Soheil Arabi’s message from prison on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Soheli Arabi is an Iranian anarchist political prisoner.
“Humanity deserves the best
Speak of fighting violence against women! Of women’s struggle against oppression, discrimination, and violence by society; Of violence in Evin and Qarchak to the Varamin hunger strike; Of the abuse and threats interrogators make against women; Of tears shed at meetings; Combating violence against women is, without a doubt, one of the most important demands of the liberation movement and we are all fighting against gender discrimination.
The discrimination that systems have taught us where women are men’s property and tools to serve them. This was the thought that had me ashamed of silence.
Silence against violence is betrayal. Rise up and shout: Shout, “my mother does not deserve violence, my sister and I do not deserve misogyny”.
Stand up and tear down the barriers, you warrior! I bow down to all those who stood up against gender discrimination and violence, particularly violence against women, and paid the price of cold, damp prison cells, at the foot of the gallows and under the lash of whips.
I bow down to the mothers who raised freedom fighters; those who saw violence and stood against it.
The word “violence” needs to be erased and efforts to eliminate it require a humane society. Now is the time to stand up against the clenched fists raised at women and liberators. So I stand up too with mighty women liberators shouting to eliminate violence against women, and not to be silent against violence.
Rise up so that our children may learn humanity deserves the best.
Soheil Arabi November, 2018 Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary”