The Chicago Tribune recently reported that a US federal judge had rejected a key defense by the University of Chicago in a lawsuit brought by US survivors of a 1997 bombing in Jerusalem seeking the auctioning off of Iranian treasures (ancient tablets) in the University's collection to pay compensation on the grounds that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. The tablets are part of a very large administrative archive from the reign of the Achaemenid king Darius I, covering a period of about 20 years around 500 B.C. Before these tablets were found our understanding of the Achaemenid empire depended mostly on external sources. Several bloggers have started cyber campaigns to try to prevent their forcible sale.
Another Military Coup
Jalil Doostkhah, former Professor in Isfahan and blogger, says we should make our voices heard and ask for the return of our cultural heritage after 70 years in the USA. He adds we do not need your dollars for democracy we know how get back our freedom (Persian). He even compares this act to US-backed 1953 military coup against Dr.Mossadegh, Prime Minister who nationalised Iranian oil. The blogger adds
This is a new military coup of US against Iran and this time directly against the entire Persian cultural heritage! It should be stopped.
Letter to USA Supreme Court
We learn in Iranshenakht blog that two Iranians, writer Shokooh Mirzadegi and Dr. Esmail Nooriala wrote a letter to the Supreme Court Judges concerning this affair:
There are actually two points in this legal action that deserve special consideration. First of all, in the words of the US President, we should not punish the Iranian people for whatever the Islamic regime of Iran is doing on the international arena. This is a nation kept under horrendous captivity that needs international sympathy rather than punishment. Secondly, plundering this nation’s cultural heritage, especially by taking them from their safe public and educational holding places in museums and universities and giving them to private individuals should be consider as a crime against the cultural values of the whole civilized world.
You're Taking Whose Treasure?
Dr. Reza Moradi Ghyasabadi shares his pain about this affair. He says
I am not lawyer and I do not understand international law but I know that throughout history my country has been blighted in the name of legitimate or illegitimate laws.
The blogger writes that these ancient tablets talking about human rights and social security for workers have been in captivity for 70 years in the USA. After 2500 years we are still proud of our ancestors and we had nothing without their efforts (Persian).
In Fanous, a collective blog, we read that there seems to be no importance given to the Iranian nation – This treasure is not just Ahmadinejad‘s or Khamenei‘s heritage…. it seems beyond USA borders human rights don't mean anything! (Persian)
Several bloggers have talked about another kind of treasure: freedom. Akbar Ganji, dissident journalist, has been in Europe for a while to receive various prizes including Golden Pen. He seized any opportunity to give an interview and share his ideas about democracy. A few bloggers discuss Ganji's ideas.
Everything has a cost
Aseman Hameh Ja Abi Nist says Iran has a very negative image in the world. If we want to change our photo on our identity card and show other nations that Ahmadinejad, Ejehi (Minister of Intelligence)… do[es] not represent Iranian nation we should make effort (Persian). He goes on to say
As Ganji says everything has a cost… we should back Ganji’s idea and try to present a new image of Iran to the rest of the world.
Three days hunger strike
Mizegerd Yek Nafare backs Ganji's idea of a three day hunger strike to attract world attention to political prisoners. The blogger adds Ganji has given the Iranian Government ten days to government to free Asdanloo, bus-workders union leader; Mosavi Khoeini a former deputy in Parliament and researcher Ramin Jahanbegloo. The blogger says if they do not get out of prison in ten days, Iranians should go though a three days hunger strike, as Ganji proposed. Ganji will do that in front of United Nations headquarters in NY from 13 to 16 July (Persian).