Evin, the school of Love!

Shabnam Madadzadeh, a university student and political activist was detained in February 2009 along with her brother. She was kept in solitary for 70 days and then transferred to ward 209. Although the bail money has been paid for her release but security apparatus has denied her freedom. The extracts are from a letter which was published by Committee of Reporters of Human Rights.

In the name of freedom, awareness and justice!

It was the last days of winter that I had to leave Teacher’s Training and come to Evin. I was supposed to be with my fellow university students and continue the sixth term. Now, Ward 209 of Evin prison is my life and my university. It was exactly the first of the last month of winter that I set foot in this school. A place different from all schools in the world. A school where every cell is a class and you are the only student for months. Sometimes your classmates come to visit. They are not your age but close to your heart from every group: journalist, reporter, student, and….from every religion: Muslim, Ba’ahai, Christian, and….The walls are your blackboard and instead of one teacher, thousands have written on the walls and gone. ‘I wish there was an arbitrator, a judge, a judgment.’ ‘Is there anyone to hear you?’

‘If I become the loneliest, there still is a God.’ And you have to learn your lessons by yourself. Lessons that you have not heard them from any teacher nor written on any blackboard.

…………….The end of term and your examination paper is the interrogation papers under the close watch of the guards. I write a letter to the judge and tell him that I spent the last term in ward 209 of Evin. I wanted to sit for examinations with my friends and celebrate the spring of 1388 with them and wait for the hot summer days. Here, I never sensed the coming of spring; nor its departure. In this part of town spring never comes because it never walks through the barbedwires.

Now, autumn rains are knocking at my window and my soul is free to come to you. The rain that knocks at my window repeats a melody for me. “ the melody of life outside this horrific tight place”. Life is streaming as always. The academic terms have started and I have entered another university without choosing any subject. This is ‘Methadone’ ward and has no relevance to my beautiful mathematics college, where you could walk on the stony lanes and sit under the ancient willow tree and breathe fresh air.*

Translation: Rouhi Shafii

*Recently some of the prisoners of conscious have been transferred to the ward which keeps drug addicts and is known as ‘Methadone’ ward.

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