Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Victims and Witnesses

“Let Me Speak” : a Tale From Prison

Nargess Mohammadi/ translated by Farnaz Alvandi
Defenders of Human Rights Center
July 30, 2015

When Ali and Kiana got born they were 2.4 kg and 2.3 kg. Because of my physical conditions like hypertension and albumin excretion I gave birth to them one month sooner. During my C-section I had pulmonary embolism.my milk was contaminated with anticoagulant I was given so called heparin and Warfarin. As a result I was not be able to breast feed my twins. They were here in this world for eight days but I were not allowed to hug them because of Scintigraphy Ray side effects. I begged my husband to help me see them behind the windows of infant’s room.my husband-Taghi- took me there on wheelchair. Ali and Kiana were slept there in infant incubator. Perhaps since their birth destiny determined separation for us. And it was the start of our journey together. I remember when I finally got the chance to hug them for the first time I forgot all my pains and miseries.

I just realized I became a mother and I returned to life with my tiny little twins. In December 2008 “The Defenders for Human Rights Centre” was shut down and Intelligence Ministry of Iran intimidate me to resign from “The Defenders for Human Rights Centre”. They threaten if I don’t follow the order, I would face deprivation.

It was May 2009.Ali and Kiana got 2 and half years old. After presidential post-election conflicts my interrogator called me and ask me to leave Tehran. He warned me “don’t count on any immunity because of your kids. I would bring them (my twins) with you into the cell”.

I hurried to pack my twins stuff; the bottles, diapers; God knows what was going on in my head.

Saturday afternoon 21th July, I arrived at my brother place in Mashhad. I returned back to Tehran after 10 days. In October 2009 I got fired from my job. I had no more reason to stay in Tehran. I packed my kids’ stuff and went to Ghazvin to stay with my mother in law. I received a threatening call from Intelligence Ministry to show up the next day otherwise they would have come to detain me.

The next day my mother in law and I arrived at the address they gave us. They threatened to arrest me. I packed again and I moved to Zanjan with my kids.

The Intelligence Ministry of Zanjan summoned my 75 years old father. He was subjected the harassment. He angrily replied them;”Narges is my daughter and her kids are my grandchildren, how could you expect me to ask them to leave?!”

My father returned home with piteous look on his face. The Revolutionary Court summoned me and charged me on my association with “The Defenders for Human Rights Centre”.

I was released on bail. My interrogator notified me that I shouldn’t think it is over, you will be arrested again .I took my black baggage, my dear Kiyana and Ali, and left for Mashhad. They went in front of my brother’s manufactory, and made another awkward interrogation. They called me a fugitive that Mr. Mohammadi has given refuge, I came back to Tehran.

Ali and Kiana are now 3 yars and 6 month

My dear Kiayana became sick and hospitalized all of a sudden. She had fever. Ministry of Intelligence people came to arrest me at 10:30pm. My dear Ali was crying. I put him on my legs and sung him lullaby. Kiyana was uneasy with fever, I hugged her and kissed her. I asked her, “Why don’t you sleep my dear?” She told me “I want to stay with you”. I hugged her tight to make her feel comfortable. She understood the unsecure environment we were in. It was 1:30am. The Security forces neither considered the kids, nor the mother, nor ordered me to go with them. I tried to get Kiyana away from myself, she hugged me so tight, and she was crying loudly, I gave her to Taghi. I couldn’t see my feet, I went slowly through the stairs. I heard my crying baby’ voice: “Mommy come and kiss me.” I could hear my dearest baby’s cry, it was tearing my heart apart. But I was forced to go to my solitary confinement.

During my whole stay in ward 209 they did not let me see them or hear their voices. The bitterness of this deprivation was an unbearable agony. But no whatever we as mothers experience in these cells was not just deprivation it was villainy.

Once I saw a respectable middle aged man in the interrogation room. He said you need to spend more time in your cell and think about what you did. I felt I can relate to him because of his age and his manner. I said” sir I have two kids, one of them had surgery. I missed them. For god sake I am a mother”

I still remember his apathetic face. He looked at me and said “what about mothers in Gaza, aren’t they mother? “He left me speechless. I left the room quietly. I finally released from prison sick and week.

Ali and Kiana turned 4 years old

It was a cold night in February 2010. Security forces broke the door and entered the house. I was sick and I was sitting on the sofa. Kiana was laid on my lap. She tightly locked her small hands around my neck. She was frightened to death. Ali was scared too. But he was acting like a man. He was walking around and was asking the security guards to not touch his stuffs. When the security guards were searching the closet. He was telling to Kiana “see Kiana he is a thief”. They searched everywhere. And my kids were looking at them with fear and agitation. They humiliated my husband and talked to him offensively. Ali who was angry with the way they were treating his father stepped in and said “look; I have a very strong uncle who can take you all at once “my poor kid; I looked at him proudly.

I knew there is big pain behind these innocent words. The intelligence forces detained my husband and kiana was following his dad while she was crying hysterically. They were gone and my poor little angle was lying there crying with her face on the cold stone.

My Ali and Kiana got 5 and half years old

In April 2012 intelligence forces found me in my father’s house in Zanjan.Taghi had left Iran and my kids and I were living with my parents. The intelligence officer told me “we have an order to take you to intelligence ministry for few questions”. They said we will bring you back soon. I saw my mother’s face, she seemed astonished.

Ali ran into his room and brought his yellow gun, he looked at me and said “I will come with you “. Kiana grabbed my skirt and whispered” mama please don’t go”. While I was still hearing my kids crying I closed the door behind my back and I got into the car with them. When I was transferred to ward 209 that night; I asked from a woman police officer “do you have children “she answered “yes”. I said you promised to bring me back tonight. I didn’t even kiss or hug my children”. She looked down and left me without saying a word. I dealt with whatever I faced during my imprisonment. I took over 20pills daily. And I was hospitalized twice. I was discharged after several days of hysteria and fainting.

My kid are now eight and half years

On 5th May 2015, my kids who are now first grader went to school at 7:30.At 8:30 I had unexpected visitors. The intelligence officers are behind the door. They asked me to open the door. “We want to take you to speak to Mr.khodabakhshi” they said. But they lied to me again. They transferred me to women’s political prisoners ward at Tehran’s Evin Prison.

17th July 2015

My kids are going to leave the country today. On the last prison visit that I had with them Kiana said “mama while you are in prison we will go to live with daddy, we will return when you got back from prison “. I promptly replied “ok my dear”. Ali looked at me and asked “don’t you be upset mommy? He curiously looked at my face to see my reaction. I tried to show my support to not make them worry.

I returned back to my room and sat on my bed. They soon will be gone and I won’t see them for a long time. God knows how much I loved Sundays because of prison visits. Every Sunday morning I was excited to see them. I was full of energy after watching them playing and laughing.my cell mates were talking about their sweetness after every visit.

In my mind I am talking to my dear Ali and Kiana. “My dear Ali and Kiana you have all the rights to not live in the land which does not recognize or respect your innocent world”

I don’t know, maybe in another part of the world you will find peace and security. I will tolerate this torment like many other women in this land. I will bear all these unfair pressures.

My dearest kids whenever you called me I was there for you. Please forgive me my sweethearts. You had to live with deprivation that they imposed me since your very early childhood. On the morning of July 17th my dearest kids will leave Iran. I don’t know the time. But I am still awake. I feel anxious. I look around. In front of me is Sajedeh Arabsorkhi’s bed, she has also endured one year of being apart from her 9 years old daughter, Saba. Beside me is Faran Hesami’s bed, she has been apart from her 6 years old Artin for 3 years. The other side is Maryam Akbari whose beautiful Sara hasn’t seen her mother’s face at home for 6 years. Last time Sara saw her mother at home she was 3 years old. Neda Mostaghimi is in the next room who has left her 9 year old Ghazaleh at home. My god, there are distressed mothers all around me!

I recall Moses’s mother’s story. God tells the mother to give milk to Moses, put him in the basket, and leave him in the Nile River. I will return him to you. He adds the last part to make the mother feel better.

In the morning, Moses’s mother can’t hold on the secret and wants to make it known. Tyranny doesn’t know time and location, tyranny doesn’t know the affection of mother and child. I remember my interrogator’s word, “Aren’t the mothers of Gaza mother?” He certainly didn’t see me as a Gaza mother, but in his subconscious without thinking, left himself in the position of a Zionist jailer oppressing the Gaza mothers.

Its night and silence has overtaken everywhere. I imagine seating beside Moses’s mother, taking each other’s hands. Tyranny will finally fall, Sooner or later. Till then, despite all tears and pain, I will stay steady and strong. Moses’s mother sent him down the river due to Pharaoh’s oppression to let her child be safe in a safe land. I, too, will entrust my dear Ali and Kiyana to sky so they will go to a safe land where they can be free. Hope that they can sleep without worry in that land. I tried to protect my children from the grimly circumstances I was surrounded by and make them feel safe. But not only had they trampled my kid’s safety they also driven us apart. I have nothing to lose now. They took my job, my house, my civic activity and last but not least my husband. I didn’t turn a hair.

However now my heart and soul (my kids) are gone, I am crying my eyes out. I call my God, my nation and all suffered mothers of my land to witness this agony. I suddenly realized my children‘s plane should have taken off by now and I am left behind in this injustice system.

Deep inside I hope this oppression will not last long so no mothers will no longer suffer. I look around .The sun has risen.my dear friends “Bahareh Hdayat, Mahvash Shahriyari,Fariba kamal abadi,Nasim Bagheri,Maryam Akbari,Sedigheh moradi,Zahra Zahtab,Faran Hesami,Reyhaneh Haaj ebrahim,Roya Saberi,Behnaz Zakeri, Atena forghedani,Atena daemi,Elham Barmaki, Elham Farahani,Neda Mostaghimi and Shokofeh Azar masooleh” will be awakened in few minutes. And they will warm my heart with their reassuring words. I am here beside of another 20 women. Half of them are mothers and four of us have under 10 year’s old kids. We are not here to destroy anyone or anything we simply want a society with justice, serenity, honor and humanities. We are not here as heroes we are here as a woman as a mother. We do not promote extremism, we advocate affection which is more befit our maternal feelings. We will bear this hardship while we look forward with hope to glorious future for our nation and our land.
Nargess Mohammadi - July 17 2015 – Evin prison