“I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights.” — Hashem Shaabani, February, 2014
This just happened.
On February 17th, 2014, the Iranian government executed Hashem Shaabani, a thirty-two-year-old Arab-Iranian, and his friend Hadi Rashedi, both of whom were members of the so-called Dialogue Institute, an organization outlawed by the Iranian regime.
These men were executed for (and I quote) “waging war on God.”
There were other charges, of course:
“Sowing corruption on earth.”
“Propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”
“Acting against national security, according to a 2012 sentence handed down by the Ahvaz Islamic Revolutionary Court.”
A well-known and loved poet in Iran, Shabaani was originally arrested in 2011 and “confessed” the crime of terrorism on Iranian state-controlled Press TV after being subjected to months of torture and interrogation.
However, in a letter that was published by Ahwaz News Agency in 2013, Shaabani said he had “never participated in any armed activity, whatever the motives.”
He said, “I started my journey wielding my pen against the tyranny that is trying to enslave and imprison minds and thoughts….”
Shabaani continued, “I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.”