Schitterend nieuws: mijn boek Duizend-en-één dromen. Een reis langs de Trans-Iraanse Spoorlijn is genomineerd voor de VPRO Bob den Uyl-prijs 2011 voor het beste literaire/journalistieke reisboek! De winnaar wordt bekendgemaakt op 19 april en krijgt 7.500 euro. Een andere genomineerde is Cees Nooteboom… Trots is mijn deel!
Categorie archief: Iraans
Mijn nieuwe column voor TehranReview, over de protesten van vandaag, kan u hier lezen.
25 Bahman! Noteer die data in uw agenda. 25 Bahman is in onze jaartelling 14 februari, en het is de dag waarvoor de Iraanse oppositieleiders Mir-Hossein Mousavi en Mehdi Karroubi een toelating hebben aangevraagd om in Teheran een vreedzame mars te houden uit solidariteit met het Egyptische volk.
Morgenavond vindt de laatste activiteit plaats die het Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren organiseert naar aanleiding van de publicatie van mijn boek Duizend-en-één dromen. Een reis langs de Trans-Iraanse Spoorlijn.
Normaal gezien kondig ik mijn lezingen vaak aan op Facebook, maar omdat niet iedereen Facebook gebruikt (hoewel, wie niet?) en vooral omdat data en aankondigingen daar vaak verdrinken in de stroom aan informatie, zet ik de data even op een rijtje. Allen welkom!
Even een zomers tussendoortje, vooral met al dat gepraat over een dreigende oorlog tegen Iran, waar Ahmadinejad en andere fanatici van het regime natuurlijk weer van genieten. Vandaag zei Yadollah Javani, politieke chef van de Revolutionaire Garde, dat Iran de oorlog ook buiten zijn grenzen zal voeren wanneer het aangevallen wordt.
Ik wil even niet aan oorlog denken. Wel aan deze foto’s van Iraanse kinderen die ik vorig jaar in juni maakte. Als antidotum tegen de oorlog, om te blijven geloven dat het goed komt.
‘Domweg gelukkig in de Dapperstraat’, schreef J.C. Bloem in zijn gelijknamige bekende gedicht. Wel, vorig jaar op dit tijdstip was ik domweg gelukkig in de Chahar Bagh-straat van Isfahan. Ik had een fantastische namiddag beleefd bij een Iraanse familie in de voorstad Shahinshahr – een ontmoeting die ik in mijn boek uitgebreid beschreven heb. Nu viel de avond en wandelde ik door de bekendste laan van mijn droomstad Isfahan, op weg naar de Si-o-se Pol of ‘de brug met 33 bogen’, waar veel Isfahani de avond doorbrengen en verliefde koppeltjes zich verstoppen onder de vele bogen.
Dagelijks lees ik met verbijstering en pijn getuigenissen van Iraniërs die in Evin (beruchte gevangenis in Teheran) en andere gevangenissen de vreselijkste folteringen ondergaan. Ik word er letterlijk misselijk van. Het enige sprankeltje hoop dat ik aan deze berichten kan vastknopen, is dat het regime wel erg bang moet zijn als ze steeds driester te werk gaan.
In the name of God, I am Bahram Girovani, the son of Mohammad. I went to the security offices to file a complaint about a situation. The day I went, Mr. Akharian (head of ward 1 in Rajai Shahr prison) got angry and threatened me. He hit me even though I begged him not to.
I asked him to please let me get in touch with my family. He said he would do it himself and asked for my number. He got my number and called my mother. He told my family that Bahram is dead and that they need to come to the hospital to pick up the corpse.
I was told that when my mother heard this news, she had a heart attack and got very sick. My family went to the hospital where they were told I wasn’t dead and they realized they had been lied to.
I was asked about who I gave my house number to and I responded that I had given it to Mr. Akharian. They said they would keep me for five days, and after a week, I asked them to please give me permission to get in touch with my family and allow me to take my medications. I had been under a physician’s care and was taking about 15 pills due to a medical condition, but they took those pills away.
I wasn’t feeling well and begged them to let me speak to someone in charge, but they did not allow me to do that. I got so sick both physically and mentally that I wanted to die. I attempted to light myself on fire, but they stopped me and sprayed tear gas in my cell. Then they opened the door and hit me in my face with batons. They used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. When they sprayed the tear gas over the fire extinguisher gas, I wasn’t able to see anything anymore. I felt like I was going blind and I could barely breath.
They suddenly opened the door and started beating me in my face with wooden batons. Mr. Mirzaghayi, Mr. Zeynali, Mr. Yousefi and Mr. Moradi had all come and they were the ones beating me with batons. All of a sudden I saw that Mr. Moradi was holding a knife. I don’t know if he had just found it or if he had brought it to stab me. I don’t know.
I hit him hard in his hand and the knife fell to the ground. I picked it up to defend myself, but I had no chance to defend myself.
They all attacked me and hit me more, then they took me to a very dark room with no cameras. They beat me harder, tied me up, blindfolded me, tortured me, took my clothes off, hung me, and inserted batons inside of me. I kept pleading with them, begging them, asking them, “Isn’t there a God. Isn’t there a Prophet?” They responded, “We are God and we are the Prophet.”
I asked them if there was someone in charge in the place. They responded that they were they ones in charge. Mr. Mirzaghayi replied, “I have orders. I have orders from Mr. Akharian who has given me permission to do whatever I want.”
They kept beating me with their batons until they broke my legs. I was then taken into a room and left there all night, still naked with my hands tied behind my back. I was suffocating and in great pain because of my broken legs. By morning, my broken legs were bleeding badly and I begged them to take me to the prison clinic, but they refused.
After a month, the wound in one of my legs was infected all the way to my bone. They finally had to take me to the prison clinic. The doctor refused to touch my leg because it was so badly infected. I begged the doctor to help me. The doctor said if they performed surgery I would have to stay there to recover and they had been told that they were not allowed to keep me there for recovery. He didn’t want to take care of me, but I begged him. I kissed his hands and his feet.
Then I told him I would lodge a complaint against them. I asked him if Mr. Akharian had given the orders and he replied yes. Mr. Akharian had told him not to perform surgery. Mr. Gerami and Mr. Ali Mohammadi came. They all said it was out of their hands because they were under the strict orders of Mr. Akharian. So again I resorted to threatening them and said I would lodge a complaint.
I finally convinced them to let me receive an operation.
They took me back to solitary confinement until the day of my operation. I was in the prison clinic for four days.
Mr. Mirzaghai came to visit me and said, “That place where we stuck the batons into you still has not healed. Too bad. Does it hurt? We’re going to make it worse. Why did you have to complain? Why did you complain to the infirmary?”
The night before my operation they gave me some kind of pill that made my mouth go completely crooked. I wasn’t able to talk at all.
The doctors said to me, “That day when you got in all that trouble with those guys, you should have known better than to mess with them. They are the ones who told us to give you this medicine and do this to you. Now look at you. You are not allowed to make a phone call. You are not allowed to talk. You are not allowed to have any visitors. We’re taking care of you, but you don’t even deserve it. We should kill you. Just like we did with Siamak Bandeloo and other people who we killed by injection. We should kill you too.”
When they performed the surgery on me they shaved a large portion of my bone off, they cut the flesh, and they put a cast on it.
Yesterday when I came out, I was beaten again. They kept telling me I should have never complained. Mr. Mirzaghayi beat me up all over my body with a baton. I kept begging him to stop hitting me and I kept asking him why he is beating me again. He psychologically devastated me by cursing at me with very dishonourable words. He took away my dignity in front of all the other prisoners.
Then he dragged me and took me to Mr. Akharian. He told me if I don’t shut up they will continue to treat me like this. He said he would even bring my whole family here and throw all of them in prison too. “How dare you lodge a complaint,” he kept saying. He told me that if I consent to what they say, they would help me out. But if I refused, they would crush me, and this time, they would kill me.
Today they took me back to Mr. Akharian. They threatened me again and asked me to agree to their demands. They said, “If you don’t do it, not only will you not achieve anything, we will kill you and we will just throw your corpse out of here. There is nothing you can do here. The law enforcer is with us. He isn’t going to acknowledge anything that happened to you; not your broken legs and not the baton that we stuck into you. We are the ones in charge here. We tell them what to say.”
They also told my family that Rajai Shahr prison runs on its own. There is no authority over the prison. How about the head of the whole country, I wondered. But in this prison there is no government. There is no Islam. Here they kill people the same way they drink water. Here they have tortured people much worse than they have tortured me. They just beat everybody. They have tortured so many people, after which they force them to say whatever they demand. If anyone dares think of complaining, they will torture him even more.
Prisoners get thrown in a dark camera-less room that no one knows of and they get beaten up. If anyone asks about the prisoner, they lie and say he is at the infirmary or somewhere else. In that room, you are not given water, bread, or anything. There is no toilet.
There is just no logic to anything that the prison officials do. This place is worse than Kahrizak. There are no human rights here. There are no human beings in charge. There is no law.
There is nothing here. There is nothing.
They just kill people like they are drinking water.
I don’t know, just please help me.
De Iraanse autoriteiten weigeren voorlopig de lichamen vrij te geven van de vijf Koerden die zondag geëxecuteerd werden . Verschillende bronnen zeggen dat ze de doden pas willen vrijgeven als de families zich keren tegen welke protesten ook naar aanleiding van hun dood. Corruptie ten top. Ontroerend vond ik de woorden van de moeder van de vermoorde Farzad Kamangar: “Mijn plicht als de moeder van Farhad is net begonnen. Ik heb Farhad bij ontmoetingen in de gevangenis vaak verteld dat hij trots de gevangenis zou verlaten, en mijn wens is waarheid geworden. Mijn Farzad is trots naar buiten gekomen.”