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Iran: The Warm Heart of Martyrs’ Mothers

May 10
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Iran Probe
Tueseday, 10 May 2016

By Mrs. Sho’le Pakravan, the mother of Reyhane Jabbari

Jabbari was executed by the mullahs’ regime for killing in self-defense an intelligence agent who sought to rape her.

We held a small gathering of mothers of Iran’s martyrs and political prisoners at the home of Atena Daemi’s mother, Ma’soumeh. [Atena, a child rights activist, is currently held behind bars for bogus reasons and denied adequate medical care.] Her mother doesn’t talk much, and one can see it in her eyes how concerned she is about her daughter who has been convicted to 14 years behind bars.

When one sees their own child ill or behind bars, the entire world becomes utterly dark. I will go the limits to have you released. Let my heart be the target of so many arrows, yet you suffer no pain at all.

The mothers in this gathering have become mothers of not only their own children. They have all changed. Their hearts have expanded after the deaths of their own loved ones, bringing in the love of many more children. Their eyes now glimmer for thousands of sons and daughters, and their hearts beat for millions of youth.

That is why they were all terrified of seeing the image of Omid Kokabi lying on a hospital bed. [Omid Kokabi, 30, a graduate of Tehran’s Sharif Tech University studying for his PhD in nuclear physics in the University of Texas in the United States, was arrested on January 30, 2011 in Tehran’s Khomeini International Airport as he sought to leave the country.]

They were shocked to learn 23-year-old Afshin Sohrabzadeh is now suffering from intestinal cancer in Minab Prison, southern Iran. Amnesty International wrote: “Afshin Sohrabzadeh, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority serving a 25-year prison term in “internal exile” at a remote prison in southern Hormozgan province, is in urgent need of specialized medical treatment outside prison. He suffers from a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition, exacerbated by prolonged lack of adequate treatment.”

They wept when seeing Zeinab Jalalian is on the verge of going completely blind. Jalalian. This young Kurdish prisoner is currently deprived of necessary medical care for her eyes.

In motherly fashion, they were shocked to see how young prisoners are deprived of medical care. They wept when faced with a long list of ill young men and women, and they cried after learning of hundreds other unknown patients who have been left to be behind bars, with no hope of ever receiving any medical care.

There is no limit for motherly feelings, and no one is excluded. Does it make a difference for a mother which child, with what character, is ill? Being a mother alone makes her ready to provide any care needed. They wrote a statement calling on senior officials to act according to the law, and unconditionally release their ill children that are in desperate need of medical care. This motherly letter was signed immediately. Over 700 noble human beings added their names to the text. Many were renowned individuals, and many were actually ordinary people, unknown to others. Friends, neighbors, they all signed. People who had never been involved in any political activity. Yet the flame of humanity lives on in their hearts, and they understand that an ill person must be taken to a hospital, not a prison. They know an ill individual must be provided medical care, not tortured.

This motherly gathering continued with talk about the result of medical care for our imprisoned children. Like all mothers, we expressed our best wishes for the fate of our children. Loved ones with various beliefs, from all walks of life, accused of various charges…

We also made an arrangement to visit Atena Farghadani who had been recently released. [Farghadani had been sentenced to nearly 13 years behind bars for drawing cartoons ridiculing Iranian MPs.] A few of us made plans to go to Atena’s house the next day. Shaheen, Simin, Shanaz and I sought to see Atena and express our motherly love. We didn’t know that the next day, Hossien Ronaghi Malaki, one of our sons, whose name was included in our call, would be released. [Ronaghi Malaki was jailed by authorities for his blogs]

In her home Atena welcomed us, along with her father who was wearing a shirt with her image printed on it, and her mother with a face full of smiles. There were many guests and civil activists at her home.

We stayed for a while and embraced our recently released daughter. We had this disturbing question in mind: Where is it stated in the law that a judge can condemn our Atena to 12 years and 9 months in jail, and yet another judge to 18 months? Maybe the other rulings issued against our children were also issued in such unfair manners.

I say to the judge: You are a father, too. Before signing the verdict, take a deep look at the face of the defendant sitting before you. Use your imagination and see your own child’s face in that of the defendant. If your accused child has not committed any corrupt crime, nor extorted billions, if they have not tortured any youths in prison, nor murdered them, nor raped them, nor killed “Neda” by shooting bird shots and grounding her to the streets, if they have not tortured Sattar [Beheshti, a blogger murdered under torture by Iran’s FATA cyber police], and … then just smile, issue a simple warning and let them go. Like a bird that must be freed from a cage to fly free in the skies.

To the judge, for the love of God, please reconsider the heavy rulings issued against Arash Sadeghi, Amir Amirgholi, Atena Daemi, Omid Alishenas, Saeed Hosseinzadeh, Asu and Puriya, Reyhane Haj Ibrahim, Shahram Ahmadi and thousands of other youths.

Release them. Place a seal under their release letter and fill the hearts of millions of Iranians and thousands of mothers with joy.

Happy, from the Farghdani’s home we immediately went to see our Hossein Ronaghi. He is currently staying at the home of Akram and Hashem Zeinali, a mother and father who have for 17 years waited for their son, Saeed, to return home [He vanished after being arrested by authorities].

Hossein Ronaghi had become so thin, with a pale face, yet smiling. He came to greet us. An hour later he had to go to a hospital, accompanied by a friend. One of the mothers, Zelikha, was constantly speaking to Hossein in her native Azeri language, providing him with motherly advice. She lived in her home in peace, having nothing to do with politics and was never heard from by anyone. However, when her loved one was dying in jail, she went to extreme limits and her voice rocked all of Iran.

This is the power of a mother. 

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Published in Personal Essay
Last modified on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 17:49

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