Celebrate Nowruz by sending warm wishes to scholars imprisoned in Iran

Posted March 19, 2020

Scholars at Risk is joining Amnesty International in its annual Nowruz Action campaign to send good wishes and comfort to prisoners of conscience in Iran. Nowruz (نوروز), ”new day”, is an ancient Iranian holiday celebrated on the first day of spring to welcome in the new year. We are asking members of our network for their support and participation.

Along with Amnesty, SAR is asking our partners to write postcards for Niloufar Bayani and Ahmadreza Djalali, two of the seven cases selected for the campaign, and are represented through SAR’s Scholars in Prison project. We are especially concerned for their health and safety amid allegations of torture and reports of denial of access to medical care. We fear they may be at great risk due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran.

The postcards can be posted online and sent to the families of Ms. Bayani and Dr. Djalali. We want them to know they are not alone, and that we continue to think of and fight for their loved ones imprisoned in Iran. Amnesty has suggested the following guidelines for the postcards:

Send cards with simple Nowruz greetings such as “Nowruz mobarak” مبارک نوروز You can say “thinking of you at Nowruz time” or “hoping you are well.” You may send a greeting in either English or Farsi (Persian) but please do not mention Amnesty International or specifics of the recipient’s case. Please also refrain from mentioning the political situation, human rights or U.S.-Iran relations. We suggest sending cards with pictures of landscapes, spring flowers or the like, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday and the message of hope and renewal. Please do not choose cards that have pictures of people, and please do not use cards that depict bottles of wine or other alcoholic beverages or gambling.

On March 20, please share photos of you holding your postcards to Twitter and Facebook, tagging @ScholarsAtRisk and @AmnestyIran, and including the relevant hashtags such as #Nowruz #FreeBayani, #FreeConservationists, #FreeAhmadreza, #SaveAhmadreza. After posting online, greetings can be sent to the following addresses:

Postcards for Ahmadreza Djalali can be sent to his wife Vida Mehrannia:
Borgarfjordsgatan 21A
Stockholm kista 164 53

Postcards for Niloufar Bayani can be sent to:
c/o Iran Team
Amnesty International/ International Secretariat
1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW
United Kingdom