A recent news release announced that a famous Iranian writer’s books had been banned in Iran from being published due to the writer’s publishing house’s editor is none other than Dr. Arash Hejazi. I am not very concerned for the writer. But after thoroughly reading into the reasons why the book has been banned in Iran, and about Dr. Arash Hejazi, I cannot sit quietly and watch this injustice happen.
Maybe my voice won’t be heard by anyone. Maybe it won’t make a difference at all. None of that matters, does it? Especially, when the price being paid is to bring a little dignity to an innocent soul.
Neda Agha-Soltan was killed in Tehran on June 20th, 2009. She was sitting in traffic during the 2009 Iranian election protest with her music teacher and a couple of friends, when she was shot in the chest by the pro-government Basij militia. Her killer was caught and
later released . However, not only did this girl lose her life, they stole her dignity as well.
Many publishers, writers and news channels have broadcast her story. Social media sites went crazy with the video that was posted to Facebook and YouTube. Many people talked about how and why she died. Many people talked about the famous Dr. Arash Hejazi after the terrifying event. But only Wikipedia covered what her family and she is going through and went through after her death.
Even after her death,
she continues to suffer and her family pays the price. As if her dying for no reason at all was not enough, her family was not allowed to mourn her death. The death of their unmarried, 26-year-old daughter. Their daughter who had barely seen life. Who was just recently engaged and had the world yet to explore. Her family was threatened to be punished and charged if they held mourning services. But that was still not enough. Neda was denied a proper funeral service by government authorities.
On November 16, 2009, her grave was desecrated and her grave-stone was removed by supporters of the Iranian regime. Later that year, supporters of the Iranian government defaced her grave by shooting it multiple times.
Since then, there have been many stories published about her family, about Dr. Arash Hejazi and Neda’s fiance, Caspian Makan. Her parents were forced by government authorities out of their home in Tehran. Dr. Arash Hejazi is wanted by the Iranian government for raising questions about Neda’s death and protesting against the government. He has also been forced to flee Iran for
his well-being. Caspian Makan continues to mourn the loss of his fiance. All four members continue to fight for justice for Neda. Yet, all are being penalized as if they were suspects and not the victims.
Dr. Arash Hejazi’s life has been flipped upside down
. Why? Because he was trying to save an innocent fellow-civilian who was shot in broad day-light. Because after her death, he is trying to bring her justice? His life has been threatened. He is being portrayed around the world as a fugitive for fleeing from his country because he fears his own life?
Dr. Hejazi has built a blog and website to bring publicity to the way his life has changed by trying to rescue Neda. He is publishing/releasing a book in March about his life since the event took place.
Caspian Makan lost his fiance and has since had to leave his home country too to fight for his right to voice his opinions. Caspian Makan took a stand against a government whose agents have been accused of shooting innocent civilians in the streets in broad daylight. Many family members including the music teacher who stood by Neda’s side while she died were forced to deny what they saw with their own eyes. They were forced to say
nothing against the government if they feared their own lives. But Caspian did not break. He continues to fight today and is criticized with hostility for his reaction to the unfortunate event that took place almost 2 years ago.
How do we sit quietly and just watch this injustice take place? Why are we unable to raise our voice about the happenings of this dreadful event?
My personal thoughts on the topic:
I am outraged. My heart is touched and hurts after reading through all the websites, blogs, documentaries and articles. I want to raise awareness to what is happening in third-world countries. I want to help the innocent people who are suffering due to government and political wars. I’ve decided to continue my research on Iran and join community and charity organizations to help with raising awareness to others around the world.
If even one of us raises our voice, someone will listen. Maybe we all need to take a closer look at the world around us and do what we can to help those that are unable to help themselves.
As my research continues, I will ask for your help in raising awareness. Rest assured, I will not ask for financial support. Maybe just a post on your blogs/websites. We are one world, why not start coming together now when we need it most?
“United we stand, divided we fall.” — Aesop (620 -560 B.C.)
- Death of Neda Agha-Soltan
- Caspian Makan: ‘I cannot believe it yet. I still think I will see Neda again’
- From the archives: Family, friends mourn ‘Neda,’ Iranian woman who died on video