“The pro-freedom movement in Iran has lost a great champion.”
Bill Nojay 1956-2016
Sept. 14, 2016 IFDI) - The FDI Board and supporters of a secular, free Iran were shocked to learn of the death of board member Bill Nojay, who was found dead of a gunshot wound at his family’s cemetery plot in Pittsfield, New York on Friday.
FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman spoke with Nojay just days before his death. “We were embarking on a new project, and Bill was enthusiastic and upbeat,” Timmerman said.
Nojay was elected to the New York State legislature in 2012, and won his primary for re-election on September 13, four days after his death.
"Bill devoted a huge amount of his time to serve others, without a thought to any reward,” Timmerman said. “I am honored to have served with him on the board of FDI in the service of freedom.”
Nojay worked with FDI to promote the cause of victims of the Iranian government, individuals whose loved ones were murdered, or people subjected to extrajudicial detention and torture.
“We were working with more than 200 victims of Iranian state terrorism who had never been able to sue the regime in U.S. courts because they were not U.S. citizens at the time the crimes against them were committed,” Timmerman said.
“Many of these individuals have contacted me since learning of Bill’s death to express their dismay and sadness at the loss of such a stalwart champion of freedom,” Timmerman added.
In 2007, Nojay joined Timmerman at a 3-day effort in Paris, known as Solidarity Iran,to build a broad coalition among diverse Iranian opposition groups. “Bill was always generous to volunteer his time and his skills to help Iranians in need,” Timmerman said.
“The pro-freedom movement in Iran has lost
a great champion.”
[Photos: Bill Nojay and FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman at the 2007 Solidarity Iran conference in Paris. Bottom: Timmerman, Nojay, Rep. Michelle Bachman, and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, at the National Press Club, 2013.
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Kenneth R. Timmerman is Executive Director of the Foundation
for Democracy in Iran. Contact him by email.