Sunday, May 23, 2010

Farzad Kamagar's second farewell letter to his cellmate, Ihsan Fattahian

Farzad Kamangar was a Kurdish teacher, journalist and a human rights' activist. He was executed along with 4 other political prisoners on 9 May 2010 at the age of 35 in Tehran. He was imprisoned for over four years, which his imprisonment was marked by torture on the one hand and his unshakable defiance at the face of torture and humiliation on the other. His heroism, audacity, innocence and his unbounded love for his students, his people and humanity as a whole that is articulated in his well known and touching prison letters, gained intentional sympathy and respect, which was manifested in the mourning of his and his comrades’ deaths by people around the world.

Below is another (farewell) letter to his executed cellmate, Ihsan Fatahian. "No" to violence, "No" to death Peace, is an infant's dream Peace, is a mother's dream Lovers chat in the shade of trees starling; this is peace! Peace is that moment in which no longer the stop of a car on the street affrights it is when the knock on the door is a sign of a friend's visit [Yiannis Ritsos]. Beginning is a dream and a sweet fable for it stars with life. "And He created Man, beheld His creation and for such a fine creation He praised Himself [the Qur'an]. "In the beginning there was the word, the word was with God, the word was God Himself, and the word became Man"[the Bible]. Man is divine and sacred for he is the recipient of the divine spirit and has the right to life; "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person"[the Universal Declaration of Human Rights]

However, the lords of wealth and power have erected gallows and this is how they turned life and death, darkness and light, cries and silence, freedom and captivity into inseparable twins! This is how they made hanging ropes and gallows present at every stage of Man's life and on every single page of history. And again, in the third millennium execution continues on; execution is a movie script, a scenario in which the scriptwriter himself has the first role! The actor is a "human being" the most honoured (ashraf) creature; the masterpiece of creation from this very same kind, just like you and me. Some are the authors of this scenario; however, and they see themselves as the owners of human life.

They sit behind a table and they light their cigarettes and suck on them with a gusto; drink their tea; consciously sign a paper to strip someone of his right to live; it is as simple as that! This is how the decision is made to drag a frail, a white, or a black, a yellow, an Easterner lad to the gallows! As if he has taken up some one's space; they put a rope on his neck and watch his arm and legs tremble and swing in the air! It is as simple or as ugly as that! How obnoxious they are with that smile on their lips! What a horrifying thing to hear the news of an execution or some one's hanging and to remain silent. What an ugly era in which the gallows still leave mothers sleepless!

Violence has always produced more violence and death more death. And dialogue has offered peace, friendship and brotherhood! The scent of violets dissipates in a land filled with the smell of gunpowder! And no doves will fly in a sky filled with the whiz of bullets! A stone is used in a fortress will never be used to build a house! Bullets generate violence, and violence in turn creates death, prison and monotonicity.

Violence and execution are the breeding ground for the new and more violence! It is as simple as that. I wish this week, these past few months, all these years were just a dream. I wish execution was a passing nightmare. It is as simple as that I wish it was a dream, a dream; it is as simple as that.

Translated from Farsi by: Kamal Soleiman