Political prisoner Golrokh Iraee described the situation in society and exposed the new tricks of the regime to gain legitimacy in a letter sent from Evin Prison on Friday, May 5. Referring to the regime’s amnesty theatrics in February, she wrote, “Forcing people to express regret does not restore the lost legitimacy.” The text of her letter is as follows:
- What should we regret?
We who live under the poverty line, feed our children by means of prostitution, are hanged for seventy thousand tomans, and our hands are amputated according to Sharia law,
We, whose children are hanged for the crime of carrying a knife and who are victims of child-killing, and whose eyes are gouged out after being shot at,
We, whose teenagers are being poisoned in chemical attacks at schools, while education was supposed to be free,
What should we regret if we are punished and killed for our basic rights and lifestyle, relationships, clothing, eating, and drinking?
- The lack of an independent judiciary is the subject of many discussions.
The Islamic Republic always denies it, but what is happening and what we live through is proof of this claim.
On September 26, 2022, about a week after Mahsa Amini was killed and four months after my release, the security police attacked my house, breaking the door. Eleven armed agents attacked me and kicked me, arresting me while beating and offending me.
After several hours of interrogation and transfer to the Vozara detention center and being interrogated at a base called Imam Hassan Mojtaba in the southeast of Tehran, I was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. After 10 days, I went to the Shapur Criminal Investigation Department, where I was offended, physically abused, stripped naked, and physically searched by the police officers.
Sometime later, I was charged (without any proof) by the investigator, Haj Moradi, on alleged charges of “assembly and collusion”, “propaganda against the state,” and “disruption of order.”
- The judiciary of the Islamic Republic, like its other powers, institutions, and organizations, is under the control of a reactionary autocracy, and the appointees in any position have the freedom to behave as they wish and carry out the orders of intelligence agents and “anonymous soldiers” of the regime.
The nature of the Islamic Republic is the same as it was from the beginning when it stole and seized the (anti-monarchy) revolution. The current judges are also the descendants of the judges of the 1980s and the “Death Commission”, the same persons who forced many people under torture to reveal their like-minded comrades then.
Now that the Islamic Republic is forced to change course to build up an international image, it pretends that it adheres to the covenants it has accepted. So, the policy today dictates that they push people to remorse or compulsory adjustment of their stands against them behind a mask of kindness and compassion.
- In Qarchak prison and after the recent revolutionary uprising, many detainees who took to the streets knowingly and with specific demands were forced to change their position and deny themselves due to the pressure of the security forces. Sometimes the investigator puts pressure on their family and, subsequently, the pressure of the family on the prisoner.
(Of course, this is part of the pressures the detainees face. Some were beaten to death; some were raped, abused, and threatened with losing their citizenship rights.)
- Forcing people to express remorse does not restore the lost legitimacy (of the regime). Regret is possible when a person is ashamed of what s(he) did and should not have done or has neglected her/his duty.
The one who has his hand in state murders or issues death sentences and takes people to the gallows, the one who suppresses the people who protest for a better life and kills or maims them under beating must be ashamed and remorse if there is an honor left for him.
Every day in our country, several people are hanged due to political opposition or not thinking like the regime, buying and selling drugs, robbery, or murder. Death has become normal for us and a source of livelihood for them.
- They came to make the poor rich and the oppressed free, but corruption became systematic, and embezzlement became the second job of their children.
More than half of society has become poor, and poverty is institutionalized. Unemployment, hunger, prostitution, misery, homelessness, and sleeping in graves have become a part of us. It is impossible to imagine a street without child laborers wandering in it.
To redefine the words “Mostazaf” (oppressed and kept poor) to find a civilized meaning for it, does not decrease the pain and suffering of living in poverty.
To call the poor “a class of society that enjoys less privileges” and to categorize the hungry people in the lower deciles does not reshape the nasty face of poverty, just as when slums and shanty towns were called the margins of the city, it did not relieve the suffering of its residents and did not build a shelter for them.
Regret was the share of those who did not hear the voice of the people’s revolution and they were overthrown, and this will be the share of those who do not learn from history and do not see the revolutionary uprising of the people; may they suffer the fate of previous dictators.