Friday, 4 August 2017

Review: Until We Are Free: My Fight For Human Rights in Iran

Until We Are Free: My Fight For Human Rights in Iran Until We Are Free: My Fight For Human Rights in Iran by Shirin Ebadi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Iranian people that I have met have been generally warm, friendly and welcoming. The country that they come from though is one of the most authoritarian on the planet with the invasive and pervasive monitoring of the population by the Ministry of Intelligence and draconian religious enforcement by the countries spiritual leaders. This powerful and emotive book is the part of the life story of Dr Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian activist and human rights lawyer. She is a strong willed and a lady of immense personal integrity and she has challenged every step of the way the total power that Iranian state thinks it should have.

She has fought tirelessly over the years for the elements in society that we take for granted; democracy, freedom of speech and most importantly in that country equality. Her work for those at the very bottom of society, the plight of Baha'is and women has been an inspiration across the globe, so much so, that she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her relentless work. This did not go unnoticed by the authorities and the Ministry of Intelligence. They bugged her offices and home and made sure that her activities were disrupted and her and her staff and family were intimidated frequently. One man, Mahmudi, seems to have made it his personal mission to hound her to the end of the earth. Little did she know at the time, but a trip to Majorca would be the last time she saw her beloved country.

This book is very moving, not only do we get to see the side of Iran that few of us know about, but we see just how fractured it has become under the continuing despotic leadership. Ebadi writes with a passion and eloquence about her circumstances, the constant hounding that her husband and daughters have had to endure because of the stand that she has taken and the situation in the country. She is even intimidated by them whilst in exile. I would urge people to read this, not just to get an insight to another country in turmoil, but to see what the true face of humanity is and the courage of a woman who has chosen to stand up for her beliefs.

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