- - Wednesday, July 24, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I was in the regime’s prisons for six years. The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) arrested me while I was pregnant. I was taken to Evin prison and the torture chambers. I was transferred to Ward 209. In the cell, I saw four torturers torture my husband in front of me. They also tortured me in front of him.

A few days later, they executed him with 75 others. The torturer said, “I wanted him to never see his son.”

The regime executed 50 pregnant women, including Masumeh, the sister of Mrs. Rajavi. They took me to a hospital and quickly brought me back to prison even though I was feeling very bad.

The torturers even interrogated the children. They had strapped a small child to a chair in a dark room and tortured her so she revealed the names of her mother’s friends.

I managed to escape prison in 1987. One year later, all of those ladies who shared the cell with me were executed in the 1988 massacre.



Hengameh Haj Hassan

I was a nurse in Tehran. In 1981, I was arrested because I was a MEK supporter. We were charged with helping the people who were injured by the IRGC.

In prison, we were subjected to severe tortures. Insomnia, packed cells, sleeping in coffins were what we had to endure.

We were taken to the “cages.” These were small partitions where you could only squat. You couldn’t move, you couldn’t even cough or sneeze. If we moved, we were tortured. Our eyes were blindfolded.

The torturer told us that we would die here. We were only given three minutes per day to go to the bathroom. We couldn’t even brush our teeth. The food they gave us was scarce and very dirty. At night, when we were allowed to sleep, they would turn on loudspeakers and play the regime’s mourning songs.

The torturers sought to break our will and force us to turn our back to our struggle. I decided that I would teach them a lesson and show them who we were. At nights, when we couldn’t sleep due to the loudspeakers, I trained myself to shut down those noises and take myself to pleasant places in my memories.

The torturers thought they would break our will through torture. However, they only made us stronger, as we understood that this proved what we were doing was right.

Homa Jaberi

I was in the regime’s prisons for five years — arrested in 1981 and spent many years in Gohardasht and Evin prisons.

When the regime wasn’t able to break the will of MEK prisoners through torture, they created a compound called the “residential units.” This was a secret compound for torture. My hands were swollen from the whiplashes. My face and body were bruised. The regime’s torturer said, “No one will hear you here. You will all die here.” They kept us awake for many days and didn’t let us sleep.

Some of my friends were kept in this place for six months. We weren’t even allowed to scream under torture. Every command was given with whiplashes. For instance, if they wanted to tell us that we could sleep, they would do so by whipping us.

After 40 days, I was taken to Evin prison. Some of my friends had lost their mental balance. Some of the prisoners would not even speak of the tortures they had suffered. They said that the torturers made them make animal noises and insult themselves. Some had been raped.

Majid Sahebjam

I spent 17 years in prison. My crime was supporting the MEK. I witnessed many human rights violations. The 1988 massacre was a premeditated and well-planned crime. Some of the people who were directly involved in this crime still hold high positions of power. The regime has done everything in its power to hide its crime. It didn’t even tell the burial places to the families of the victims.

In the short trials, which lasted only a few minutes, the judges only asked one question: They asked about the political association of the defendant. Uttering the word “Mojahed” was enough to seal the fate of the prisoner and send him to the gallows.

The prisoners in the regime’s dungeons bore the scars of torture on their bodies, so the 1988 massacre was an opportunity for the regime to hide the evidence of its horrible crimes. I know at least 20 families who lost two of their children to the regime’s executioners. Many of the executed prisoners were aged 14, 15, and 16 when they were arrested.

During the 1988 massacre, dozens of MEK supporters had served their sentences. However, they were kept in prison because they would not repent their support for the MEK. They were executed in 1988 because of their dedication to freedom and human values.

Mostafa Naderi

I spent 11 years in prison, five of those years in solitary confinement. During the 1988 massacre, I was hospitalized because of torture. I was unconscious when they called my name for execution, and this is how I survived.

In the beginning, they said nothing of the executions, claiming the prisoners were going for family visits. In many smaller cities, not even a single person survived to tell the story of the massacre.

In prison, I was severely tortured. After eight months of torture, I and five other prisoners were taken to a mullah who said we would be executed that night. They took us to the place for execution. They tied our hands and we heard the guns being loaded. They fired, but they aimed a bit higher than our heads. We suffered a traumatic experience. One of the prisoners fainted and another lost his eyesight.

The 1988 massacre was planned from two years before. However, the massacre continues to this day. We must stop this.

Mahmoud Royaie

I spent 10 years in the regime’s prisons. Many of my friends were teenagers when they were arrested. They spent many years in prison and were finally executed. People had served their sentences, and their families were waiting for them. However, they never got to see them.

One of my friends was executed five years after his sentence was finished. He was taken to the gallows only because he defended the name of the MEK. Many of the prisoners’ families died after their loved ones were executed. The father of one of my friends had a cardiac arrest when he heard about his son’s execution.

Some of these families are still staring at the pictures of their loved ones and crying after 30 years. Some lost their sanity when their children were executed.

The regime even executed the disabled and handicapped. Yet they stood tall when they went to the gallows. One of my friends had lost his mind due to tortures. However, when they took him to the judge, he stood tall and said, “I’m a Mojahed.” He was executed.

The 1988 massacre was a national disaster, but it is also the pride of our nation. Today, people who weren’t even born then are calling for justice. The members of the 1988 “Death Commission” are members of the government today.

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