Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fariba Marzban

In April, I quoted the London-based Iranian blogger Azarmehr as follows:

My friend Fariba Marzban, a female ex-political prisoner in the eighties endured 7 years of imprisonment including more than 400 days of solitary confinement and the horrendous torture which became known as the coffin torture, where female prisoners had to sit in a small confinement, draped in a chador, and face the wall for hours and days without uttering a word or making a movement, and Fariba still didnt give in to her captors. She was just an ordinary teenage sympathiser of a Left wing organisation at the time, caught while handing out leaflets.
Fariba's name does not appear much on the Internet. Indeed, one commentator wrote:
But if you ask me about the specific memory that is to be forgotten on the colonial site, then it is most obviously the story of women themselves, those who have been fighting foreign domination and domestic abuse alike. There are numerous memoirs written over the last decade alone by Iranian women political activists who have suffered and survived heroically under both the Pahlavis and the Islamic Republic. But who has heard of people like Vida Hajebi Tabrizi, Fariba Marzban, Nasrin Parvaz, or Ashraf Dehghan—all among political activists who struggled and resisted both the Pahlavi tyranny and the even more horrid tyranny of the Islamic Republic that succeeded it? No one.
It has been entirely my privilege to bring Fariba's name to a slightly wider audience. But I am afraid there was an error of fact in my original post, and Fariba has contacted me to correct it.

She did not endure 400 days of solitary confinement. She endured two years and seven months of solitary, and a further six months of confinement in tiny, unlit, windowless cells without proper food, without access to bathroom or shower facilities, all the while enduring torture and what she, with restraint and understatement, refers to as other "difficulties".

In making this correction, Fariba wrote that she did not want to make her life out to be a tragedy, but that the tragedy was that of all her generation of Iranians. And she, a woman with the courage to challenge one of the most tyrannous regimes in the world, and to continue to do so in the face of the most savage and brutal cruelty, thanked me for writing about her - for sitting in front of a keyboard in a nice, safe country and typing a few words.

It is of the utmost importance that the world knows the true nature of the Iranian regime, and the names and the bravery of the Iranian people who challenge it. Fariba should know that we admire and salute her bravery and resolve, that we stand with her and that we also long for the day that a democratic and secular Iran can take its rightful place as a great and historic nation in the family of free countries.

1 comment:

Azarmehr said...

Thanks for this Peter.