Mohammad Nourizad’s Message “Mohammad, you weren’t there to see”


Nourizad used to write for the hard-liner Kayhan newspaper, which is under the direct supervision of the Iranian regime. In fact, Nourizad himself says he wrote more articles praising the Supreme Leader than any other journalist. However, after Khamenei ordered a violent crackdown on the post-election protests in 2009, Nourizad became one of the Supreme Leader’s most outspoken critics. He began writing open letters to Khamenei in which he blamed him for the violence and called on him to issue an apology.

As a result, he was arrested on December 20, 2009, and charged with “insulting the authorities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” He was then sentenced to 50 lashes and three and a half years in jail, where he was beaten and held in solitary confinement, in protest of which he began a hunger strike. All the while, he continued to write even harsher open letters to Khamenei from prison, until his release in May 2011.

Nourizad then began work on a film titled Confidentially for My Leader, but after it was almost complete, it was confiscated by state intelligence. His letters to the Supreme Leader now number fifteen, the last of which was translated by Tavaana. When Nourizad called on other dissidents to also write in protest to Khamenei in November 2011, hundreds of people responded with letters posted on websites and blogs.

In May 2012, he renewed his criticism of the Supreme Leader in this video, which has been translated and subtitled by Tavaana.

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