May 17 2010
‘Death to the Dictator’ by Afsaneh Moqada is an eye-witness account of Iran’s stolen election and the near crippling of the Islamic Republic. It’s a harrowing portrait of Iran’s Green (democratic) Revolution that details the horrific torture of those who dared to defy the regime.
This is a disturbing and problematic book because not all the story can be told even a year after the events it recalls. All the names and many of the details have had to be changed, because the torture and sexual violence that sustains the Iranian regime continues, and most of its victims are still trapped inside their homeland.
The reader does not know, for instance, who Afsaneh Moqadam is, whether this pseudonymous author is a man or woman, or what is the nature of his/her relationship with Mohsen Abbaspour, the name given to the protagonist in this powerful account of a stolen election. This might even be Mohsens book, but even if he didn’t write it himself, his terrible story nevertheless illuminates the horrors that ensue when an Islamic revolution turns into corrupt authoritarian rule with theocratic pretensions..