March 15, 2015
For immediate release:
Dissident Blasts Obama From Jail: Letter
Tabarzadi, a prominent Iranian prisoner of
conscience jailed for leading protests against the regime, has smuggled
a letter for President Obama to human rights activist Manda Ervin of
the Alliance of Iranian Women, who made it available to FDI.
In the letter, he revealed that he is being held in a cell with
American pastor Saeed Abedini in Rajai-Shahr prison outside Karaj, in
the Tehran suburbs.
the American president about his failure to intercede on
Abedini's behalf, Tabarzadi writes: "I heard that you met with his wife
and children, and that his son, little Jacob, asked you to help release
his father for his birthday. But we have not heard you demand the
release of the hostage Abedini from the tyrant Khamenei."
The Iranian regime accused Tabarzadi of being one of the ring-leaders
behind the student uprising of July 1999, and initially sentenced him
to nine years in prison. Tabarzadi was released before the end of his
sentence, after spending two years in solitary confinement in Evin
Prison in Tehran, on condition he refrain from public statements. He
broke his silence after the mass demonstrations against the regime in
2009, and was arrested again on December 27, 2009 and sentenced to
another eight years in jail.
which Mrs. Ervin translated and sent by registered mail to the White
House, called on President Obama to maintain sanctions on Iran and to
help the pro-freedom movement. "A large majority of the Iranian people
are opposed to the Islamic regime," said Ervin, who has testified
before Congressional committees on human rights issues and the
oppression of women in Iran.
So far, the White House has not responded to the letter.
claim that the only choice that you have is either to make a deal
with Khamenei -- which I believe means surrender -- or war… Mr.
President; we Iranian people submit to you and the people of the world
that there is another way. Please
sanction and weaken the illegal
regime of Khamenei, and empower the people to overthrow this tyranny," Tabarzadi
FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman said the letter shows that
the pro-freedom movement in Iran is "alive and well, and is not fooled
by the sham nuclear negotiations underway with the West."
The full next of the letter is available
was jailed in 2009 after writing an opinion column for the
Wall Street Journal. After his arrest, the
Wall Street Journal urged Western leaders to learn the names of
was adopted as a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty
International on April 6, 2011. Read their brief on his case here.
After a furlough from prison to attend to his ailing mother, Tabarzadi
was re-arrested in
Media contact: Kenneth R. Timmerman
President & CEO
Foundation for Democracy in Iran
Alliance of Iranian Women