Friday, October 26, 2012

Sakharov prize--Today's traitors, tomorrow's heroes

The 2012 Sakharov prize was awarded to two Iranian political prisoners currently residing in Evin prison, Nasrin Sotoudeh and  Jafar Panahi (AP).

Ms. Sotoudeh is serving an 11 year prison sentence for representing political prisoners in Iranian courts and is a known women's rights activist, and Mr. Panahi is an award winning film director imprisoned for his unapologetic cinematic portrayal of the suffering of the poor, women, and children in the Islamic republic of Iran. The image presented in his movies showing real life suffering was apparently not in line with the ideal image of Iran the regime wants the world to see like the columns of Persepolis, Persian rugs, the Cyrus cylinder, Persian CATS, the American made Iranian F-14s, the photogenic Ahmadinejad, and the tie free poorly shaven Iranian diplomats, etc.

The Andrei Sakharov (Андрей Сахаров) prize was established in 1988 by the European parliament in honor of Andre Sakharov, a brilliant Soviet nuclear scientist turned activist, who bravely spoke out against the soviet regime's policies and paid for that with his career and personal freedom. 

The prize was established to honor individuals and organizations who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought, and it comes with a monetary component of £50,000 this year. The first recipient of the prize was Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Gorbachov personally called Mr. Sakharov in 1986 to tell him that his exile in Gorky was over and that he can return to Moscow. 

Andrei Sakharov's statue (above) now stands in St. Petersburg showing him with his hands tied behind his back; he came a long way from being labeled a "traitor" to being a  "hero".

His statements about the Soviet Union government attitudes and tyranny may mean more to contemporary Iranians, which makes today's award of the Sakharov prize to two Iranian dissidents doubly significant.

Mr. Sakharov said of the regime "it took years to understand how much substitution, deceit, and lack of correspondence with reality there was". 

He also said "our state is similar to a cancer cell—with its messianism and expansionism, its totalitarian suppression of dissent, the authoritarian structure of power, with a total absence of public control in the most important decisions in domestic and foreign policy, a closed society that does not inform its citizens of anything substantial, closed to the outside world, without freedom of travel or the exchange of information." (1)

A point of clarification, Sakharov was saying that about the Soviet Union and not the Islamic Republic of Iran, but you could be forgiven for thinking he was.

Photo credit: RIA Novosti archive,,, Tehran times



Anonymous said...

Fantastic news!
They are not traitors but patriots.
The mullahs and their fascist theocracy are traitors to Iran.

Anonymous said...

Saharov's wife Yelena Bonner was a jew or maybe self declared jew.
Anyway she left earlier to the West, because many people who wanted "better" economical life in the West described themself as jews and did not care about place where their ancestors were born.
Sakharov, who had higher education like most those "jews" was denied permission to emigrate because he had known top military secrets - nuclear weapons.
However he and his wife were offered decent living conditions, at a place of their choice in the Soviet Union.
At some point Sakharov apparently simulated a mental illness to find "excuse" that he was oppressed.
Sakharov's wife decided to leave alone and act in the West against the Soviet Union.

Anonymous said...

Valueless westeren propaganda

does somebody know who is Nasrin Sotoudeh, before this aeaed

Sacharov was some body in russia
thses peopel are nobody im iran

nobody knows them.

Unknown said...

@anon 8:21
Aside from being wrong, it is a tangent argument (as usual). Do you deny that the two prize winers are prisoners of conscious ?

Anonymous said...

Of course, it escapes the pro-regime supportors that their Anti-Western attitude may be something in the very interest of those western powers they are dennouncing; they are agent of the West while trying to sell us their animosity to the West as something Anti-Western; you are Anti-Western because the West want you to be in that mode of operating - not the other way arounf; these people sell their own blindness to the reality as part of some political success - that is the way you are castrated in the realiy and being taking over; you want to be Antiwestern and asking yourself how? The Answer is: Do not be Anti-Western; be pro Western; take that contradiction into your account ...

Anonymous said...

about iran:

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:21---- the lunacy of your response surpasses the ignorance of it,

very impressive.

Anonymous said...

My vote would have gone to Professor Angela Davis (USA).

Anonymous said...

then I would guess that you've never spent an hour in her company.

Anonymous said...

N. Mandela said in the past, the US is the biggest danger for the present world.