LETTERS ABROAD

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“The Islamic Republic has taken away and pillaged everything I had.  But my heart will not be taken away by power-hungry and oppressive men.  My heart will continue to beat with the screams of mothers who have lost their loved ones,  men who demand freedom,  youth who still have passion.  They will strengthen my outcry.”  

Zamaneh, 12/26/2019

Translated & transcribed by Frieda Afary

ABOUT NARGES MOHAMMADI

Narges Mohammadi, B.A. in applied physics,  is a  journalist, women’s rights and human rights activist,  and  deputy director  of  the Center for the Defenders of Human Rights in Iran, founded by Nobel Peace Laureate, Shirin Ebadi.  In 2009, after mass protests to oppose the fraudulent election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, she was arrested on charges of  “assembly and collusion against national security,” and sentenced to 11 years in prison. By 2013,  after developing severe health problems, she was released after posting bail.  In 2015, she was rearrested on charges of sedition and for starting a campaign against the death penalty.   Her opposition to the execution of innocent Sunni political prisoners was used by the courts to accuse her of “supporting ISIS.” 

 

In 2016, she received a 16-year prison sentence which she is now serving.  She continues to face severe health problems which now includes contracting COVID-19.   She has been denied the right to a conversation with her young children for the past year.   Last December after joining a sit in of women prisoners at the Evin prison in Tehran in honor of those protesters killed during the November 2019 uprising,  she was severely beaten by prison authorities and forcibly transferred to the Zanjan prison as a punishment.   Afterward, in an open letter from prison she wrote:  “The Islamic Republic has taken away and pillaged everything I had.  But my heart will not be taken away by power hungry and oppressive men.  My heart will continue to beat with the screams of mothers who have lost their loved ones,  men who demand freedom,  youth who still have passion.  They will strengthen my outcry.

ABOUT THIS PAGE

Letters from Iranian political prisoners Narges Mohammadi and Golrokh Iraee, translated by Freida Afary, are featured as part of this platform to hold space for conversation on the relationship between political structures abroad and the carceral state. 

 

This compilation of letters further explores the significance of letter writing for incarcerated individuals. In these letters, we learn that letter writing is not only used as a tool to maintain closeness to loved ones but a tool for advocacy as well. To learn more about the work of Mohammadi and Iraee please attend our workshop with Frieda Afary on November 21st at 11 am!

 

 

As of October 8th, 2020 Mohammadi has been released from prison

ABOUT GOLROKH IRAEE

Golrokh Iraee, writer has been in prison since October 2016 with the exception of  a brief few months. She first served a four-year prison sentence for writing an unpublished story against the barbaric practice of stoning. She and her husband Arash Sadeghi who has been imprisoned since 2014, have gone on long hunger strikes and have also suffered beatings and terrible conditions. In November 2019, a few months after finishing her sentence and being released on bail, she received another two year sentence on new charges of sedition and  was sent to the notorious Gharachak-Varamin Women’s Prison in the outskirts of Tehran. 

During all these years in prison, Iraee has continued to express her views through open letters smuggled out for publication. These letters have scathingly opposed the Islamic Republic and have also expressed her solidarity with Kurdish woman political prisoner, Zeinab Jalalian as well as other oppressed minorities and workers including prison workers. In a recent statement, she wrote: “ The vortex that we are immersed in has been brought about by our own imprudence. The only way to free ourselves from it is to open our eyes and review the history which we have not been determined to read.” She has developed bone cancer as a result of her prison experience. Despite all that she has suffered, including beatings and hunger strikes,  and bone cancer, she continues to write open letter from prison: 

 

This is what she wrote on May 8, 2020 in defense of Kurdish woman political prisoner,  Zeynab Jalalian: “Zeynab Jalalian is not only a person or a prisoner, but is “the lost meaning of real struggle” in the current banal political atmosphere of Iran.  She is a teacher of the alphabet of “freedom struggle” and the embodiment of resistance, who has been forgotten by both friends and enemies.  May the memory of #Farzad Kamangar (beloved Kurdish school teacher)  last forever, as we are in the 10th year of his execution. May the path of the freedom fighters continue, who were never deceived by the promise of name and power. Although they have risked their lives, or subjected their bodies to torture and persecution, they have never given up the struggle in exchange for personal interests or greed.”

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, May 8, 2020

Varamin-Qarchak Prison

IRANIAN FEMINIST POLITICAL PRISONER'S OPEN LETTER DEFENDS KURDISH WOMEN POLITICAL PRISONERS

Golrokh Iraee's letter from inside the Varamin-Qarchak prison, where the pressures on #Zeynab Jalalian continue.

Zeinab Jalalian is one of the longest serving political prisoner in Iran. After enduring years of incarceration and torture in several prisons and detention centers, she has been transferred from Khoy prison- which is close to her home and family – to Varamin- Qarchak prison, and has been put under pressure by the security forces.

During her long years in prison, Zeynab Jalalian has resisted all the tortures and refused to give in to the dictated confession coerced by security forces.

This unexpected transfer of Zeynab after years of imprisonment, as well as the transfer of another Kurdish political prisoner Sakineh Parvaneh to Varamin-Qarchak prison, has been used as a tool to increase the pressure on them.

 

After being transferred, with the aim of pressurizing, Sakine Parvaneh was taken to Aminabad psychiatric hospital for several times and has been beaten. This is an obvious violation of human rights.

This vindictive action committed by security organizations shall be condemned, it would be a crime to remain silent about it, and places a big responsibility on the shoulders of the ones who claim to care.

 

Zeynab Jalalian is not only a person or a prisoner, but is “the lost meaning of real struggle” in the current banal political atmosphere of Iran.

She is a teacher of the alphabet of “freedom struggle” and the embodiment of resistance, who has been forgotten by both friends and enemies.

 

May the memory of #Farzad Kamangar (beloved Kurdish school teacher) last forever, as we are in the 10th year of his execution. May the path of the freedom fighters continue, who were never deceived by the promise of name and power. Although they have risked their lives, or subjected their bodies to torture and persecution, they have never given up the struggle in exchange for personal interests or greed.

نامه #گلرخ‌ایرایی از زندان قرچک ورامین؛ فشارها بر 

#زینب‌جلالیان ادامه دارد

زینب جلالیان یکی از قدیمی‌ترین زندانیان سیاسی ایران است. او پس از گذراندن سال‌ها حبس در بازداشتگاه‌ها و زندان‌های مختلف و پس از تحمل شکنجه‌های بسیار، مجدداً در روزهای اخیر از زندان خوی که نزدیک به محل سکونت خانواده‌اش است، به زندان قرچک ورامین منتقل شد و با فشارهای مجدد ماموران امنیتی مواجه شد.

زینب جلالیان طی سال‌های طولانی حبس در برابر تمامی آزار و اذیت‌ها مقاومت کرد و تن به اعترافات دیکته شده‌ی امنیتی‌ها نداد.

این انتقال نابهنگام پس از سال‌ها حبس و همچنین انتقال #سکینه_پروانه دیگر زندانی سیاسی کرد به زندان قرچک ورامین که در ماه‌های اخیر فشارهای زیادی را متحمل شده شده، برای اعمال فشار بیشتر بوده است.

سکینه پروانه از زمان انتقال به زندان قرچک برای اعمال فشار بیشتر بارها با بیمارستان روان‌درمانی امین‌آباد منتقل و مورد صرب و جرح قرار گرفته است. و باید گفت این‌ها همه گویای نقض حقوق انسان است.

این حرکات کینه‌توزانه توسط ارگان‌های امنیتی محکوم است و سکوت در برابر آن جنایت است و مسئولیتی سنگین برعهده مدعیان می‌گذارد.

زینب جلالیان، نه فقط یک شخص و نه فقط یک زندانی است؛ بلکه مفهوم گم‌شده‌ی مبارزه در فضای مبتذل سیاسی امروز ایران است.

زینب جلالیان آموزگار الفبای آزادی‌خواهی است. او مفهوم مقاومتی است که توسط دوست و دشمن از یاد برده شد.

زنده باد یاد #فرزاد_کمانگر که در دهمین سالروز جان‌باختن‌اش هستیم. و پُر رهرو باد راه آزادی‌خواهانی که فریفته‌ی نام و جایگاه نشدند؛ و اگرچه سر به دار و تن به تازیانه داده‌اند، مفهوم مبارزه را دست‌خوش منافع و مطامع شخصی نکرده‌اند.

#گلرخ‌ابراهیمی‌ایرایی / ۱۹ اردیبهشت ۱۳۹۹ / #زندان‌قرچک‌ورامین”.