Monday, July 14, 2008

Do Not Ignore the Calls of These Kids
Interview with Mahbubeh Karami’s Mother ‎ -

‎“I only need a sheet of paper and a pen. But they have been denying this to us for days ‎now. We wish to write a letter to the deputy prison director. They do not respond to us. ‎Ten of us are kept in a cell. Our food is very bad. We are not taken outside for fresh air. ‎We are not cared for. They don’t even come to see if we are alive or dead. We have to ‎risk our lives to be heard. There is no other way.”‎
These are the last words of Mahbubeh Karami, journalist and women’s rights activist ‎during her first and only communication from Iran’s notorious Evin prison. This was a ‎message this political prisoner sent to her mother, Ms Masaedi, just before she began her ‎hunger strike.‎
Mahbubeh’s mother expresses ignorance about the whereabouts of her daughter and says, ‎‎“She contacted me on Sunday and spoke with me for a few seconds. She said, ‘Mother, I ‎have no other choice other than to go on a hunger strike so that my voice is heard by ‎prison officials. I have no other means.’ I told her, ‘Mahbubeh, do not do this.’ But she ‎did not reply and the telephone line went dead. That was more than a week ago, and I ‎have not heard since then.”‎
We at Rooz asked her how Mahbubeh was arrested. “She had a meeting with her brother ‎in prison and had told him, ‘She was in a bus. Plain-clothes men wanted to stop the bus, ‎but the driver did not heed. So they broke open the door of the bus, entered it and began ‎beating a young twenty six year old man. He was going to be murdered. His face and ‎head was blooded in blood. I protested and said, ‘Why are you beating this man? What ‎has he done? Is he not your compatriot?’ This turned their attention to me. They came to ‎me and began beating me and pulled me out of the bus. They even left my shoes on the ‎bus and tore up my clothes. They would not let me get my shoes and took me to the ‎detention center in those conditions.’ She is now in ward 209 of Evin prison and I have ‎not seen her even once since she was taken away from us.”‎
At the end of our conversation, Mahbubeh’s mother said this to the authorities, “Please ‎pay some attention to her. It is a shame that these kids, these women go to jail. The prison ‎is not the right place for them. We all form the same nation; this way of treatment is not ‎right for an Iranian. It is not right for any human being. I expect that the voices of all ‎people, not just Mahbubeh’s be heard and that their calls are not ignored.”‎
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