edge information and analysis was shared in the midst of a historically significant moment for Iranian political prisoners and society as a whole. It was hosted by “Fighting the Power: Global Movements for Social Justice” summer session class of Professor Alessandro Morosin at DePauw University. Many of the panelists are signers of the Emergency Appeal of the International Emergency Campaign (IEC).
It is hoped that this event will have engaged many more people to sign and get the Emergency Appeal further into the public square with an urgency that can have concrete impact toward freeing the prisoners.
On behalf of the volunteers and supporters of the IEC, I give my sincerest thanks to Professor Morosin and DePauw University for hosting this international panel today. I want to thank the Peace and Conflict Studies Johnson and Wright Funds and our panelists and the audience for joining together here in the urgent fight to free Iran’s political prisoners. The power of our unity, albeit from very diverse political perspectives, is poetically captured by world renowned author and friend of the IEC, Ariel Dorfman who said:
I am convinced – from personal experience – that the prisoners themselves are given strength to survive and persevere, they are listening. They know others, faraway, care what happens to them, and we should not let them down.
We aim to go forward off today and every day in our collective responsibility to not let them down.
I know we are in a classroom setting, but as you listen to the speakers over the next two hours, I want you to put yourself in the actual situation of people in Iran, the precious sisters and brothers who are political prisoners, and let the reality of the IEC’s Emergency Appeal sink into your mind and your heart:
The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance, We Must Act Now!
To make the content of this 2-hour program more accessible, we have excerpted the individual presentations below, omitting introductions and Q&A, and lightly editing for technical issues.