Log-book: April 2006
In support for the Chechen people The hanging of a political prisoner Citizen resistance At the prison of Rennes
In support for the Chechen people
The support rally was held in front of the Russian Embassy in Paris. Night had fallen. There was a icy cold wind. The few passers-by did not show much interest for our banners.
I was glad of the presence of the Chechens. A great many of them were young.
In the past, Stalin has designated the Chechens as traitors; today, Poutine considers them as terrorists.
More than 60 years after their deportation by Stalin in February 1944, the Chechens are still persecuted.
There are violent actions against civilians being unpunished. The Chechen population lives openly and publicly under a state of war and a state of terror and nobody seems to care. It is a forgotten people by the whole planet.
Amnesty international has regularly denounced massive violations of human rights in Chechnya.
I joined a group of Chechens. I like to listen to them discuss. They seem happy to be together and to speak their language.
I am very welcomed in their group. With the help of an interpreter, I take pleasure in speaking with them.
These are men who stand up with determination.
The hanging of a political prisoner
At dawn, the inhuman mullah's regime in Iran has executed Hodjat Zamani who was held in jail since 2001.
He was 31 years old at the time of his hanging. He had been subjected to the worst tortures in the gloomy prison of Gohardacht near Teheran.
But Hodjat had always refused to give in to the demands of his torturers.
I knew his course. I was impressed by this resistance fighter who was not afraid to take risks.
Hodjat was a teacher in villages of Ilam (west of Iran) where his family is well known.
He is the third son of the Zamani family to be assassinated by the Iranian regime.
Despite repeated visits to the prison, the family was unable to obtain the body of their son.
The news of Hodja's execution had provoked a surge of indignation. The partisans of the Iranian resistance have made gatherings in more than 40 cities of Europe, in North America and Australia.
In Paris, a press conference was immediately held. I spoke with emotion. In the audience, there were mothers who had lost their son, assassinated by the mullah's regime.
"Nobody was able to take away Hodjat's dignity. This resistance fighter was not afraid of his torturers. He was a free man. There is a way to live and die that does not lead to death. "
Warning messages have been sent on the Web. The group of militant in associations, union officials and political militants has mobilized to support an ecologist who will receive the visit of a bailiff. It is important to be there to demonstrate our solidarity and hold a press conference on location.
A great number of us are present to support him.
This ecologist, a militant against GMO, has been condemned for having uprooted transgenic corn plants. . With five other volunteer reapers, he was sanctioned for the first time to pay part of a fine of 196 000 Euros in damages to the seed producer Biogema.
For another action similar to this one, he has been condemned a second time with 3 other volunteer reapers to pay his part of a 100 000 Euros to the Pioneer company.
On the request of these companies, a bailiff will come to make the inventory of his residence in order to seize his personal belongings. We are there in the street, at the center of Paris, at the bottom of the building where the ecologist lives.
I am in admiration to see so many people that were able to attend at the end of the morning. They are tireless fighters against injustice.
José Bové announced the next actions to be undertaken on the presentation of a bill on the GMO to the Senate and the National Assembly.
There is no doubt that the citizen resistance will again be there.
At the prison of Rennes
When I arrived at the train station of Rennes, I immediately took the road leading to the jail. It was familiar to me since I had come here many years ago to visit prisoners. The young prison warden greeted me heartily and helped me with the formalities.
In the room for visitors, I met the man who had written to me. I had not seen him for many years. The man facing me was 82 years old. He had been in prison for 2 years and still had 6 years yet to pass in jail. It is difficult for me to understand that old people are left in prisons.
He was very happy to see me and he couldn't help but show it. I was glad to be with him and to listen to him. He told me the daily humiliations he had to endure. For the first time in his life, he had to live with the victims of social exclusion. He shares the condition of the outcasts.
He is learning to read the Gospel through the eyes of a prisoner. The Gospel seen from the lower class point of view. He then discovered with wonder the attitude full of respect of Jesus towards those that are abandoned by society.
Jesus did not say: " it's not serious! " It would have given a sense of guilt! He said: " Go, stand up and walk."
Jesus did not say: " I forgive your sins" he would appear self-important and again leave a sense of guilt. He said: " your sins are forgiven ".
I left to take the train with this little music of the Gospel inside of me.