A letter that breaks your heart

We have already written about Shabnam Madadzadeh in this blog. A univestity student and deputy assistant to a branch of one of the legitimate political parties in Iran. Shabnam was arrested more than a year ago by the security forces and spent 70 days in solitary before being transferred to Ward 209 Evin prison.  She has written an open letter which you will see the extracts below:

In the name of conscious, freedom and justice:

Evin prison, women's ward, 9.15 PM. The loudspeaker reads the names of those who will be taken to court tomorrow. The TVs are turned off and silence prevails. The cell doors open wide so to hear the names. It is the only time one can feel the silence in this colony of noise. My name is read as well. During the 5 months I am in this common ward this is the third time my name comes up but the the court does not convene. I have been waiting for a whole year for a court  hearing, especially when I know that my brother, Farzad will be there and seeing him will give me energy to continue.

In the morning, a female guard reads my name and prepares the handcuffs and my fellow prisoners wish me luck. Despite everyone else who refuse to be handcuffed, I calmly put my hands forward as I believe that our thoughts are chained and they are searching every corner of ur brains to find and kill our thoughts. We ride the bus and I look around to find Farzad, who calms me dawn with his look. In the court waitning room, I am assured by the warm embrace of my sister and father who try to hide their pain under their smiles and who whisper in my ear; 'Be firm' despite the fract that they have come to this place for the 6th time waiting our trial.

We are hurdled towards the judges room and the secretary announces we have to wait until the 'expert' on our file shows up. I see my interogators and suddenly all those pressures, assaults and tortures and solitary days surge in my mind and I see Farzad's painful face after torture and beating and I am filled with hatred. We understood through the interrogator's abusive language that our father has lost the sight on one eye due to pressures used by our interrogators.

The court is in session and in the presence of deputy prosecutor and security services' interrogators. The accusations are read: Moharebeh (against God) and against the regime………….We are deprived to defend ourselves. Farzad spoke nonetheless and said that he was tortured and beaten up. The judge asked him to show signs of torture! After one year! Your physical wounds will heal after such a long time but how about your mental wounds?

The court ends and the judge announces the verdict will be given next week.  We are dispatched to the court after two week and they put a paper in front of us and command us to sign without reading. I get 5 years and exile to Rejai Shahr!

On the way back to prison, I look at the mountains, the trees and the people. I think of the judge and the prosecutor and the interrogators. What a justice!

My friends and those of you who read my story, I am going to spend 5 years of my life under this China Wall and see the world surrounded by walls.

Shabnam Madadzadeh, a young, intelligent girl who had not committed any crime but was given such a harsh sentence for speaking her thoughts,  was taken to hospital with serious illness last week and we are all concerned about her state of health.

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