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Dear friend Jafar Panahi;

I call you a friend because every person anywhere in the world who strives for their country to achieve a freer, brighter and more prosperous future is a real friend. He is the friend of their own people, and the friend of the whole world.
Dear friend Jafar Panahi, we do not know each other but just like the indifference of all human colors or the brotherhood of the races, I share the pain of your conviction since every person can feel the same pain or same happiness, even if their languages, religions and colors are different. On one hand, I condemn the persecution of you and the obstacles brought to your freedom, or even your production for the sake of humanity, and on the other hand, I would like to cry out this shame once more with this letter.
The intellectuals of the countries are in the struggle for freedom many times at the cost of their freedom. This is sacred struggle.
Dear friend; you also would like that your own country, Iran will have a freer and brighter tomorrow. For that reason alone, you have dreams. However, those bad people are at work as much as the good people. As it has been throughout the history of humanity… One would wish that all the people living on the earth would live under the same conditions and with the same rights all the time, as they always shed the same color of tears. However, this would not be possible without a valuable struggle. You are also one of those who give such valuable struggle and dream for the future of his own country.
Whatever punishment imposed on you means a punishment imposed upon everyone who are in a struggle for freedom anywhere in the world because if there is a struggle somewhere and this struggle is intended for a right of free and bright life, then this will be for all the people around the world.
Dear Jafar Panahi, you may seem that you have paid the price of such struggle with you freedom. Or just because you will not maintain such struggle, you may be prevented from shooting a film, or even writing a scenario. What is real, however, is the conviction of those governors who cannot grasp that your struggle is also intended for their future in their minds. What is real is that the dreams of yours can be communicated into the movies, books and songs that can be produced by the artists who believe in the freedoms of all the people in the world. You are not alone.
The reality is a target entitled by those who have struggled to achieve that. You have struggled for the whole society to be entitled to the reality. Even if your freedoms are restricted, it is now our struggle’s turn for everyone all around the world and for you. We all should know that we are created equally regardless of where and how we come into the world, and are granted our fundamental rights such as maintaining our freedom to live and to be happy by Allah. None of those rights can be assigned or waived. It is the responsibility of those governing the country to enable the continuity of these rights and to protect the same. If the governments are not capable of providing these, or they fail to provide the same knowingly and willingly, or just for their own benefits, then it is just and only the people’s right to change or rule out such governments. The people should be enlightened to achieve such awareness and know the power to take those who badly govern themselves down from the government. And those who can raise such awareness are the artists and intellectuals.
Those intellectuals should not be accused of expressing their own ideas and opinions; instead they should be entitled to propagate their expressions freely. Moreover, it is not acceptable that the freedom of such intellectuals as you who have no other intention than to bring a bright and democratic future to his country is prevented and this is a repressive, reactionist and inexcusable persecution. The whole world reacts to such persecution.
This liberty is regulated under the Article 19 of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” that turns the rights of all humanity into an equal and common form and protects those rights as below:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
I hope that with your struggle, as well, Iran will eventually have a government which has the courage and a great heart to grant these rights to their own people. The history is full of such achievements.
Dear friend, dear Jafar Panahi, let’s remember the last words of the historical plead against the public enemy, bastard Batista during his trial in the same year after the legendary leader of Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro was arrested in 1953: “IT DOES NOT MATTER. LA HISTORIA ME ABSOZVERA” (History will absolve me.)
However, you dear Jafar Panahi, you have never been convicted in our hearts. The real convicts are those who are afraid of granting their rights to their people!

Ferhat ATİK
Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ferhat Atik (born in 1971 in Nicosia, Cyprus) is a Turkish Cypriot filmmaker, scenario writer and novelist

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