Monday, August 01, 2005

Ganji Nears Death


I am certain that this night of darkness will not last long. The moon of freedom will finally step out from behind the clouds of religious tyranny, and will shine rays of joy upon us all.
from Akbar Ganji's letter written on July 22, 2005, his 43rd day of hunger strike in Evin Prison.

I admire Akbar Ganji, despite things I don't like in his letters from the prison. His self-sacrificing revolutionary tone of voice is outdated, and his presentation of himself as a martyred hero (a hero who supposedly "wakes up the masses later in the future") is something I don't like, and his constant quoting from Carl Popper reminds me of religious people quoting from the Bible or Qur'an. But I still admire Ganji. His courage to speak out his mind and his dedication to non-violent ways of opposing the system is beyond anyone else in the Iranian politics.

I don't think he was right in his decision on beginning the hunger strike. I don't think any idea is worthy enough to die for. Ganji is a great journalist and a lively activist. I don't know how he justifies his own death. Even for fighting for democracy and human rights he should to be alive. His death is the best the Iranian regime can wish for. It cannot change anything, except the names of a few schools and streets in a far future, and probably a few pages in the history books—lamenting over his unjust "martyrdom."
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Ganji nears death. What can we do?

Visit here and here for more on Ganji. In case you want to sign the online petitions for his freedom click here and here.
Cartoon by Davoud Shahidi.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I was watching the "Motor Cycle Diary" last night. The ideas of revolutions are always great, the out come is a disaster. As the ones who believe in the idealism die for it, and the ones who stay behind, are usually not willing to sacrifise.


  3. "Ganji nears death. What can we do?"

    We can do a lot, but we do nothing. The fact is we (I) am so selfish, I dn't want to give up even my life style, let alone my life. I feel ashamed saying that, but this is what it is. I am to scared to lose my "BELONGINGS" and my life. So what I do is read, and each time I read I try to silence my inner voice that is carrying a guilt feeling wants to be heard.


  4. There must be a difference between writing a letter to editor and making a Molotov cocktail!!

  5. i agree with you. i admire ganji too, but i also have many of the reservations you have.
    i get a really bad feeling (and not just because i feel sad for his suffering) when i see those photos that have been leaking out, the ones with him completely emaciated and weak.
    finally, i have some conspiracy theories regarding why the photos are being leaked.
    anyway, there is a lot to be said about those photos, but i guess now that the man is teetering on the verge of death, it is not the right time to talk about image analysis