I am Maryam from Iran. I was a lecturer in university and I was teaching in Chemistry.
However, I had been arrested and jailed because of my beliefs.
I was advocating separation of religion from politics, because I believed that secularism is a way for people to enjoy their human rights.
I believe that religious states cannot provide democracy, freedom and human rights for their citizens, so secularism is the only solution for religious societies.
Today is 10th December, the day of Human Rights, the rights of everyone regardless of his race, gender, belief and nationality.
Human Rights are consisted of all rights of people such as the right to live, having clean air, water and food, proper hygiene, freedom of speech, freedom in selection of dress, etc.
However, how is the situation of human rights in this world?
Are all mankind living in a safe planet and having access to their human rights? Are the rights of each human equal to others everywhere in all countries?
For example do the people who are living in Africa or Asia have access to their human rights equal to those living in Europe or North America? Do we care about them equal to the people living in Europe?
Although Human Rights were a main issue for people since thousands years ago and even we know the first Human Rights charter by Cyrus the great, the Persian Emperor, however the modern human rights is a new achievement of mankind.
The Human Right Council of United Nation is not older than 10 years and the presence of NGO’s and their reactions to the governments and the members of United Nation is a new approach. Although the mankind have done a lot for establishment of Human Rights, we must work more.
We believe that Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
If we want peace, justice and humanity in our society, we should want those for the entire world. We all the mankind are living in the same boat.
We cannot isolate parts of the world and ignore what is happening outside.
Unfortunately the world powers have changed the world to the current situation as we observe now. Actually they have other priorities except than Human Rights. So this is the reason that nowadays the roles of NGO’s and people have become more important.
As you know, at the end of 2015, the representatives of 190 countries came together in the UN assemblies at New York to plan for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and world peace, so they promised to try for a combat against poverty, hunger and injustice and to save the environment, energy resources and world security.
However, we never forget that without our efforts and the endeavours by NGO’s, these aims will not be attainable.
Now please take a look at some areas of the world:
Africa: The continent with Hunger, Poverty, widespread diseases such as Malaria and HIV, lack of or inadequate hygiene and education, ruling dictators and finally death of countless people every day.
Syria: The country with routine massacre of innocent people specially children and women with an extensive religious and ethnic cleansing by an internal war.
Turkey: Extensive violence of freedom of speech and press, too much people have been arrested or jailed just in less than 1 year.
Iran: The country with 37 years massacre of people, violence of human rights, lack of freedom, Racial Discrimination with a constitution based on Sharia (religious manuscripts belonging to 1400 years ago) which authorise the rulers to whip people just for drinking, amputate the people for theft, stone the people for sex even the children and execute the political prisoners and the prisoners of conscience. The prisons are full, because there are huge people who have been jailed for long years just due to a simple expression against the rulers.
Although too much criminals are becoming the rulers, but the dissident scientists, authors, physicians, lawyers, human and civil rights activists have been jailed. Mr. Kazemeini Boroujerdi, is an obvious example for violence of human rights in Iran, he is a religious leader who has been jailed for 11 years because of his advocating secularism.
When I speak about the situation of Iranian prisons and prisoners, most of my Dutch friends remind me the situation of medieval in Europe. However, I say we have the real medieval in Middle East but in modern time!
I strongly believe that promoting human rights for Iranian people will bring about peace and freedom for all the Middle East. Because first we have to separate the Religion from Politics and change the domestic constitution based on modern laws and International Charter of Human Rights. In this situation, the religious wars will be ended and Syria and Yemen can come back to peace again.
So we believe that peace and democracy in Middle East will lead to world peace and security because the religious states, radical and terrorist groups cannot remain alive if we hold and promote secularism for all Islamic countries.
So the world powers such as US and European countries should draw their special attention to the Middle East and the civil and human rights activists who are active in this area. Therefore the Amnesty International can develop its activities in this area and get more support for promotion of secularism and peace.