Atena Daemi is known as an Iranian anti-execution campaigner and many, among them Amnesty International, are calling for her release. Fighting against executions is just one part of Atena’s work however; there is a lot more to her and the reasons why she has been subjected to the worst of ill-treatments by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Atena Daemi stands for life and humanity – the total opposite of the Islamic regime’s core essence, inhumanity and injustice. She is a children's rights, a women's rights and an anti-execution campaigner. She fights for the rights of the first and most vulnerable victims of the Islamic regime and for the life of those who are condemned to execution.
She keeps writing even in prison under the harshest conditions, and inspires many to fight for humanity.
Atena Daemi’s father was with her when she was sentenced in the Islamic regime’s court of injustice. Her father Hosein Daemi wrote:
I'll never forget when they brought Atena to court.
Judge Moghiseh told her: Are you against execution?
Atena: Yes, I am against execution.
Moghiseh: It's none of your business, we execute whoever we want. And those “human rights people” can't stop us.
Atena: One day you will have to answer for those innocent people you hang, and that day is coming soon.
Moghiseh expelled Atena from the courtroom and sentenced her to 14 years in prison.
Atena Daemi was arrested in October 2014.
She spent the first 86 days in solitary confinement.
She was moved to Evin prison on 18th January 2015.
She was sentenced on 14th March 2015 to 14 years for ‘propaganda against the regime, conspiracy against national security, insulting the leader of the regime, insulting Khomeini, and concealing evidence.’
Interrogations, accusations, court of injustice, solitary confinement, torture, long prison sentence, harassment and arrest of her family members, persecution, and more torture for Atena Daemi because she points out the problem, the Islamic regime and its inhumanity, and proposes the solution, humanity.
In addition to campaigning against execution and for women's rights, Atena is a passionate defender of children's rights. This is what she wants to change:
over 10,000 infants die every year as a direct consequence of poverty
over 7,500,000 children are excluded from school
over 500,000 Afghan children are denied education
over 287,000 children are married off – the Islamic regime's law allows it
over 5,000,000 children live on the deprived and unsafe margins of cities
Tens of thousands are exposed to drugs. 1189 children were treated for overdoses in 2015
71 children are awaiting execution in Iran
1500 children live with their mothers in prison
90% of children in government care are sexually abused
26,909 cases of domestic abuse against children were reported in 2015
57% of schools in Iran are unsafe
These statistics are from the regime's census; the reality is disastrous. Tens of thousands of children are homeless and face all sorts of dangers including rape, exploitation in the drug trade, being victims of the body parts trade, everyday humiliation, and hunger.
It's for her uncompromising defence of the lives of the deprived and bringing hope to them that she is subjected to the most inhuman treatment. Atena Daemi is treated so cruelly because of what she stands for: bringing moments of happiness to children who are deprived of love, who are destitute, forced to work, forced to marry, forced out of schools because they are poor or foreigners, forced to live in slums.
The hope for change that Atena brings to society disarms the regime which has remained in power by taking away hope and terrorising society with executions and the imposition of brutal poverty.
There are no numbers or words to adequately reflect the “depth of the inhumanity”, but there are people like Atena who risk their life to change the life of just one child if they can. The ones who endure torture, solitary confinement, immense pressure and whose messages from behind bars are all about “passion for humanity” and “a better world for children”.
The enmity of the Islamic regime of Iran against Atena and other rights activists is because of what they bring to society: the hope of freedom from ’gender apartheid’ and its rules, the smile on a child's face and the experience of love. That experience of compassion by those who are not supposed to know about kindness and love shakes the foundation of the Islamic Republic. How can the Islamic regime secure its future, its ideology and its rules, if people experience humanity and find hope?
Atena Daemi stands for the humanity that we all share and the ideals we all hold dearly. We call on all international humanitarian organisations and workers' organisations to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Atena Daemi.
Worker-communist Party of Iran
18 December 2018