Friday, January 19, 2018
Authors Posts by yadi mahmodi

yadi mahmodi


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    Rojan is 5 years old and her father is about to be executed these days in Iran. Rojan needs her father, and this is a call to all people around the world: Help Rojan and help us save Soheil Arabi!

    Soheil Arabi is sentenced to death due to activity on facebook. Supposedly, he insulted the Prophet Mohammed and should therefore be punished by death accoring to the iranian government.

    Soheil is a young man who, like thousands in Iran, jokes and criticizes Islamic laws and the inhumane actions, especially to young people, through facebook. Now the Islamic regime has one of these millions of young people, and wants with his execution intimidate all young and critical people. Bloggers in Iran have always had problems with the regime. Proposed death sentence for facebook postings is the tip of an inhuman brutality against freedom of expression in Iran.

    Last week, the High Court has upheld the death sentence against Soheil Arabi in Iran and Soheil can be executed at any time.

    The “International Committee Against Execution” calls all people, all secularists and atheists, all human rights organizations: Help us save Soheil Arabi! Help save Rojans beloved father!

    International Committee Against Execution

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      Rojan ist 5 Jahre alt und ihr Vater soll in diesen Tagen im Iran hingerichtet werden. Rojan möchte ihren Vater sehen und das hier ist ein Aufruf an alle Menschen weltweit: Helfen Sie Rojan und helfen Sie uns, Soheil Arabi zu retten!

      Soheil Arabi ist wegen Aktivitäten auf facebook in Gefahr, hingerichtet zu werden. Angeblich hat er den Propheten Mohammed beleidigt, deshalb soll er ermordet werden.

      Soheil ist ein junger Mann, der, so wie Tausende im Iran, Witze über Islam und islamische Gesetze bei facebook postet und das unmenschliche Vorgehen, besonders gegen Jugendliche, kritisiert. Jetzt hat das islamische Regime einen dieser Tausenden und Millionen Jugendlichen, der Religion und Islam kritisch sieht, festgenommen und möchte mit seiner Hinrichtung alle jungen und kritischen Menschen einschüchtern. Blogger im Iran haben immer Probleme mit dem Regime. Das jetzt zur Vollstreckung vorgesehene Todesurteil wegen facebook-Postings ist die Spitze einer unmenschlichen Brutalität gegen die freie Meinungsäußerung im Iran.

      Letzte Woche hat das Hohe Gericht im Iran das Todesurteil gegen Soheil Arabi bestätigt und Soheil kann jederzeit hingerichtet werden.

      Das „Internationale Komitee gegen die Todesstrafe“ ruft alle Menschen, alle Säkularen und Atheisten, alle Menschenrechtsorganisationen auf: Helfen sie uns, Soheil Arabi zu retten! Helfen Sie Rojans geliebten Vater zu retten!

      Internationales Komitee gegen die Todesstrafe

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        Wir protestieren mit diese Schreiben gegen Todstraffe von Soheil Arabi.

        Relegion kritik ist ein wicktige bestandteil von menschen rechte und freimeinungäusserung gehört Heute an vorschritliche geselschaften. In Iran werden jeden tag menschen hingerichtet und jetzt Soheil Arabi ist in gefahr wegen wngebliche bleidigung von Propht Mohammad hingerichtet werden das ist unmenschlich und muss sofort diese todstraffe  abgeschaft werden.



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          November 20, 2014

          Honourable senators, I rise today to remember Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26 year old woman hanged three weeks ago in Iran, and to condemn the Iranian regime’s brutal and arbitrary so-called judicial system.

          Ms. Jabbari was arrested seven years ago and found guilty in 2009 of murder—despite her contention that she had stabbed the deceased in self-defence when he tried to rape her.

          The United Nations rapporteur for human rights urged a review of her trial by Iranian authorities, and a re-trial. He wrote, “Ms. Jabbari’s case raises serious due process concerns, particularly with regard to her interrogation and the reluctance of the court to take into account all relevant circumstantial evidence into its judgment.”

          According to this UN official, reliable sources said that the victim, Mr. Sarbandi, “arranged to take Ms. Jabbari to his office, but instead took her to a residence where he physically and sexually forced himself upon her. Ms. Jabbari reportedly stabbed Mr. Sarbandi in the shoulder in self-defence, fled for safety, and called for an ambulance out of concern for her alleged attacker.”

          After her arrest there was tremendous international outcry about Reyhaneh Jabbari’s show trial, her probable torture and her unjust death sentence.

          President Rouhani claimed that his government tried to get her sentence repealed, making the laughable assertion that the Iranian government has no control over the judiciary, but the death sentence held. Further, the victim’s family declined to show mercy to Ms. Jabbari, as allowed for under Iranian law.

          Many questions surround Ms. Jabbari’s alleged guilt and the fairness of her trial, but there is no question that the Iranian regime has murdered as many as 967 people since August, 2013, according to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre. That is an astonishing number, second only to China’s judicial death toll and the highest rate per capita in the world.

          Ottawa human rights advocate, Shabnam Assadollahi, suggests that Iran is using the rise in executions, persecution and human rights violations for political purposes as it seeks to influence the Obama administration to relieve sanctions and permit concessions to allow Iran to continue acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. Unfortunately, this scenario seems only too plausible.

          I am sure all senators will join me in condemning the hanging of Reyhaneh Jabbari, as well Iran’s ongoing judicial brutalization of its citizens.

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            I, Reynaeh Jabbari, am 26 years old. What I have learnt is that prison makes you old and withered when you are in the apex of your youth and efflorescence. The tragedy begins when you try to find the guilty party after the event that has put you in prison. You start reviewing the past and remember the details of your life. Remembering freedom makes you desire it and you lose patience and tolerance.

            I remember the evenings in spring of 2007 when, I Reyhaneh Jabbari returned home from the office or university and sat in front of the computer and searched the worldwide web. I always loved technology. I enjoyed the fact that the internet had made the world smaller and finding answers to questions easier. I liked to know the world, the people, the nature, the past and the future. There was a site called “360 Degrees” where you could find new friends and chat with old classmates who were far away now. You would see the latest jokes, pop music, new songs by foreign artists and chats that were appealing to careless and happy years of youth. I sometimes laughed hard reading the group chats and the messages we left for each other.

            One depressing afternoon, I called home [from prison]. My sister said that Maryam had commented on 360 that she missed me and felt my presence every moment. Maryam was my childhood friend who was my mother’s favorite before I was born. She was two years older than me. We were each other’s playmate, companion and confidant. Maryam, her brother Mohammad whom my mother had nursed and we considered as our brother, my two sisters and I had formed a group who all my friends knew of, before my prison term. It was called the “Five Kids”. My childhood and early youth memories are filled with the presence of the “Five Kids”. I remember the long games we had that sometimes messed up the entire house and my mother had to clean up our mess the next day. I was sad and jealous when I heard Mayam had left me a message. I was angry to have been thrown to a prison corner. I wished that everyone would be prevented from doing what they did. I wished the time would stop and start again when I returned home. But my wishes never came true and the world turned as before. Every day, some people were freed and others incarcerated. Routine life continued in prison. I hated myself. A hatred was growing in my heart which I didn’t like but felt its presence more every moment. I started recognizing this inner feeling on the day Fariba – an inmate of the “mothers with children” ward – brought me a little spaghetti. I ate it with a strange joy and voracity. I never thought I would crave so much for food, but that damned food made me recognize the new “me”. I had always been proud and hated gluttony. I had never asked my friends for food. I always received less than I gave to others. I followed rules that had been instilled in me since childhood. But I didn’t share any of that damned spaghetti with anyone. I chewed every little bite repeatedly. I didn’t want it to be finished. Many hours after eating it, there was still an intense struggle in my mind, a struggle between me and myself! I kept thinking: “how was everything ruined? How did I turn my back to everything that was important to me?” My internal search made me realize that the cause of all the emptiness and futility was the event that had brought me to prison, and the trust I had bestowed on a pious face. That realization was a sudden and strange jolt, just as if you are sleeping and electricity goes through your body. You wake up but are confused. I was awake and saw myself, but was totally lost and confused. I had been dumb-struck and crushed under the debris of my own image. All the images in my mind had been ruined. I could not observe and believe the destruction of my spirit.

            I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am 26 years old and cannot continue remembering how I came to know myself. I still feel sad and hurt when I think about the confusion and vagrancy of my mind and spirit in the summer of 2008. I may look back at this old world again if I get a chance and stay alive. With the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, I started thinking about restoration of my messy and confused thoughts. I started making strange plans that seemed impossible at the time, i.e. continuing my education. At the time, I worked at the Counseling Office. In a way, I was Mrs. R’s assistant. Her real name was Mansooreh ….o. All the prison staff had pseudonyms but that was not important. Mrs. R liked me and I liked her. I could clearly see the surprise in her eyes, when I first told her I wanted to continue my education. She opposed the idea immediately. I had just finished the first stage of my own struggle and was therefore more persistent than her. I reiterated my desire everyday and she came up with a new excuse to discourage me. She would say: we can’t allow professors in prison and I would say: I don’t need to have professors here; I would get the study material and study by myself. She would say: we don’t have anyone to administer the exams and take them to your university, and I would say: my father would carry them to the university. She would say: it is not possible to have computers in prison and I would reply: I will send a request to the general manager of Prisons Affairs. She would then say: The Prison Affairs doesn’t have a budget for purchasing computers and I would reply: I will have my own computer brought from home. She would reply: That is not possible because the prison officials would not accept any equipment you can hide something in. I would say: I will pay the prison officials to buy me a computer. He won’t hide something inside. Whatever she said, I would come up with a different solution but I could not find any way to continue my education. I thought to myself, the only way to continue life in face of the idle and routine life in prison was studying. I even thought of repeating high school education if I could not continue my college studies. I said, I would like to earn another high school diploma. She laughed and asked: What major do you want to study? I said: Humanities. There was practically no book in the prison library that I had not read, ranging from cheap popular novels to literary masterpieces, religion and spirituality to history and geography. That same week, sent a request for new books to the director of Evin prison. Contrary to Shahr-Rey Prison that received only two newspapers – Ettela’at and Hemaayat – there were several different newspapers in Evin, newspapers that would inform the inmates of the latest events. The political prisoners, who associated with one another, sometimes analyzed the contents of the newspapers. Many of their analyses seemed funny to me. It was as if they were drowned in their visions and did not observe the reality, an example of which was the women prisoners, their lives, dreams and lifestyle. Among all the different newspapers, I read Ham-Shahri, Etemad and Jame-Jam more than others and cover to cover. Sometimes, the louder inmates disturbed my solitude. They started fooling around by treating the classified ads as games. They picked ads for sales of homes or cars and pretended they were the buyer or the seller. These were small excuses to remember their freedom and their lives. After all the fooling around, they gradually became quiet and started talking about being homesick and depressed. But I never showed my depression and homesickness. I always listened. To get away from depressing thoughts, I had become more persistent about continuing my education. The more I insisted, the more Mrs. R ignored me. At least she pretended to ignore my request, while without my knowledge she had talked to her managers about them. Finally on a rainy afternoon, before leaving her office, she called me and said: you have a chance to continue your education if you change your major and take the university entrance exam again. My heart was filled with excitement. One week later, I had the necessary study material that my mom had purchased in my hands. Four other inmates joined me in this effort. The plan was to register at “Payam-E-Nour” University. The new goal of continuing education, not being idle and building a bridge to the future was making me feel closer to the world outside. Even though none of us passed the entrance exam, we spent some time competing in our studies and preparing for the exam. At the height of our struggles in prison, we learnt to spend a big part of our energies for higher purposes. Solving problems, asking questions from others, reviewing common lessons and memorizing poetry and historical events taught me that the planning process for achieving a goal is more important than the goal itself. One thing I learned in this period of my life was that, nothing becomes completely and wholly available to you. You have to achieve your goals by taking one step at a time. My mother had told me about a man who had learnt English in prison. He had found a dictionary and learnt a new word everyday and after many years in prison had leant to talk in that language. The man was Jamaleddin Assad-Abadi. I wanted to tell myself after leaving prison, that my life had not passed in idleness and vanity. I wanted to study Industrial Engineering, what a sweet dream! When I am free, no one will say my life was wasted, no one will pity me, no one will think: Poor soul, her youth was lost. What is she going to do now, completely idle? I hated the sympathy and pity of others. But I had to pass through the courts to gain my freedom. I was waiting impatiently. My repeated phone calls to my father and Mostafayee resulted in my request for an early court proceeding to be presented and accepted. The date was set for November of 2008. My mother was against that date. She felt a later court date would psychologically prepare me better. She knew better than anyone that my internal struggles had not ended and felt an early court date would cause me more emotional turmoil. I celebrated my birthday to escape from my anxiety. I turned 21 on November 5th, 2008. It was the second year that my mom was celebrating my birthday alone, without me. My grandparents and aunt had gotten permission from the Evin Court to visit me. The eight of us had a quiet celebration. I had made a cake and in lieu of gifts they had all deposited money in my prison account. But my dad bought me a pendant with the picture of a scale, which he slipped into my hand. He mentioned the scale was a metaphor for hope for justice. I had it around my neck for a while. A few months later, a prison guard found it and returned it to my mother. She still wears it, hoping for justice. I arranged a big party at my ward. I ordered a cake which I paid too much for, but enjoyed it nevertheless.

            I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, at age 21 spent one of the best days of my life among the most down-trodden, distressed women, women who had spent all their lives either in prison or in card board boxes on the streets. These were women who remembered finding a refrigerator card board box as great luck in their lives because it protected their bodies from the rough bridges and railways they slept at. There were people at my birthday who were either executed later (which made me very sad) or felt they were treated like human beings for the first time, people who had been invited to a celebration for the first time. These same people who never had visitors and never had a good meal to eat, brought me gifts, ranging from phone cards to greeting cards to self made dolls. They gave me scarves, a blouse, pictures and handmade bags, hair clips, hair bands, stockings, hats and hand woven sweaters. Mrs. R had allowed us to borrow a tape player from the office to have a fun afternoon and had told the evening guard to let us stay up till midnight. Words cannot describe the happiness in our ward. There were all styles of dancing, fooling around, endless laughter and momentary joy. We used the office tape player till 10 pm. After that, we used spoons, plates, pots, buckets and anything that could make noise and played them till a little after midnight. Sharing the large cake created a good story of that evening. With that birthday celebration, I repaid what I owed and was freed from the heavy guilt of eating that damned spaghetti that I had not shared with anyone. I was free to focus on my studies and court proceedings. I wanted to be free. I didn’t want to owe anything to myself when I was freed from prison and my lungs were filled the air of freedom. And I was counting the days for my court to start. The news of my court date was given on December 12, 2008 in Etemad newspaper. Tomorrow was my assigned court date. But I wasn’t feeling good. I was afraid and worried. I was sorry and wished the date had not arrived. I wished I had not requested an early court date. My doubt and hesitation indicated that I didn’t have the required mental stability yet and my internal struggle had not ended. That night my father comforted me: Dearest, go to bed earlier tonight. Don’t think about anything. Everything will turn out fine. God is great. My mother was bringing me food that evening. I asked her to bring me my favorite dish from my free days. I had tasted it many times with the “Five Kids”. I had repeatedly talked to Shahla, Tayebeh, Azam and many others about my trial. Shahla had told me that during her court proceedings and interrogation her teeth were broken but when she reported it to court, the judge had not believed her and she had been forced to repeat what she had said during the interrogation. Another person showed me a part of her head that still had no hair and mentioned that part of her hair was pulled out from the roots and bled when the interrogator was pulling it. But again, when she reported that to the judge, he did not accept it. Tayebeh mentioned she had been severely beaten but no one believed her. She was nervous and took anti-depressants. She complained of nervous pains and said she would never forgive Judge Hemmatyar. But Azam mentioned: Before you were here, they severely beat up a woman to confess to a murder. All her bones were broken. I don’t know how she managed to get the evidence from the Forensics Office and proved that she was beaten. She wrote to Shahroodi and he followed it up. She is free now and is filing a complaint with the officials. Shahla and some others said: there is no use. You have to repeat whatever you have confessed before; otherwise you will put yourself in deeper trouble. They may take you to the Police Department again. I however, had decided to expose all the people who had harassed me. As soon as I was in front of the judge, I was going to tell him to accept everything I had said up to the third day. I was going to explain everything completely. I was going to have Kamali summoned so that he could say everything the agents had done. I was going to personally explain the contradictions in my confessions. The judge could not stand up to my logic. Good days were waiting for me.

            End of Part 10

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              I, Reyhaneh Jabbari am 26 years old and have been away from my home for almost 7 years. The prison hall is cold as usual and the heaters are all broken. Last night, I covered my socks with plastic bags and wore another pair of socks on them. The plastic bags kept the heat in and helped me to get warmer to get some sleep. The air I was breathing was freezing cold. I covered my head with the blanket and, in the darkness of the night thought of cold winter days. Winter—the season that has witnessed the execution of many well known women, such as Tayebeh, Shahla and many more. Even though I wanted to tell the events of my life in order, the cold weather caused me to remember all my court sessions. A few months before the trial I finally managed to have an attorney. He was a rather young man, named Mohammad Mostafayee. I vividly remember the first day I was called to meet with him. Mom had told me a lot about him and how he had other murder cases, defending teenagers under18 years of age. At the time of the incident I was only one year older than 18. Since the meeting was in person, I thought of taking some food for him. I found a peach cookie with much difficulty which would have been enough to thank him for defending me. Mostafayee had come with a tall, slender woman who was wearing a grey, striped suite. She was apparently his assistant. I put the cookie on the table. The assistant didn’t want any and he asked me to eat it myself. We talked for about half hour and I signed and finger printed three sheets of paper. He asked me about prison conditions and said I should stay emotionally strong. I laughed silently! I had been in prison for close to a year but had been through several years of hardship.

              I, Reyhaneh Jabbari am 26 years old. At this time, I am not afraid of anything in the world and don’t get surprised by anything. The prospect of death doesn’t scare me anymore, just as the prospect of a dream-like life doesn’t deceive me. I don’t judge anything based on its appearance, as in the past few years I have seen so many things that appeared to be good on the surface but there was evil in their depths. I met many people who had beautiful faces but were ugly monsters inside. However, when I had just turned 20 I feared death, loved life and romanticized it. I wanted my trial to start immediately as I was confident my freedom would come soon. I hated Sarbandi. He wasted one year of my life. I had reviewed the incident in my mind hundreds of times and later described how I had been deceived by his pious appearance. I had a dream about him before my trial started. I was in an old, multi-story building. It looked like the office of a newspaper. I was walking in high heels, carrying a glass of sugared water in my hands and no guards were with me. While going up the stairs, I decided to throw away the glass as I had no use for it. I bent and let go of the glass, but changed my mind and caught it before it touched the floor. I could hear the echo of my heels on the old stones. I entered a room and saw my father and Sarbandi standing there. They both passed out while still standing. I didn’t know what to do with the sugared water. I told my father, Sarbandi would bite me if I ignored him. I gave Sarbandi only a sip of the water and saved my father by giving the rest to him. When I woke up, I didn’t understand what the dream meant. Later, I got to know Kobra Rahmanipour, who was an expert in interpreting dreams. At age 20, she had murdered her old mother-in-law and was dubbed “the black bride”. She was a very nervous woman but was in charge of interpreting the dreams of the inmates.

              I, Reyhaneh Jabbari am 26 years old and I confess that I miss Kobra. She was freed a while ago while she was extremely scared of the streets and the people outside. A few years ago, I told her: “Kobra, you have become very well known. They have named a street after you, in Italy.” She didn’t believe me and with her high pitched voice said: “Get lost! What does Italy have to do with me?!” I told her: “I swear to god, my mom heard your name on TV.” But she did not believe me until others started saying the same thing and she got happy and twirled her hands in the air. And a minute later she went about her business as if nothing had happened. Kobra was a beautiful 20 year old who had married a 50 year old man with a 20,000 Tooman dowry. Her mother-in-law, Farrokh never acknowledged her as her daughter-in-law. She openly disrespected her and called her ugly and an illiterate pauper with no family. These were only a small part of what Farrokh did to her until she finally kicked her out of the house after giving her the 20,000 Tooman dawry ( very low equivalent to 30.00$). Kobra thought of revenge. She may have thought justice and law prevailed in this country, but she was wrong. She confronted Farookh, and Farrokh attacked her with a knife. She took the knife out of her hand and took vengeance for the humiliation of the 20,000 Tooman, the money Farrokh had paid to buy Kobra. Poor Kobra was taken to the gallows three times before the execution was cancelled. She was finally freed after 13 years. After the second time at the gallows, she looked like the walking dead. She walked, talked, ate and even laughed, but it was all fake and devoid of spirit, like a robot. Several times, I heard her saying she preferred death to this life. She preferred dying once to dying every day. She used to say, her crime was not murder, but poverty and illiteracy! When I said goodbye to her, she was confused, and scared of everyone, even her parents whom she loved. She, like me got to know the world in prison. My friend, Kobra, I miss you and your dream interpretations. I wish you could tell me if one can live free after being in prison for a long time! Can one have a normal life?

              When I, Reyhaneh Jabbari was 20 years old, I was gradually learning trial techniques. I was learning that a defendant is guilty even before trial and sentencing. I was learning that anyone who comes into contact with the legal system is guilty unless the opposite is proven. In the harsh winter days of 2008, after the second inspection, I realized that Inspector Shamloo had developed an indictment that his boss, Safar Khaki considered incomplete. Therefore, the new inspection started with going to the home goods store. A few days later, I found out that they had summoned Ehsan A. He was the person with whom I wanted to marry and share my life and build a future. Confused and scared, he had gone to the court with my mother. Shamloo had interrogated him. When Shamloo had noticed he had not gone there alone, he had threatened to arrest him. I thought that was so funny. I imagined Ehsan being incarcerated and upon his entrance to the prison he had to fill out a form and the reason for sentencing would be: “My future mother-in-law accompanying me to the criminal court.” Shamloo had tried his best to scare Ehsan and accuse him of being an accessory to murder. Ehsan had denied everything. As a result, the event had been recorded as a simple interrogation. One year later, I asked Mostafayee [Reyhaneh’s original lawyer] to bring me the report. He did and I read it. Ehsan who had been his family’s beloved and only son, had become depressed by the time our relationship had been severed. All the insecurities and fears had taken their toll in the long distance love. Occasionally, we talked about past memories on the phone and would end the call while we were both crying. His hand writing on the interrogation report showed he had been scared. Ah, many years have passed since I had his love in my heart and now, I have nothing but a memory. I remember the day I put an end to that love. I wrote on a piece of paper: “This was the best thing that happened to me because I am not attached to anyone anymore and therefore, am able to fight for myself.” Shamloo was gradually losing his mind. Some newspapers published interviews they had with him. He always talked about my arrest as a big victory, as if a hero had captured a powerful enemy in a fierce war. These interviews continued for a few years and each time a new detail was added. The miserable Shamloo even hated the boy I loved and wanted to treat him the worst possible way. He had reported that in his opinion my case was flawless. However, Khaki – the assistant prosecutor – had objected to some minor issues to make a stronger case so that it would not be rejected by the court. The poor man didn’t know that Judge Kooh-Kamarei would reject the case, asking to make it stronger. Shamloo, who had lost all his authority to two interrogators from the Ministry of Information and constantly talked about the opinions of someone named Shabani, had become delusional. One of his interesting delusions was this: We haven’t been able to find Sheykhi. We found someone named, Akhoundi in your phone directory. Is this the same person? Sheykh, Akhound? They had summoned and interrogated the poor guy. In several other occasions, I was forced to identify other people with the hope of finding Sheykhi. Shamloo had found few men with the name “sheykhi” recorded at the Registrar’s Office. One of the last ones was a man from the south of Iran. When I claimed not to know him, he man was overjoyed and said he was delighted not to know me but happy to be acquainted with me. He left as fast as he could. In his delusions, the miserable Shamloo developed a new theory. He said: “Reyhaneh, you have a creative mind. Sheykhi was possibly a creation of your delusions and imagination.” He was deceiving himself. By this time, I knew where Sarbandi worked and where their dreadful organization was connected to. Even during my horrific interrogation and when I was writing what was dictated to me, I could tell a strange story was being created. Starting that day, I repeatedly demanded to know how many stab wounds had Sarbandi received. When I didn’t get any replies I insistently said, I stabbed him once on the right side of his body. By then, I tried to make sure nothing more than what I had really done would be recorded in my file.

              I, Reyhaneh Jabbari am 26 years old and am recording what has happened to me in winter of 2014. I am now distracted by the laughter of a few women who are in the middle of their daily interactions. Now-Rooz is getting close and everyone is preparing something to the best of her ability. When I was waiting for Now-Rooz in 2008, I realized the long new year holidays were a time for group celebrations and that you have to create some means for these celebrations. I learnt how to make playing cards. The first few years, I used X-Ray film but later I learned to use old phone cards to make playing cards. These cards all look alike and can be stacked up. The inmates never stay idle and always find a way to party and get together, both for happy and sad occasions. Certain game that we all loved in childhood, were very popular among the inmates.

              I, Reyhaneh Jabbari met Shirin Alam-Holi while playing that particular game. I registered her when she was transferred from ward 209 to the public ward. I worked in the prison office then, and because Mrs. R was very busy I acted as her assistant. Mrs. R was a middle aged woman who had worked at the Evin Prison since 1980s and had seen and heard many things. I will dedicate a future section to this lady, what I learnt from her and the stories she told me about that particular decade. She deserves a section dedicated just to her. Shirin was a young Kurdish girl whose crime was security related. She took the upper bunk of a bed in ward number 2. She was very quiet. I don’t know whether she was quiet due to her political leanings or because she didn’t speak Farsi well. My knowledge of her was limited to observing her when she played this popular game. It was just a few days before her execution that I recognized her amazingly serene spirit. The day after her execution, the prison staff members told me she was executed together with some other people. While the others were arguing with the officers and the supervising judge, Shirin spoke up and said: “Why are you arguing so much? We are going to be executed. So, calm down and don’t delay it. Let’s get it over with.” Apparently, they executed her first, and the four other men later. As far as I know, her family still doesn’t know where she has been buried. Shirin didn’t tell me much about her family. In the women prison, there isn’t much interaction between the political and ordinary inmates. I will later explain why there is such a gap between these two groups, if I have a chance. My young uncle passed away in a foreign country close to Now-Rooz 2009. Even though he was far away, I loved him and his death was a big shock for me. I learnt then, that you can plan a memorial service in prison. A staff member brought me candles and black ribbon and we could get dates and halva. Everyone attended my uncle’s memorial, dressed in black but I wore a navy blue outfit. Sholeh refused to bring me a black dress no matter how much I insisted. She didn’t want me to wear black and her reasoning was I had enough sorrow and danger in my life. Conducting a memorial service in prison has a different set of rituals. As we all know, memorial services last a few hours. In the outside world, friends and particularly neighbors are very considerate of the grieving family and don’t have joyous celebrations for a while. However, everyone is your neighbor in prison. So, even though all the inmates visit the grieving person, the next day they are free to celebrate a happy occasion. I attended many memorial services, including one for Shahla’s father who got sick a short while before Shahla’s execution and with much hardship, her family got permission for her to go and visit her dying father. I even attended the memorial service for Soheila P, a 19 year old woman who committed suicide in prison. She had been married at age 15 and even had a baby. However, this child-mother didn’t have the capacity for life responsibilities and had killed her baby. She moved to the Council Ward when it was formed. Life was different in the Council Ward. Everyone was silent and took heavy doses of medication every night. They all had bad headaches, so always wore scarves on their heads. The only advantage of this new ward was that you could cook your own meals. I moved there for a while just to be able to cook. It may be due to the variety of food I had there, that I don’t have any cravings now. I cooked any meals I had seen or eaten at home. I saw Soheila right after she had jumped from the second floor of that ward. The floor was covered with blood and Soheila’s head had been cut open. Everyone was restless and screaming. A few staff members were sitting on the stairs and didn’t have the strength to stand up. The sound of screams in the confined area alerted the officials. Soheila was still alive. She didn’t move but was breathing. A few hours later, there was no sign of the accident. She was announced brain dead and her organs were donated to others, and as told by her mother, her lifeless body was put to rest in the section reserved for the warriors. Her mother sent me a letter through Sholeh to find out if someone had pushed Soheila. I asked around and realized that she alone was responsible for her death. She may have gotten weary before her time or may have slipped. However, no one else was responsible for her death. A little after my uncle’s passing, Now-Rooz arrived. Even though I never liked Sholeh’s spring cleanings, I learnt the value of cleanliness in prison. The outdoors walking area was filled with washed sheets and clothes. It was so busy that we had to sit and wait for our belongings to dry, so that we wouldn’t lose them. If we left, you would lose an outfit and would see someone else wearing it a few days later. Everything, including the walls, hallways, staircases, beds, carpets and rugs were washed. The prison store sold sweets and every day, long lines were formed in front of it. The joy and excitement of Now-Rooz was completed with a Haft-Seen spread that we created, each item of which we had found from a different place. The only missing item was a gold fish, of which we were happy to have a picture. Mrs. R brought me some flower seeds which I planted in a tin can. I bought some decorative items from prisoners who had just entered from the outside world and received the new dresses that Sholeh had bought and delivered to prison. Everything was ready. However, when the New Year arrived except for a few, all of us cried and sobbed as if a disaster had happened. When our tears ran out, we gradually became our normal selves. Some started dancing and playing imaginary musical instruments. Their joy and laughter was contagious. An hour later, we were all happy as if we had never cried. That was when I experienced joy and sorrow simultaneously. And that was how I started experiencing depression. My restless soul was happy for a moment and filled with nightmares a minute later. I started showing trivial behavioral changes. I talked loudly, started developing ticks, talked aggressively and….. Sholeh noticed these changes during our in person visits. A little before the anniversary of that ominous incident – with my mom’s insistence – everyday, I started calling one of her friends who was a psychoanalyst. Our conversations tortured me and drove me crazy. Sholeh’s persistence for making these calls frustrated me. If I didn’t make the call one day, she would use her mother power on me and begged, yelled or made me promise: Reyhan, swear to my life that you would call. And I would say: Ok, Mom! And she would repeat: Don’t forget. You swore to my life. All the clothes she sent me in the summer of 2009, were orange or had orange in them. She even sent me a bright orange shawl and asked me to install it on the roof of my bunk bed. The shawl created a beautiful atmosphere around my bed. I didn’t understand her persistence in talking to the psychoanalyst and did it only to make her happy. However, I realized the significance of it later. When I was in charge of giving out the prisoners’ anti depressant medication, I noticed some who became restless because of small issues and took tons of medication. Some even needed more than they were given and bought them from others. In the fall of 2009 I realized that the same orange color and the seemingly unimportant phone calls saved me from depression.

              I, Reyhaneh Jabbari am 26 years old and have overcome many obstacles and dangers in the past few years. They have ranged from struggling against a man, to struggling against the interrogators, the inspectors and the environment. However, the toughest struggle was the one I had with myself. After the first anniversary of Sarbandi’s death which had happened with a knife I pushed into his arm, I performed a surgery on my heart and soul using an invisible knife. There was turmoil inside me while I looked silent, and controlled my tears. I was unfolding the hidden corners of my soul. I had a fragmented picture of myself. To retrieve a clear and smooth picture of myself I had to scream in silence, repeatedly. I reduced my work hours for a while. Mrs. R was aware of the commotion within me. She realized that my body could not bear my soul anymore. However, I personally didn’t realize that I was going through a transformation, was observing my bare soul and was getting to know myself again. The hardest days of my inner journey started in summer of 2009, right when I went deep into my cocoon and became quieter than before. My family recognized this change and thought I was still depressed. My unfocused mind tortured me and I was exhausted from associating with others. I felt a thousand years old and my essence was filled with death. I felt my face was wrinkled and my back hunched over, unaware that my aged soul had influenced my entire life. I had deep regrets for the lost life, the happiness that I possessed and abandoned in an instant. I longed for flying in the limitless sky. I surrounded myself with a wall within the prison walls of Evin and practiced dying. In my imaginations, I died over and over again. I cried repeatedly without shedding a tear drop. There were seeds growing within my soul and under my skin. No one but me knew that I was about to be reborn.

              End of Part 9

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                I am spending the most nostalgic days of my life here thinking of old bitter sweet memories. I find myself in roaring waves that are out of my control. From what I hear from other prisoners who have been here for a while; the state in prison is the same as previous years with only minor changes. The only daily changes involve the prison authorities. They come and go quickly and then all is back to normal again.

                When I was 19 years old, I met a woman in prison who had a history. She was the oldest prisoner among us; she was wise and kind like all grandmothers. She had somehow managed to escape while she was being transferred to court from prison. The prison used to issue black garbs to female prisoners before her escape; but afterwards they changed it to black with small flowers. She said she had to turn herself in later because she felt guilty as the authorities had taken her family members hostage and were torturing them. Her case was very similar to mine, like numerous other women like: Shahla, Cobra, Layda, Marzeah….the list is rather long.

                I came to prison at the start of my youth and I have seen many helpless women here, women without any protection. I live with the nightmares of their lives. Sometimes they just pop into my mind. I go over their lives, lest I forget.

                I can see Soheila Ghaderi standing in front me in mind’s eye right now-. She was thin and was intensely obsessed with cleanliness. She was homeless and had literally grown up on the streets. She had had to fight for each and every meal or a place to stay during the rain. She got pregnant. Somehow she managed to survive and give birth on the street. She thought maybe the child will make her life better and help her escape the darkness. But when she gave birth, Soheila felt worse. In a moment of madness mixed with love, she killed her 5 day old infant: Not because she did not love the child but because she could not see a future for that child, she did not want to see all the things that had happened to her to happen to her baby. After that she saw hands with blood on them and washed them ten times a day. After she was arrested, she was happy to have a roof over her head in prison. She did not have anyone. The father of the baby was even unknown and although the authorities tried hard to find out the identity of the father, Soheila refused to reveal his name. She used to say with her distinct accent:” That man was kind to me, he fed me and gave me a place to stay for a few days, why would I bring harm on him?” All the women thought that Soheila would ultimately be pardoned as she was such a classic victim; no one thought anyone would have the heart to hang someone whose life had been so full of misery. But, on a cloudy day, Soheila was hanged ending her suffering on the streets.

                I am 26 years old now. I had no idea when I started to listen to the women’s stories that one day it would become so painful for me. Who knew that these beautiful cities are so full of suffering? I wish to unburden myself of their stories. They all had something in common, in that few moments of their lives were filled with hatred, blood or contempt.

                It was the end of autumn. We had only two trees in the prison yard which had lost all their leaves. Their bareness only made it gloomier here in the evenings. I tried to imagine beyond these very tall walls; passed the barbed wire.

                At the beginning, life outside prison with its entire normalcy was still fresh in my mind. I did not believe I would be in prison too long and would soon return to my studies. I thought everything would be sorted out shortly, so I did not see myself as a prisoner like the others. I did not take part in a lot of activities or gossip. I was more the listener than the talker. I did not want my classmates to know that I was in prison. I was very uncomfortable about being in prison; even when my mother would pass the phone to my aunt during one of our calls; I did not want to speak, I had nothing to say. Slowly, I started thinking that even if I did return home everyone knew that I had been in prison. It would be marked on my forehead…even my soul, heart and dreams would be marked.

                Daily nightmares and my shaky hands were constant reminders of my days under interrogation and torture. Even though I was working in the prison shop, trying to tire myself, I could not shake the events of July 7, 2007. As soon as my mind was still, that day would replay in mind…dancing around in my head. My torturers were the constant companions of my thoughts. Although the interrogations were over, the pain those few men caused me, their absolute hatred towards me and the things they said to me, still haunted me. Everyday life could not erase those men from my mind. Those days I saw my prison life as very temporary and focused on my life afterwards.

                Evin had new bosses who brought with them new rules. A gang of drug dealers inside prison were identified and sent for questioning and were interrogated for days. I remember they started to return to our ward, one by one, by winter’s first snow fall. They were exhausted from their interrogations and spending the nights in the freezing headquarters. Every one of them, without exception told me that Shamloo had questioned them about me. Whether I had said anything to them about the murder? What I was doing? What I was saying. He also insinuated that now that I was working in the shop, some money may be missing. The fact that there was no exchange of physical money in the store and that all transactions were performed using prison cards which had virtual money on them that the family of the prisoner had paid for, did not stop the accusation. My God! Had I become Shamloo’s obsession? Was he sharpening his crocodile teeth for me?

                The new bosses decided that no prisoner should be working in any section involving money. So I was no longer allowed to work in the store. My parents had paid a deposit in order for me to work there. It took months for the authorities to return the money to my parents. They put one of the prison personnel in charge of the store. Of course, inside prison there was a lot of exchange of items going on among prisoners. For example, the women who were arrested at parties for their improper Islamic attire did not stay long. So they needed essentials very quickly. They would often exchange their very expensive scarf with a can of tuna or sheets, clothes or the like. If they smoked, it was a disaster. This was the unofficial sale of goods in Evin. Inside Shahre-Ray prison the currency is phone cards. For example, two boxes of Kleenex are worth one phone card. Those women who were living on the streets before prison those who had no family to buy them prison cards had to work in prison. They cleaned, washed clothes and swept. They would get paid with phone cards. Eventually, they would have a lot of phone cards which they would sell for money. Many women, who had children on the outside would earn money this way and sent it to their children even though the amount was very small. Some earned money with knitting scarves. The system was bartering. Of course, there were those who had been in prison before the card system was enforced who had cash on hand. They would sell their money at high prices for those who were leaving prison and needed money for their families. One could also ask prison personnel to buy some items for them from the outside. For example, due to lack of vitamins and poor nutrition, most prisoners’ hair started falling out; they would ask staff to buy them certain shampoos.

                After I was not allowed to work in the shop anymore, I had no idea how to pass the time. I started to read books; I did not care which book. In the winter they called me for court. A staff member secretly told me that they were taking me for interrogation. So I packed myself a few items; some thick socks and sweaters since I knew how cold that detention center was from experience; it was always freezing. I took a few cookies/crackers with me too.

                The streets were very busy and just like a person riding in a car for the first time, I had motion sickness. All traffic noises, the fast speed of the cars, new cars, new fashions, mothers holding their children’s hands…I could hear the sounds of freedom and life. We arrived at the Shahpour Headquarters where I had spent the worse days of my life. We went up the stairs. I had to sit in that cold and frightening corridor facing the wall- awaiting those men; my interrogators. I tightened all my muscles in case they come and hit me from behind really hard, so I would be prepared so my teeth would not break. Nothing happened. I waited for hours without food, water or being allowed to go the bathroom. It was now in the afternoon when I saw a young, thin man enter with my father. They took away my watch as well as my food and gave it to my father who was sitting and speaking to the young man; but my father’s gaze was frozen on me. We were startled by a man’s screams that was running as he was being chased and beaten on his back by an interrogator’s belt. “Run, faster, faster…do not stop…” the interrogator kept on screaming. My father turned pale. This scene was not strange to me, but he had not seen such a thing ever before.

                They told my father to leave. I looked at him with fear in my eyes, asking him silently not to leave me there with those people; that I was horrified, that they were all dragons and monsters who spewed out fire. I began to cry, I always hated to cry but I could not stop my tears. He started walking away from me when suddenly he turned around, walked towards me and hugged me. My hands were handcuffed so I could not hug him back. He whispered in my ears: “may God protect you my dear. I wish I could be here instead of you.” My throat was so dry that I could not get out any words. The young man ordered my father to leave. My father’s tears dripped onto my cheek. As he was leaving, my father, while crying, told the young man:” I leave my child in your care….do not beat her.” The young man said:” Beat her…why would we beat her. Who told you we were going to beat her?” I was horrified.
                “Daddy, they brought me here to see that scene…” I said.
                “Reyhaneh my dear, from now until they let you go, your mother and I are with you….these people want to tare you apart…into pieces. But we will continue to follow up on your case. My dear, try and endure for now. You are a Kurdish girl…Kurds are strong and fear nothing. Like a lion stay brave….” My father was saying loudly as they were pushing him out the door.

                The young man, without a trace of emotion in his face, started to question me about where I had bought the knife. It seems that my old tormenters were no longer in charge, but their presence still lingered in those halls. He kept asking which store I had bought the knife, on what street. [Note: Reyhaneh had never purchased a knife and did not have it on her person at the time of the incident. She found it at the scene.] His only interest was that knife.

                I spent a few nights at that freezing, cold headquarters. It was very cold there but the extra clothes I had packed for myself helped keep me warm. Every day, I was forced to sit facing the wall in that corridor. I wore many layers of clothes in case they decided to burn me on my back again; I would have a bit of protection and it would hurt a bit less. But there was no sign of beatings or torture. Every day I was returned to sit in that corridor, every one that would pass me would threaten me. There was a very thin officer that swore and threatened to hurt me all the time. One day he was extremely angry; he held a hot flask of tea over my head and told me he was going to pour it over my head if I did not say things properly. I moved my head back, he moved his flask back to my head again and threatened to burn me. The week I was there I was threatened over and over again. But each time they actually wanted to go through with it, something would happen to distract them and the deed was not done. Every day from 8:00 A.M to 5:00 or 6:00 P.M I was waiting to be tortured. The true torture was the waiting.

                Then one day they took me in the car. I could see life again; stores, people walking, buildings, houses….all the things I missed terribly. The smell of baked bread and sweets wafted through the air.
                They took me into a store that sold kitchen stuff. They asked the staff if they sold the type of knife I had used. Then they asked the manager if he recognized me. He said he did not and that they did not sell that type of Swiss knife in his store. The officer gave the store manager his card and told him to call if he remembered anything. The manager said he doubts he would remember anything else. I realized that the authorities did not know what to say about the knife.

                We left in the car again where I could see life continuing to exist on the streets. It was a Tuesday when I returned to Evin. Everyone was waiting for me. Many greeted me in tears because the rumor was that I had been transferred or “exiled” to another prison. One prisoner immediately gave me her phone card so I could call my family to let them know I am fine. They told me that my family had come to visit me and were very upset that I was not there. They had seen my mother crying. Everyone knew my mother by now. Sholeh, my mother, was well known for bringing items for the prisoners; clothes for those who had children in prison with them, their favorite foods and things like that. She would bring foods for them that they had not tasted for years.

                I called my mother who started crying. She was so worried they had tortured me. She could not believe that I had not even been slapped. I realized that she had come to the headquarters everyday form the afternoon until evening. Praying and meditating. She said she would imagine protection all around me and would concentrate on it. She also said she had turned off the heat in the house so she would be as cold as I was in theheadquarters. In support with me she had refused to heat the house. Ever since she had found out in 2007 that prison food had no meat, she had stopped eating meat altogether. Our loving conversation lasted only 5 minutes but it gave me warmth.

                Time was passing by very fast. It could be seen on the two trees in the yard. A new year was arriving and with some money I had managed to buy from an Arab prisoner I managed to get some sweets. Life went on even behind bars.
                End of Part 8

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                  I am 26 year old Reyhaneh Jabbari. I am doing my time in sub zero temperatures of Shahr-Ray prison in Iran. It is below zero inside the corridors here. I have not been able to get the face of one woman out of my mind. I was awakened by the screams of a woman one night. They were taking her to the gallows, but because she had an infant that she was still breastfeeding they postponed her execution for a couple of weeks until her milk dried up. They could not find anyone to take care of her infant after her execution so the child was going to be given to the state. All the papers were signed. We could hear her blood curdling cries…she refused to give up her baby. When we saw her, she was sitting in the middle of the yard with all the other women consoling her. But she could not hear or see anything. Do all mothers not act like this when their children are being ripped away from them? Do they not all scream like that? What about my mother, Sholeh? I took the girl a glass of water because her lips were dry and cracked. I said nothing. I was at a loss for words. I had seen other children being taken away from their mothers in prison when the child was 2-3 years old to be given either to relatives or the state. But she was different. The child was an infant still breast feeding and the mother was to be hanged. Her screams and moans could be heard up until her breasts had no more milk. It was not long ago when Tayebeh took me around and introduced me to the other prisoners when I had just arrived. I had no idea that six years would pass ….six cold winters that I would be away from my family.

                  When I was 19 years old I came here. Pretty quickly other prisoners told me that we had 3 minutes a day to call our families. It was Sunday and I was so nervous about calling. I was afraid they would not recognize my voice. My mother answered and all I could get out was a simple hello before my face was wet with tears. I was crying silently. She was crying loudly and telling me how much she loved me and would die for me. I felt so safe for those few minutes with my mother’s voice. Then someone tapped me on the shoulder. My time was up. I told my mother I would call again and asked her to come visit me. I was returned to my cell. I sat on my bed. Tayebeh, God bless her, no matter what her crime was, she was so very kind to me. She was like an angel to me during my first days. That night she talked and talked to me to help me get used to my new surroundings. I knew she must have been very tired from doing all her inspections and the paper work that had been given to her.

                  The next day I was taken to a section called “cultural activities”. This is where there are classes for prisoners but of course it is free labor. I signed up for doll making and mosaic work. I would have never in a million years agreed to make dolls by cutting out a pattern and sewing them had I not been in prison. But it made me pass the time and made me tired. I hoped that sleep would come and make me forget. Many times on those first nights, I would wake up in a sweat just to find sweet Tayebeh caressing my head, giving me a glass of water. She would ask if I was having a nightmare but I could never remember what I dreamt about. She would tell me to go back to sleep. I was usually drenched in sweat and shaking.

                  A few days after I arrived, it was a Tuesday when my family was coming to visit me. I was so happy I was actually smiling. The other prisoners made a joke that finally they had seen me smile. They called out my name and a few others. We were driven in a car to the place for visitation. There were glass cabins with air phones and green curtains. I was cabin 36. When they lifted the curtain I saw my family. My sisters’ faces were red from crying. My parents looked worried but managed an anxious smile. They picked up the phone. My father asked questions about who the man was that I had stabbed….why I had stabbed him…what he did for a living….I got dizzy, realizing the interrogation was not over. My sisters sensed this and said they just wanted to talk like we always did-about nonsense sisters talk about. The curtain started lowering; we kept on lowering our heads so that we could see each other for as long as possible. I could not wait until next week. In the next few weeks I decided to get some sort of work inside prison. Working brought with it in person –in person-visitation, meaning no glass partition and longer phone calls, so I jumped at the chance. I also found some books that I would read all through the night.

                  Next visit we were taken through corridor after corridor. Evin was unlike any other building I had ever seen in that it was a maze of corridors and stairs. We got into a room with cheap chairs and tables. The palms of our hands were marked with a red stamp. I saw their four faces again. We could hug each other this time. They all looked very sad but managed a smile. I asked my father for pen and paper. He asked for paper from the guard. I wrote how I had acquired the knife. Signed my name in Farsi and put my finger print on it after covering my finger with ink from the pen. I gave it to him and told him to read it after our visit. They slipped into my hand a pretty hair pin. We talked and kissed each other. Those visits gave me much happiness. So much so that I would do hard labor in prison because the reward was in person visits. It was worth it for me. I was becoming more familiar with prison life.

                  One bitter day, they brought in Fakhteh and told us we could say our goodbyes. She was the one I had been with in solitary cells. She is the one that ignited hope inside me with one sentence, told me of the lies of my interrogators [Shamloo]. She was very pretty. But she was now looking very sickly in the yard leaning against the wall. I went up to her and hugged tightly. She moaned. I was surprised. She said she had been flogged. FLOGGED NOW? Before her execution? Why not a year ago? I imagined her family getting her body and seeing the scars. Why was the flogging necessary right before her execution? I learned not to ever hug anyone in prison ever again since their bodies could be ripped from flogging they had received from a brutal angry man. She was taken to solitary as it is often done the night before the hanging. Everyone said goodbye with tears. They do not want the prisoner to hurt themselves in any way to hinder the hanging, thus they are taken to solitary where there is no chance of hurting oneself. On some occasions, with the permission of the Warden, with previous arrangements, some chose to spend their last night with a friend. The next morning there was no need to wake up Fakhteh. All her belongings were gathered up and given to her family. Usually, after an execution there is prayer that night and after that all is forgotten. Like nothing ever happened and that person never existed. Everything goes back to normal.

                  When I was 19 I became familiar with the dark and hidden world of our society. I got to know women from different classes and walks of life. I learned that all that one leaves behind is the impression we leave with others. That every minute is different that the next, always changing. Slowly, the bitter experience of solitary was fading away in the quiet of my room. I learned how to get used my surroundings in prison. I would go around and meet new prisoners and even use some exercise stuff we had available.

                  There was a girl named Hediyeh who came into our room and changed the atmosphere. She was my age, had been sent to Karoon prison at 14 due to some relations she had with men. Her parents were separated. Sadly, she could not get used to her new surroundings and thought by complaining, screaming she could solve it all and get what she wanted. But that was not the case. She was exceptionally beautiful. They sent her or rather exiled her to Evin where she was surrounded by people who abused her. It could be foreseen that due to her beauty and youth she was enticing to many; to which she reacted badly. She was then sent, to the dreaded Rajai-Shahr prison where after much conflict she was sent back to Evin. When I first met her she was 19 like me. When she came back to Evin she was in very bad shape mentally. Tayebeh accepted to take care of her, help her find her way. But sadly, Hediye was sent back to Rajai-Shahr in 2009 where she killed herself.

                  I have many stories to tell of pain and suffering. In order to unburden myself, I shall write these and give them to a friend who shall be responsible in spreading these tales, much like a dandelion spreads its seeds after it changes from a yellow flower into a bulb. Before I leave this world and step into the next I would like to say these things, perhaps without literacy excellence as I am in a hurry.

                  Evin’s women’s prison is made of many sections each of which has two floors.-Upstairs and downstairs. Section 1 is for drug offenses/addicts; Section 2 is financial crimes and downstairs is for those convicted of murder, armed robbery and assault. Section 3 is for those under 21 regardless of their crime. Two months after I was sent to the public section of Evin, the Warden decided that the woman in charge of the prison store was to be replaced. So I applied for the job. Fruits and vegetables were brought in every two weeks and the most common barter was the telephone card among prisoners. I was very scared to work there as I would stand out from other prisoners along with the fact many who had been there very long were like family and defended each other to the death. I was accepted to work there after all. Prisoners feared the store running out of things and they would fight and revolt. So I came up with some rules that every one really respected. They liked to shop like civilized people, without swearing, yelling and being disrespected by me or others. There were women who would come to the shop who were so rough, they were frightening but after I spoke to them for a while and listened to their life stories I realized that they had created the tough façade just to survive in prison. At the end, we all got along.

                  Many of these women did not choose their fates; it was chosen for them. Fate can be changed by just a few factors. The deeper and deeper I got to know the women the more I realized that they were forced to go in the direction they did instead of choosing it. I realized that even in these harsh conditions, something small can bring some happiness and create some positivity. For example, I decided to celebrated one inmate’s birthday. I told everyone and as a result inmates started making little presents, making cards and managed to get some sweets in prison. Everyone became closer after that, but it was short lived as Zahra N was executed during all this. She had three teenage daughters. She had killed her husband. The judge had tried to convince her daughters to agree to their mother’s execution [as per Islamic law] but they refused. Zahra was taken to be hanged as she was knitting a shawl for one her daughters. The shawl was half finished.

                  End of Part 7

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                    I am 26 year old Reyhaneh Jabbari. My home is a bed in prison where I share the bathroom, shower, the sky and even the air with others. There are 2000 women housed here who are convicted of all sorts of crimes both large and small.

                    This year was a very cold winter which coincided with our heating system being broken. All that could be heard was chattering of teeth, coughing, sneezing and moaning. This year we had a lot of snow to the point that all those who had lived here before could not ever remember so much snow. But the snow brought with it some joy here. Some were throwing snow balls in the yard and laughing. I did not go. I was freezing. I sat around with hot water bottle I prepared for myself. The chattering of teeth takes me back to the year 2007 when I was kept in solitary confinement with wounds all over my body – I would be shaking from anxiety and fear. Sometimes I was interrogated at Evin and other times at the criminal justice building across the street from Tehran University. Officer Shamloo rarely interrogated me; I was questioned mostly by two men whose names I have never found out. They would dictate and I would write. Once they took me somewhere for interrogation where I saw a 14 or 15 year old girl hanging from the ceiling from her wrists. The girl was very pale and her lips were cracked from her tears. She was moaning. The interrogator sat across from me and said today or tomorrow we will go get your little sister…He referred to her by name; Badook. “It is her turn he said….she is very thin….how long do you think she will last hanging like that?” He asked. I was going crazy inside. He was telling me in detail what he was going to do to my little sister- a sister whose birth I remember clear as day, a sister who is so cute and sweet but always complained about homework. My last image of her is during my arrest. She was so scared that she threw a sheet over her head and I could see her shaking under the sheet. That is my very last image of her. I started crying and begged him not to do such a thing. He said that he had no other choice. As he was speaking I remembered that a few days after my arrest I had seen the president of my company with handcuffs in the corridor. He looked in rough shape; he showed me the palm of his hands. They were grotesquely swollen. He asked me: “girl…what did you do?” I turned my face away from him both from shame and not having enough energy to explain. I thought if they had done such a thing to him for sure they will hang my little sister form ceiling. I was desperate. I asked him what I could do to stop him from hurting my sister. He said:” it was very simple. Just confess that you had bought the knife before the murder….what difference does it make…whether you bought the knife or you found it there at the apartment I asked him why would I have needed to buy a knife at all? He said: “.Just say that the victim told you to buy it for your own safety…” If I wrote that then my sister would be safe with the family. Much later I found out that Officer Shamloo, officer Kamali, my two interrogators and two other men had cruelly taken my sister from our home as “accessory to murder”. They were going to question her. My father begged them to let him drive her in his car but they refused and took her in a police car with Kamali driving and Shamloo and the others following in another car and father following them to the police headquarters. My sister, who is only 14, was shaking from fear. As the car passed a Mosque Kamali said:” God, please help this little girl and her sister.” His prayer was somewhat comforting for my sister. At the headquarters Officer Shamloo asked my sister if she had any prior knowledge of the murder. She answered no. Shamloo said fine, you are free to go but ordered my father to bring her back the next day for questioning. He never did. Weeks later, due to the shock of the incident, my sister’s hair and eyebrow hairs all fell out. Doctors diagnosed her with Lupus. To this day she has a nervous condition even with therapy. I wrote that I had bought the knife beforehand, signed it and breathed a sigh of relief. My sister was now safe. I asked him if they had released my mother which surprised him and told me that my mother had never been arrested. I told him what about the fact that I had her voice.

                    Shamloo came in and asked me if I had broken the light bulb in my cell? And whether I knew my mother had complained about him. I looked at him with bewilderment. The experienced interrogators break the light bulb so no one can see the things they do in the cell. I said that he had told me that my mother had been arrested. He said: “so what..We said it…. that is police procedure all over the world to say whatever you need in order to get to the truth. “I shook my head; everything became clear to me at that moment-what they were doing to me. I was returned do solitary where I would havethe occasional conversation with women in adjacent cells. A few days later I was taken for interrogation again. Shamloo was there with two thin men with very long beards. The two men never said one word. Shamloo left and returned with my mother. My heart was beating very fast. My hands were handcuffed. My mother hugged me and kissed me over and over again. Shamloo ordered her to sit next to me. Shamloo said that he had arranged this meeting to that my mother could see I was fine. My mother complained that she had told him over and over again that she could not live without seeing me….and when she had asked to see me they had said that Reyhaneh would get more resolve from seeing me which would hinder the investigation. She said: “so I had to put in a complaint about you, what other choice did I have?” She said that she had not complained to organizations outside Iran but those inside Iran and nothing had been done. I listened. How much I loved my mother who even under such circumstances was logical and in control. Shamloo said: “ Reyhaneh you love your mother a lot…did you tell her I tortured you?” I put my head down and chose to say nothing as to not make the situation worse. My mother got angry and asked me why I put my head down…why don’t I you say about all the wounds on my body? I realized that another prisoner named Parvaneh had told my mother after she was released. My mother said “go ahead and show your scars” I started crying and said whatever happened it is over now. She said not for me. She started questioning Shamloo. She asked who is Colonel Keremi and is he involved in this case. Shamloo said no the Colonel is not involved. My mother asked then why he interrogated us? I started to feel faint. I wish I had my mother’s resolve and would say how Colonel Keremi had sucked the life out of me. I wish I could say the various ailments I had from those interrogators. But I said nothing. Shamloo got angry, said he would look into it and asked my mother to leave. My mother got up and hugged me so tight I could not breathe. She said: “no matter what happens …bad or good….I love you….I adore you…God gave you to me” To which Shamloo said: “ well she is no good” My mother looked into his face and said: “ Well even if she is bad she is mine, let me take her.” Shamloo put his head down and said our meeting was over. They took me downstairs in car. I could see my parents running after the car telling me how they adored me and loved me. I was on the moon knowing that my family was investigating my case.

                    A few days later, my name was called. I took all the little papers I had written on to give to my family. Shamloo’s assistant interrogated me. He said that I had complained that their section, the judiciary had beaten me…and hurt me… and he said that he will send me to be interrogated by the department of intelligence so I would really see how easy I have had it here. He told me to write down that I had had relations with my classmates and co-workers. I did not want to implicate these people who were innocent but I also could not tolerate being tortured by the intelligent services. The interrogator went to get some water as we were both thirsty. I saw my father at the door. He was outside arguing with the interrogator. He was insisting that my interrogator take the money for the bottle of water they had bought me. The interrogator laughed and said why….we are family. I felt sick.
                    He finished questioning me and I was allowed to go and see my parents. The guard that day was Ms. Shekari. She found my papers of writing, confiscated them and gave them to Shamloo who said he will read them and return them. He never did. So I realized I had no rights to anything.

                    I am in a situation that I never ever thought I would be in. Sometimes I wonder why they see me as such a threat, such a big deal. If they had paid attention they would notice that I reacted wrongly and gave in to them and accepted the fate they chose for me. I was hopeful at the beginning that the Judge would realize the problems of this case. Like when the officers planted the cardboard cover of the knife under my mattress-which they found seconds into their search. Surely the Judge would realize that no one would take leave the cover of the knife when they plan to commit a murder. After years I lost all hope.
                    I also want to say that in 2007 when I was returned to Evin, I was not sent back to my solitary cell. I and a few other women were kept in the corridors for a while. After they allowed us to return to our cells that night, I noticed the cells were cleaned and all our personal items like plates, utensils, soap and shampoos were missing. A kind lady, a guard, whose name I will not mention as it may cause her harm, told me that they cleared out all solitary cells because a human rights organization had been visiting conducting an investigation. As a result, they emptied the cells to make it appear that no one is kept in solitary. She also told me that Mr. Shahroodi had built these cells. The old cells were not like these one. She said the one I was in was like a hotel compared to the old cells. I began to see how lucky I was to be in these new cells which had a toilet. Many had endured in much much worse. Soon after, I was transferred to the public section of prison with other prisoners. I chose section 3 where prisoners get to work a bit. It was two floors. The upstairs housed girls 18-21 years old. Everything was made of tiles. I was to share a room with 14 women. This room was 6 meters x 4 meters with bunk beds lining the walls. The prisoner, who was showing me around, Tayebeh, said everyone is in the yard and she took me there. The yard was surrounded with extremely tall walls with barbed wire on top. There I saw some signs of life at least. Everyone was doing something. One person was washing some clothes, some were playing with a ball and one person was drinking her tea. Tayebeh, said that she has been in prison for the last 4 years. I remember thinking to myself “FOUR YEARS HERE”…I would just die if I were her. I had no idea that days….weeks and months would be go by for me there…..

                    End of Part 6

                      by -
                      0 672

                      I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am twenty-six years old. I have spent another day in a mass grave known as Shahre-Rey prison which is filled with tension and feud, no air in the stifling atmosphere that has become more suffocating and toxic as the implacable prison guards spread hatred. I have taken refuge in my bed. Today, a simple children’s game which could potentially put a smile on our face ruined the day because a spiteful prison guard intervened.

                      The young prisoners, who are usually imprisoned for small crimes such as theft, failing to wear full Hijab or swearing at officers, were playing with a water bottle. They placed the empty bottle on the floor and spun it around. The person to whom the bottle pointed when it stopped spinning, had to do a dare. It began with sweetness and laughter … the sound of laughters filled the room. Everyone, even if they were not in the game, was laughing from the sound of the players’ laughters. Then the game turned into a real disaster as a scornful and devious prison guard, who does not like to see prisoners laughing, suggested hostile dares. The outcome was smacking by officers and licking the toilet. And I witnessed how laughters turned into loud voices, rapid breathings, swollen neck veins, red faces, fights… and then to punishment and tiredness.

                      I like my bed. In this public place, it is the only space that is yours. Only yours. You can stick whatever you like to its ceiling. Or its side wall. I have some newspaper clippings of poems from a poet. Her name is Reyhaneh Jabbari. She is a few years older than me and lives in a city in Iran. Perhaps her emotions are triggered by her surroundings or the people who she meets and they inspire her to write a poem. Sometimes a poem from her is published in one of the newspapers that are available in prison. I cut it out and stick it to the wall of my bed which is made out of bed sheet. My bed is a lone cell in which I can gather my thoughts and cast my mind back to all the things that happened to me. It is a room for repairing my soul; a workshop in which I learnt that if I do not cut my ties with life, death will not come to me. Everything that happened to me shows that if, at the height of youthfulness and vivacity when you cannot even tolerate hot or cold weather, cannot tolerate a simple and unpleasant word, cannot endure hunger or thirst, cannot withstand subjection to oppression, you are placed in a situation which is completely opposite to your current circumstances, you will display an incredible flexibility and will be even surprise by your own tolerance level. I remember when I was a child, I used to watch a cartoon called Barbapapa. Barbapapa was a specie who had the ability to turn into various forms. This flexibility helped him to continue to live.

                      When I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was 19 years old, I became a Barbapapa. When I found out that my parents had not given up on me, I lived for the sake of their love. For days I was unaware of what was going on in the world… and I slept. As if to make up for all the sleep that I had lost in the past. I absorbed sleep with every single cell in my body, and as I was fed up with being forced to repeat the same endless confessions, I practiced remaining silence when I slept. It had been a while since I was last interrogated by Shamloo. Instead, two men with shaved heads, like soldiers began interrogating me or as it is more elegantly called “questioning” me. One was fat and had a belly and the other was slim and tall. They both had a stubble but the slim one’s moustache was longer than his beard. Many times they said that they had arrested my family and sent them each to a different prison. And in my heart, I cursed myself for ruining my family’s peace and quiet by making acquaintance with Sarbandi and Sheikhi. I imagined them in a similar situation as me; belittled and weak like a “chick” – a term used by the aggressive interrogators. They tie your hands and your feet. Then, like a piece of clothing they hang you up on a rod and beat you in the stomach with their knees. They don’t care about where in the stomach they hit you. You must be smart and despite the pain, try not to curl up in a ball because if you bring your head down for a moment, the knee strike will connect with your eye or your nose or your mouth and the blood will gush out and your face will fracture and you will suffer from an endless pain. I was aware of this and I protected my face from the knee strikes. The interrogator is a man and can never comprehend that during the monthly cycles, women feel numb and ache; they are lethargic and easily take offence. The mere task of getting up and answering questions is agony. The male interrogator does not know what it means to strike a woman in her breasts with a knee during her monthly cycle. I do not know why when women give birth to boys, they do not tell their sons how they feel, so that when their little son grows up and becomes an interrogator, he would know how to knee strike an accused in the stomach. An accused who turns out to be a woman and happens to be spending the most difficult days of her life.

                      I was terribly fooled during one of my interrogating sessions: “We have taken your mother from the detention centre to Evin prison and we will interrogate her there.” The following two days, I was left alone in my cell. They did not take me for questioning for two days and I, unaware of their devious plot, developed obsessive compulsive disorder which completely ruined me only a few days later. The prolonged hours in the solitary confinement without an adjustable brightness; they torture you with the perpetual glow of the fluorescent light which is kept on 24/7. The fluorescent light irritates your soul. It is your enemy and you don’t know what to do in order to change the situation. Whenever you want to think, you get distracted by the fluorescent light and you lose focus. Fragmented and disjointed thoughts destroy your sanity. You cannot focus on anything. If you want to eat or shower, you cannot open the water tap first, wash your head and then rinse and finish. When you lack intellectual coherency, you may leave the water running and get out of the shower without rinsing. It is possible that you pick up the food with the spoon in order to put it in your mouth but before the spoon reaches your mouth, your mind gets distracted and when you regain awareness, you realise that the spoon is suspended in mid air and you have just kept your open. You are also suspended between fantasy and reality; importance and truth.

                      When I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was nineteen years, I used to stick my ears to the cold iron door of my solitary confinement a thousand times a day in the hope of hearing my mother’s voice who I was lead to believe was in one of the nearby cells. All of my being became ear and stuck to the door. But I could not hear any sounds from Shole [Reyhaneh’s mother’s name]. I was nervous and paced my 9 meter cell; from left to right, from right to the corner and from the corner to the door. There was no rhythm in my pace and every once in a little while I twitched and became all ears again. I believed I could hear her voice. But it wasn’t. I slept, or maybe I imagined that I slept. I had no logical explanation or real proof to know for sure that what I believed was real. My eyes saw things which disappeared a moment later. It made me more agitated. In order to become aware of where I was and in what circumstances, I used to slap myself; like the interrogators during the early days of the investigation. Those who had long gone out of my life and took their graves with them. When I slapped myself, it made a sound and was painful, therefore it was real. Therefore I was awake. But is it not possible to hear a sound in your dream? Oh God, why none of the lessons that I learnt from school and university could help me to understand the true nature of these moments? And the painful struggle with my inability to grasp reality ended as I heard the sound of screaming coming from outside. I stuck my ear to the door. The sound was real and sustained. “AWWWWWWW”… the screaming went on and then turned into a whimper. I was glued to the door. This is my mother! So they were telling the truth! They had arrested all of my family! I was traumatised and wanted to communicate with her. I screamed: Mamaaaaaaaan [“Maman” which is “mum” in Persian]. There was no answer. I screamed louder: Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. Still no answer. I banged on the door with my first; I scratched it. I went back and lunged towards the door with all my body. The lunges became longer and longer. I fell backwards and hit the wall each time but again with all of my power I lunged forward and hit the door. All of my body turned from ear to mouth and I screamed from the top of my lungs: Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. The small hatch in the door slid open. The spotty and hairy faced guard who, despite the hot weather, was wearing a veil, peered through the wicket. She showered me with insults. I was enraged and if the hatch was a little bigger, I would have punched her in the face. I said, “Shut up! It was my mother screaming! They are beating my mother!” She shouted for assistance; “Someone come and shut up this lunatic”. And with a vulgar insult she closed the hatch. I was jumping up and down. The fluorescent light distressed me even more and on the spur of the moment I decided to turn it off. I did it. I gathered all my thoughts and focused on destroying this enemy; the the white fluorescent light which was protected by a metal mesh. The mesh ruptured and the fluorescent lamp broke. For a moment, I was holding a broken piece of the lamp in my hand.

                      I, Reyhaneh, Jabbari, at the age of 19, did not know that getting rid of the fluorescent light would be used as evidence to suggest that I had been trained. I did not know that this peaceful darkness would lead me to horrific accusations against me. Accusations to which I later confessed. I could barely hear the whimpering outside. I tried to remember how my mother sounded when she was ill and whimpered. I could not remember. I searched through my memories to find at least one incident. It was helpless. I even recalled the day when my little sister was born and I was 6 years old. I could remember everything except the whimpering sound of my mother. I could remember every detail about her face and the clothes that she was wearing and even the scent of her body but I could not recall how her whimpering sounded. All I wanted at that moment was to know what had happened to my mother.

                      I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am 26 years old and now I know that when man is struggling with illusion and reality, he does not have any power. He is not able to make decisions and has no choice but to submit. Even if you scream and hit yourself against the wall, you are still weak. Your physical strength may increase but due to lack of communication with the world around you, you develop a form of psychosis which makes you weaker and weaker; you reduce to nothing. You become nobody. Hollowed and devoid of any signs of life. Like narcotic drugs, delusion and hallucination lead you to idleness; thoughtless and without determination.

                      The next day, or night, I was interrogated. Again, my body did not have the energy to move. My slim interrogator explained to me: “Your mother will be freed if you write.” I duly wrote: “After I stabbed Sarbandi, Sheikhi opened the door and came inside. He had a scuffle with Sarbandi and threw him on the floor. Sarbandi left the house and Sheikhi who had picked up a statute, went after him. I then left the house after him…” When I returned to my cell, a new fluorescent lamp was illuminating. The cell was bright and I was tired and submissive as ever. I fell unconscious again. There was no whimpering sound anymore. Sometimes the silence outside was broken with the sound of somebody’s foot steps. So he fulfilled his promise and released my mother! I was comfortable and sleeping made me even more comfortable.

                      I recall when Shamloo said “Your mother and father do not want you and they have abandoned you”. I recall the day when it was Father’s Day and I helplessly begged the prison guard: “For God’s sake, allow me to make a single phone call to my father to speak to him for one minute. You also have a father. Let me say Happy Father’s Day to him. For the love of God!” And the prison guard who lacked many human characteristics, did not comprehend my pleadings. He calmly replied “It is not possible. The judge ordered to deprive you of everything. Telephone is prohibited for you.” He did not know that if I had heard my father’s voice for one second, I could have worked out if he had abandoned me at all or not. He did not know that by depriving me of hearing my father’s voice, he lead me towards mental obsession. He did not know that he crushed me.

                      When I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was 19 years old, I had to play in a new stage show every day. Play; a word in which there are many hidden meanings. In a play, always some people are entertained and some people entertain. I and my interrogators had to do both. A new play was written every day with varying degree of ridiculousness depending on the person interrogating at the time. One said that I had been recruited whilst at university and that they had tested my intelligence level; I scored 99 percent; they thought that I had cheated and tested me again and I scored 99 percent again. The intelligence officers told me that I was put in charge of the girls and a guy called Arash was put in charge of the boys. Another one who had been creating a different story said “Add that you were supposed to carry out a mission in Cyprus. A man who owns a restaurant in Cyprus is the head of the whole operation.” And I wrote these down. I wrote that I had been trained to wipe off my memory; I even had been trained to deceive the polygraph; I had been trained; they had trained me for espionage. When I was writing these, I thought to myself “Have I done all of these?” As if they had stretched out my twenty-four-hour days into hundred-hour days. How could anyone believe these? Every day, I woke up in the morning and my father dropped me off in Sadeghieh. From there, I went to Karaj [a city about 20 kilometres from Tehran] and then took a coach to Ghazvin [a city about 109 kilometres from Karaj] in order to attend university. At the end of the lessons, I returned to Karaj, took the metro back to Sadeghieh and waited there for my father to take me home. During university holidays I worked at the firm and went home in the evening. When did I ever have any spare time to get trained? How can anyone train when there is not a single hour where their location is unknown. The university register and the firm’s records show that none of these stories are true. I hoped at court, the trial judge would ask all of these questions and uncover the truth. A year and a half later at court, Judge Kooh-Kamareiy raised important issues regarding the credibility of the investigation. In front of those who had accused me of cruelty, the judge with a strong Turkish-Iranian accent said, “Lets say that this girl was young and naive and she was fooled by appearance. Lets even say that she is a bad Muslim. Why did that man [the victim] who was a devout Muslim and middle-aged, put himself in a situation where he was alone with a female stranger in a place which he owned?” And the answer was silence. The judge continued “Do not speak in an unethical manner again in this Court.” After a couple of days of breath taking trial which lasted several hours, when the judge announced that the Court requires more time for closer examination, I knew that this judge could discover the truth about everything that happened to me. Alas, he was replaced by another judge; Hassan Tardast. I will describe him and his conduct when the time comes.

                      I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am 26 years old and reside at Shahre-Rey prison. I have not had access to any information sources or academic studies relating to judgement and prosecution but I have experienced every level of the judicial process in Iran with my flesh and blood. I have seen many women with colourful stories. Some are here due to their misfortune and some are here because of malice within them. I have seen a lot of innocent girls who have been imprisoned for a short time due to a small wrongful act, but the reality of the events they go through, leaves them with no option but to return to prison after they are released. I want judges to read my writings. So that they know how their judgements influence the fate of a girl. A task which I started in the second year of my imprisonment. I wrote articles for many young trainee students at Evin and Shahre-Rey prisons to submit to their lecturers as their own piece of research project. They were glad about obtaining grades without any effort and I was happy that I had passed on my experiences to a lecturer. And I hoped that my articles would reach a judge someday; unaware that my writings, just like thousands of other student dissertations which were plagiarised and copied from research materials in a library, are collecting dust. Although, how was the lecturer supposed to know that the contents of these articles did not come from library materials, but instead were collected through field experience? So I became hopeless after a while and secretly sent everything out of prison. A task that is now also pending the conclusion of writing these events. Soon this burden will be lifted off my chest and there will be nothing left unsaid to take to my grave with me. The grave which has opened its mouth but I do not know when it will swallow me.

                      It is now the beginning of the seventh winter that I am spending in prison. The fifth year that I have been facing the death penalty without due process. I believe the reason for the delay in execution is that the Head of the Judiciary is examining my case. Two previous Heads of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi and Ayatollah Larijani, had already looked into my case. I wish I could send them these letters. I wish… I wrote to Ayatollah Shahroudi on many occasions but out of 10 letters only a few of them were successfully sent out of prison and my father handed them to him. The efforts which were unfruitful.

                      It is now Saturday morning and I have visitors today. I must get ready to see my family who come to visit me every week. Four dearest people who never abandoned me. Four dearest people who are the pillars of my life. At the end of my time in solitary confinement and after I was transferred to the general ward, I was questioned hundreds of times by my mother and father, especially by my mother. Hard questions and answers; with a lot of diligence. Sometimes, I cried a lot after being questioned by these two. They appeared to be simply probing me but to me it felt like a kick in the teeth and it was too painful to bear. But they never abandoned me and I am alive today for the sake of their love. The thought of not having them in my life had utterly destroyed me when I was in solitary confinement and those days were even more bitter than the taste of venom. The venom which can be traced through its emission at every stage of my life. Today I have a meeting; with those who I love and they love me. I take my energy for the week from my meetings on Saturdays. Today is a good day. The day of living.

                      End of Part 5