Monthly Archives: January 2013

Imprisoned Student Activist Arash Sadeghi In Dire Condition In Ward 209 Of Evin Prison

Allameh Tabatabai university student activist, Arash Sadeghi, was first arrested July 09, 2009, during the suppression of the post-presidential election protests. He was released after 50 days in solitary confinement.

Arash Sadeghi

Arash Sadeghi

Sadeghi was re-arrested on December 09, 2009 after the mass protests of Ashura, and was later released on March 6, 2010.

Arash was again arrested January 15, 2012, while visiting the grave site of his mother with his grandparents. Arash’s mother suffered a heart attack due to the stress and shock of her home being raided by the security forces who were trying to re-arrest Arash.

Arash’s father, a war veteran, had only spoken to the media (Guardian) once after the death of his wife, this is the first time that he has given an interview to a domestic media.

Following is translation of an interview conducted by Kalameh with Arash’s father Hossein Sadeghi:

Mr. Sadeghi, apparently your son, student activist Arash Sadeghi, is not in a good condition in prison. As the father of Arash, would you like to provide us with the latest news about his status?

“After the last visit that his grandfather had with him, he said Arash has lost a considerable amount of weight and is very thin.

Arash had a pre-existing lung condition that has been exacerbated in prison. They don’t do anything about his condition. He also has a stomach problem. Due to his repeated hunger strikes he has suffered stomach bleeding.

After the last visit his grandfather had with him, he said Arash looked extremely thin and was hardly recognizable. They have shaved his head, and he was very weak and very thin…..”

Can you tell us in which Ward Arash is being kept? Apparently he is not in the General Ward.

“Since his last arrest on January 15, 2012, he has been in the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 and has only been permitted two visits.

He has been deprived of all of his rights, and during this period we had no knowledge of his physical condition.”

May I ask why you have kept silent since his arrest in 2009, and the 2010 raid of your home by agents which resulted in Arash’s mother dying due to the shock from this raid?

“I don’t really know what to say. I love my son. But, I have been serving in the military for 26 years now. Maybe if I did not interfere in the affairs of Arash, (the reason) was because of my work and the place that we reside.

I actually have no home other than the home provided by the military. If I don’t receive my salary we won’t be able to live.

Many of Arash’s friends accused me of abandoning my son. No one can ever forget their child. I have had many problems at work.

I was repeatedly threatened by the Intelligence section, told that I must not have any contact with my son and said any contact with him will result in my dismissal from my work and my residence.

I have no other means of income. I’m forced to continue in this manner. I would like to be able to follow up on his case. After all, he is my son.

Now that you have decided to speak up and break your silence, have you any worries?

“Nothing is important for me anymore. The bottom line of this story is that I may lose my life. I have already lost my wife, and have, in a way, lost my son.

Even after Arash is released, he won’t have his previous mental health, considering all the problems he has had to endure during this period.”

So, if you would like, let us go back to Arash’s first arrest, and tell us when was he first arrested, and by what organization. Then we can go back to the time when your home was raided by the agents; which resulted in your wife’s death.

“Arash’s first arrest was on July 9, 2009 by IRGC’s Intelligence, and, for about three months, his mother and I had no news from him. That time coincided with the time that they had buried some people as “unknown”, and we had felt that Arash may have been among them.”

Well, later it was found that Arash was in Evin at that time, was released a year later in 2010, and then the agents raided your home. Can you tell us exactly what happened that day?

“Arash was released on furlough ln November 2010. A few days later, without any reason, they raided our home, which unfortunately resulted in his mother’s death.

I was on guard duty that day and Arash was at his grandparents home. At four o’clock in the morning (according to my daughter) they knocked on our door.

Before my family had a chance to open the door, they broke the door down and rushed inside the house. Arash’s mother suffered a shock and fell down. My daughter says that her mother was screaming “Ya Abolfazl” ( a Shia Imam) and fell down from her bed. She could hardly breath and was hyperventilating.

The agents, ignoring that situation, did their work, searched the home and left. They left with my wife in that condition and unfortunately….sorry…recalling the memory of those events is disturbing…sorry I can not continue…”

I apologize for taking you back to the bitter days that you don’ want to recall. However, as was mentioned in the media, you saw this as Arash’s fault and apparently told Arash that it was his fault that his mother died, and told him you don’t ever want to see him back at your home. I thought, now that you have broken your silence, perhaps you have a different point of view and can explain what really happens with the families that in situations like this, that might cause them to blame their children?

“Unfortunately, I am not in a very good condition myself. I am a war veteran, and have to take fourteen pills a day to maintain my health, and to be able to remain calm for few hours. At that time, (when his wife died) I was very disturbed, and, unfortunately, was looking for someone to blame and may have thought that Arash was the person to blame. But later on I was very sorry for my conduct.

I feel that Arash virtually has no one in this situation. But he is my son, and I am willing to remedy the past and am willing to pay the price at any cost.

After the election (presidential election of 2009), Arash endured very hard times. I hope that he can at least have some solace and peace.”

Mr. Sadeghi, news reports after the election indicated that Arash was one of the people who was subjected to severe beatings during the interrogation sessions. Can you explain what was Arash’s situation during that time, and what effects have those beatings have had on Arash?

“Perhaps the worst torture that interrogators did to Arash was to pluck his body hair one by one. And a very hard slap he received, caused his front tooth to break.

He was beaten continually to a point that, at times under interrogations, he would lose consciousness.

In one case, after his mother passed, they arrested him and transferred him to prison, where he was beaten hard and suffered broken ribs.

His cellmates reported that Arash was taken to the clinic in Evin. But the doctor there did not even prescribe any painkillers, and prescribed deep breathing exercises, telling him that part of the rib is cartilage and will heal itself.

Another case was his shoulder-blade. Unfortunately they had beaten him severely several times and he suffered a dislocated shoulder-blade.

In his last visit with his grandfather, he complained of pain in his arm and shoulder and said they do not provide him with any painkillers.”

It seems that your follow-up of his case has not had any results. As someone who’s son is imprisoned and someone who has served in the military, have you anything to say to the authorities?

“I have nothing to say to the gentlemen who themselves are symbols of lawlessness. They only claim following the rule of law.

Arash’s grandfather and I have repeatedly written to the Judiciary asking them to at least transfer Arash to the General Ward.

In a meeting that Arash’s grandfather had with the prosecutor, the prosecutor, rather than following up on the discussion of transferring Arash to the General Ward, threatened Arash’s grandfather; complaining as to why he had written letters to the Judiciary, and told him he has become a pawn in the hands of the foreigners.

When in a country lawlessness virtually rules, our request for following the rule of law is pointless.
The only thing that I now can do is to at least be the voice of my wife and Arash.”

Have you anything to say to the public or the media? I suppose my question is that, when you have nothing to say to the authorities, who do you hope might do something to better your incarcerated son’s situation?

“The atrocities inflicted on Arash, and all the talk and stories that have been told about Arash have been very poignant for me.

As an example, one of things said, is that Arash himself requested to be in Ward 209 to become a hero.

My heart aches when I hear these sort of things. They make you feel so lonely from all sides. I would like to thank all the people who stayed by Arash’s side all this time. With all the media limitations and other things, they did not let Arash be forgotten.

I feel that if there was more media coverage of his case, perhaps his one year stay at Ward 209 would have been much shorter, and he would have been transferred to the General Ward.

In the absence of any media pressure and coverage, those gentlemen will do anything they want to the prisoners”

Arash Sadeghi and his father

Arash Sadeghi and Father

Source: Kalameh

Furlough Extension Was Denied, Nasrin Sotoudeh Is Back In Prison

Following is translation of a post by Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan’s on his Facebook page.

You can say Nasrin has been arrested again.

Before she was released, they had emphasized that this furlough would be long and somewhat permanent.

Otherwise, Nasrin had indicated that she is not willing to be released on a 3 day furlough after being imprisoned for more than two hand a half years.

A three day furlough would more disturb the children and cause them more anxiety. She was right, this is exactly what occurred.

At 11:00 PM tonight (Monday, January 21), while the children were crying and did not want to separate from their mother, and among the shock of our friends about this summon, Nasrin went to prison.

She emptied the suitcase she had prepared for a trip and filled it with items for prison and left.

Reza Khandan
12:40 AM Tuesday

Source: AzadeganBlog

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s Father Was Beaten In the Prosecutor’s Office In Tabriz

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who is currently out on medical furlough with bail, referring to questioning of his father by the Deputy Prosecutor in Tabriz, wrote on his Facebook page: “The Intelligence Ministry’s agents insulted my father with obscenities and beat him and threatened that they will destroy his sons and daughters.”

Hossein Ronaghi’s father was summoned by the Prosecutor’s office today. He was summoned to the Prosecutor’s office few days ago also and was interrogated.

Hossein Ronaghi referring to his family’s current situation, noted: “If the Intelligence Ministry can not tolerate my being outside the prison, I am willing to go back to prison to somewhat safeguard my family’s mental & physical safety.

Hossein Ronaghi stating that his family lacks any security, adds: “My mother was crying and saying go back to prison, they want to harm you.”

He added, “It has to be a very important issue for a mother to tell her son to go back to prison to protect his life.”

Source: GVF

Violent Raid Of Evin Prison Ward 350 Caused Altercations Between Political Prisoners And Guards

On Thursday January 17, 2013, a large number of prison guards along with anti-riot unit, raided Ward 350 of Evin prison, conducting a search of the Ward and body searches of the prisoners.

According to Kalameh, this raid and inspection of Ward 350 was conducted in an unprecedented manner which resulted in altercations between the political prisoners and the deployed forces.

During this raid, all of the note books and writings of the prisoners were collected and the treatment of prisoners by guards, has been reported “extremely harsh”.

The political prisoners showed their protest to this raid by singing “Ey Iran” anthem, “Yare Dabestani” song and by chants of “Death to dictator”, “Death to the oppressor, whether it be a king or a Leader”.

This unprecedented and violent action by the prison guards and the anti-riot unit, coordinated by the Judicial authorities and prison officials, shows the extent of recent pressure put on the political prisoners.

The atmosphere at Ward 350 had become tense in the past few days, because of limitations on visitation rights of some prisoners, and the illegal transfer of Abolfazl Ghadyani to Rejaei Shahr prison.

Considering that the prison officials were well aware of the tense atmosphere in Ward 350, this action should be considered a provocative move in an effort to continue harassment of the political prisoners.

This, when most of the political prisoners, despite believing their trials and sentences were unjust, have tried to comply with the prison’s rules and regulations while asking for their legal rights. The requests for their legal rights, has caused an over-reaction and more violations of the prisoners’ rights by the judicial authorities.

Source: Kalameh

Sarand Camp Earthquake Volunteer Aid Workers Have Been Sentenced To Imprisonment

Verdicts for the Sarand Camp earthquake volunteer aid workers who were arrested August 23, 2012 by Tabriz’s Intelligence Ministry agents in the earthquake-stricken village of Sarand have been issued.

Branch one of the Revolutionary Court in Tabriz has issued the following judgements for the volunteer aid workers:

Sayed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 2 years imprisonment

Behrooz Alavi, 2 years and 3 months imprisonment

Hamid Reza Mosibian, 2 years and 6 months imprisonment

Vahed Kholosi, 2 years imprisonment

Bahram Shojaei, 2 years imprisonment

Farid Rohani, Sayd Hassan Ronaghi Maleki, Shayan Vahdati, Masoud Vafabakhsh, Hooman Taheri, Sepeh Saheban, Daniel Hasani, Ali Mohamadi, Morteza Esmaeilpour, Mohamad Arjomandirad, Mohamad Esmaeil Solaimanpour, Mohamad Amin Salehi, Mohsen Sameei, Milad Panahipour and Amir Ronasi have each been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

According to the verdict issued by the Court, all of these volunteer aid workers were found guilty of participation in assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security.

Source: Kalameh

Regime Critic Blogger, Dr. Mehdi Khazali Continues To Be On Hunger Strike In Solitary Confinement

After more than two months of detention, Dr. Mehdi Khazali was transferred back to Evin Ward 209 solitary confinement 10 days ago for the second time and continues his hunger strike.

According to Kalameh, more than two months after his latest arrest during the raid on the Writers Association meeting, pressure continues on this political prisoner, his family and friends.

Mehdi Khazali, on day 10 of his hunger strike, has lost a considerable amount of weight and is in poor health.

Previously, due to officials’ promise to release his fellow detainees, Dr. Khazali halted his hunger strike. But, he re-launched the hunger strike in protest of his transfer back to solitary confinement, and in protest against the continued illegal behavior by interrogators and the judicial institutions.

Currently, the summons and interrogation of people who have been in contact with the Dr. Khazali continues, forcing them to give an affidavit of promise to not have any contact with this political prisoner.

Kalameh had previously reported that Dr. Khazali’s children had been summoned to court and questioned.

The court has issued an injunction prohibiting the legal pursuit of Dr. Khazali’s daughter who was summoned earlier. However, the Judiciary has not yet made a decision regarding his wife and his brother who were also summoned.

Mehdi Khazali, who had previously launched a hunger strike protesting the illegal conduct of the Judiciary and the restrictions placed on him, decided to launch another hunger strike against the non-release of his fellow detainees, and his illegal transfer back to Ward 209 solitary confinement.

He halted his previous hunger strike with the officials’ promise of releasing his fellow detainees. He was then transferred to the General Ward 350, but without any explanation, he was transferred back to solitary confinement 10 days ago.

More than two months have passed since the latest arrest of this regime critic and political activist, and it seems pressure on the family and friends of Dr. Khazali is an effort to further isolate this political prisoner.

Dr. Mehdi Khazali, born in 1965, is a blogger, an ophthalmologist, Director of Hayan publishing and founder of Abasaleh Cultural Institute and Publishing.

Mehdi Khazali is the son of the hard-line cleric member of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Khazali.

He was arrested after criticizing the government sponsored march of 13 Aban (November 3, 2012) and asking the people to protest the current situation. This is Dr. Khazali’s sixth arrest in the past three years.

The Melli-Mazhabi site is also reporting Great efforts by the intelligence apparatuses to intensify pressure to further isolate Dr. Khazali.

According to reports received by Melli-Mazhabi site, the intelligence apparatuses are trying to stop any news from Dr. Khazali be published so they can further put him under pressure to keep silence and stop his criticism of the regime.

Source: Kalameh MelliMazhabi

Mehdi Mahmoudian, Journalist Who Exposed Kahrizak Crimes, Denied Furlough, Now On Month 8 Of Fasting

While three of the men accused of Kahrizak detention center crimes enjoy special treatment (three Judges were found to be the main culprits in the torture deaths of prisoners at Kahrizak by the Parliament, but have not as yet been put on trial for their crimes), the person who exposed the crimes at Kahrizak, journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian, is denied furlough and is on month 8 of fasting.

After more than four months since his last medical furlough, despite promises by the prosecution office, his family’s repeated requests for furlough have been denied due to interference by the Intelligence Ministry.

Mahmoudian who was arrested at his home on September 16, 2009 had a prominent role in exposing the crimes and atrocities occurring at Kahrizak detention center.

He was the first person to report on the torture, the beating and inhumane treatment of the prisoners at that detention center.

After two years of incarceration, Mahmoudian was released this past summer on a short, much needed medical furlough.

Mahmoudian’s exile to Rajai Shahr prison has made visits very difficult for his elderly mother. Each week she has to travel for hours via public transportation to visit with her son.

Due to the long distance and conflict of schedule, Mahmoudian’s ten year old daughter who is a 4th grade student, is also rarely able to visit her dad

Mahmoudian who was a member of the Participation Front media liaison, had also reported on the killings of the protesters and the secret nightly burials of the murdered protesters.

While some of the Judges accused in the atrocities of Kahrizak have been promoted to high level government positions, and, the dismissed Judges have yet to be tried, the person exposing the crimes of Kahrizak, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment on charges of assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security.

Mahmoudidan is one of the political prisoners who, despite being exiled to Rejaei Shahr prison, continue to report and expose prison atrocities.

Mehdi Mahmoudian, despite various health conditions, mostly acquired during imprisonment due to physical and psychological torture (such as being placed in extreme cold weather outside without any clothing while being beaten on the body and head by guards), has only been sent to hospital twice during his imprisonment.

Mahmoudian has been fasting for the past eight month, protesting the illegal arrest and detention of Mehdi Karoubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard.

Mahmoudian was hospitalized for few days last February at Rejaei Shahr hospital. In response to friends’ request that maybe if he would stop writing and reporting on the plight of prisoners, they might release him, allowing him to be with his family, he said:

“Was my not being imprisoned worth not exposing crimes of Kahrizak? If I had not, perhaps for weeks or even months longer, hundreds more of our brothers would have been tortured and violated there.

Was the fear of imprisonment and being away from my family worth me not revealing and exposing the secret burials in section 202 of Behesht Zahra (Tehran cemetery)? And just as thousands of mothers who for 23 years haven’t known where their children are buried, might not hundreds of other parents and children not even be able to cry on the grave of loved ones for years?

Source: Kalameh

Imprisoned Journalist Siyamak Ghaderi Responds To Faezeh Hashemi’s Report From Prison

Imprisoned journalist Siyamak Ghaderi has written a letter to Faezeh Hashemi, the imprisoned daughter of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, in response to a letter she published from prison ( here ) highlighting the positive aspects of being in prison.

Journalist Siyamak Ghaderi was arrested August of 2010 and is sentenced to four years imprisonment on charges of propagating against the establishment and publishing lies.

One of Ghaderi’s main charges was writing on his blog “Irnaima”. On his blog he criticized the Islamic Republic’s official news agency IRNA. He also wrote articles in support of the Green Movement and it’s leaders.

Following is translation of Ghaderi’s letter to Faezeh Hashemi:

Consider not that God is unaware of the deeds of the unjust, He is merely granting them respite until the Day when the eyes will stare in horror (Ebrahim, verse 42)

To my imprisoned sister, Faezeh Hashemi,

My sister, Faezeh,

Your letter was one of the few documents and letters written by a political prisoner that was published in the censored media atmosphere of Iran.

It was a source of wonder and amazement for us, the political prisoners, that normally hear only bits and pieces of news from our loved ones.

I read parts of your letter in a Resalat newspaper article written by Kazem Anbarlouei dated December 17, and painfully praised your compassionate tone and spirit of resistance.

My intention is not to vilify the parts of your letter published on this newspaper. But there were some very important points in your letter which were welcomed by the one sided media, that caused me to write a few lines about it.

In particular I would like to stress, although we share the same geographical position in captivity, there are noted differences in our history, from the start until now and the time in between.

Specifically, the use of phrases such as: “Honest Reporting”, “Here democracy reigns”, “Here is a university”, “Here is filled with beautiful memories”, “Here is the school of love”, and “Honest Affidavit”.

And then that article’s conclusion that Ahmed Shaheed’s reports are fictitious and false, and ultimately the article criticizing the Judiciary for creating a “Hotel” atmosphere and “Ideal living environment for the criminals” for the violators of the rights of 75 million people.

This bothered me enough to decide to write about my personal experienced during the three years of imprisonment in Wards, 209, 240 and 350, and to write only about parts of what I have witnessed and seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears.

Dear sister, you forgot to mention the frightful arrests made in the middle of the night or at dawn, before the frightened eyes of the innocent spouses and children and before the stunned neighbors.

You forgot to mention, the months and months of being moved from the cell to the bathroom, recess, shower, the interrogation room, the prosecution’s office and the court. And, even being transported through the city blindfolded.

You have left out the life draining screams of men coming from the interrogation room across from Section Six in Ward 209.

In the fall of 2010 I heard the screams of a mother in this same room that would fall unconscious under the interrogations. And I heard the cries of an innocent baby after hearing the mother’s familiar cries in Section One of this same building.

Have you seen or heard about the interrogation rooms in Ward 209 that are decorated with thick dried blood on the walls and floor?

You probably have never heard the voice of one of your loved ones while blindfolded facing a wall being interrogated?

Were you in that position to realize that they brought your loved one to the interrogation room to break you, and to help realize the scenarios made up by the sick minds of the interrogators?

Did you ever feel with your skin and bones and your entire being, the humiliation caused by the interrogators and the guards, or the burning sensation on your face after being slapped?

Have you ever felt the putrefied content of a steel toilet in Ward 240 interrogation room while your head was being pushed in the toilet and your eyes, ears and mouth filled with feces?

Have the investigator in your case, along with the interrogators, ever thrown profane insults at your mother, father, children and your spouse?

Have you ever in disbelief been accused of lying and slander by the infamous Judges of Branch 28 and 15 of the Revolutionary Courts when you dared to cry out the atrocities committed against you, in the hopes of receiving justice from the presiding Judge?

Have you dear sister ever suffered having to be with drug traffickers, with those who have betrayed the public’s wealth, or with the thugs in rooms 5/1 and 5/2?

Do you know the feeling of having to beg for a phone call to your family just to let them know you are not dead, to free them from having to check the hospitals, the police stations and the coroners office looking for you? And for your interrogators to only agree to allow you a phone call subject to your compliance with their made up scenarios of the imaginary enemies?

Have you requested to be allowed a visit from your lawyer, or to be allowed to sign a power of attorney for your chosen defense attorney and not a court appointed attorney, and that three years after the verdict you are still wishing for that meeting?

Did you along with me, in the people’s protest movement, comprehend the concept of the game “Your sentence is death” and afterwards be interrogated time and time again, and the sleepless nights to participate in this game with the interrogator?

Can you believe that a number of my cellmates without having a defense attorney and without being able to see the court’s ruling and without knowing the reason’s for the lower court’s ruling have filed for an appeal?

Do you even know what being banned from visits for months means? Have they put you on display before your loved ones, among handcuffed and shackled hard core criminals and thieves, in the hallways of the Revolutionary Court, or the hospital?

Has his Excellency Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani ever been humiliated and insulted by the security forces of various intelligence apparatuses “just doing their jobs”?

Yes dear sister, today, the women’s section of Ward 350 is a good environment, but the way to this Paradise that you described in your letter goes through hell.

Ward 350 and the women’s section in this ward, in 2012, is very different from this same Ward in 2009, 2010, and…

In these same very tiny room that, in your report, you mentioned Kazem Anbarlouei calling them a hotel, 10-15 people slept on the floor.

I am speaking of the memories from 2009 until a year ago. I am not talking about these same rooms that, in the 80’s, when there was only enough room for everyone to sleep while standing.

Dear sister, the “hotel” that the coup government has provided the incarcerated freedom seekers, is limited to an old building with crowded rooms that lacks the minimum necessities. From all the amenities that this “hotel” has, only the building belongs to the Prison Bureau.

The Deed to everything else, the televisions, carpets, refrigerators, cooking appliances, air conditioners, library items, all the stationary in the cultural and educational classroom you described in your report, such as tables and chairs, white board, the students and the instructors, all belong to the prisoners and their families, who have provided these with their steadfastness and resistance.

Trust that the prison’s share from these facilities and amenities are the doors and walls, barbed wires, locks, unsanitary lavatories, useless bathrooms, rusty pipes and old sewage.

But the prisoner’s shares are: repairing the damages, opening the sewage pipes each week, extracting the sewage waste by hand and transferring it to the outside of prison, and the cost of all the cleaning belongs to the prisoners.

My sister, in this “hotel”, or the “ideal city”, that was described in the editorial in Resalat newspaper, the prisoners’ share of the prison food is; carrying the heavy pots that contain useless and nutritionally poor food to the Ward, and then taking the trash bins full of the same food outside.

Our share is a variety of illnesses and injuries left from the interrogations that we and our families are left with the cost of treatment.

But you are right, here everyone is fine, and have somewhat relatively basic amenities and the ability to solve the problems of their Ward.

Educational classes and lectures are held. And freedom, this elixir of subsistence, relatively exists in the Wards.

However, you have forgotten to mention what high price has been paid by tens of prisoners who now are in exile in medieval prisons for sustaining this freedom.

And even now, for their insistence on the right to freedom of expression, many prisoners being moved between Wards 209, 2A, 240 and the court.

There are many cellmates that, for their insistence of exercising the same rights, have been sentenced to additional 1, 2, 3, or 5 years imprisonment.

Yes dear sister, that freedom does exist in this ideal city but it’s cost is our enchainment. If we were to heed submission and silence there would have not been any need for prison and enchainment.

If this freedom exists in prison – which it does – is at the high cost of condemnation of their ideology and the loss of the opportunity to be with their families.

By the way, I wish you would had thought about asking your cellmates and your enchained neighbors about their time in detention. You should have asked Abolfazl Ghadyani how many more years does he have to pay as the cost of his freedom of speech, after he had already completed his one year sentence?

You should have asked Tajzadeh why the worshipers of darkness are so frightened of transferring him to the General Ward?

You should have asked Saeed Madani what was the reason for incarcerating him in solitary confinement in Ward 209?

You should have asked Zhilla and Bahman (incarcerated journalist couple) what does it feel like to be denied visits with your spouse? You should have asked Shiva (Nazarahari) what dog cage means?

You should have asked Kobra why she was exiled to the notorious Gharchak prison? You should have asked Mrs. Banazadeh in what part of prison did she lose her eye sight?

You should have asked Arash Sadeghi how he endured the loss of his mother, which was caused by being frightened during the raid of his home? And, at what dungeon is he being kept now, after he complained to the Judge?

Dear Faezeh, my fellow with the same pain and same fate;

Have any of your children, like Mohamad Reza Moghayesh’s son, celebrated their marriage on the other side of Evin walls, because of his father’s stance on his ideals?

God forbid, have any of your loved ones passed away during your incarceration, like Sayed Mohamad Ebrahimi and Asghar Mahmoudian, and you were not even permitted a phone call to extend condolences to the rest of the family?

Do you hear the voice of a dear friend from the adjoining cell everyday for months and hope that the jailers will allow at least a half hour visit for these two prisoners?

Has an animal like Osat (Intelligence Ministry’s interrogator) ever told your husband just as he did to Alireza Rejaei’s wife; get a divorce and free yourself from life with a political prisoner?

Have you felt the pain of being under house arrest like Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karoubi, and not being allowed to be among the other incarcerated people with the same path and ideals?

Have they punished your twelve year old daughter like they did Nasrin Sotoudeh’s daughter?

Yes, prison today is a university, but we must not forget that this has become possible by incarcerating hundreds of elite thinkers and scholars who came to this place for refusing to bow down to oppression.

My sister, I praise your standing and resistance during the protests. I respect you for not abusing your famous credible last name. I respect you for not accepting a release on furlough and view you as being, among the other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, a bit of remedy for the wounds of discrimination and injustice.

But, do you know that the same charge of propagating against the establishment and participation in the street protest, that has brought you the unjust sentence of six months imprisonment, has brought others at least six years imprisonment?

Have you forgotten how your brother Mehdi, while undergoing diagnoses in a hospital, and against the doctors advice, was kidnapped and returned to prison?

Yes it is true, here is the school of love. Yes, for those who have an ideology and a goal, even in Wards 2A, 209 and 240 that claim victims every day, this can be a beautiful place.

Yes dear sister, you have humbly viewed and described the half-filled glass from a positive perspective. But, know that the half-filled glass is not filled with water, but the tears of the spouses and children of the political prisoners.

It is the agony and the suffering of the political prisoners that has filled that half. That half glass has been filled with the tears of the boys and girls that have been denied being with their parents while growing from being a child to adolescence and teen-hood.

My sister, all of these atrocities and injustice are a reality. We must see them as they are, and not more and not less, and we must shout them out so our children do not become entrapped in it’s rope.

It is true that we must ridicule the system of oppression and injustice, and laugh at it’s prisons, and see it as a phase in the evolution of humanity. But we must not provide a venue for the tyrants who’s hands are still stained with the blood of Sattar (Beheshti), to enable them to deny and call false, the human rights reports and the efforts of the people who promote human rights around the world.

Let us not forget that, within the last 2-3 years eighteen prisoners have been killed by various methods in the prisons across the country. I am not talking about the ones who were executed. These deaths were not the result of negligence. Reports of human rights on the one hand, and the audacity and cruelty are the result of ignorance.

Yes dear sister, wishing you always steadfastness and honor, for disgrace and weakness is deserved by those who consider human rights a game and with various excuses mock and ridicule it.

They do not comprehend that human rights are the principle for human dignity, for the people of today and tomorrow. A principle that we will not easily close our eyes and forget.

Yes my sister, thousands and millions like me, like you with your doubtless efforts and struggles, and those who could have remained passive and benefited from the existing power structure, did not, but chose the path of human dignity and religious and national responsibility.

They know well, just as they consider their goals majestic and noble, they are willing to sacrifice their lives.

Siyamak Ghaderi
Evin prison
December 18, 2012

Source: Kalameh