Nowruz Action to Bring Comfort to Prisoners of Conscience in Iran

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An Iranian boy holds a fire cracker in southern Tehran on March 19, 2013 during the Wednesday Fire feast, or Chaharshanbeh Soori, held annually on the last Wednesday eve before the Spring holiday of Noruz. The Iranian new year that begins on March 20 coincides with the first day of spring during which locals revive the Zoroastrian celebration of lighting a fire and dancing around the flame. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI        (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

An Iranian boy holds a fire cracker in southern Tehran on March 19, 2013 during the Wednesday Fire feast, or Chaharshanbeh Soori, held annually on the last Wednesday eve before the Spring holiday of Noruz. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

For the past eight years, activists have been sending messages of solidarity and support to prisoners of conscience in Iran and their families around Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which marks the beginning of Spring. Sadly, scores of people in Iran—labor activists, journalists, social media users, artists, women’s rights activists and human rights defenders—will not be able to celebrate this important holiday with their family and friends because the Iranian government has slammed them into prison, just for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association.

It is especially important to remind them at this time that they are not forgotten. Please take this year’s Nowruz action. We know that in the past, families of prisoners have received hundreds of Nowruz cards and they have reported how much it meant to them to know they were not alone.

We have selected seven cases to honor the tradition of the Haft Sin where seven items representing spring time, whose first letter is the Persian Sin (equivalent to the English S), are set out on a table. The seven cases for this year include: Seven leaders of Iran’s Baha’i community; physicist Omid Kokabee; human rights defender Narges Mohammadi; journalist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki; artist Atena Farghadani; student and women’s rights activist Bahareh Hedayat, and human rights attorney Abdolfattah Soltani. Please send Nowruz cards to them and their families. This would be a great action to do with your group. Please also take photos of people making Nowruz cards and send them to us. It is also important that the Iranian authorities notice the stream of cards coming in. This will show them that the world is watching them.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08:  Journalist Maziar Bahari and Head of Amnesty International Larry Cox speak  during a rally calling for Iranian officials to reverse prison sentence of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof on June 8, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 08: Journalist Maziar Bahari and former executive director of Amnesty International Larry Cox speak during a rally calling for Iranian officials to reverse prison sentence of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof on June 8, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Former Iranian prisoner of conscience Maziar Bahari said “the prisoner’s worst nightmare is the thought of being forgotten.”  Please take the time to send them a card today. You will be making such a difference in their lives! Thank you.

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