On December 31, 2022, @QuemarLaJaula, a group of revolutionaries and activists in Colombia dedicated to the struggle to free political prisoners in Iran, posted an inspiring video message.
Volunteers with the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners NOW have translated the text, posted below.
“December 31, 2022
A New Year’s Message from the ¡Quemar la Jaula, Liberar a los Pájaros! campaign, for the life and liberty of the political prisoners in Iran:
The year 2022 comes to an end with a defiant uprising in Iran which, among different possibilities, includes the potential for positive radical changes. The women and youth have unleashed a rebellion against patriarchal oppression, repression by the Islamic theocracy, persecution of oppressed nationalities, xenophobia and other horrors. This massive wave of protests is not only just, it is profoundly inspiring.
All over the globe, fascist programs with theocratic inclinations are advancing, reaching alarming levels. The struggle against religious fundamentalism in Iran represents an important experience for the peoples of the world. But it is not only that the current uprising holds possibilities for a truly different and better world; also it needs much support from the whole world.
The regime labels the just rebellion “waging war against God.” Scores of people have been sentenced and are awaiting execution by hanging. The families of the accused are threatened, the trials are rushed, without legal defense, and the prisoners are forced to confess. In December, the young athlete and teacher Majidreza Rahnavard was hanged in public with the aim of terrorizing the people, but his message was: “I don’t want them to cry at my grave. Don’t read the Quran. Don’t pray. Just celebrate. Play joyful music.” The list of injustices is very long, these are not isolated cases.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is ruled by Sharia law, which imposes Islamic norms on other religions and on non-believers, particularly suppressing women. Being a theocracy, what the creed considers a “sin” is raised to the category of a crime. Since long before the current popular uprising, there has been a barrage of arrests, tortures and executions, [now] with more than 500 protestors killed and 20,000 arrested just since September. There is an imminent danger to the life and dignity of hundreds of political prisoners [jailed] since before the uprising: artists, writers, cinematographers, environmentalists, athletes, students, women who struggled against the forced hijab, Kurdish activists and representatives of religious minorities.
To carry out a cohesive campaign with the aim of liberating Iran’s political prisoners, the “Burn the Cage, Free the Birds” movement was formed in Europe @burnthecage, and also in Colombia @quemarlajaula.
The Iranian people have issued a call, not to the governments but rather to the peoples of the world, to take this struggle up as their own. An important goal for this New Year should be to answer the invitation of the Iranian masses and, overcoming narrow thinking, unite in an organized way with this campaign with all its challenges. We, the peoples of the world, have no borders.
There is much for you to do:
Sign the call (at www.freeiranspoliticalprisonersnow.org)
Join discussion groups to expose the crimes of the IRI
Express the beauty of this uprising with diverse types of art
Join the talks and discussions which are being organized, spread the campaign, open up spaces to exhibit the gallery and other activities
Promote on your social media the hashtags #QuemarLaJaula #StopExecutionsinIran
Everyone who stands for justice and longs for a truly better world should support this uprising and echo the just message which spreads around the world: Free Political Prisoners in Iran NOW!”
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