HRANA News Agency – A commemoration ceremony was held in the memory of Seyed Jamal Hosseini (Esfandiar Baharmast) founding member of Human Rights Activists in Iran and the former editor of HRANA on August 10th, 2014 by Iranian residents of the United States at George Washington University.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), this ceremony took place in his memory and to honor his devoted character and prolific life. Many political and social activists attended this commemoration. The ceremony opened with a guitar solo, played by a local artist, and continued with a speech by Dr. Kavian Milani – whom emceed the service.
Keyvan Rafiee, a former political prisoner and a colleague of Seyed Jamal Hosseini, spoke about Jamal’s life and dedication. He explained that Jamal grew up in a working class family and mentioned that he lost his uncle during the mass executions of political prisoners in the 1980s. Keyvan also said that Jamal had a sentimental and liable character towards the society and the environment he lived in. Addressing Jamal’s previous activities in Iran , Rafiee mentioned his activism for political prisoners and his key role in establishment and implementation of Human Rights Activists in Iran. Mr. Rafiee finished his speech by addressing the mysterious death of Mr Hosseini, “…And this is how the book of a human’s life, who devoted his short, but fruitful life, in saving many lives comes to an end. He was truly a symbol of pain and suffering of a generation and a nation. A truly selfless and free character, who spent many years working in non-profit
activities and his only possessions were a computer, a few pens, and paper while he was alive. The path he laid will be followed by many.”
The ceremony continued with Dr. Mohsen Sazegara’s speech. He briefly referred to the mysterious death of Mr. Hosseini, and moved on to the issues of Human Rights in Iran and contradictory claims of Iranian Government on this subject. Mr. Sazegara said that religion can only be accepted if it is conformable with humanity and human rights. This political activist also referred to theoretical challenges that Iranian government has been facing over the past few decades with regards to the human rights issues.
The commemoration ceremony continued with Babak Sabetian‘s violoin solo in memory of Mr Hosseini, followed by a video conference in which Behnaz – Mr. Hosseini‘s sister- expressed her gratitude on behalf of Mr. Hosseini’s family towards the guests and all those who provided support by any means to the family. Behnaz also wished that Mr. Hosseini could have got the attention he received now, while he was alive, and hoped for a world without any asylum seekers.
Mansour Osanlou, one of the leaders of Workers Movement of Iran, who travelled from New York, was the next speaker. He talked about his memories with Mr. Hosseini, and spoke about his memories and called the news agency ran under his guidance “courageous.” Mr. Osanlou also used a metaphor and mentioned Turkey as a “back yard” of the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and requested that more consideration be given to political asylums.
The ceremony continued with Ms. Ladan Yazdian expressing her gratitude for the civil rights activities of Mr. Hosseini. Ms. Yazdian read a message sent by Mr. Faraz Saneie, researcher from Iranian section of Human Right Watch. In this letter, Mr. Saneie reminisced on his friendship with Mr. Hosseini and his characteristics.
The commemoration ceremony at George Washington University was continued with short memorable stories told by guests about Mr Hosseini. Kourosh Sehati, journalist and political activist, gave his account about the early days of Jamal’s asylum life in Turkey. Mr. Sehati said, “Jamal used to stay at home most of the time and deprived himself from basic joys of life, due to his devotion and his sense of responsibility towards his work.”
Mr. Behzad Mehrani, former prisoner, and human rights activist, also told a story from imprisonment. Mr. Mehrani said that Jamal’s activities were so effective and great that he had to endure the most difficult interrogations about his activities. He proceeded by stating that this could not happen unless Jamal’s activities were effective. Mr. Mehrani also read a letter from Seyed Mehdi Khodaei, a human rights activist, currently imprisoned. Mr. Khodaei who is serving his sentence, as a colleague of Mr. Hosseini at Evin Prison Ward 350, expressed his admiration for Mr. Jamal Hosseini and his bold role in Human Rights Activists in Iran. “…Jamal was attracted to light. His beliefs, words and deeds were unified. Jamal’s compassion was like a tree, which he raised with his love; its shadow was shelter for any human being who suffered, without any discrimination. We are confident that the light of hope, and the blessing of those human beings will
strengthen the roots of this strong tree, and we will witness its greater strength.
Ahmad Batebi, journalist and human rights activist, spoke at the ceremony, and told of his experiences with Mr. Hosseini. He concluded his speech by saying, “We have lost a great person.”
Dr. Kavian Milani, briefly addressed the civil rights activities of Mr. Hosseini, defending the rights of national and religious minorities in Iran, including Kurds, Baha’is, Jews, etc. Dr. Milani said his outstanding work should be adopted.
Later in the ceremony, a report on the mysterious death of Seyed Jamal Hosseini,which was published by Human Rights Activists in Iran, was read by Keyvan Rafiee.
Next, Ms. Roya Boroumand, representative of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, read a statement in which she expressed the foundation’s gratitude for Mr. Jamal Hosseini’s character and his voluntary activities on the issue of human rights. She added that the existence of people like Jamal Hosseini, and the organization he helped establish, are signs of dynamism within the new Iranian generation. Ms. Boroumand described Jamal as a great and responsible person.
On many occasions during the ceremony, poems were read from well-known poets such as Parvin Etesami, Molavi and Hamid Mosadegh. The famous song “Morghe Sahar,” was sang by one of the guests.
Ms. Mehrangiz Kar, lawyer and human rights activist, was the last speaker at the commemoration ceremony. Whilst she explained the current damages in Iranian civil society, she said that everyone can learn from Jamal Hosseini’s lifestyle. She concluded her speech with the following sentence, “The future of human rights is bright in Iran.”
The commemoration ceremony finished at 7:00 pm.
A pictorial report of this ceremony is in the proceeding and complementary reports and will be published soon.