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Jin Jiyan Azadi – a tribute to the people of Iran

Since the murder of the then 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022, protesters across Iran have been gathering under the slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” (زن، زندگی، آزادی / Woman, Life, Freedom).

Together with the author and journalist Gilda Sahebi, in cooperation with Echo Iran and the Robert Havemann Society, I brought insights into the years-long struggle for freedom in Iran to the stage – at the Stasi Headquarters / Campus for Democracy – in the form of music, discourse and using documents like letters.

The NurLicht Trio provided the musical accompaniment to the event; Jasmin Shakeri, Jasmin Tabatabai, Melissa Khalai, Minu Barati, Nicolette Krebitz, Nikolai Kinski, Nima Hashemi and Shila Behjat read from Nasrin Sotoudeh’s letters from prison to her children, the people in Iran and her supporters abroad.

As a human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh campaigns for the rights of women and children in Iran. For her peaceful human rights work, she was sentenced in two court cases to a total of 38 years in prison – of which she must serve 17 years – and 148 lashes. Nasrin Sotoudeh received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2012, the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2020 and the US State Department’s Global Human Rights Defender Award in 2023.

This Iranian-German cultural-political evening in Berlin created space for remembrance, commemoration, and exchange. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who made this evening possible, and to all participants!

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