March 13, 2017
Until We Are Free: My Personal Fight for Human Rights in Iran is a biographical account of Shirin Ebadi, a 2003 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. A native Iranian Muslim and proud of it, Mrs. Shirin Ebadi documented the cruelty of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In her book, Ebadi provides moving descriptions and clear evidence of the repressive nature of the Iranian regime. What emerges is a clear picture of a Stalinist-like regime absent the Soviet Gulags. The regime’s Intelligence Ministry shuts down all criticism of the regime, by arrests, torture and murder. There is no free press in the Islamic Republic of Iran, no free speech, and every facet of free life is controlled and repressed by the Ayatollahs, through their praetorian guards — the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and the Basij Resistance Force, a voluntary paramilitary organization operating under the IRGC. It is an auxiliary force with multiple duties, including internal security, law enforcement, special religious and political events, and morals policing.
Removed from her judgeship by the Islamic Republic, Ebadi became a civil rights lawyer but soon found her attempts to defend the innocent and voiceless people being blocked by the regime’s extensive apparatus and corrupt officials. Ebadi writes: “On several occasions I had trouble simply trying to review a file at the court-house. The clerk, upon realizing that I wasn’t going to ‘tip’ him for retrieving the file, would say ‘Sorry the file is missing. Come back tomorrow.’ I would go back the next day, and he would say, ‘Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to reach for your file…” Justice in the Ayatollahs Iran, Ebadi concluded, is “bought, not fought for or deliberated.”