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Iran Document: "Our Sons' And Daughters' Agony" (Sahabi)

Ezzatollah Sahabi, former minister and member of Parliament, editor of the banned journal Iran-e Farda, and leader of Iran's Nationalist-Religious political alliance, writes in Rah-e-Sabz (translated by Khordaad 88):

In the name of God,

To whom can I speak of my sons’ and daughters’ agony?

The Latest from Iran (19 April): Stay Firm, Spread the Word

Enduring the past nine months and seeing the torment experienced by the sons and daughters of this land has been unbearable for this old man – seeing the nation’s potential melt away in the hands of our incapable rulers; seeing the atrocious treatment of the nation’s righteous and courageous children, both in the streets and in prisons. But the pain has gotten worse lately and I do not know how to handle it or object.

These days, I keep hearing that my dear Badressadat Mofidi, Hengameh Shahidi, Shiva Nazarahari, and many more are under intense pressure [during] interrogation. [I hear that] they are subjected to constant insults with the goal of making them break down and forget about everything they are fighting for. The situation is so unbearable that some of these ladies have wished for death.

Government officials visiting the prisons reported that the intensity of verbal abuse makes some prisoners complain about that even more than they do about bthe violent beatings.

I am also constantly hearing that in recent weeks, Ahmad Zeidabadi, Mansour Esanloo, Masoud Bastani, and others, who are as dear to me as my own sons and who are clearly imprisoned because of their beliefs and political ideas, are illegally and unethically kept with prisoners who have committed heinous crimes (though some of the felons are, of course, victims of this unjust system). [My friends] are exposed to direct pressure and pain. Some of them are in danger of serious and irreversible damage being done to their physical and mental health.

It is so sad for me to see political prisoners of a regime that I helped create experience such unjust, cruel, and unethical treatment. [I am referring to] cruelty such as keeping the political prisoners with murderers on death row or insulting women in such a way that they break down and admit to false and shameful crimes on national television. I have been imprisoned and interrogated both before and after the [formation of] the Islamic Republic. [I can guarantee that] the situation is much worse than before.

I do not understand why our rulers have completely forgotten about ethics and religion, resorting to any means [necessary] to protect their short-lived worldly powers. We have not forgotten the days before the Islamic Revolution, when we criticized others by saying that the end does not justify the means.

I am a religious person who understands ethics to be the main pillar as well as the main goal of religion. [I am also a person] whose prophet – a prophet common to all of us – was chosen to raise the standards of ethics. As such, I am ashamed to live in times where the sons and daughters, the men and women of this society are arrested and tortured under the worst physical and psychological pressure and women are treated with the most shameful disrespect. [This is] all [done] to force them into false confessions and to find them guilty because of the facts they speak and the truth they seek; all in the name of God and religion.

Alas, “to lie,” which, in our culture, is recognized both nationally and religiously to be among the worst of sins, has now become a dominant trend. Our authorities lie with the greatest exaggeration. They seek to stamp their hollow (national and international) ambitions into the minds of the people merely by repeating them over and over again, every day and every night. Those people would not be deceived by such trickery and lies and in the seminary schools of Qom, religious leaders further unmask the liar. But unfortunately, they are still forcing male and female prisoners to lie in order to avoid more intense pressure and/or exile. Dear Almighty, where do I go to counsel my pains and concerns; who can I go to?

I hope that there is someone left among the Judiciary or the establishment who will hear my cries and change either the conditions of the prisoners I named or any of the other nameless ones – if only for the sake of God and their own afterlife, so that the families of victims can be spared the torment that they have to bear each day.

Dear God, as you witnessed, the [main] promise of the Revolution was the governance of justice, like the justice created by Imam Ali, the first Imam of the Shi’ites. His governance was strict with the people closest to him, and his mercy reached [even] his enemies who were furthest from him.

This was the promise. However, the ‘justice’ our government perpetuates today, in the name of Ali, is easy-going on political and financial corruption, as well as any theft or murder that those close to the authorities commit in banks, other financial institutions, universities or Kahrizak and Evin prisons. They impose their severity on blindfolded, handcuffed and innocent men and women, who are [merely] insisting on [seeing] the goals and desires of that very Revolution [that created this government in the first place]. Oh dear Almighty, O Saviour of hearts and minds, O Guide of night and day – either transform our days, or else give me death.

Reader Comments (7)


Thank you for posting this open letter. The author's surname is SAHABI.

I should like to ask Mr. Sahabi, why he did not write this letter 31 years or 23 years ago, when "Islamic" revolutionary courts executed the "sons and daughters" of Iran mercilessly? And what about all those children and youngsters, who were sent to the fronts during war with Iraq to walk over mine fields with a key for "heaven" around their necks?
Were all of them lesser children of this country, who did not deserve his cries?

"To lie" was established with the very first day of this unholy republic, and it has repeated itself for 31 years. As long as Mr. Sahabi and his Islamic fellows continue to spread these lies, nothing will change in our country...


April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Arshama is spot on. I am not impressed by Sahabi's letter. After 31 years finally he's seen the light. At least Sahabi had the decency to wallow in the stew of excrement he helped created, i.e. he stayed and lived in Iran. There are dozens of Iranian academics who fought to bring down the Shah's regime 30 years ago, who are now defending the Islamic Republic and attacking the United States in universities throughout America and Europe.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNot impressed

Sahabi and his cohorts loved the killings and torture while it served them and kept them and their sons and daughters, such as Fereydoon Sahabi, in jobs for which they had no qualifications, except money and power. Now that they have been kicked out of their power and jobs by a different group of mobsters, he is complaining. In Farsi, we call cries like Mr. Sahabi's letter, Ashk-eh Temsah (crockdile tears) for which no informed person of the crimes that Mr. Sahabi's group has committed would pay any attention.

Now that he is closer to his death, he is trying to gain some respectability by making people forget about his own and his group's crimes. That will not wash what they have done over the decades. Most Iranians are happy to see these gangsters recieve a portion of punishment they deserve before they die. I hope most will live long lives so that when the change comes, people could make them taste some of the injustuces they forced on the population while Sahabi and Co. were enjoying their power. For those who do not die soon, ropes and poles are being erected. Remember Saddam Hossein and Co.!

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshk-eh Temsah

Not impressed,
some one should ask the Iranian academics you mentioned living in the US and at the same time defending the IR & attacking America "if IRI is such a great government, how come they've lived most/all of their lives after the 1979 revolution In America the great satan they hate?"
Let me tell you why, all the Iranian-American professors & intellectual in America who defend the IRI & attack the US get paid from the IR for doing that or have relatives in Iran who benefit from the IRI in exchange of their lies and non-sense against the US & the will of Iranian people
Iranian-Americans and most Iranians in Iran love America and the rest of the free world and always bet on America's support to get rid of the Islamic Republic.
we should expose the Islamic Republic supporter bastards in America because they misrepresent the will of Iranian people

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCyrus

The old adage, "Revolutions eat their own children" proves true one more time. Any ideology, movement and/or "revolution" ends this way, unless it is bound by democracy, i.e., free press/expression, free judiciary, free enterprise, and freedom of conscience (having or not religion), security in one's privacy, personal effects and choice. Which one of these did the Islamic Revolution promise or implement? None.

So, Mr. Sabahi and others like him must be disillusioned that somehow the autocracy with which they replaced the former autocracy did not produce any more different result. "It is foolish to repeat the same act but expect a different result," observed Ben Franklin. Autocracy and dictatorship, secular or the "holy" kind, ends in this same abuse and disillusionment. What did the IRI do that the Shah did not in way of limiting people's potentials? If anything, they limited them even more.

I feel for the Iranians. Poor devils thought getting rid of the shah would herald a better future. It could have, had they not entrusted their future into the hands Lord Darth Vedar--sorry, Ayatollah Khomeini and his ilk.

Thus their misery continues....

April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClarence

With all reservation about Mr. Sahabi, i am glad he is seeing the light. I remember Mr. Bazargan describing his life in Iran, as a life of betrial and low life. I agree with other comments, why did he not critized the regim in last 30 years, did not wish for death when political prisoners were massacared in 1989. i guess some people just don't get it until it hits them in the head. however i was happy to read his letter. to me it is not the individual who matters, their action matters, and his action is hurting the iranian regim now, so i welcome that.
as far the Iranian American professors who support the regime, either they are getting money form the regim or they are just...idiot. how could you justify that.

April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHossein

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