Calmness behind the walls

Our aim to establish a secular Persian Republic


Calmness behind the walls
by cinemapen

I as well as half of the Iranian population were born post Islamic Revolution. Throughout these oppressive years, we have witnessed the Islamist crack down on the free-press, private and social affilations, unions, and all who stand in opposition to them. To date, the Islamic Regime has tortured and killed over 25,000 members of these organizations.

The current political rule, the principal distinctions are in par with the foundation of the Islamic Republic, where the power still remains in their hands.

However, enormous support for a secular state is spreading fast among my generation, while the regime and its associates arrest and imprison the supporters, they're soon replaced in larger numbers. The Regime can't impede secularism, as their stronghold is weakening with the power of the new media emerging.

The reformists on the other hand, and we who support secularism have different goals. Unlike them, we are pro-democracy, and it is our aim to establish a secular Persian Republic.

During 2002 to 2008 I was studying film-directing at Tehran university. Human rights abuses was rampant, especially towards Women. I interviewed and documented on film my fellow Women's rights activists, vivid testimonies, about their abductions, and detentions behind the walls of the notorious Evin prison.

In 2006, I came into contact with "Marze por Gohar" (Secular party). My friend Dr.Roya Rahayi was a member of a similar opposition party at the time. She is currently in prison because of her critical views on Islamic policies, like so many in her situation who think in opposition to the Regime . She was lecturing at Tehran university back in 2006 when she was first arrested and put into Evin prison.

Beatings, verbal abuse and illegal treatment started at the moment they arrested her. With great malice and antagonism they began to torture and rape her, and that was nothing to the more gruesome methods they used during interrogation day after day.

I interviewed Roya shortly after her release about the intolerable conditions, political activists go through in Evin Prison. Roya's dire situation reflects the fact that our universities have been infiltrated with agents who aid and abet the Islamic Regime in percecuting free thinking professors and students alike.

Female students, who constitute a majority in Iranian universities, are regularly subjected to harassment and threats by the disciplinary committees and the Harasat (Gaurdian) office of the universities. The Harasat has a unit in each university that acts as a security apparatus, since supposedly the regular security forces aren't allowed on campus. Roya was questioned regulary by the Harasat; and she didn't even recieve a salary for her teaching post at the university'.They monitored her every move, and this made it difficult for us to socialise on campus.

Roya and fellow activists only want their basic human rights, For that reason alone, she was targeted by those in power, and cast into prison No one knows for certain which prison she is being held, since her arrest Nov 2010. Roya wasn't shot dead with a Basij bullet, as with the case of Neda Agha Sultan, who was shot to death while she was peacefully demonstrating. Roya was literally ripped from her home without any provocation on her part, and no arrest warrant was served. The tragic case of Taraneh Masavi a 19-year-old girl was repeatedly brutalized and raped in a regimes torture chamber, her charred remains were found on the side of the road. .Need I say more? The list is long!

We have developed a powerful incentive to stand up for our freedom and rights, Like, Maryam Sabri a 21-year-old girl, who was arrested July 30, the 40th day anniversary of Neda Agha Suktan's death, before she was released Aug 12, she was raped 4 times by her jailers.

My generation of the Islamic Republic is secular. For the first time in its history. The cost of freedom for the Iranian people, students and professors, artists and journalists is prison, torture rape and death. As the brave student leader Majid Tavakoli said. Evin prison is now so overflowing with students and professors that it has become known as the new university of Iran

Furthermore, after a mass rape in one of the regimes run prisons, kahrizak. Mr. Karroubi, a former speaker of the Majlis (Parliament), demanded an immediate investigation into reports that a number of detainees were raped while illegally incarcerated.

Based on my interviews with various groups, my findings were that most victims don't want a political Islamic investigation into the matter, because the end result will be torture and rape all over again.

Shiva Nazar Ahari, a human rights activist was sentenced to four years in Karaj prison and recieved 75 lashes. Nasrin Sotoudeh who just went off hunger-strike, was sentenced to eleven years, banned from practicing law and travelling abroad for twenty years.

Tomorrow, will be the same as today, as long as the Roya Rahai's, Nasrin Sotoudeh's and Shiva Nazar Ahari's are held in bondage. We are not going to look the other way while the Roya's are held in brutal chains simply because they want to be treated with basic human dignity and freedom. Roya's, Nasrin's and Shiva's support my rights, our rights, your rights, human rights.

The Islamic Republic of Iran's demeanor clearly shows how dangerous Islamic policies can be for human rights. Secularism is an unavoidable prerequisite in a human's battle for liberation. Therefore, I insist that we strive for secularism.

Farangis Siahpour is an author and filmmaker. Visit her blog at



Secular democratic Iran


Lets call our country by its real name: Iran

We have called this land Iran since 200 AD. 

Even the Shahnameh refers to our land as Iran. 

The British, particularly Winston Churchill preferred "Persia" - because he wanted to wipe Iran off the map. 

So, please call us Iranians. Iran refers to all the states in Iran. Persia refers to only the province of Pars/Fars. 




by shushtari on

perhaps you should the akhoonds' evin prison....and see how a baton feels like.....that will keep you from yapping


Question(s) for fussygorilla

by Cost-of-Progress on

Why is it a dream? Are you saying that you prefer tyranny and injustice to democracy and the rule of law?

Do you trully believe that the suffocating political climate in Iran is sustainable? Deep down, do you believe that this incompetent regime can isolate Iran and her people forever while the rest of the world marches on toward progression and prosperity?

Do you believe that a bunch of overpriced junk from north korea, china and russia is the ticket to independence for these backward mullahs? 

Are you a supporter of an anti-Iran regime bent on the destruction of everything decent?

Do you place Iran first before your arab faith. you? ....





Dreaming again?

by fussygorilla on

Keep on dreaming. Youth are known to be idealistic and childish in their wishes.  But it is o.k. if it makes you happy, as long as you don't take your dreams  too souriously.


Many of the older generation are w/ you too

by MM on

You are correct in your assessment that the reformists still cling to the ideals of Khomeini and that is probably why they are not arrested yet.  The wave of secular democracy started in Iran and is spreading to Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Lebanon.

Secular democracy is the way to go.  We just need to make sure that we know what the next constitution looks like before we hand in the power & blindly follow a person, a flag or a faction.