Mohammad Nourizad: the man who can't keep quiet

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Mohammad Nourizad: the man who can't keep quiet
by Shifteh Ansari
11-Jan-2011
 

I would like to ask you to take a step back from where you are standing right at this moment, and imagine what kind of guts it takes to write letters and criticize your old friends in high places at the cost of being plucked from your ordinary life, tried for your thoughts, thrown in solitary confinement, beaten, tortured, and made to repent, and be further tortured when you don't, and be sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and 50 lashes. Now imagine, after all that, that you would continue writing critical letters to the Supreme Leader and Head of the Iranian Judiciary, to the point where you are further beaten, tried again, and sentenced to an additional two years in prison. That person is documentary filmmaker, journalist, and blogger Mohammad Nourizad.  He has been in prison since December 2009.

Below are excerpts from a November 18, 2010 letter from Mohammad Nourizad, addressed to Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, speaking about the "savage" way in which the Intelligence Ministry forces have treated him and other political prisoners:

http://nurizad.net/?p=1172

"They have beaten me and they have cursed my kin...In our Islamic country, things have happened and do happen that you would never experience, unless you are subjected to them; I wonder whether anyone has ever shoved your loved ones' head into a toilette bowl? If they had, and you and your loved ones have breathed and tasted the inescapable taste of what is in a toilette bowl, you would have directed some of your qualifications as an Ayatollah to this side of your judicial territory...But why have they shoved our heads into the toilette bowls in our solitary cells? It is so that they could take confessions from us that would invalidate the legitimacy of our protests and would strengthen the shaky legs of the rulers' power."

"I suggest next time you comb your hair in front of a mirror, and when you spray yourself with cologne, you think about the heads of your country's political prisoners, shoved into the toilettes in their cells. I don't know, has anyone ever slapped your face over and over again? And, hit your lovely chest and back with a shoe? Or, kicked you in the face? And, spat on your face in between your eyebrows and eyes?...I wonder whether in your abyss of loneliness and under outpour of punches and kicks, some have uttered cuss words and profanities at your dear wife? And, thrown your chaste daughters into the arms of the sleaze? And, sullied your innocent mother, sister, and kin with sexual mire? I doubt it! But, some Ministry of Intelligence officers...have done this with us."

I think Mohammad Nourizad is a brave man.  He, too, saw what happened on Tehran streets in June 2009, but, unlike his old friends, he decided he could not keep silent about it.  He has been paying dearly for it ever since.  A brave man, indeed.

 

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Cost-of-Progress

Dear Ms. Ansari

by Cost-of-Progress on

 

Thank you for your thoughts. I am not a self proclaimed “intellectual”, nor do I claim to know everything. All I know is that our country has regressed terribly in the last 31 years in all possible aspects. Mr. Nourizad is one amongst many who appear to have awakened from a deep sleep that some of us have been in for many many years. In fact, this coma-like status has plagued our nation and her so called intellectuals for a long time and goes back a lot farther than the recent past. There is nothing wrong with praising the newly awakened souls, but it is unfortunate that it had to take all these years, the oppression of our people, a dreadful regression and countless lives and immense resources for these folks to realize what they had supported in the beginning would undermine the very basis of their existence and identity as Iranians. But, I suppose that is water under the bridge now.

You also said:

We should also have a view into the future, dear Cost-of-Progress. There are those who would brutally say "we should hang a mullah from each and every tree on Pahlavi Avenue”—a view that sees no redemption, no correction, and no human value to those who are the government supporters and forces now. There is also another view which opposes any and all loss of human life and a repetition of mistakes already made.What do you think?”

This, in my mind, is an important question as we all know that nothing stays the same forever, and this too shall pass. There will be a time when this regime will either collapse and fall, or is eventually transformed and evolves into something different. That something different may be what we see today as the regime morphs into an even more brutal and totalitarian entity, or heeds the wish of the people (even those who consider themselves die-hard conservatives) and crawls out of the darkness that it now resides in. I do not believe that mass retaliation is the answer; I do not believe that what this regime did when it came to power and executed, without due process a number of folks some of whom were dedicated public servants should be repeated. I do believe that justice must be served by putting on trial those who are responsible for the murder of innocent Iranians along with those who looted our country’s coffers day in and day out.   

 

Will we learn from our mistakes? How we will rectify the damage done to our souls and to the soul of our nation and identity remains to be seen. I only hope I am alive to see it. The hatred and unilateral approach to everything that this regime and its supporters has demonstrated against those who do not agree with its doctrine  does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about it, I am sad to say.

 

CoP

_________

IRAN FIRST

____________

 


Shifteh Ansari

Cost-of-Progress

by Shifteh Ansari on

I don't know the exact answer to your question, but I know this much: Mohammad Nourizad was a die-hard proponent and, in a way, a member of the inner circle in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He worked at Kayhan Newspaper. He was a friend of Hossein Shariatmadari. If you read his biography on Farsi Wikipedia, you can see just how gong ho he was over the Islamic Republic of Iran and all that it holds dear and important.

What do you think now? Is he less of a man because of that? Or more? Does he deserve to be respected? Or dismissed?

We should have a view to Mohammad Nourizad in the context of current prisoners of conscience in Iran today. Is he "good," or "bad?" I still hold that he is a "good" person for having a conscience, for speaking up, and for paying dearly for that conscience, while giving a wake-up call to many other officials and forces inside the Islamic Republic about the honorable thing to do in the face of the brutalities unleashed on our nation.

We should also have a view into the future, dear Cost-of-Progress. There are those who would brutally say "we should hang a mullah from each and every tree on Pahlavi Avenue”—a view that sees no redemption, no correction, and no human value to those who are the government supporters and forces now. There is also another view which opposes any and all loss of human life and a repetition of mistakes already made.

What do you think?


aynak

Re:Progress

by aynak on

--TRUE progress would have been to demand and work for democarcy and equal
representation in a  constructive manner instead of handing the country
du-dasti to a bunch of 7th century backward religous Neanderthals.

That's progress for you.

--Now that after 31 years some of those very people have finally awakaned,

That's progress for Nouri-Zad.

See? progress all around. 

 

 


Cost-of-Progress

Progress

by Cost-of-Progress on

OK, people were comfortable, incomes were ratcheting up, country was on track to becoming a major power in the region, those who had studied abroad were eager to return and help build their country.....there was systemic corruption within the ruling elite and people were unhappy (were they?)...so a they supposedly gathered and had a revolution and the rest is history.

TRUE progress would have been to demand and work for democarcy and equal representation in a  constructive manner instead of handing the country du-dasti to a bunch of 7th century backward religous Neanderthals. Now that after 31 years some of those very people have finally awakaned, we call it progress.

 

  

____________

IRAN FIRST

____________


hamsade ghadimi

yep gilani, they're actually

by hamsade ghadimi on

yep gilani, they're actually easy to spot: those who're always polite and those who're always nasty are the multiple users.  the good cop/bad cop routine.


Bavafa

HG: Well in that case I am sorry

by Bavafa on

I guess your post was too complicated for me but regarding Mehdi's comment, I agree with you and expressed my feeling in my original comment. Its just shameful

Mehrdad


Roozbeh_Gilani

another case of multiple user ID's?

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Just wondering!

BTW Thanks to  Aynak for noting my progress! But  I seriously doubt that anything short of a massive united front is capable of defeating the islamist regime. The division and in fighting is exactly what the regime is looking for.

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


hamsade ghadimi

migam ha, migam ha

by hamsade ghadimi on

i already mentioned the name of the user.  it's mehdi.  i paraphrased his comment from below and copy and pasted his statement from his own blog (i included the link). 

nobody's talking about you bvafa.  are you disappointed?  are you that desparate to have a conversation with me?  nokar ham nakhastim. boro be salamat.


Bavafa

آقا ما بگیم، آقا ما بگیم

Bavafa


"this commenter, is a hardcore supporter of supposedly a noble iranian american association based in the u.s."

It's Mehrdad and the named organization is NIAC

HG:

نوکرتم، دیگه اینقدر حاشیه رفتن ندره،

He is (oops) I am proud of being a NIAC member and supporter. Until you or any one or that matter can show me an alternative to unite our voices here in US, I suppose I stay a member.

Mehrdad


aynak

Re: "if you blame him ...

by aynak on

 

Roozbeh writes:" ....The fact all these old revolutionaries are turning away from the
islamist regime is only a testiment to what I said above. We should
recognise this fact, disregard our old sentiments and unite together in
supporting this brave man and any other person or group opposing and
fighting the islamist regime, for a democratic future Iran
, ..."

And that is true progress my friend.


aynak

Re: "...thanks for the sarcasm"

by aynak on

 

".. tell me why we should endure 31 years of backwardness and everything else that has happened to Iran on our way to "progress"?

Here's a man who has changed his way of thinking.   He is among the first within the establishment, who is critical of the whole system.   Self reflection, is the most admirable human behavior (for those capable or willing).   Nourizad, (unlike many of us, considered outsider) could easily be part of this system.   But he is critical of not just the system but also his past.  

That is true sign of progress.   For a  group who so vehemently supported an ideology to be HONEST and realize their mistake.

 

 


Roozbeh_Gilani

If you blame him for being part of 1979 revolution....

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Then you have to blame vast majority of Iranias who were alive in 1979. Not a good or realistic stance really. 

The 1979 revolution was absolutely right and justified. And yes, it was Hijacked by counter revolution, Khomeini, then defeted and deformed into the fascist dictatorship we are witnessing today. You can not argue for a revolution against the islamist regime, yet dismiss the 1979 revolution. 

The fact all these old revolutionaries are turning away from the islamist regime is only a testiment to what I said above. We should recognise this fact, disregard our old sentiments and unite together in supporting this brave man and any other person or group opposing and fighting the islamist regime, for a democratic future Iran, regardless of their political background, so long as they had not been involved in murder and torture of Iranians or acts of terrorism.

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Cost-of-Progress

Aynak, thanks for the sarcasm

by Cost-of-Progress on

OK since you're so smart and sharp tell me why we should endure 31 years of backwardness and everything else that has happened to Iran on our way to "progress"? How on earth  could that be considered REAL PROGRESS?

I have no quarrels with you man, but do tell me, are you one of those "intellectuals" who takes 1 step forward and 20 backward and is satisfied he's been able to move at all?

____________

IRAN FIRST

____________


hamsade ghadimi

thank you shifteh for

by hamsade ghadimi on

thank you shifteh for publicizing the case of mr. nourizad.

reading the comments below, i find it disgusting to see someone (username mehdi) accusing this brave man, for the sake of seeking attention, put himself in a position to be jailed, tortured and put his family members at the risk of rape and humiliation.  blaming the victim is the m.o. of the defenders of the ruthless regime occupying iran.  nothing less is expected of someone who opposes all opposition to the iri with the following "proposal:"

"Social networking web sites that are not in any way antagonisticto the government but provide networking opportunities." http://iranian.com/main/blog/mehdi/how-can-iran-be-helped

and at the same time, this commenter, is a hardcore supporter of supposedly a noble iranian american association based in the u.s.  anyone care to venture a guess which association draws this type of character?


aynak

Cost of Progress:

by aynak on

---If you call 31 years of regression Progress, adjust your aynak, or
better yet, get Lasik! Otherwise, stop writing in criptic script!

Seek help.  No, not that one,  In basic reading and comprehension.


Esfand Aashena

Bit more wit?! Why start now?! Freedom doesn't need wit!

by Esfand Aashena on

Everything is sacred


Cost-of-Progress

Esfand - Aynak

by Cost-of-Progress on

Esafand jon, good point. But if we had a bit more wit, our country would not be in the sewer it is today.

Aynak,

If you call 31 years of regression Progress, adjust your aynak, or better yet, get Lasik! Otherwise, stop writing in criptic script!

____________

IRAN FIRST

____________


Esfand Aashena

COP jaan the question is not who helped question is who didn't?!

by Esfand Aashena on

I much rather he be one of the 1979 revolutionaries and those who supported Khomeini and in Islamic Republic and now turned against Khamenei than being against Khomeini and Khamenei from the beginning.  I think people would understand this change better, we need people to understand it is time to change.

We need more Islamic Republic supporters inside and outside the government to see the injustice and dictatorship and turn against it than those who were or are already against it.  The tide will turn when the majority turn against this system. 

Everything is sacred


aynak

Re: Yes, Brave

by aynak on

 

Cost of Progress writes:

-----but I have a question to which I do not know the asnwer:

- How active, or instrumental was Mr Nourizad in promoting the Islamic
take over in 1979? Again, I press that do not know. I do know that most
of those (old enough) opposing the regime now are the very people who
poured in the streets awaiting the arrival of the anti nationalist
khomeini thinking it was gonna be nothing but joking and smoking from
there on out.--------

That's the cost of real progress.   You try until you get it correct.


Cost-of-Progress

Yes, Brave

by Cost-of-Progress on

There's no other way to describe it. It does take a special person to set everything aside for a cause he believes in.

Not to belittle this brave person's courage and guts, but I have a question to which I do not know the asnwer:

- How active, or instrumental was Mr Nourizad in promoting the Islamic take over in 1979? Again, I press that do not know. I do know that most of those (old enough) opposing the regime now are the very people who poured in the streets awaiting the arrival of the anti nationalist khomeini thinking it was gonna be nothing but joking and smoking from there on out.

Oh...how naive .....how &*^%$#

____________

IRAN FIRST

____________


aynak

Re:"Political prisoners are brave men and women"

by aynak on

"It takes a special breed of humanity to stand up and become a political prisoner...    No one wants to be beaten and thrown in jail.  Political prisoners only
validate the rot of a decomposing system of government.  Sooner or later
this regime will disintegrate.  It is the order of history and we all
owe it to our political prisoners like Mohammad Nourizad. "

How true.   The  early sign of true progress in Iran, will day when there is no such a thing as a political prisoner.


Bavafa

My hats off to him and

by Bavafa on

My hats off to him and many other brave souls who just as 'Esfand' rightly said, are a special breed. One that we owe them a lot for speaking what many quietly think and believe but will never dare to stand up for their belief.

Secondly, shame on those who merely mention this brave name, only to follow with long political statement. The insincere praise only diminishes the point that is trying to be made.

Lastly, shame of those who condemn/ridicule this man's action and suggest if he much like millions of others submit to the injustice and brutality that is brought on them on a daily basis, then he would not be subjected to those harsh treatment.

 And finally, thank you to Shifteh Ansari for working hard to keep their stories alive by bringing them to us.  I appreciate it.

Mehrdad


Mehdi

Brave or insane?

by Mehdi on

Hard to tell. What is he trying to do? If his intention is to do some good, then there are much better ways to do it without pissing anybody off. But maybe his intention is to get some attention. Maybe he is also a little suicidal. He seems to be asking to be tortured. Of course he hides it under the veil of "oh, I am so innocent" or "I have been violated." I think he is a little crazy and they should feel sorry for him a bit and leave him alone. If left alone, NOBODY would follow him and after a few months he will cool off and go get a job and do something useful instead of being a "revolutionary." 


afshinazad

BRAVE INDEED AND MANY MORE LIKE HIM

by afshinazad on

It is awakening for people like Mr. Nourizad and people like him to confess and admit that what they have done to built this satanic regime, destroyer of humanity and culture and human soul, they are brave because they are awaking and witness where was the country and society pre 1979 and post 1979 and they are late indeed but it is never late to admit to nation why they don't have to follow the same steps and why we need new revolution for cleaning up the mass they have created, western or eastern powers and regime hand in hand for their own interest and survival of the regime created the master piece of external and internal political chaos to keep nation in fear. It would take more than a letter and critic to stand before these monsters, and yet our nation has not lost the hope but they are in fear and fear of their family and country and their future and it will not be easy but nothing is easy in life. In our country people are so much in fear that even cannot complain why they getting harassed and arrested for family gathering or birthday party with women and men in same room, if they don’t have a simple civil right, then where would be rest of the human rights, political rights, freedom of speech or any other rights that as a human being we all need. Is our nation is deaf or dead and lost all the interest in living, how do we measure ourselves as a nation, the nation who lost all the hopes for living or the nation already dead which we trying to ignore it? I hope when we talk about brave people in prison or they have lost their life for free Iran, rest of the nation standing for getting justice and they know that this is their country and their future and for people like or others like in west, we are only voice to condemn all governments who are not supporting our nations freedom and their rights. In any case political parties shouldn’t be first priority and all these oppositions goal must be one Iran and free nation and respect to all and everything that there is.     


Esfand Aashena

He is a brave man. Political prisoners are brave men and women.

by Esfand Aashena on

Of course anyone can say and do nothing and the injustice would go on.  It has happened in all countries as well as our own Iran.  It takes a special breed of humanity to stand up and become a political prisoner.

No one wants to be beaten and thrown in jail.  Political prisoners only validate the rot of a decomposing system of government.  Sooner or later this regime will disintegrate.  It is the order of history and we all owe it to our political prisoners like Mohammad Nourizad. 

Everything is sacred