“You courageously fought against forced hijab laws”
A letter from activist Azam Jangravi to fellow activist Yasaman Aryani, who is currently in prison for defying Iran’s forced veiling laws.
I don’t know how to start and what to talk about, but I want to write a few lines for you.
I didn’t know you until recently. I didn’t know who you are, where you are, and wasn’t familiar with your worldview. But now I know that you are, like me, tired of injustice.
Dear Yasaman, I know that you are in prison now, and not living in proper conditions and that you are suffering.
A few days ago, a woman in Canada asked me about the situation of women in Iran. I told her about you. I told her that you, at the age of 24, courageously fought against forced hijab laws, and that because of this you were sentenced to 16 years in jail. I told her about the Girls of Revolution Street. Told her about Nasrin Sotoudeh, Vida Movahed, Narges Hosseini, Mojgan Keshavarz and Saba Kordafshari. I told her about judgments imposing heavy sentences on us and the suppression that we have faced and still face. She wouldn’t believe me. She had every right not to. Our stories, your story, the story of your sufferings and your bravery is unbelievable and will remain in history.
Dear Yasaman, I also shared the painful story of the burnt body of Sahar Khodayari, the Blue Girl. When I told her that women are banned from going to football stadiums, she said, “How is that possible?” I said that Sahar went to a stadium but was arrested and charged with “offenses”, and after leaving court, she set herself on fire in protest and subsequently died from her injuries. When I tell these stories the response is always pain and tears and disbelief and silence.
Dear Yasaman, I know that you believe in speaking out against the injustice imposed in law and in practice on women. I hope that you are freed immediately so that the world may again hear your voice.
Rest assured that your voice of protest and courage is now heard globally and that, one day, history will hear your voice and this naked injustice will end.
With the hope of your freedom and hoping to see you in a free and prosperous Iran.