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American Pastor Saeed Abedini Profiled in Innovative Art Project in Front of UN

Originally posted at: http://aclj.org/iran/american-pastor-saeed-abedini-profiled-innovative-art-project-in-front-of-un

The life of a prisoner of conscience in a repressive regime is a harsh existence, and only a few fully grasp this reality.

A new art project is attempting to raise the plight of those wrongly imprisoned in Iran through creative use of art and social media.  It features the plight of American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith, along with many others who are suffering in Iran.

The art project is a collaboration between the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and the Inside Out Project which was created by world famous French artist JR.  The project began with large pictures of many of those wrongfully imprisoned in Iran, including Pastor Saeed, being displayed prominently across the street from the United Nations headquarters in New York.

One of the leaders of this movement explains:

“When we speak about executions and people being tortured in prison, a lot of this just becomes statistics in people’s minds,” says Gissou Nia, the 32-year-old executive director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. “We seldom see the human faces that color what the statistics mean.” . . . “To have these faces be displayed prominently in the middle of New York City, this bustling, cosmopolitan city, and take these individuals from the prisons where they’ve been hidden and bring them, quite literally, into the light.”

These images really are a powerful reminder of the real human stories of those suffering in Iranian prisons.

In conjunction with this art display, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center is also ramping up a social media campaign.  Its Unlock Iran project is set to formally launch on March 3rd and will give users a glimpse of what it is like to be wrongly imprisoned in Iran.  Its Facebook page (which the images in this post are from) has already begun sharing the stories of some of the prisoners of conscience, including Pastor Saeed.

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