Translation by Iran Press Watch
By Forouzan Amini, the mother of Ighan Shahidi, in recognition of the third year of her son’s imprisonment;
April ninth is the commemoration of your separation from your family and friends and your departure for prison. Three years has passed since this event. I know that not only you, but all those who are there with you, are freedom loving human beings who have committed no other crime than possessing a noble mind and being determined to exercise your basic human rights, but who were ultimately thrown in prisons by the current court system, which has no patience for human rights or open-mindedness, in an effort to make sure others will not be introduced to these noble thoughts. Masood Bastani, Afif Naimi, Bahman Amoui, Behrooz Tavakoli , Ahmad Zeidabadi, Jamaluddin Khanjani, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, and more are prominent examples of this same story.
After your case got underway in this “court of injustice” (at which neither your father nor I were allowed to be present), they gave you the pre-determined 5 year prison term. A sentence that would shock anyone who heard about it.
Did you and others like you, such as Navid Khanjani, Samaa Nourani, and others, who only requested a university education, deserve such a fate?
My precious, I remember when we asked that they allow you to finish your online education prior to starting your prison term, a judicial official told us, “tell him to come personally and submit this request.” He also told us that “We have previously allowed others to do the same too.”
On the 9th of April we joined you on this journey, but later… we had to return home without you. On that day the judicial officer was not respectful towards you. If I attempt to describe what we endured, and what you have endured over these years, it will result in a book made of 70 tons of paper. However, we leave all these injustices in the hands of Almighty God.
Those who had promised to give a positive response to your request to finish your online studies left the room to consult with other officers. After ten minutes, they called the secretary on the phone and ordered Ighan to say goodbye to his mother. I waited for a long time for him to come back to his office, so I could talk to him about this, but he never came back. When you wanted to say goodbye to your friends who had come to Evin Prison, they stopped you, but you, with a smile on your lips said: “What are you afraid of? I came here on my own two feet ‒ rest assured I will return after saying goodbye.”
My dearest Ighan: what a clear understanding and insight you had about these circumstances, that you decided to pack a bag with your necessities when we went to the prison that day, and how naive was I to be optimistic about the false promises made by the officials! We endured some difficult moments. We witnessed you bidding farewell to your good friends ‒ and even worse moments came when we understood that they are planning to send you to Rajai Shahr Prison without any prior notice; up to that day we had known nothing about that prison but its name*.
Today, after three years, we still feel every moment of your absence with all our hearts, and are witness to all your pain, suffering and deprivation, of which you do not breathe a word (so that we would not get upset).
My dear, I am proud of your exalted beliefs, of your sense of justice and your courage, and I thank God every moment of my life for blessing us with such a son. I pray for your health and for the health of all your cellmates.
I await your return, and count the seconds until we may have you back.
With all my heart,
*The terrible conditions for prisoners at Rajai Shahr Prison (also known as Gohardosht) are notorious. Here is one account: http://www.enduringamerica.com/september-2010/2010/9/6/updated-iran-feature-inside-rajai-shahr-prison-bijnen.html