I’ve been thinking. Often when ordinary people are inspired to champion the rights of others they are warned off doing anything. Afraid that they might become so-called ‘armchair activists’, they back away, discouraged.
But perhaps there is work to be done, even from an armchair?
In an article in yesterday’s Huffington Post, Ida Lichter makes a case for ‘adopting’ Iranian women prisoners of conscience. She encourages ordinary people to work with NGOs to help get these women out of prison.
Women like Nasrin Sotoudeh. Nasrin is a human rights lawyer who is currently on hunger strike in Evin Prison in Tehran, Her ‘crime’ is defending the rights of women and children. The fact that she has been wrongly imprisoned is widely recognised by everyone except the Iranian government it seems. Nasrin was one of this year’s recipients of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. A prestigious prize previously awarded to Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi, amongst others.
Nasrin has two children – 5 year old son, Nima and 12 year old daughter, Mehraveh. In one of the many letters she writes to them this is what she said –
I know you require water, food, housing, a family, parents, love, and visits with your mother. However, just as much, you need freedom, social security, the rule of law, and justice. Please be aware that these concepts have not been easily achieved anywhere in the world. Nowhere in the world was the law upheld when written on torn sheets of paper. Our insistence on the rule of law is what brings a law into existence. Thus, you should know that you and I are forming and building the law together. Sending you a thousand kisses. I suffer from not having held you in months. I hope that the suffering is not in vain.
I love you both,
Do you think Nasrin might like some help?
Even help from armchair activists?