Speech by Kobra Jokar at the 1988 Massacre Call-For-Justice Conference at Ashraf 3
July 15, 2019
My name is Kobra Jokar. I spent 6 years in the clerical regime’s prisons.
It was 3 a.m., November 9, 1981, when the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) attacked our house. Although they saw that I was pregnant, the guards started beating me up. Even my old neighbor was screaming at them: “Don’t you see she is pregnant?”
They dragged me out of the house, covered my head with a sack and took me to the torture chambers of the Evin Prison.
After I came to, I was transferred to (the Intelligence Ministry) Ward 209.
There, they opened my blindfold and I saw four torturers whipping my husband. They also tortured me in front of him because they thought they could take advantage of our emotions to make us give in.
On the same night, my husband and 75 others were sent before the firing squads.
An IRGC torturer told me, “We executed him so that he would never see his son.”
Women died in prison during labor and delivery
On February 9, 1982, I went into labor and I had to be taken to a hospital for delivery.
Here, I must point out that a considerable number of my sisters, my fellow inmates in prison, who were pregnant lost their fetuses and their own lives because they were not transferred to hospital in time for delivery.
One of them was Parvaneh who lost her life along with her unborn infant because the IRGC authorities did not send her to hospital.
Other pregnant women were mercilessly executed by the regime.
Massoumeh Azdanlou was the younger sister of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI President-elect. One night, she was brought in to our ward wounded and drenched in blood. The next morning, she was taken away and executed.
Sima Ahmadi was another pregnant sister who was executed with her unborn infant.
Zahra Bijanyar first suffered a miscarriage and then was sent before the firing squads.
Altogether, more than 50 pregnant women were executed by the clerical regime in that year.
So, on February 9, the Revolutionary Guards took me to hospital but after the birth of my child, despite my critical conditions and the doctor’s disagreement, I was sent back to prison. There, my dear friends, Maryam Parvin and Nadia Kaviani, attended to me while their own feet and legs were in bandages and their toes were black due to severe torture.
No food, milk or warm water for children
In prison, children were not given milk or food. So, my inmates gave me their daily share of two sugar cubes to feed my baby. There was no doctor or medication for the children in the general ward.
Once, my son became seriously ill and was near death. Then they let the prison’s doctor come and visit him.
More than 750 prisoners had been crammed into the general ward whose capacity was for less than 70 people.
The water was heated only once every 10 days and we had warm water for only 15 minutes.
We had to bathe some 50 children in the ward in that time limit. This could be made possible through careful planning and the mutual cooperation of all the mothers.
Most of the children in our ward had lost one or both parents during the executions.
One time, a prison guard opened the door of our cell and threw a baby inside who was only 3 or 4 months old. This baby’s mother had been executed and the baby was dying from hunger. I took care of this baby along with my own for about a year.
Children were also interrogated
In ward 246 of the Evin Prison, there was a sister called Shayesteh. Her 6-year-old daughter had been taken under interrogation. The little girl had been strapped onto a chair in a dark room. They had told her to tell the names of her mother’s friends otherwise she would stay in the room until she died.
The 1988 massacre
The years went by like this until 1985. There were 150 of us in that ward in the Evin Prison. We were under constant pressure and attacks by guards. Eventually, they were forced to separate us, and we were sent to prisons in other provinces.
In 1987, I managed to come out of prison because of my severe illnesses. Shortly after, with the help of PMOI/MEK supporters, I was able to leave the country.
However, a year later, all those dear sisters with whom I was in prison were massacred in 1988.
Among them were Ashraf Ahmadi and Shahla Shahdoust, whose children had been born in prison; Monireh Rajavi, who had two young daughters; Shahla Kohestan, whose child was in prison with her for a long time; Dr. Shourangiz Karimian, Dr. Zahra Shabzendedar, Dr. Huriyeh Beheshti, Maryam Golzadeh Ghafouri, Zohreh Ain-ol Yaghien, Azam Taqdareh, Maryam Tavanaian Fard, Ghodsiyeh Havakeshiyan, Mehri Ataii and her sister Soheila, one of whose eyes went blind under severe torture; Homa Radmanesh, Afagh Daknama, and thousands of others who defended their sacred ideals.
And last but not least, the root of our never-ending hope in all the overwhelming moments under torture and during imprisonment was having faith in Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, and their relentless quest for freedom and victory.