Mahdieh Golroo Writes Letter in memory of executed prisoner Shirin Alam Hooli May

May 13, 2010

Mahdieh Golroo, an imprisoned member of the Right to Education Council, has written a letter in memory of her cellmate executed political prisoner Shirin Alam Hooli.

You were with us and now you are gone without us; like the scent of a flower. Where did you go? We spent Saturday night without Shirin. It was the most bitter moment of our imprisonment. It was a dark and dreadful night. Every second seemed to last forever for us who longed to see Shirin again. The telephone line in the women’s ward was disconnected from Saturday afternoon, which only added to the distress. We were all together in a room that belonged only to us.

Shirin liked it like that. She had suffered more than us and liked the seclusion, but she was the first to leave this room. That night, even those who had been detained in Evin prison for a long period of time, recalled their memories of the people who suddenly vanished in the dark of night to reach the eternal light of freedom. We spent our time talking about the bitter memories of those whose comrades were sent to the gallows. We admired the resistance of these women who tolerated the pressures of their friends’ deaths to bring about better days for the next generations.

Alas, the circle of injustice continues, and it was not long before our patience was called to task when Shirin was abruptly separated from us without having time to say goodbye; as if the noose was calling her name, hoping to see a glimmer of fear in her eagle eyes. But I know well that Shirin’s courage was ridiculing that stark Evin night and the harshness of the noose. What a futile dream. The circle of injustice continues to test our level of patience with the abrupt separation of Shirin from us. It was as if the gallow’s rope was calling her name and hoped to see a glimpse of fear in her eagle eyes. But we know well that her bravery had made a mockery of that night in Evin and the noose. Every second that passed was hard.

We were waiting to hear about Shirin. When they took her away, they used the excuse that her father’s name was written incorrectly in their records. It did not cross our minds that that moment would be the last we would see her. Shirin’s enthusiasm for life and progress and the effort she put into her studies resembled someone who had just entered prison and was about to be released soon.

Oh, what a night it was. The prisoner count on Sunday morning felt like a heavy burden on our shoulders. By then, we were sure that, once again, the life of a fighter and a lioness from the land of Kurdistan, whose resistance defied the mountains, was lost to the noose. It was hard to believe. We heard on the two o’clock news that Shirin had been executed and thus will never return. Even though we had heard the news of execution before in memoirs and in the writings of history, we felt the bitterness of Shirin’s loss in every cell of our body.

That night was the culmination of all the nights in our lives. We hoped for something that prisoners of twenty years ago yearned for: an end to injustice so that the future generation will not have to go through this. Four days have passed since the tragedy. A black scarf that signifies the colour of our mourning lies on her bed. I sleep on the prison cell’s floor. My cell-mates insist that I sleep on Shirin’s bed. But I cannot take the place of pottery teacher; she is irreplaceable.

Mahdieh Golroo, Evin Prison


A Letter from Death Row: Shirin Alamhoei

May 13, 2010

Recently, female political prisoner Shirin Alamhoei was executed in Iran for allegedly being a member of the Kurdish opposition organization PJAK.  Below is the translation of her letter from prison which was written on January 18, 2010. The letter describes the torture and interrogations she endured before her death sentence was issued.

Shirin Alamhoei’s Letter:

I was arrested in April 2008 in Tehran by a number of uniformed and non-uniformed security forces. I was transferred directly to the Sepah Detention Centre and held there for 25 days. The minute I entered the detention centre they began beating me without asking me any questions or waiting for any answers.

I spent 22 days on a hunger strike. During that time, I endured both physical and psychological torture.

My interrogators were all men and I was tied to a bed. They would beat me with electrical batons, cables, and would punch and kick me until I was unconscious. At that time I still had difficulty speaking and understanding Farsi. When I was not able to answer their questions they continued to beat me until I lost consciousness.

When it was prayer time they would go pray. During that time, I was supposed to think so I can answer questions. Once they returned, they continued with their beatings until I lost consciousness. Then they would drench me with cold water.

When they saw that I would not break my hunger strike, they tried to force feed me with tubes. I resisted them by ripping the tubes out of my nose. This led to great pain and bleeding. Now, two years later, I still suffer from that pain.

One day during interrogations they kicked my stomach so hard that I had severe internal bleeding. Another time an interrogator (the only one I actually saw. I was always blindfolded in the presence of the other interrogators) began to ask me irrelevant questions. When I refused to answer him, he slapped me and pulled out a gun and put it to my head. He said, “Answer the questions. I know that you are a member of PJAK, you’re a terrorist. Listen to me girl, it doesn’t matter if you talk or not. Either way we are happy that we’ve captured a PJAK member.”

Once when a doctor had come to look at my wounds I was in a mixed state of sleep and consciousness. The doctor requested that I be transferred to the hospital. The interrogator asked, “Why does she have to go to the hospital? Can’t she be treated here?” The doctor replied, “It’s not for treatment. In the hospital, I can do something to her that she will start talking.”

The next day I was taken to the hospital with blind folds and handcuffs. The doctor gave me a needle. I lost complete control and apparently started talking and answering all of their questions exactly the way they wanted. They videotaped the scenario. Once I regained control of my mind, I asked them where I was and realized that I was still lying in the hospital bed. I was then transferred back to my cell.

Apparently even that wasn’t enough for the interrogators; they wanted me to suffer more. They would force me to stand up on my feet after they had beaten my feet so bad that they were completely swollen. Then they would give me ice. I could hear screams of other prisoners day and night, and that really bothered me and upset me. Later I learned that the screams had been taped in order to psychologically torture me. Sometimes I would sit in the interrogation room for hours while drops of cold water would fall on my head for hours.

On another occasion I was blindfolded and interrogated. The interrogator burned my hand with his cigarette. On another occasion the interrogator stood on my feet with his shoes for so long that my nails turned black and eventually fell off. Sometimes they would just force me to stand up the entire day in the interrogation room without asking me any questions while the interrogators solved crossword puzzles. They did everything they could to make sure I suffered.

After I was released from the hospital they decided to transfer me to Section 209 of Evin Prison, however due to my injuries, I was unable to walk to Section 209, so they refused to accept me. They held me in front of Section 209 for an entire day and then they were finally forced to take me to the prison clinic.

I had lost all sense of time and did not know whether it was day or night. I do not know how long I stayed in the prison’s clinic. Once I was feeling a little better, I was transferred to Section 209 and the interrogations began once again.

In Section 209 they had their own special interrogation techniques, and they always played “good cop/bad cop.”

First a “bad” interrogator would come and subject me to torture and tell me that he was not bound to any law, therefore he could do whatever he wanted with me. Then a “good” interrogator would come and ask the “bad” interrogator to stop torturing me and would offer me a cigarette. Then the entire cycle would repeat itself.

In Section 209, when I was not feeling well because of the torture or internal bleeding, they would just inject me with pain killers and I would spend entire days sleeping. They would not take me to the prison clinic for treatment.

Shirin Alamhoei, Evin Prison, January 18, 2010

State run news agency fires female journalist for participation in demo

April 27, 2010

Zeinab Kazemzadeh (ISNA reporter) who was arrested in her home at 3 am on February 7, 2010 by 9 agents of the Intelligence Agency went to the ISNA offices after her release from prison, but Saied Pourali, the former head of this news agency, called her a ‘traitor’ and said that they cannot accept her as a employee in ISNA.

Female political prisoners protest being kept with criminals

April 27, 2010

According to reports, political prisoners in the women’s section in Evin Prison held a sit-in outside the office of the head of this section and demanded that prison regulations that state that prisoners have to be segregated in respect of their crimes be carried out.

The head of the block, Rezayi, threatened them saying that the prosecutor has to order the segregation. These prisoners announced that they will continue their protest until their demands are met. In this section, all female prisoners are segregated by their crimes except political prisoners. (Goya News – April 25, 2010)

Maryam Rajavi: Fire Festival uprising in Iran, a major defeat for clerical regime

March 27, 2010

17 March 2010

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, described the Fire Festival uprising on Tuesday as a major defeat for the clerical regime and its suppressive machinery and massive propaganda apparatus.

The regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in an anti-Iranian and anti-Islamic decree on Sunday said the festival has “no basis in sharia (Islamic religious law) and creates a lot of harm and corruption, (which is why) it is appropriate to avoid it.”

Mrs. Rajavi said: People of Tehran from east to west and from south to north united during the Fire Festival and chanted in unison “Down with Khamenei” and “down with dictator” and threw Khamenei’s posters along with his decree into the fire.

She emphasized: The uprising across Iran during the festival was a display of the capacities of the Iranian people and the Resistance to bring down the clerical regime and bring about a democratic change.

Many cities including Esfahan, Shiraz, Kashan, Ahwaz, Mashhad, Orumieh, Ardabil, Shahr-e Kord, Sanandaj, Ilam, Kermanshah, Lahijan, Karaj and Boroujerd were engulfed by people’s revolt during the Fire Festival. Burning the pictures of Khamenei and Khomeini and setting fire to suppressive forces’ centers and vehicles were a crushing response by people to any conciliation that have been encouraged by the regime’s internal factions calling on people not to participate in the Fire Festival uprising, Mrs. Rajavi noted.

The uprising on Tuesday took place against all suppressive measures, death sentences issued for those detained during the Ashura uprising, widespread arrests and extensive psychological warfare to prevent it.

Mrs. Rajavi called on international community to take urgent steps to release a large number of youths arrested during yesterday’s uprising and attacks by the suppressive forces last night.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

The Iranian nation deserves a different fate

February 16, 2010

 By: Maryam Rajavi

Published in French daily Le Figaro on Feb 12, 2010*

On the day after the anniversary of the revolution, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, condemns the growing repression against the People’s Mojahedin. The West has committed a serious error in its calculations by investing in the regime’s potential to modify its behavior Former Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson asked me one day how the Iranian people, heir to a great civilization, could submit to a regime as backward as that of Khomeini? I told him that the people had not accepted the regime. The regime had been imposed on people and until now 120,000 people have been executed.

Today, eight months of uprisings prove that the Iranian nation does not accept the fanatical regime and deserves a different fate. They have demonstrated a desire to overthrow the regime and take control of their destiny. The struggle against the religious dictatorship did not begin after the sham elections in June. Rather, the sham elections exposed the deep division at the top of the regime and served as a catalyst for the outburst of suppressed popular anger.

The regime is adopting a harsher tone against an uprising that is becoming more organized by the day. The regime’s officials have apparently discovered that “an intelligent and organizing force is behind these events” and that “the PMOI [People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran] led the protests of Ashura [on December 27].

They were taken aback when they heard the slogans that appeared on the websites of our resistance movement chanted in Tehran’s streets. As such, the sharp edge of the suppression is focused on the supporters and families of the PMOI.

A large number of families of residents of Ashraf (a city where members of the PMOI reside in Iraq) and former political prisoners have been arrested and tortured in recent weeks. The regime’s officials emphasize that anyone who collaborates with the PMOI is considered mohareb (enemy of God) and therefore sentenced to death, even if the person has merely been involved in political activities.

The trend of suppression has increased. The execution of two young political opponents and the death sentences of nine more revealed signs of panic in the regime. The regime tried to discourage people from participating in protests yesterday on the anniversary of the anti-monarchical revolution on February 11.

Despite the high number of arrests, murders and injuries the uprising marks a victory for the people and rings the death knell for the regime in its entirety. The opposing internal faction certainly cannot represent the desire for change, but it can be found on the right side, provided that it distances itself from the mullahs’ Supreme Leader and the regime’s constitution.

The myth of a possible internal reform by the regime was buried for the second time in the aftermath of the sham elections. The West committed a serious mistake by investing in the regime’s ability to reform itself.

Everyone knows that the system derives great benefit from its relations with the West and even from the nuclear talks. The regime’s Supreme Leader attempts to exploit these as signs of stability.

In the midst of the uprising in October 2009, he falsely gave the impression that he would accept the Geneva deal to deliver enriched uranium, in order to take advantage of the appeasement of Western powers and also deter the United States from supporting the uprising.

We should recall that the regime acquires its suppressive equipment, wiretapping instruments, and internet filtering tools from Western companies. While innocent people are killed during protests or hanged for their alleged “support for the PMOI”, some governments continue to place restrictions on our resistance, which are shameful in the current circumstances of uprisings. Avoiding to make diplomatic and trade relations with the regime contingent on ceasing of repression – especially since the economy is monopolized by the Revolutionary Guards which is in charge of the crackdown – is beneficial only to the regime.

Make no mistake. The Iranian people do not seek support from this or that government. I only wish to invite policymakers to stop siding with the regime and avoid interfering in the struggle between the Iranian people and their torturers. The people will continue their vigorous struggle for the establishment of a pluralistic and secular republic.

Defending the Iranian people and their legitimate demands will buy honor for any country and will compensate for the past mistakes of any country. That is how we can build the basis of healthy relations with the Iranian people in the future.

Victory: Iran: Families persistent protests force regime to release a small number of prisoners

February 4, 2010
Families movement will continue with people’s support until the release of all prisoners

On the wake of February 11 anniversary, the clerical regime faced with public anger and disgust was forced last weekend to release a small number of those detained during the uprising due to continued and widespread protests by families of political prisoners. The move comes while the mullahs have sentenced to death a number of detainees charged with “moharebeh” (enmity against God) and many others are facing trials for the same charge.