By Amir Parvizi

“A 15-year old man knows for what he wants to die for; and if he has a cause to make sacrifice easier, he no longer has any fear of death.”

These are excerpts of Che’s words in his early years. When I read the word ‘cause’ I suddenly remembered Ali Saremi who spent 24 years of his life in the prisons of the Shah and Khomeini in Iran. During this period he faced various types of pressures and tortures, and he was finally sent to the gallows on Tuesday, 28 December 2010 by the dictators ruling Iran. He was described as the most significant resistant political prisoner by Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi.

I can still remember my first meeting with him. It was on 12 July 2005. The regime’s State Security Forces had arrested me outside Tehran University and they were taking me to the main gate of the campus where repressive forces had stationed in large numbers. Before reaching the police vehicle Ali Saremi came up to the colonel and said, “What has this young man done? Let him go.”

He was trying to prevent my apprehension while risking being arrested himself. The colonel, angry about the fact that I had raised images of Iranian Resistance leaders in a ceremony on that day, insulted Mr. Saremi and said, “I will have you arrested, too.” He ordered the agents nearby to open up and distanced me from Mr. Saremi.

This was the last time I ever saw him up close. Mr. Saremi was not arrested on that day, but I am certain that if he was he would most definitely continue his struggle against the fundamentalism ayatollahs in Iran. Mr. Saremi had been arrested time and again for such acts of resistance. Yet each time that he was released he quickly went on to continue his efforts.

Years have passed but I still ask myself what made Ali Saremi so strong and fearless? Although I do understand the laws that guide a social struggle, but Ali Saremi’s bravery came from his ‘cause’.

Maryam Rajavi said it perfectly in her speech at the Iranian Resistance rally back in June 2008, “There will be a day when the abyss of the ayatollahs will give its place to a democratic society.”

Ali Saremi stood firm on his belief in the cause of freedom for his country. In prison, under torture, he never succumbed and sacrificed his life to establish freedom and democracy in Iran. The symbol of such a case is Maryam Rajavi, as the only hope of the Iranian people to ever reach freedom. This was Ali Saremi’s ultimate dream. And what a better place to rally for this cause than the  gathering of the Iranian diaspora on June 13 in Paris. There we will gather for the freedom of the Iranian people.

There is no doubt that this cause will prevail one day.