My name is Nahid Taheri. I was Imprisoned from February 1982 until April 1984 in Hamedan prison, also known as Ershadgah prison. I was a student at the time of my arrest. Ershadgah was a place the regime could force us to abandon our ideals, but they failed.
During the time I was in prison, the criminal Ebrahim Raisi was Hamedan’s prosecutor, and another mullah, Salimi, was the judge in our city.
Every prisoner went to court and received a sentence. Raisi used to summon all women and announce their verdicts. Raisi announced the execution sentence of many of my cellmates, including Mahnaz Sahrakar, Mina Abdoli from Malayer, Fakhri Gholami from Kermanshah. All of them were executed in 1983.
One of Raisi’s methods in 1983 was to sentence the death row prisoners to death by hanging. He did not use the firing squad, as he wanted the prisoner to suffer more.
Fakhri Gholami was injured and imprisoned in Hamedan prison. I extended the regard of other cellmates to her and asked about her sentence. She said: “Raisi has handed me a death sentence and told me to do my delayed prayers as they would execute me. I told him I do not have any delayed prayer.”
We had some mothers in our cells who had given birth to their children in prison, and they were raising them. There was a mother, Farideh Goudarzi, who gave birth to her child in prison. The mother and her child were in solitary confinement for six months. This child had not seen anyone but his mother and guard, who used to open the door. After six months, when this mother came to our cell, the child used to panic and cry as he saw us. It took him a while to get adopted to us and become normal.
There was another mother, Parvaneh. She had a daughter, Aazdeh, who was born in prison. This mother did not have the minimum hygiene facilities to care for her daughter and use anything to put her daughter on the diaper. Therefore, the child soon got infected and cried continuously. This was a painful scene for us.
I don’t forget the day when criminal Raisi came to our ward and ordered everyone out. He had brought some guards with him, including some female guards. We were about fifty prisoners who went to the prison’s corridor. They ordered us to sit half a meter apart from each other. They blindfolded us. We did not know what was happening. When we moved our blindfolds and saw they were searching our belongings and take anyone who had something. They kept us in the same situation for four to five hours and then told us to remove our blindfolds. There were only 10 of us left, and they took 40 persons, 12 of them returned that night, but others didn’t. Those 12 prisoners who came back were severely tortured and were unable to walk. We understood from their silence that something had happened that the guards had beaten them this much. We later found out that they were considered to be part of the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s organization. Therefore, they were taken out, and two of them were executed. The rest of them were re-tried and received long prison sentences.
There was an old lady who was arrested with her grandchild. Her only crime was that her sons were part of the MEK. They told her we brought you, so you expose your children and tell us where they are. They had brought her four-year-old grandchild, who constantly cried and asked for his parents. This was a horrible scene for us and the old lady.