Target: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Goal: Commend the Iranian government for releasing eleven political prisoners, including prize-winning human rights activist and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh
Iran has recently released eleven political prisoners being held in the county’s capital, Tehran. The eight women and four men released included reformist politician Moshen Aminzadeh and human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. These releases follow the pledge of Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouani, to loosen social controls and to embrace a more open and moderate system of government.
One of the Obama administration’s main criticisms of Iran was that they consistently and harshly punished political dissent and violated human rights in the process. By releasing these political prisoners, President Hassan Rouhani is showing the West that Iran is making efforts towards softening and moderating their tightly governed theocracy. President Obama could learn a lesson from Iran in this regard; after all, how many political prisoners, including journalists, leakers, and lawyers, are languishing in prison cells in the United States? Tell President Hassan Rouhani of Iran that the progressive West recognizes and appreciates his country’s efforts at reform.
Dear President Hassan Rouhani,
Thank you for granting freedom to eleven of Iran’s political prisoners. After winning the presidential election in Iran, you have pledged to begin implementing social and political reforms. So far, you seem to be delivering. Relations between Iran and the West have long been fraught with tension, largely due to alleged human rights violations on Iran’s behalf. By releasing these eleven prisoners, you are working towards changing Iran’s image in the United States and abroad.
In addition, through these reforms you are sending a pointed message to the West, especially to the United States. There are many political prisoners languishing in cells in the United States. These prisoners include journalists, writers, lawyers, and leakers. If Iran begins releasing its political prisoners, surely the people of the United States will take notice and wonder why their government is not doing the same.
As civil unrest spreads throughout the Middle-East, relations between the United States and Iran have never been more important. By releasing these prisoners, you’ve shown the world that you are serious about social and political reforms. Doubtlessly, no country has a perfect system of government, but world leaders ought to continually strive toward the goal of political and social freedom. Thank you for taking a step in this direction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Harry Staab via Flickr