By Saeid Rezaie (1)
To the brave, honorable attorney, Nasrin Sotoudeh-
Upon entering the eighth year of my twenty year sentence, with reference to what you expressed in your video message (1), I write this personal letter, that perchance through this message I might be able, in the smallest possible way, to express my gratitude and appreciation to all my brave fellow countrymen, of whom you are among the outstanding examples.
Apart from the innumerable injustices towards my community and me, what I have sensed in recent years is the spark of hope and expectancy. This hope, which is the product of equanimity, is the outcome of a true realization of the essential and inborn rights of all human beings. In addition, it is a manifestation of the tolerance, love, equality and acceptance of others which are increasing among my compatriots.
Many are the valiant defence councils who have ignited the first spark of this hope. Their names, along with their significant courage, have made a great impact which will remain for eternity. These are they who accepted their own imprisonment, were banned from their professional careers or had to abandon their country of origin all together.
During the last seven years, I have enjoyed the support of many civil activists, journalists, lawyers, religious and ethnic minorities and other compatriots, imprisoned or free, all indicating their high appreciation of human rights, regardless of gender, political alignment, belief and ethnicity.
Honourable Nasrin Sotoudeh-
Your continued perseverance and steadfastness in fighting for the equal right of employment, including for Baha’is who have been denied this right for the last thirty years or so, is a clear sign of your great and precious determination. Surely apart from the immediate result of restoring the rights of Baha’is to equal employment, this would be a turning point in the process of achieving equality of human rights in this land. It is the wish of all of us to serve this land, the land of our forefathers, and having an equal opportunity to work is essential to our ability to render that service.
Once again I am duty bound to offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to you and all our compatriots who are trying to establish a vibrant and dynamic society for all Iranians, in which everyone’s rights are respected.
Rajai Shahr Prison
1. For a brief biography of Mr. Rezaie, see http://bahaikipedia.org/Saeid_Rezaie