“Last week, two men were hanged after being accused of inciting the post-June 12 election violence that erupted last summer in Iran. The Iranian government failed to answer one key question - how these men could have been responsible for the violence when they were being held in detention long before it even occurred?
“As if this injustice wasn't enough, now the lives of 9 more men hang in the balance on similar charges. We fear some of them may be executed before February 11th - a date holding much significance in Iran and one that could signify an end to these abuses.”
Amnesty International USA (Feb 6, 2010)
It is hard, frustrating, to look on and see people being killed for pursuing the freedom to express themselves without harm. I hope the Iranian people can collectively show enough strength to reject their controllers.
The Iranian leadership’s control needs to be rejected by Iranians for their authority to be removed. The only authority these leaders have is from people doing what they say – if people, Iranians, particularly those instrumental to the authority of the leaders, such as the police, the army and the technocrats stop doing what the leadership tells them to, its authority will dissolve.
It is the most courageous thing we can do, to stand up and reject authority and demand the right to live without harm. But if this is what Iranians want, they must do it.
And if the leadership wants to show strength then they should know that true strength is respecting people and their right to express themselves without harm. Rejecting harm (including the use of harm) isn’t weak, it is strong.
It is time Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad showed the strength to reject the use of harm and control. Likewise, it is time for the Iranian people to show the courage and foresight to reject control. True leaders live without harm, a principle we can all lead in.