Victims and Witnesses
A Letter From a Juvenile Inmate on Death Row
June 6, 2008
He wrote in his letter:
I am 21 year old now. When first I went to jail I was 16 year old. I was a teenager, and like other teenagers, was still living with my childish dreams. I had my school books with me, and had no fear about the university entry exam. It was a sweet fear that did not come to me at all, and left me full of wistfulness.
I became involved in a childish street fight as a mediator and tried to prevent two people from breaking each others’ heads or noses, but I still cannot figure how one of those I tried to stop fighting died.
From the day my foot reached the police station, or indeed, when I went there as a witness to tell them what I saw during the fight, my life changed dramatically so that now thousands of doors have closed behind me. The time I spent in the police station were the most bitter days of my life. Such bitter days came to me as a nightmare every single night. I was beaten, lashed and was hung from the ceiling so many times that I lost my hope to live anymore. Whoever was coming to me beat me, I was tortured along with robbers and murderers in jail until during one of those unbearable nights I finally I gave up and I told them I was ready to write and sign whatever they wanted. Half an hour later, they gave me a piece of paper and a pen.
I went to a jail that was full of crimes and criminals. Soon after, I found myself as a teenager among full-grown criminals. I was fighting with the walls of jail, the jailers and prisoners for my survival and to keep my dreams alive before I die. But my voice did not reach anywhere. One night I was taken to the gallows. When they asked me to write my will, believe me, I did not have anything to say since I did not know what dying meant to me. For me, my life was stopped at the age of 16 during which time I had to go to sleep while I was reading my books.
Born in 1987,
Karaj Rejaei Shahr prison