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