Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ashraf 3, Albania, hosts a historic tribute to the hundreds of thousands of heroes fallen for the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran. The exhibition is intended to tell an extremely moving history of suffering, but at the same time show the Iranian people’s resolve to achieve democracy at any cost.

The enormous exhibition hall is called “Zohreh” in honor of Zohreh Gha’emi, a senior member of the MEK’s leadership who was murdered by the Iranian regime in September 2013. It features pictures and symbols of “120 Years of the Iranian People’s Struggle for Freedom.”

The entrance boasts huge portraits of the original founders of the MEK and leaders of various democratic movements fighting against the Shah’s dictatorship and the mullahs’ tyranny. These include the leaders of the Constitutional Revolution and the revered Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq.

Twelve-foot-tall walls that line both sides of long pathways feature thousands of smiling portraits of young women, young men, children, mothers, fathers, doctors, students, and activists, all of whom were brutally murdered because they advocated for liberty and freedom. Dozens of protesters martyred since 1981 are honored, along with 120,000 members of the MEK who have been killed at the hands of the clerical regime since 1979.

Details of those killed — including girls as young as 13 — are plastered over huge walls that contain a map of each province with hundreds of associated names and pictures. Memorabilia and hand-made artifacts of political prisoners, mothers and fathers tortured for their beliefs are poignant and emotional reminders of resistance and perseverance against all odds.

The museum contains life-sized, horrific prison cells and realistic replicas and models demonstrating how 30,000 political prisoners were brutally executed by the Iranian regime. One of the replicas shows how women were forced to sit in a 1 meter by 1 meter area called “the cage” for up to eight months. The prisoner would lose all bodily senses and would faint upon getting up after a long time squatting in such a small space. Additionally, they were forced to endure enormous psychological torture, leading many to develop acute mental problems.

Such inhumane imprisonments and executions by the Iranian regime are clear examples of crimes against humanity. Yet, the inspiring response by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance, infused with an undying spirit of perseverance, shows that Iran will be free.

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