Thursday, February 22, 2018
Authors Posts by yadi mahmodi

yadi mahmodi


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    I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am 26 years old. As before, I am currently sitting on my bed in the Shahr-Rey prison, recounting the bitterest days of my life. The days that upon reflection open my wounds again and I feel as if I spew blood.

    When I was 19 years old, I encountered men who I believed I could persuade to converse in a civilized manner. I thought I talk and they would listen. Men who I never could have imagined to be violent if I had met them somewhere other than the Shapour Police Quarters. But I can daringly say that they were dark hearted monsters that wore human masks. During the course of my interrogation day after day, time lost its meaning for me. Just like the hands of a clock, I too was taken from one place to another. Sometimes, I was taken to the Criminal Court. And the highlight of the day, an interrogation session with Shamloo would draw the day to an end. But an ominous day began in the course of my interrogations and I spent the days like an animal in a slaughterhouse.

    The interrogator’s heavy-handed smacks made my ears so hot that I could not feel the pain anymore and I was no longer tormented. Karami repeatedly put a piece of paper in front of me and I wrote and he tore. Sometimes I saw Colonel Kamali. He frowned and asked questions. I wrote. He did not tear. Did not strike. Did not curse. He only read what I wrote. Sometimes I saw a fade trace of a smile on his lips which made me hopeful. He spoke very fast very fast as if he was always in a hurry to get my answers. And when I was done writing answers to his questions, he picked them up quickly and left.

    I don’t recall how many days had passed. I was very tired and dirty. I wanted to take a bath so badly. The dirt on the floor of the police station cell had made my entire body filthy and the sweat the dripped during my interrogation sessions left a muddy track on my face and hair.

    I had returned from court and the indefinite questioning session with Shamloo. All the way back I prayed to return to the detention center in order to get some sleep. Even if I had to sleep whilst sitting up. I wanted to rest my tired brain and have some peace of mind. But God did not hear. As soon as I arrived at Shapour Police Quarters I was taken to bureau number 10. Three monstrous men were waiting for me in a small room. Karami was not there. As soon as I entered, they handcuffed me to a chair and forced me sit on the floor. I was tired. I rested my head on the seat of the chair. I did not recognize their voices. They screamed one after another: “You think you are very smart? Stronger people than you have been reduced to nothing here. You pest, who do you think you are? Answer every question loudly. Sheikhi was there, wasn’t he?” I replied: “He got off the car on the way there, but when I was about to escape he opened the door….” I felt something on my back. I felt the swelling of my skin. And then….”Rip”…. My skin cut open. It only began to feel ablaze after I heard the “rip” sound through my nerves. It burned. And I screamed from the bottom of my heart. My ears hurt from the sound of my own scream. I did not hear the sound of the whip. It was not a whip. It was not a rope. It was not a piece of wood. I never figured out what those three fierce dragons used to burn me over a few days. I could only hear myself screaming “God damn you”. And he inflamed my back even harder. And I had fallen on the floor, belittled and degraded, drowning in my saliva, snot and tears. My arms had become completely numb as I twisted and turned under the excruciating pain with my hands tied to the chair higher than my body.

    I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am now 26 years old. The pale scars where my skin burst can still be seen on my back. Upon my return to the detention center a few prostitutes and addicts softly stroked my split skin and recited a prayer from the Quran to comfort me. And for the first time in my life, I saw signs of kindness in these women. The women whom I would have frowned upon and looked away from if I had seen them on the street. And for the first time, I saw an addict cry for me and whisper in my ears: “I hope these bastards all die!” And those ghastly and bitter days ended with my confession. I, Rehaneh Jabbari, confessed that from the first meeting with Sarbandi and Sheikhi, I realized that they worked for the Ministry of Information [the Intelligence Service]. I confessed that I knew how to spell “Vata” and its meaning. I had just realized what Kamali had asked me on that early morning. When I was 19, I wrote everything that I had told to those three monsters on a piece of paper that Kamali had given me and he read it. He looked at me. Drew his lips in and left.

    I want to finish this part as soon as possible because I am afraid that there is not much time left to write. I am giving these letters to a kind woman who will be released soon. I have always told my mum that I have left her plenty of letters as inheritance. I have given her many letters over the past few years. Almost everything. Except a few that Shamloo confiscated and never returned.

    I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am 26 years old. And although the traces of pain are still on my soul and body, I don’t hate those monsters. I don’t even hate the chubby man who jumped and pressed on my toes with his industrial style boots. He caused my toe nail to break, and even to this day the toe nail is not straight and the skin around it is bruised. I don’t hate them, because a little later I met people who were even more violent than them. It was upon meeting them that caused me not to want to have long hair anymore. I realized that long hair is a weakness for every woman when fighting with one man, two men, several cowards! Hair that creates beauty can become a rope to pull a woman when wrapped around a man’s hand. It becomes the cause of a pain that twinges your eyes, prickles your ears and turns to a scream in your mouth. And I gradually realized this is the nature of some people’s jobs. There are people who live in cities, have children, go to parties, celebrate happy occasions and commemorate sad ones, say prayers and promise god to share what they have with their neighbors shop and laugh, but generate their income by creating hellfire for others. I have no complaints about these people in this world, but in the next world I am the plaintiff and they are the accused. I have forgiven them in this world and have thus started a new phase of my life. I was transferred to Evin prison’s solitary confinement, with an injured body and a destroyed soul from the final words of Shamloo: “Your parents don’t want you anymore. They have said; kill her, we never had such a daughter.” And I was hopeless and lonely while my back and shoulders had dried up blood from my injuries. I was thrown into a 9 meter carpeted room with a knee high wall, a toilet, shower and a sink. The walls were full of stains and writings. They brought me two rough and foul smelling blankets.

    So this was Evin prison, the prison I had heard all about in family parties when older people talked about it in the Shah’s era. I lied on my stomach. For many hours I could not believe the silence. I could still feel the screams, mixed with the unbearable pain in my back. O my god, what am I going to do with this loneliness? Why have I become forsaken? Do I have to be lonely the rest of my life and never see my parents and sisters? Does this mean, if someday we see each other by accident they will turn away from me? O God, how I have always loved and still love them. I passed out and don’t remember how long it took before I woke up. In solitary confinement, many times I would wake up after having nightmares. In these nightmares, a hand would come in from the window and pull me out in a blink of an eye, or that same hand would take away my father and others and make them disappear, but I would stay where I was. I could not move despite desperate struggles and did not have a voice despite screams. I was in my new home for two months; a home that created the seed of vengeance in me and it took me a few years to control it. One day, one of the guards gave me a card and told me the card was equivalent to having money. By then, my injuries had healed and I could take showers. That same day an old woman came to clean my cell. This was the custom at Evin, women who were lonely and had no visitors had to work to earn telephone rights and by selling their phone time to other prisoners would earn a living. Her name was Nessa. She was full of regret and disappointment. I gave her my card and asked her to buy me a pen and take as much money as she wants from the card. She brought me the pen together with a cookie with a golden stem. I was experiencing a new taste that reminded me of home and happier days. Now I had a pen! Shamloo had prohibited me from reading newspapers, having visitors, reading books, getting any news or reading the Quran. But I had a pen which was complimented by some papers I took from the trash cans when I took walks outside. I would put them in my pockets and bring them back to my cell. I started writing on little pieces of white paper. I expressed my anger, complained, got angry, cursed ….. and gave Shamloo a nickname, the Old Lizard. One sad afternoon, a woman opened the little door to give me food. Her name was Fakhteh. She said she had been sweeping the cashier section of the visitor area when a man and a woman came to deposit money for me. The woman had asked the cashier: “Will you really see Reyhaneh to give her this money?” When the cashier had confirmed, the man had said: “You are lucky…you get to see my daughter”. I never forget the sense of happiness and hope Fakhteh brought for me. Her simple message assured me that the Old Lizard had lied about my parents disowning me. I gained strength, forgot all my pains and started writing letters to my family. I realized then that the money card had been provided by my parents for me while I was prohibited from having visitors. I realized that the pen that had cost me 10,000 tooman [$3.00] was their gift to me. I still have that pen even though it is just a faded, empty Bic pen. However, that pen reminds me of many other things. When Shamloo confiscated my letters – which I will later talk about in detail – he introduced a new theory in my file. He had said: “You have great organizational skills. You have managed to find so much paper and start writing while I strictly ordered that you should be deprived of everything. Therefore, you have the ability to plan a murder systematically. I was shocked by his logic. He had never been in my situation to realize that some people who live in absolute poverty, can provide you small things to help you live a little happier even if a lizard tries to sharpen his teeth for you. And in this crazy life, Fakhteh, the woman who flew by my cell and brought me the gift of hope was executed a few months later. That was when I realized for the first time that at times, they take a person who will never come back.

    A fluorescent light was always on in my solitary cell. I could never see the outside light to know whether it is day or night. I only realized it was day time when workers and guards were busy walking about. And in the night time silence, I learnt to hear things by putting my ear on the cold metal door and have conversations with the inmates in my neighboring cells through the little food doors. I had learnt to stay up at night time. On one of those sleepless nights, I got to know Akram and Parvaneh. Akram was the wife of a clergy and I never understood why she was in prison. But Parvaneh had a different story. She had been in prison in the 1980s but had miraculously been saved from execution. Now she was in prison for supporting a man I didn’t know but she told me about. His name was Osanloo and was apparently the head of the bus company’s labor union. I could not understand why a person should be imprisoned for such a thing. I had told Parvaneh my injuries were getting healed and she constantly told me about the importance of resisting forced confessions. Sadly, she came to my life too late when I had already confessed everything, to participating in politics which I never understood and to all kinds of relationships.

    I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, who had never been arrested before and had never done anything to even get a warning from the university’s security office, confessed to[illicit] relationships with many people. And it was the Old Lizard who said any contact between a man and a woman who are not related – even a phone conversation – is a relationship. And I, who stayed away from even talking to people that I didn’t know, confessed to what he wanted me to.

    Another night ended at the Shahr Rey prison and I have to get prepared to go to the cultural unit, quickly. Undoubtedly and very soon, I will write about all the atrocities the prison system, the interrogators and Shamloo did to me. I don’t want to be buried and let my sufferings be forgotten.

    End of Part 4

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      And I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am 26 years old. It has been many years since I last was at my home. I have been away from my home because of blood and pain. Now that I am silently reflecting; section 2 of Shahreh-Rey prison is in a lot of commotion. The past few days they have shut down the yard so we have constantly been walking around inside the halls. It is very stuffy in here and the worst thing is that they have also closed down the activities unit. Time goes by very slowly, so I have taken refuge on my bed to escape the insane commotion and am immersed in my thoughts….What am I doing here? What happened to my home? And then I remember what happened to me.

      When I was 19, I survived a struggle with a huge man and managed to escape. I had freed myself from arms that could have easily crushed my neck. I was standing in front of the door, tired and frustrated. I entered the house. My body temperature was unsteady. I was hot for a moment and cold and shivering a second later. My mother was washing fruit. She stopped working as soon as she saw me. She looked at me. I took off my head scarf immediately. If she had looked at me closely, she could see the blood. She asked: “What has happened?” I lied and said: “I was in an accident”. She said: “But you didn’t drive today!” I replied: “I had a very bad accident in my friend’s car”. She muttered: “I have told you repeatedly not to drive other people’s cars. It is bad luck for us.” During our childhood, she had told us that for their wedding night my father had borrowed and decorated a friend’s car which broke down. So, not only had the groom arrived late but also he had to pay the cost of fixing the car. I wanted so badly to hug her and tell her what had happened, but I couldn’t. The thoughts and images were devastating me. I went to my room, changed my clothes, took the knife out of my purse and put it under my bed. I lay down on my bed, closed my eyes hoping to sleep. However, the conversations, the laughs, the heat of his hands, my weakness, the height of the balcony, the knife, the knife, the knife, blood, blood and blood kept flooding my mind. I was restless and could not concentrate. My mom came to my room. She had brought cold water and an apple. I refused them both. She said: “Get up. Don’t be a baby.” I drank the water and felt a bit better. She held my hand, stared into my eyes and said: “Tell me what happened. Why are you so restless?” I hid my eyes from her. She has an amazing talent in reading my eyes. I didn’t want her to know what had happened. She started massaging my hands as I lay on the bed and asked: “So, how bad was the accident?” I said: “It was terrible.” She asked: “Did you hit someone?” “No”. “Thank God. Then it is not important.” “Mom! I think there was major damage.” She said: “It doesn’t matter how much the damage is. Be thankful that you didn’t hit a person and you were not injured. It would have been better if you had not gotten into an accident but it happened and it is now in the past. I calmed down for a few moments. She lay next to me, put her hand on my neck and stroked my hair. My head was on her chest and my entire being was filled with security and peace. I felt free in her warm kindness. She whispered in my ear: “When I see you in turmoil, it is as if someone stabs me in the heart. I want you not to be sad.” And I was sad. She asked: “What happened to your business with Sarbandi and Shaikhi? Did you go?” I sighed and said: “Yes I did.” She asked: “Did you make a deal with him?” I said: “No, I don’t want to do the job.” She said: “Oh! that is good. I never had a good feeling about them.” She asked: “Did they give you a ride home?” I said: “Yes”. I wanted to cry loudly from the bottom of my heart and tell her what had happened, but I didn’t. But what could I say when telling her would be like stabbing her in the heart? I said: “I want to sleep.” She said: Go to sleep. I will call you when dinner is ready.” I used to kiss each of her fingers; she would touch my face with her hand after I did that and then touch her lips with her hand. We used to do this as long as I remember. Even later when she visited me in prison, we sometimes played this game from behind the window. However, we haven’t played the game in the past few years.

      I, Reyhaneh Jabbari am 26 years old and confess that I miss my mother’s embrace. It is more than 18 months that we see each other from behind the window. Shahreh-Rey prison doesn’t allow in person visits outside the glass window and all prisoners should dream of the scent, the warmth and security of their families in their imaginations. Here in prison, we are not just deprived of food and water, but deprived of all sorts of things.

      Mom turned off the light and left my room. And I kept remembering my fierce struggle with that man again and again. I was tired. I pressed my face to the pillow and cried uncontrollably. I wanted to fall asleep, wake up after a few moments, and breathe a sigh of relief and say: How wonderful, it was all a dream. But sleep was escaping me. My cell phone rang a few times. I don’t remember who called me and what we talked about. I was suspended between reality and delusion and could not differentiate between the two. I had a distorted sense of reality and was mixed up about time and place. My arms and legs kept twitching as if I was fighting with him again. My arm was bruised and in pain. I could smell the dinner my mom had made and hear her call me: Dinner is ready, Reyhan. I could not get up. I had not eaten since noon and was very hungry but didn’t have the energy to move. I wished that she would bring my dinner to me, like some other nights, but she didn’t. I tried to move, but couldn’t. It felt like I was paralyzed. She called me again: “Aren’t you coming, Reyhan? I couldn’t respond. I was struggling and screaming inside but I was motionless and silent. Mom opened the door. I saw her through half open eyes. She didn’t see my beseeching eyes, whispered: “Have sweet dreams my love”, closed the door and left. And I was left in my room, bombarded by the thoughts of the incident. I don’t know how much time had passed when I woke up with the sound of my phone ringing. I took a deep breath and answered. All of a sudden I was completely alert. I heard a strange man’s voice saying that someone has had an incident and my number was among those he had called. Then he asked: “Do you know Dr. Sarbandi?” I replied: “yes”. “Did you only talk to him on the phone or did you meet him in person?” “I met him in person.” “What time did you meet him?” “At 6:00 P.M.” He said excitedly: “So, you know he has been injured?” I replied: “Yes, how is he doing?” He said he was doing fine, but you have to come to police station number 104 in Abbas-Abad.” Hearing the silence at home, I could tell everyone was sleeping. I asked: “Why do I need to come?” “Just for investigation and some questions.” I said: “I can’t come now, but I will be there first thing in the morning.” He said: “It can’t wait until tomorrow. You have to come right now.” I thought to myself: what an idiot, doesn’t he realize a girl can’t get out of the house alone at this time of night? To get rid of him, I said I am not in Tehran right now and hung up. I was wide awake. I left my room. Mom had fallen asleep while watching TV. I went in the kitchen to eat something, but didn’t feel like it. I just got a glass of water, returned to my room and lay on the bed. My phone rang again. It was the same voice. He forcefully said: “We are in front of your house. Come and open the door or we will come in, and we are armed.” I said: “Who are you?” “Police” “Wait, I will be down right away.” I went down with difficulty and opened the door. There were three men at the door. One of them seemed to be the chief and I found out later his name was Shamloo. He was the inspector at branch 1 of criminal office, the one I wrote about while I was in solitary confinement and gave him the title: “Old Lizard”. He was the one who after my arrest stung me with his words, like a lizard! The other one was Kamali, the officer from bureau number 10 of Shapour investigation office. The third one was the driver, Mehrabadi. Shamloo started asking me questions right there. I told him what had happened in that apartment. He said: “We know. Where is the knife you used?” “In my room, should I bring it?” “No, you can’t go in alone. We will come with you.” The three of us went inside. Mehrabadi stayed out. Shamloo stayed in the front yard and Kamali went in my room with me. My younger sister, whom we called Badook was awake. She saw us with inquisitive eyes of a 13 year old. With a gesture, Kamali told her to be quiet. Badook covered her head with the sheet. I could tell she was trembling. I entered my room with kamali. Took the knife from under my bed and gave it to him. He asked: “What were you wearing at the time?” A moment later, he had all the three pieces that reminded me of the most horrifying time of my life. He ordered me to leave with him. As I left the room, all of a sudden I saw my mom who screamed softly and asked: “Who are you?” I said: “Mom, calm down.” She quickly covered herself, faced Kamali and asked again: “Who are you? What are you doing in my house?” She was about to call my dad when Kamali pulled his jacket aside and showed her something that caused her to bring down her voice. She said: “Don’t show me your gun Sir. Who are you?” He kept ordering us to be quiet but did not explain anything. Shamloo who had heard the noise entered the room. Mom was even more scared. She leaned on the wall, sat on the floor and asked: “What is going on here?” He introduced himself and said: “Your daughter has hit a pedestrian and fled the scene.” My mother looked at me with disbelief and said: “Reyhan! Did you lie? You hit a pedestrian? Why didn’t you take him to the hospital? Is he dead? Oh My God!” Worried and puzzled, she started asking me questions angrily. “Was it a man or a woman?” Shamloo stopped her, saying: We can’t talk here. Everything will be clarified at the Abbas-Abad police station.” Mom said: Let me wake up her father and we will come with her.” He said: “No, we will take her and you can come separately.” I put on my slippers and left. I didn’t kiss my mother, didn’t even say bye to her, didn’t take a good look at the house, and didn’t say farewell to my room. I had no idea what was in store for me! I thought I would return home in a few hours and would go back to sleep. I sat in the car and we left. The driver didn’t know the area and I guided him to find his way back. On the way there, they asked me what had happened and I told them everything. Excitedly, Kamali said: “Yes, we have kept the condom as evidence.” And Shamloo said: This one evidence will save your life. Based on the evidence and article number sixty….. you have legitimately defended yourself and there is no reason to worry.” I didn’t understand the meaning of what he said. I noticed a few missed calls from my mom and sent her a quick and loving text message. In it, I said: “It looks like I will be done by the morning. My phone is running out of battery so I will turn it off. Don’t worry, my love.” Shamloo said: “You are not allowed to use your cell phone.” And he took my phone away. We arrived at a small square where the branch 104, Abbas-Abad police station was. We went up the stairs and entered a room. I sat on a chair and everyone left. I was sitting in a dark, unfamiliar space all by myself.

      I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am 26 years old and confess that I didn’t understand the signs from the universe when I was 19. I should have realized what days were awaiting for me when I was quietly sitting in that room. I should have realized that my future would be dark and gloomy. I should have felt the half dark room. I didn’t realize, didn’t know and didn’t understand.

      About an hour later, they took me to another room. There was a long table with chairs around it. It was filled with grim looking men. I sat on a chair right across from Shamloo. He asked what had happened and I replied that I had already told him everything in the car. One of the men said: “Tell us too.” I retold the incident. They asked me about details and I answered. I was tired. We left the building at 6 o’clock in the morning. The grim men left and Shamloo and Kamali stayed with me. I saw mom and dad. They looked distressed. I wanted to hug them but they didn’t let me. They talked by the door for a short time. Kamali said: “Don’t worry. Your daughter has killed a …. Shamloo confirmed. Mom asked: “Was he an addict?” “No.” “Was he a drug dealer?” “No. Don’t think about it. Just come to the Inspector’s Office number 10 on Shapour Street at 11 am.” Dad asked: “Have they drawn a sketch of the accident?” Kamali laughed and I felt so ashamed, ashamed in front of my mom and dad’s nobility. They didn’t even know what had happened. I got in the car. Mom sent me a kiss and waved. I kept looking at them until I couldn’t see them anymore. Shamloo got out of the car and I followed Kamali to a building that was called Shapour Inspector’s office. Kamali asked: “Do you know what Vata is? I replied: “What?” He said: “Vata. Have you ever heard the name? I replied: “No.” He said: “Do you know who this man was?” I said: “Yes, he was a plastic surgeon.” He said: You really don’t know anything! How did you not know who he is?” I asked: “Who is he?” He said: “He was a government Authority.” Then he stopped short of finishing his sentence and said: “Leave it alone, it is not important.” It was 6:30 am and the office was unoccupied of the employees who arrived in a couple of hours. I followed an officer downstairs for finger printing. I saw mom and dad. Mom talked to the officer and dad could kiss me. When he was kissing me, I dared to whisper in his ear: “They are making it a political case.” We then went to a small room on the first floor. A blond woman and a photographer were waiting there. I had a hard time standing straight when they took my picture. I was extremely tired and hungry. I had not slept for even a minute since I had woken up the day before. I badly needed to go to the bathroom. But together with Kamali and a private, I got into a car that was in the parking lot and was driven to an unknown location. They handcuffed me for the first time and I felt the cold and hard handcuff on my skin. They took me to the third floor of branch 1 of the inspection office, an old building across from Tehran University. Shamloo was there. He asked how I was and told us to go to the first floor. We kept going up and down the stairs. I was tired and beat and the stairs were never ending. We went into a room filled with reporters. I retold everything from the beginning. I was impatient and thinking, how many times do I have to repeat telling this? I was tired of the repetition. I wanted to close my eyes, and then I had to go up the stairs to the third floor again. I sat on the green chairs in the hallway. There was a water fountain nearby and I was extremely thirsty but how could I drink with handcuffs on? I was too proud to ask for water. In Shamloo’s room, I had to repeat everything again. My voice was echoing in my head now and it was as if someone else was talking. They took me to the inspection office again. The people there were so lucky. They could easily drink water and could probably go to the bathroom. They took me to the detention center. The person in charge was an ugly woman with a hairy face. She said: “You killed your boyfriend?” I said: “No.” And she mumbled: “All of you say the same thing at first. Everything will be clear later.” I didn’t understand what she was saying then. However, I saw something the next day which made me realize what she meant. She brought an old nail clipper and clipped my nails extremely short, almost cutting my skin. I remembered when my grandmother saw a girl biting her nails, she would say: “The prophet has said women should cut their nails a bit above skin.” I was in pain and about to cry, but pretended to be OK. She sent me to a room with nothing in it except for the carpet covering the floor. There were a few other women there. One of them had strange lesions on her hand unlike anything I had ever seen before. Later on I found out these are the remnants of something called, self mutilation.

      I, Reyhaneh Jabbari am 26 years old and have seen many women who when angry, cut their hands or body with a knife or broken glass or any sharp object till blood gushes out. They calm down when they see the blood. The lesion goes away but their flesh becomes disfigured until another time when they need to see the blood gushing out. I get sick even thinking about it. I have never felt like doing this even when I was extremely worried and upset. But when I was 19, out of fear, I told the women in the detention center that I had killed someone. My eyes were tired. There was no place to sleep. I managed to lie down on the floor and put my feet up on the wall. My share of this room was just the size of my upper body. I closed my eyes for a moment. An agent came and said: “This is not the time for sleeping. All of you should sit down.” We all sat. This room was at the end of a hallway. It had a dish washing sink and two bathrooms and showers with half doors. There were two other rooms that were called solitary cells. I was extremely tired and hungry. In the evening, they gave us each one potato and a blanket. For breakfast, they gave us a piece of bread the size of a match box and some cheese. There was no room to sleep. The only outlet to outside was through a small air duct. I didn’t have a watch and was unable to tell the time. I had never slept on a hard floor in my jeans. The blanket had a foul smell. Twelve of us were breathing in that small room. I had never seen an addict before and that night an addicted woman kept throwing up right by me. Despite all these discomforts, I passed out. I feel sleep Saturday morning and Sunday had ended when I awoke. They woke us up. My body was beat and in severe pain. They called my name through the speaker, handcuffed me and took me to branch 10. This time I looked carefully. I was in a big room with tables all around. The walls were short and made of black stone. There was a small door to a glass room with a table and some chairs. They took me there. Two bearded old men were sitting there. They ordered my handcuffs to be undone and asked someone to bring tea for me. Even though it was summer, I was extremely cold. My voice trembled and my teeth chattered when I talked. The old men said they were not from this office and that they had come from the Leadership Office. They just wanted to know what had really happened. They merely listened. They didn’t take notes and I wasn’t asked to write anything. And through the entire process I never saw them again. I returned to the detention center. The blankets were not there anymore. They brought lunch, a little rice that was red and foul smelling, but there was no room for complaining. My body was still aching. I was not allowed to lie down and closed my eyes while sitting. My head felt extremely heavy. The next day, Tuesday, I was taken to Shamloo’s room early in the morning. Sitting on the green chairs in the hallway, I saw Mom and she saw me. She ran to me to give me a hug. Kamali said: “Don’t get close.” She leaned on the wall across from me and fell to the floor. She said: I am sitting here to see you. I could hardly keep my head straight but I sat erect. I could see horror and worry in her eyes. Dad came later. He had been looking for a parking space and mom had not wanted to wait and had come earlier. Shamloo started the inspection again and said: “This case is very costly for us. You have to say something else.” And I didn’t know what he was talking about. That afternoon, I was sitting and facing the wall in branch 10 of the inspection office. They had instructed me not to turn around. I could hear two people screaming while getting close to me. From their accents, I could tell they were Afghanis. Some people were hitting and cursing them. The Afghanis were begging for mercy. They were forced to run around the big room. I could hear their heavy breathing when they passed by me. I could see the blood trace as they ran. I was really scared. Later on I found out that they were let out of this small door and forced to run so that their soles wouldn’t get swollen [after flogging on the soles of the fee]. I had to sit in front of this black stoned wall repeatedly through the process. I used to stare at the wall and look at the shadows reflecting on it. Every time a shadow was getting close, I would press my teeth so that they would not break if they hit me in the head. I would keep my neck erect to lessen the force of impact. That day, two men came near me. One was a chubby man with a stubble whose name I never understood and another man whose name was Colonel Karami. The chubby man said: “Tell me how the murder happened.” I told him what had happened. He said: “Don’t play games girl and tell us the truth.” I said: “What I told you is the truth.” Karami jumped and pulled my hair from behind. He pulled my head back forcefully, just like Sarbandi had done. My neck was cramped. As he held my hair, he dragged and threw me in the room with the small door. There was a table and a chair. Two other chairs were across the room. I sat behind the table. They gave me a piece of paper and a pen. They told me to write and I wrote: When I was attacked by Dr. Sarbandi, I stabbed him with a knife one time. Suddenly, Karami hit me in the head from behind. It was sudden and I had not kept my neck erect. My head hit the table. He took the paper and ripped it. He said: “Write again. Write the truth. Karami left the room and the chubby man said: “This is not a joke. If you cooperate we will tell the judge and he will reduce your sentence. Tomorrow, they are going to arrest your entire family. Don’t you have mercy on them?” I felt like crying. I said: “Believe me, I told you the truth. Why did he hit me? What should I have written?” He said: “He hit you? You call that hitting?” I replied: “I don’t have anything else to say and will write the same things.” He said: “Does someone need to make you?” Karami returned to the room with two other men. One was tall and bearded and the other was average height with no beard. The two sat on chairs. The chubby man was behind me. Karami yelled: “Will you write or not? So far you have given us nonsense. Now tell us the truth.” The chubby man said: “No, she is going to cooperate. She will write soon. Just give her a little time. She is putting her thoughts together.” Again, I wrote what I had written before. The chubby man pulled my head back and the un-bearded guy slapped me a few times on both sides. Left, right. Left, right. This was the first time I was hit in my life. Karami was yelling: “What was the man’s name?” I said: “Sarbandi.” He yelled louder: “What was his first name?” And I didn’t know.

      I, Reyhaneh Jabbari 19 years old, had killed a man whose first name I did not know.

      End of Part 3

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        0 617

        I am Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26 years old. I am closer to death than any other time in my life. I am not afraid of death. A few years ago, all my worldly belongings were brought here: atop a bunk bed in Shahre-Ray prison. I have no attachments to this world; my only wish is that my mother and father forget all about me.
        This world, both its beauty and ugliness, are for those who adore it. I have never wanted to commit suicide; not before prison and certainly not after it. All I am saying is that I am not attached to this world. Just like one does not have a particular bond to a piece of clothing; you can change it or even throw it out without sadness. Life is much like that for me-a piece of clothing that covers my body regardless of its quality and beauty. Life in this world is like clothes…all different colors.
        Everyone is waking up right now in this prison and so everything starts all over again. Last night I could not sleep as I was going over and over of what happened to me that day.
        On July 7, 2007 I was frozen in that chair, I could not move. Even now that I am writing this I am soaked in sweat. My legs were frozen, I could not run; he was extremely close to me. Suddenly I got up, turned the door knob but it was locked. I could not get out. I banged on the door. I tried to scream but my voice was not coming out. He was mocking me with his eyes. He said:” where are you going to go? You can only leave here when I want you to leave.”
        I was moving around but he was still. My back was against the entrance, I was facing him. He started to look bigger and bigger to me, even his arms looked huge. I was getting smaller and smaller in that room. I was wearing a black scarf and a long jacket with overlapping collar. Underneath I was just wearing a top. How I wish it was winter so I would have had a thick coat on so I would not have been able to feel the heat from his hands when he touched me. He pulled at my collar. I hit his hand. He caught my hand in mid air when I think I scratched him but I am not sure exactly where. His face turned totally red. He put both his arms around my body; his arms encircled my entire body. I wished my arms were free and that he had grabbed me under my arms not over them so I could hit him with my hands on his chest. But I only managed to hit him on his stomach. I had never thought about how important hands were until that moment, about how much I needed them. He lifted me up and with half a turn put me down on the floor. I only managed a whimper; nothing else was coming out of my throat. He put his arms around my waste. The movement of his hands on my body grossed me out. “You are stuck now, aren’t you”? He said. “I am going to take care of you…” he added. His voice was so close, in my ears. Sweat was dripping on my neck from my head. With one hand he grabbed my waste and with the other he pulled my head back by pulling my hair. He then put his cheeks against mine and emphasized:” No one is here…no one can hear you.”

        Anytime I think of my hopes and dreams, I start to cry. When I fall sleep thinking of the hopes I had for my future, I dream of myself on my wedding day wearing a white dress. Then slowly the dress turns from white to black, my eye makeup looks like I have been crying, my face is covered with black tulle and I see myself holding a bouquet of dried up dead flowers. I have never told a soul about this until now. No one knows how I was forced to give up the love of my life. I had to. When I was nineteen I had no idea that my life would go up in smoke in that house and that a few years later, the courts would decide to make me into ashes.

        That day, when I was nineteen; I could hear him breathing in my ear. He had me pinned down. I could not move, I had surrendered like a small lamb. I was angry with myself that I could not manage to scream. If you catch a bird in your hands, it will try to fight but it will eventually stop fighting when you hold both of its wings. All you will hear is the bird’s heartbeat in your hand because it has surrendered to its fate.

        Then I suddenly started thinking of how in love I was with A. I remember how happy I had been when my mother had told me that soon we should have a wedding in our house. We invited many friends and family when my uncle and his wife were visiting us. That night we had a party where A was formally introduced to my uncle. I was so ecstatic when my uncle referred to A as the groom of the family. I could not contain my joy. I remember back when I was starting to choose a husband, my boss had introduced his son to me by phone. His son lived in Canada. After a few text messages and phone conversations I realized I did not like him for marriage. So I said yes to A’s marriage proposal. My father was uneasy with me getting married. He believed women should finish their studies and only get married when they can stand on their own feet. My father asked was that we got to know each other well. My mother’s younger brother, gave me some advice that would come back to haunt me later in my trial. He said if I really wanted to know A, I should see how he reacts in anger and that I should make him angry on purpose and study his reaction. Just for fun I did make A angry a few times. I had no idea that those incident s would come up in my trial later saying that I hated my fiancé. I was only 19 years old. I was so inexperienced that I had no idea how that sort of thing would impact the future. The very future that I would never be allowed to have.

        Then suddenly I saw a knife. I told him to please let me go and I would not breathe a word. He moved away a bit and asked me:” let you leave?….hah…where?” I kept thinking of A which gave me courage and strength. We were staring at one other straight in the eye. He said:” what? you are going to stab me? Seriously? Go ahead…do it.” He turned his back to me and taunted me:” Go, hit me…I want to see how you do it.” I felt so small. I put my head down. He yelled at me:” Go ahead do it.” I felt helpless. I looked the knife. It was too small to even scare him. He was laughing. I started to run through a small kitchen that had an attached balcony. He yelled: “we still have time.” I opened the balcony door and thought of jumping. I looked down. I imagined what it would be like. I could not bring myself to jump.

        I went back in. He was by the TV where there was a prayer mat. He said:” what are you doing?” I begged him to let me go. I told him he was a religious man and to not do this to me. He told me to stop playing games and that it was nothing. I started crying which I hated to do. Then he said I was depressing him. I told him that I swore and promised I would not tell anyone if he just let me go. He started to move towards me, I moved back, he moved forward, I moved back some more. I told him to stop or I would stab him. He said:” why don’t you do it already?” I positioned the knife in my hand. He got angry and said:” you are just pretending….why are you pretending…you can’t do anything?” I had finally found my voice, I yelled at him to move back, he did not. I yelled that I would stab him. He turned red and said:” go ahead do it,” I was breathing very shallow, there was not enough air. I raised my hand and with all my hopes and dreams in my mind I stabbed him. He turned around in shock and asked:” did you stab me…?” I could see blood coming on his clothes. I told him to let me take out the knife. He turned around and went the other way. In a panic, I started to look for the key to let me out of the apartment [on the table.] I looked at him. He was sitting on the floor. He pulled out the knife out of his back.

        The blood splattered on the mirror and on the fan. I saw blood flying around in the air. He was leaning against the wall. He threw the knife at me but I ducked. He missed. I picked up the knife. He then started to get up from the floor by using the chair. His hands were drenched in blood. He picked up the chair and threw it at me. It landed, made a terrible loud noise and broke into pieces. I had never seen blood before that day nor had I heard such fighting and yelling. I had never been in such a situation before.

        Again I could not scream; my voice froze again. He was extremely angry. He came at me and punched with his bloodied hand. I ran towards the door and tried opening it by stabbing the door. It was locked. Then I heard the sound of key turning in the door. I was kicking the door. The door opened. It was Shaikhi, the man for whom I would later be beaten and tortured, whose face I still remember in the door frame; the man who I had always known as Sarbandi’s shadow as they were always together. He asked what was going on. But I ran out of the door, because now there were two of them and they would surely kill me. I did not wait for the elevator; I took the 7-8 stairs down. I could hear Sarbandi running out after me yelling: ’’Thief…thief……” Then I heard the elevator door open and I ran in. As the elevator door was closing I saw Shaikhi leaving the apartment with some documents in his hands. I do not know whether he went upstairs or downstairs.

        When I arrived on the street, I rubbed my hands on my black coat. I dialed the paramedics and told them there had been an incident. When the ambulance arrived I saw a woman in her fifties with a cream color coat going around the ambulance and crying. The ambulance door closed and it left. I knew that he would be okay because the Mehrdad Hospital was very close, so close that if you cut your artery, you would arrive there before you bled to death. I took down the number of the ambulance.

        My phone rang -it was my mother. I was in a taxi with the knife in my purse. She was angry that I had not been home earlier as we were supposed to go out together. She had wanted me to go home early. I had tried to move the meeting with Sarbandi to the next day but he refused as he said he had to travel the next day to England or Spain, I cannot remember which. I had told my mother not to worry, that either Sarbandi or Shaikhi would drop me off. I told her I would be home soon.

        I have not seen my house for so long now. I miss all aspects of my house: its fragrance, kitchen, light, warmth, windows, walls and silence. I must admit I miss home a lot, a home that many women in prison have never experienced.

        End of Part 2

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          0 592

          I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, am twenty six years old. With a hanging rope in front of my eyes, that I am not afraid of, I write to tell the tale that I lived; leaving nothing unspoken. I want to tell you everything that I said in court which they did not understand. And everything that I cried out under torture which was not heard. Everything that I screamed out whilst I was brutally kicked by four forceful interrogators, who regarded themselves as almighty. Perhaps someone in this world would hear my cries and feel my pain. I want people to know and judge as they wish. I want them to hear me and then if they still wish; tighten the rope around my neck even tighter. I want them to know what happened to me at the age of nineteen that has made me no longer fear death. I want to tell them so that they know how my voice was silenced in my throat. How the unfortunate events which lead to me being known as a killer were wrapped up with conspiracy and deceit; to obtain a judgement that I consider unjust.

          I, Reyhaneh, am a twenty six year-old girl, currently living in a grave-like prison in Shahre-Ray, waiting for my life to end. Once upon a time, on a spring day in 2007 I was living free from pain and suffering, in a home built with love and compassion that continues to fill the house to this day.

          I, Reyhaneh, the eldest daughter of the family, was a nineteen-year-old university student in my third semester, studying computer software. I was also working part-time as a designer for a firm for about one year. I got the job through a family friend who had recommended me. My monthly salary was 150,000,000 Rials. I worked at the firm every day from morning to evening, except the days that I had to go to university or had exams. My father and mother continued to provide for me and still gave me pocket money. I never had any financial difficulties.

          On a spring day, I was sat in an ice-cream shop. I was talking to a client over the phone about a booth that I had designed for them at an international exhibition. After my phone call ended, a middle-aged man who had been sitting with his friend approached me. He looked like any ordinary man that you see on the street; sit next to in a taxi; stand beside in a queue; or meet in parks and restaurants. You could imagine seeking refuge with someone like him if a guy harassed or disrespected you in public.

          He began; “I overheard your telephone conversation unintentionally and realised that you are an interior designer.” I said; “Yes”. He said; “I have a place that I wish to convert into a doctor’s surgery.” “I am a plastic surgeon.” he added. I burst inside with excitement.

          I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was nineteen years old at the time with a head full of excitement and a heart yearning for success. I grew up in a talented and creative family. Although I was a computer software student, I was not alien to the tasks of a designer. I was able to design using computer software programs that were available at the time.

          I gave him my business card which had the details of the firm as well as my name and telephone number. I, Reyhaneh, was acquainted with Dr Sarbandi and his friend; Mr Sheikhi, that day. I left the ice-cream shop and waited for a cab by the side of the road. A car stopped in front of me to offer me a ride. It was Dr Sarbandi and his friend. I thanked them but they insisted and said we could talk about our business on the way. I obliged.

          I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, a nineteen year old girl, had no idea, that meeting these two men would change my fate and bring me closer to death.

          We agreed to arrange another meeting later to discuss our business. A few minutes later, I got off at Nobonyad Street. As usual, when I arrived home, I began telling my mother about everything that happened in the day. I was happy that I had managed to find real work on my own. I told my mother; “When the practice surgery is ready, they will need to advertise and print posters and leaflets.”

          I had always dreamed about opening my own printing shop. I wanted to employ as many girls as possible to work in my shop. In order to gain experience and learn the craft I had asked my boss to put me in charge of liaisons with the printing company that processed our orders. I never felt tired. I wasn’t afraid of working. I was full of eagerness to learn. I didn’t believe in luck and thought that everyone created their own future. Alas, now, at the age of twenty six, I know that sometimes a flick – no matter how small it may seem, can turn your life upside down and bury you under the ruins of your dreams.

          A few weeks passed without any news. I had to prepare for my exams. One day my mobile phone rang – an odd phone number which was made up of the number eight only. The caller had somehow withheld their real number. I answered it. It was Dr Sarbandi. He asked to arrange a meeting to visit the place that he wanted to convert into an office. I said that I was on leave from work as I was busy preparing for my exams. He said; “We shall leave it for later then”. A few weeks later, I was at home when I received a call from the same odd number. Dr Sarbandi asked me to meet him outside the post office on Sadr Bridge. I got ready to go but my mother stopped me. She complained that I did not even know his phone number. My mother asked me not to go, but I begged. She agreed on one condition; that she would come with me.

          Like many other nineteen-year-olds, I did not want my mother to accompany me. I said that I was old enough to go on my own. I had uttered the same words on the day of registration for university. The night before the registration day, I had told myself that tomorrow all the students will come without their parents and I would be the only one with my parents. The next day, the court yard in front of the university was filled with parents who had come to accompany and support their children. And I was the only lonely one. Despite this, I wanted to stand on my own feet. I begged her to let me go alone, but she did not let me. We left together. I waited outside the post office and my mother waited on the opposite side of the road. We waited for about half an hour. With my mother’s signal, we gave up and went back home. On the way home, she complained as usual. She said; “Don’t answer anymore calls from this number. Even if he comes, do not work for him and pass the task to others in your firm.” I knew that I would not do that. I wanted to start and finish this job all on my own, and be proud of my achievement at such a young age. I did not even want the contract to be drawn up between Dr Sarbandi and the firm. In my mind, I was already drafting a contract between Dr Sarbandi and myself. I used to think I could control everything on my own. I had gained some business skills. I had observed my father negotiating with other firms and writing up contracts on several occasions.

          Only a few days later, I received another call from the same odd number. It was Dr Sarbandi again. A meeting was arranged in the evening at the top of Aghdasieh Street. I went. Mr Sheikhi was with him. I sat on the passenger seat in the back of the car. There was a microwave on the back seat. Dr Sarbandi said that he had bought it to give it to his wife on mother’s day. His mobile phone kept ringing. Mr Sheikhi said it was one of his relatives’ wedding; wittingly, and that he must leave. Dr Sarbandi spoke of his business: importing medicine, medical supplies and equipment. I had previously worked at a firm that imported medicine and I knew that if he negotiated with me, I would receive unlimited printing jobs. Every day a new leaflet would have to be printed. Every day, a new printing assignment. Every day a new catalogue. I suggested that I could take on the printing tasks and he accepted. He said he must first see how I work and design his practice surgery, and if it was of a satisfactory standard he would commission me for the printing jobs. He said he was negotiating with someone else too but I insisted that he give all the work to me. Despite my boldness in asking for work, I was too shy to ask for his telephone number. Perhaps this was my biggest mistake.

          I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was nineteen years old at the time and did not know what awaited me. I did not know that with every meeting I took a long step towards death. I got out of the car and went home. We arranged to meet at 6pm on Saturday 7th July 2007. It did not cross my mind at the time that the next two days would be the last days that I would spend at home. Then I would be thrown into a mire of suffering, crying, pain and silence. I did not know and I spent those two days with joy and happiness. Two happy days: I attended my friend’s and my cousin’s weddings.

          I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, looked forward to the evening from the first hour that I started work on Saturday. At around noon, my phone rang as I was on my way back to the office from a visit at Rayan Teb Company. He said he would pick me up from my office as he was in the area. I plucked up the courage and said; “I do not have your phone number. If something comes up and delays me, I would not be able to inform you.” He gave me a phone number. This gave me some confidence in him. I called my mother and told her that I had an appointment with Dr Sarbandi and Mr Sheikhi so I would be home later. She said; “No, don’t be too late. We are supposed to go out at 7pm.” She wanted me to drive. I said “I will try my best”. Almost immediately, I received a text message from Dr Sarbandi about the date. The text message said “۷/۷/۲۰۰۷”.

          It is rumoured that where the day matches the month and the year, a certain force and energy is released. I had heard that seven was a holy number. God created the heavens and the earth in seven days. A week is equal to seven days. There are seven layers of heaven and sky. I thought to myself that Dr Sarbandi believes in astrology and that he might even know a few things about Chinese horoscopes and the signs of the Zodiac and personality types. I sent him a text message back, only a question mark. Later I sent him another text message; “Shall I wait for you doctor?”

          I lied to my colleagues and said that my father’s friend was picking me up as my father wanted to buy me a new car. I received another text message from Dr Sarbandi; “I am outside, what is the building number?” These few text messages were all that I exchanged with Dr Sarbandi. Prior to this, I never had his phone number and I never sent him any text messages.

          It was 6pm and I was waiting outside my office. My colleagues were watching us out of the window as Dr Sarbandi arrived alone. Where is Mr Sheikhi? I wondered. In my mind these two men were always together. I sat in the front passenger seat and we drove off…..towards the trap… towards webs’ of spiders…..towards pain and blood and screams.

          A modern tune was playing. I, Reyhaneh, nineteen years old, loved modernism. I was proud of living in a century where technology was advanced and continued to develop to higher levels. I liked modern music and did not fully appreciate traditional genres. We talked about that tune and our taste in music. Several streets ahead he stopped. Mr Sheikhi got in the car. He sat at the back but I insisted that we swap places. He refused, stating that he had to get off in a short distance. And he did. Both men spoke outside the car for a few minutes. I could not hear them. Mr Sheikhi left and Dr Sarbandi got back in the car.

          Now we were on Shahid Beheshti Street and he stopped again. Dr Sarbandi said he had an elderly aunt and had to buy her a few things from the shop. He returned a few minutes later. He was carrying a packet of nappies and an orange plastic bag. Now we were on Mirdamad Street. He parked outside the governor’s building and asked the security guard to look after his car. A sudden rush of intense fear came over me. Who is this man that can park outside the governor’s building? What status does he have that the security guard takes orders from him? I comforted myself and thought that even if he does have an authoritative position in the government; my impression of him is not of someone threatening. And I did not know that men can be like chameleons. They can change into any colour, at any moment.

          We entered a building and went up in the lift. Perhaps if we had taken the stairs; I would have seen a pair of shoes outside a door or noticed a sign that it was a residential building and I would have heard the alarm bells ringing. Alas, the lift had swallowed all the signs. Fifth floor. Next to the lift there was a door. Dr Sarbandi opened it with his key. And I was shocked. It was not an office. This was a rundown residential flat filled with dirt and dust. Filled with chaos. There were no signs of life. No scent of domestic cooking or brightness of a home. It was a deserted place. I left the door open. There was a table near the door with a few chairs. I sat on one of the chairs nearest to the door. He probed me to make myself comfortable. But I was not comfortable. He probed me to take my headscarf off but I was afraid. The table was messy with various objects on it. Paper, key, mobile phone, glass, knife stand, flower pot and the general bric-a-brac. He went behind the table and into the kitchen. My eyes explored the room and drew everything in; near and far, anything and everything from the entrance door to the television; the sofa; the fan; the console; the mirror; the prayer-carpet and even the small tables. He returned with two glasses of fruit juice and immediately drank one. He complained of the heat and invited me to drink. I was staring at the ice cubes in the glass. They were dancing.

          I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, a nineteen year old girl, did not know at the time that this ball would end with the ballet of death. A dance following on from crying, bruising, deceit, hypocrisy, conspiracy and beating and beating and beating, and pain and pain and pain.

          Yet again I ignored my gut instincts. I tried not to think negative thoughts. I told myself this [his] face is not that of a dangerous man. But my throat felt blocked and I could not drink. I said “Let’s get on with the work first”. I got up quickly and inspected the rooms. I looked out of one of the windows. How high it was from the ground! I wondered what would happen if someone fell out of that window. What a useless thought!

          I drew everything on a piece of paper and took notes. I returned. He immediately turned away from the prayer-carpet and walked towards me. The sofa was now covered with a bed sheet. My mind went blank. My mouth dried up and my throat still felt blocked. My eye caught the door. It was closed. I sat on the chair and shuffled my papers. He had come closer. He took out a small packet and showed it to me. “Do you know what this is?” he asked. I knew. Fear seized my soul. I stood up. I seemed smaller and weaker sitting down. He came forward.

          I, Reyhaneh Jabbari, on that day, was soaked in my sweat. Just as I am now at the age of twenty six and casting my mind back to what I endured. Even now, as I am dissecting this festering tumour, I am soaking with sweat. From that moment on, I knew that all of my dreams were burning. In a fever that I did not know how to control. I saw the flight of death in that house; the darkness and decay, the smoke, the pain. And now I want to end my old nightmare.

          I tried to write many times but I abandoned it unfinished each time. Because putting a knife to this old wound is more agonising. But at this hour of an endless night, in ward two of Shahre-Rey prison, under the moonlight and in the silence of the prison, without any whispers, I spew my pain. I cannot do anything except to tell my story; to the Patience Stone* that I know from the legends that I heard in my childhood. If I don’t tell, I die. So I will confess my sufferings to the stone until it cannot bear it anymore and bursts. Perhaps then my pain would end. Perhaps then my voice would sing again.

          I died when I picked up the knife. And since then I pretended to live. I only waited for day to turn to night and for the night to turn to day. My soul died. My delicate soul died at the age of nineteen. I spent many nights with my nightmares. Dreaming of the death of animals that I had rescued. The pain of any living being always hurt me. And all these years [the past seven years] were filled with sorrow and pain. The sorrows of girls who have a sad story each. Like me. Like Fakhteh [a fellow prisoner], who I witnessed being hanged. I have learnt from these years that death is not a means to end pain. Perhaps it is a new beginning. I Reyhane Jabbari, twenty six years old, am not scared of death. But Reyhaneh, the nineteen-year-old, was.

          “You have no way of escaping”. The sentence that turned my world black. As black as my hair. The hair that a few months later began turning white…


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            Iranian authorities have today confirmed that a woman convicted of killing a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her will be hanged tomorrow morning at a prison west of Tehran, Amnesty International said.

            Reyhaneh Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009 after a deeply flawed investigation and trial which failed to examine all of the evidence.

            “This abhorrent execution must not be allowed to take place, particularly when there are serious doubts about the circumstances of the killing,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

            “Instead of continuing to execute people, authorities in Iran should reform their judicial system, which dangerously relies on processes which fail to meet international law and standards for fair trial.”

            “Under international human rights standards people charged with crimes punishable by death are entitled to the strictest observance of all fair trial guarantees.”

            Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. She was placed in solitary confinement for two months, where she did not have access to a lawyer or her family. Reyhaneh Jabbari was sentenced to death under qesas (“retribution-in-kind”) by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009.

            Amnesty International understands that although Reyhaneh Jabbari admitted to stabbing the man once from the back, she said another man who was also in the house killed Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi. Her claim is believed to have never been properly investigated.

            “Authorities in Iran must immediately halt Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution. It is unacceptable that she was not provided with a lawyer during questioning and the failure to investigate the presence of another man in the house leaves too many questions unanswered,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

            Reyhaneh Jabbari’s mother said today in a Facebook post that authorities in Evin prison told her she would have to go to the facility to “collect the body” tomorrow.

            Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution, because the death penalty violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

            Background Information

            On 14 September 2014, the judicial authorities reportedly pressured Reyhaneh Jabbari to remove her lawyer Mohammad Ali Jedari Foroughi from her case and retain an inexperienced lawyer in his place. This was done in an apparent bid to disrupt the lawyer’s efforts to guarantee an investigation into the presence of another man in the house.

            Amnesty International understands that before being removed from her case, Mohammad Ali Jedari Foroughi’s repeated requests to meet with his client, and access her court file had been denied.

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              Reyhaneh Jabbari has been transferred to Rajai-Shahr Prison to be hanged — while the world parties at the UN and gets ready to permit Iran nuclear capability.

              Reyhaneh Jabbari has been transferred to Rajai-Shahr Prison to be hanged — while the world parties at the UN and gets ready to permit Iran nuclear capability.

              While the West is focused on an Iran nuclear deal and defeating ISIS terrorists, the executioner-regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues violating human rights.

              The regime has just transferred Reyhaneh Jabbari to Rajai-Shahr Prison in Tehran and, as she is transferred to be executed, told her to say goodbye to her mother and family.

              The Petition to Save Reyhaneh Jabbari from being hanged has been signed by over 188,000 people, but as usual has been ignored by the Iranian regime.

              Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution may carried out by tomorrow.

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                The Iranian authorities must stop the execution of a woman due to be hanged tomorrow morning after being convicted for the killing of a man whom she said tried to sexually abuse her, said Amnesty International.

                Reyhaneh Jabbari was sentenced to death in 2009 after a deeply flawed investigation and trial. Her execution was due to be carried out on 30 September but was postponed for 10 days.

                “Time is running out for Reyhaneh Jabbari, the authorities must act now to stop her execution,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

                “The death penalty is a despicable punishment that is both cruel and inhumane. Applying such a punishment in any circumstances is an affront to justice, but doing so after a flawed trial that leaves huge questions hanging over the case only makes it more tragic.”

                Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. She was placed in solitary confinement for two months and was denied access to a lawyer or her family. She was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009.

                Reyhaneh Jabbari apparently admitted to stabbing in the back Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, whom she said had tried to sexually assault her. However, she said that another man who was also in the house at the time killed him. Her claims do not appear to have ever been properly investigated.

                Iran’s judicial authorities are also reported to have pressured Reyhaneh Jabbari to replace her lawyer, Mohammad Ali Jedari Foroughi, for a more inexperienced one, in an apparent attempt to prevent an investigation of her claims.

                Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution has been deferred a number of times, including in the last month.

                “Instead of repeatedly rescheduling Reyhaneh Jabbari’s execution date, the Iranian judiciary should order a re-trial that complies with international standards for fair trial without recourse to the death penalty,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

                Reyhaneh’s mother told Amnesty International that she met her daughter for one hour today, but prison officials refused to give the family any details of Reyhaneh’s imminent transfer to a place of execution.

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                  Reyhaneh Jabbari muss am Leben bleiben

                  5 Oktober 2014 – International Tag der Rettung Reyhaneh Jabbaris

                  In Folge vom 48-stündigen internationalen Protest gegen die geplante Hinrichtung der 26 jährigen Reyhaneh Jabbari hat das zuständige Ministerium des Iran bekanntgegeben, dass Reyhanehs Hinrichtung um 10 Tage verzögert, und auf den 7. Oktober 2014 festgesetzt wurde. Reyhaneh wird beschuldigt, einen Mann mit einem Messer tödlich verletzt zu haben, als dieser sie, im Alter von 19 Jahren, versuchte zu vergewaltigen.

                  Am Dienstag, den 30. September, wurde der Fall von Reyhaneh an die Vollstreckungsbehörde überwiesen. Obwohl die Führung der Islamischen Republik Reyhaneh am Montag, den 29. September,  in ein anderes Gefängnis verlegt hatte, um die Hinrichtung durchzuführen, schlug ihr ein internationaler Proteststurm unter Federführung des „International Committee Against Execution“ (I.C.A.E) entgegen.

                  Jabbari wurde in einem Schauprozess 2009 zum Tode verurteilt. In den folgenden zwei Jahren wurde Reyhaneh in Haft mehrfach misshandelt, blieb aber trotzdesen bei ihrer folgenden Aussage. Nachdem sie den Angestellten des iranischen Geheimdienstes, Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, in einem Café getroffen hatte, gingen sie anschließend in sein Büro, um einen Geschäftsvertrag über die Gestaltung der Innenausstattung, die Reyhaneh übernehmen sollte, zu schließen. Dabei versuchte der offenbar unter Drogeneinfluss stehende Sarbandi, Reyhaneh zu vergewaltigen. Diese konnte ein Messer greifen und stach ihm in die Schulter.

                  Es bleiben sehr viele unbeantwortete Fragen in diesem Fall. Warum wird das Opfer einer versuchten Vergewaltigung über zwei Jahre lang misshandelt und gefoltert? Warum wird Reyhaneh gedroht, dass ihre Familie zerstört wird, sollte sie nicht den Mord gestehen? Warum wird das Agieren eines zweiten anwesenden Mannes im Büro nicht weiter verfolgt und er außerdem weder benannt noch befragt?

                  Es wird immer deutlicher, dass das islamische Regime und sein Rechtsapparat danach streben Reyhaneh hinzurichten, um das Vorgehen und die Machenschaften des iranischen Geheimdienstes und seiner Angestellten zu verschleiern.

                  Reyhaneh und ihre Mutter appellieren nun an die Menschen überall auf der Welt, zu helfen und gegen die geplante Hinrichtung zu protestieren. Verschiedene internationale Organisationen, wie z.B. „Amnesty International“ verurteilen die Bestrafung und geplante Hinrichtung von Reyhaneh Jabbari ebenfalls und fordern ihre Freilassung.

                  Wir haben nur wenige Tage Zeit, um Reyhaneh zu retten und die iranische Regierung dazu zu drängen, sie freizulassen!

                  Bitte schließt euch uns am 5. Oktober, dem internationalen Tag zur Rettung Reyhaneh Jabbris, an!

                  International Committee Against Execution (I.C.A.E)

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                    Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed

                    To the millions of people who followed the fate of this young girl, to the thousands who took to the streets to save dear Reyhaneh, to the thousands of mothers in Iran who shed tears and begged for forgiveness on the media, we sadly have to report that Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed this morning.

                    This is a horrific piece of news on this bloody Saturday, when people are set to come out on the streets in the cities across Iran to protest against the acid attacks on women. We hope that a magnificent protest by the people today will be a fitting response to this brutal and shameless crime of the Islamic regime in Iran.

                    The Islamic regime’s ideologues, its professional criminals and murderers, the real killers of Sarbandi (whom Reyhaneh was accused of killing), all banded together and despite an enormous international outcry executed this young woman.

                    They put Reyhaneh under pressure in prison, extracted confessions, filmed the scenes and then killed her. This is the regime of Iran’s ISIS.

                    The execution of Reyhaneh and the many years of dealing with the judicial system of the Islamic Republic over the fate of Reyhaneh showed to the world the hideousness and viciousness of this regime and its judicial system.

                    Let everyone see the kind of monsters the people of Iran are dealing with. Let the world see that the one skill the heads of the Islamic regime, from the supreme leader to Rafsanjani, the president Rouhani, the paramilitary force Sepah and the Ministry of Intelligence, have in common is this: murder, lying and barbarity.

                    Millions of people see this now. The regime lied to the grieving parents of a young girl who for seven years fought to save their loved one; they spread rumours and did everything they could to stop Reyhaneh’s parents from saving their daughter.

                    Even before telling Reyhaneh’s family that they had killed Reyhaneh, they callously announced the news of the execution through their state media, while Reyhaneh’s mum and dad, sister and grandma were waiting outside the prison gates.

                    This is the abhorrent regime of the Islamic Republic. This is the regime of Islamic criminals, the ISIS ruling Iran.

                    If they don’t kill, how are they going to deal with others like Reyhaneh? How are they going to deal with the youth shaking the ground under the feet; those who don’t give a damn for the mullahs, Islamic leaders and the loathsome Islamic Republic?

                    But the regime in Iran should be certain of this: by killing Reyhaneh, they will only harvest a storm.

                    The International Committee against Execution calls on all to turn the sorrow and pain of the loss of Reyhaneh to public rage against the foundations of the murderous Islamic regime.

                    In memory of Reyhaneh Jabbari

                    Shame on the murderous Islamic regime

                    The International Committee against Execution

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                      International Campaign Against Execution (ICAE)
                      We should all work together to prevent the execution of Soheil Arabi
                      To the atheist and critics of religion organizations in the world and all the bloggers everywhere!
                      Soheil Arabi is in danger of getting executed merely because he criticized I slam in his blog. He has apparently criticized the prophet of Islam in an article and they are now planning to execute him in Iran.
                      Soheil is the father of a five year old girl. Rojan and his family are asking all the people of the world not to allow this execution to happen. The International Campaign Against Execution (ICAE) is particularly inviting all bloggers, organizations criticizing religion, defenders of freedom of speech and defenders of human rights to not permit the execution of Soheil Arabi.
                      Join the campaign against execution of Soheil Arabi. We invite all to help us save him by holding meetings, sending protest letters and any other way they can.
                      This protest movement can save the life of a blogger and is an important step toward defense of freedom of speech and ideology!
                      We should all work together to prevent the execution of Soheil Arabi
                      International Campaign Against Execution

                      September 10, 2014