Justice in Stockholm
Thirty-four years after the massacre of political prisoners in Iran, the conviction of Hamid Noury in Sweden has been a victory for accountability and for the truth. I. The tale of the dead In January 2023, the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm, Sweden, began hearing the appeal of an exceptional case—one dealing with crimes […]
The Real Reason Iran Says It’s Canceling the Morality Police
Don’t be fooled that this is meaningful reform. It’s about regime self-preservation. Last week, Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri announced that the Guidance Patrol, widely known as the Morality Police because it enforces the Islamic Republic’s laws on personal behavior and dress, will be suspended. Though Montazeri quickly added that the judiciary will continue […]
Why the Iranians’ Fight Is the Same as Ukraine’s
The goal is liberty. The United States should be able to see that. If, at this very moment, George Washington could choose the most rightful heirs to his legacy, I like to think he would pick the people of Ukraine and Iran. As divided as Americans currently are in their great experiment with democracy, Ukrainians […]
The Bonfire of the Headscarves
For Iran’s protesters, the fight for women’s freedom of choice is now synonymous with a desire to end the rule of the ayatollahs.
The Stabbing of Salman Rushdie Renews Free Speech Debates
After the attack, Roya Hakakian, an Iranian American writer who in 2019 was warned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that she had been targeted by Iran, took to Twitter on Saturday to assail what she said was a lack of swift condemnation from U.S. government officials.
Roya Hakakian and How to Speak About What No One Wants to Hear
What is a revolution, compared to matters as vast as those? The revolution at hand is, at first, a rumor. The neighbors take to dimming their lights and shouting “Allahu akbar!” at a certain time every evening, in order to participate in a larger Tehran protest against the Shah. In the Hakakian household, “Allahu akbar” makes everyone a little nervous. Then again, not shouting “Allahu akbar” likewise makes everyone a little nervous. Young Roya takes her place within the Jewish Iranian Students Organization. The Jewish students, a solid number of them, are the intrepid enemies of oppression across the board. They are the champions of Palestinian freedom. Ardently they burn for the Iranian revolutionary cause.
To War Criminals Who Believe They Have Impunity, Think Again
As the Russian army leaves a trail of atrocity in Ukraine, a trial held here this month offers a powerful template for prosecuting war crimes. The Swedish case—involving a former Iranian official accused of participation in the mass murder of political prisoners in the late 1980s—is based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. According to this doctrine, the national courts of any state that has adopted this principle may prosecute someone suspected of grave crimes, no matter where they occurred and irrespective of the nationality of the suspect.
The Refugee’s Internal Exile
The archive was, in fact, a repository of headstones photographed for the faraway relatives who can no longer visit their dead. The details of the image were scant, and yet, with eyes blurred by tears, I studied them. Dried leaves and dead grass lined the edges of the slab—cracked in some places, chipped in others. More than fifty years since it was first laid, this stone had endured, the last trace of the Hakakians in the land that had rejected them.
The attack at a Texas synagogue …
This past Saturday, as I watched images of FBI agents pacing the perimeter of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Tex., after a terrifying hostage standoff, I felt strangely glad that my father wasn’t alive to witness the scene. At the end of his life, he took great comfort in thinking he had delivered his […]
9/11 brought forth my immigrant father’s love of America
The most patriotic act I have ever witnessed anyone perform was what my father did on 9/11. He was watching the morning news, as was his routine — despite his poor vision, hearing and understanding of English, the last of which he remedied somewhat through his keen observations and vast store of knowledge. When he […]