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Iran: A note from Reza Khandan Mahabadi, author, researcher and a board member of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) on December 4th, the Day Against Censorship.

Sunday 26 December 2021, by siawi3

Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fGpYioIPAvr4IyuyH5C_Kdim36SYZwEL/edit?mc_cid=915672c898&mc_eid=77d00a34aa

Original in Farsi: http://iranianpen.com/%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C/5785

December 4, 2020

A note from Reza Khandan Mahabadi, author, researcher and a board member of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) on December 4th, the Day Against Censorship.

Reza Khandan Mahabadi who has played a pivotal role in establishing the Day Against Censorship is himself serving a prison term at Evin prison today for his fight against censorship and defending the freedom of expression.

The following note are the views of the author and does not in any way reflect IWA’s.

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December 4th, the Day Against Censorship

by Reza Khandan Mahabadi

Statement on Anti-Censorship

The abhorrent phenomenon of censorship enslaves the beautiful and tender emotions of anyone including writers and artists who are free from the shackles of obligatory regulations and limitations.
Censorship kills creativity and all the different ways human beings express their existence and lives in order to create beauty. It makes everything look monotonous.
Censorship is born out of vulgarity. It promotes irrelevance and the deeper and more widespread it is, the faster it infiltrates into culture and causes cultural decay.
Censorship diminishes the value of thinking, literature and art for the people.
Censorship is the hotbed of censored minds who have internalized it and become compliant in it, and without protest wholeheartedly accept censorship and defend it.
Censorship is a quiet oppressor of thoughts and speech, and it gives birth to the “silent citizen.”
Censorship creates and shapes oppressive regimes and dictatorships at the same time that it is rooted in them and draws strength from them.
December 4th is the day to pay attention to the effects and innerworkings of censorship. At the same time, this day is the day of Mohammad-Jafar Pouyandeh and Mohammad Mokhtari who have laid their lives for the promise and devotion to “Freedom of expression without imprisonment and exceptions.”
It’s the day of Baktash Abtin and Keyvon Bajan who are in prison today for the “crimes” of membership in IWA and fighting against censorship.
It’s the day of IWA members who have continued to raise the voice of freedom of expression in the past years while the oppressors were busy implementing censorship and spreading repression.
It’s the day of all the artists and writers who are fundamentally against censorship, and fight to put an end it.
It’s the day of all the activists whose agenda and parts of activities are dedicated is putting an end to censorship.
It’s the day of mouths that have been shut and words that have been forbidden.
The day of all the books, newspapers, journals and cites that have been banned or blocked.
It’s the day of the poems, stories, plays, films, photographs, sentences and words that have been slashed by the sharp edges of censorship.
It’s the day of every single person who has been affected or hurt by censorship but still refuses to accept it.
It’s for such things and people that December 4th, the Day Against Censorship must be commemorated.

Reza Khandan Mahabadi

September 30, 2020