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Witness Statement: Shahrara

32. After they transferred me back to the cell, I felt an immense amount of pressure. I decided to slit my wrist. One time, when the guard was distracted, I broke a piece of glass and slashed my veins. Blood gushed out and I lost consciousness. They transferred me to the infirmary.

33. I was not the only one who attempted suicide because of the severe psychological and physical pressure we were under. One of the inmates in the room next to me also attempted suicide. Her name was Soheila Darvish. Unlike me, she was successful. I found out she had killed herself when I heard one of the guards scream. In the morning, she had come over to her cell to provide some tea. When she opened the door she screamed and the plate she was carrying fell to the floor and shattered. Later, I found out that Soheila had hanged herself. However, her death seemed very suspicious.

34. I think they killed most of the Mojahedin prisoners at Evin, regardless of whether they were male or female. They even executed one of the Mojahedin prisoners who had lost her mind in prison and was always sick and in bed. As far as I know, however, they did not execute female Leftists at Evin. The only Leftist prisoner who was executed was Fatemeh Modaressi-Tehrani, who was a Tudeh member. It has been said that she was executed in the spring of 1988.

35. After a while, the whipping of Leftist female prisoners came to an end. The situation slowly improved. They then detained us among ordinary prisoners. We were constantly harassed by these prisoners. They would frequently surround us and chant, “Death to communists!” There were four of us who were detained among the ordinary, nonpolitical prisoners. After that, they transferred us to solitary cells located in the sanatorium and we were kept there for about two to three months.

VIII. Release

 

36. In the autumn of 1990-two years after the end of my term, I was still in prison. All of the remaining political prisoners were being kept in the sanatorium. The prison authorities attempted to put pressure on us by using our families so that we would break and agree to write repentance letters. Several prisoners broke and accepted the regime’s conditions for release. But others continued to resist.

37. That same month, they summoned me and informed me that my family had placed their home and store as collateral for bail so that I would be freed. At the time, Naserian was the head of Evin prison. He summoned me and said that I was allowed to go on leave and be with my family for two weeks. As I mentioned before, families put a lot of pressure on their loved ones to accept the regime’s conditions for permanent release. My mother was ill and my family had used their land and store as collateral—everyone expected me to give in to the conditions. I was put in a very difficult spot. In the end, I decided to provide them with a promise that I would discontinue my political activities but I refused to give an interview. In my letter I wrote that I reject my past activities and promise not to become politically active again. I acknowledged that if I were to continue these activities, I would be tried and sentenced again.

38. This was how I was released. After that, I had to report every week to Revolutionarily Prosecution office and to answer to their questions. Like before, I was blindfolded and made to sit on a chair facing the wall and answer their questions in the Revolutionary Prosecution office. I was under surveillance. My social and family lives were always controlled. I was living in a constant atmosphere of fear. Every time that I reported to the Revolutionary court, there was the possibility of being re-arrested and sent to prison. In fact, we were denied our citizenship rights. We could neither continue our education nor have the right to work. I was indeed trapped in a larger prison after release.

The End

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, 1988 Prison Massacre, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Free Speech, Child Rights