Burma/Iran: Jelveh and Aung San Suu Kyi

Iran Women Solidarity Net
Jelveh Javaheri of Iran and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma have many differences at personal and political level but they are both prisoners of conscience.
They, therefore, have this one thing in common: they are prisoners of conscience by authoritarian states in countries where respect for human rights and human dignity is undermined and violated.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the acclaimed Burma leader and Nobel Peace Laureate in her famous speech “ All we want is our freedom” in 2003 said “As I travel through my country, people often ask me how it feels to have been imprisoned in my home —first for six years, then for 19 months. How could I stand the separation from family and friends? It is ironic, I say, that in an authoritarian state it is only the prisoner of conscience who is genuinely free. Yes, we have given up our right to a normal life. But we have stayed true to that most precious part of our humanity—our conscience.”

Aung San Suu Kyi was confined to a dilapidated house for 13 of the last 19 years, the woman known to the Burmese as ’the lady’ remains their prime minister-elect. She has been detained under house arrest by the country’s military regime under article ten of the 1975 state protection act, which permits the government to imprison anyone for up to five years. With her latest term of house arrest due to expire tomorrow, the Nobel peace prize laureate faces five years in prison over politically-motivated charges that she breached the terms of her detention. She is a prisoner of conscience.

Jelveh Javaheri, the young, vibrant and inspiring women activist in Iran like Aung San Suu Kyi has given up a “normal life” to stay true to her conscience and strive to change the discriminatory laws against women and girls in Iran. She, like thousands of Iranian women and men, demand what belongs to her and other women as human beings which is rights and dignity. She is also in detention and a prisoner of conscience.

22 May 2009

By Elahe Amani

Source: Iran Women Solidarity Net