Oral History :: Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Part 19)

Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Part 19)


Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabbagh)

Edited by: Mohsen Kazemi

Tehran, Sooreh Mehr Publications Company

‎2002 (Persian Version)‎

Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


Political situation of women in Qasr prison

In Qasr Prison, pickpocket, smuggler, whore, and swindler women all were in one block, and sometimes political prisoners were sent there for punishment and mental harassment. Among the political prisoners in women block of Qasr Prison, I can refer to Mrs. Nasri (Morteza Nabavi’s wife), Manzar Khayyer, Zarri Mousavi Garmaroudi (Ali Mousavi Garmaroudi’s wife), [Soosan] Haddad Adel, Zahra Mihandoost (Ali Mihandoost’s wife) who were from Refah School[1]. And among leftists, I can refer to Simeen Nahavandi, Vida Hajebi, Shahin Tavakoli, Sedigheh Sirefi and Khosrow Golsharki's wife and several others. We had to tolerate each other and have peaceful coexistence; of course, the boundaries were clear.

I did not see the late Nasri[2] more than fifteen days. She was brought from Evin prison to the Qasr and probably was sent to the Evin again. She was a very polite, dignified, kind, and devout woman, who was very sensitive about her prayers and discussed very much. Zari and Zahra had been arrested for their husbands' activities.

The leftists were very active and constantly sought to recruit. They attracted young girls or newcomers by posing different issues about Marxist-communist. Most of the 14 or 15-years-old girls, who had been arrested in their school, were interested in these new topics which seemed interesting and convincing; so, they were inclined to the leftists because of lack of scientific and research information. We tried very hard to face them (leftist) and supported the newcomers, but the Marxists were more successful by deceiving and lying and promising; we could not use any justification and means. The leftists believed that "all's well that ends well", so they didn’t refuse lying and deceiving. Despite all this, religious friends could save many from falling into communists lap.

The leftists, who were led by Vida Hajebi[3], moved always in the courtyard and block and rooms; they discussed and, of course, their debates were sometimes out of the political frame and were anti-moral. Vida was very charming. She spoke so much about distorted topics, so that the young girls disbelieved in religion and hated prayer and fasting.

One night, prisoners’ money which was kept in a box to use for collective costs, disappeared. The signs revealed that who did this indecent act. I got angry and somehow got a glass of oil and threatened that if the money was not found, I would burn the cell. We ransacked the bedclothes and found the money in the bedclothes of one of Hajebi’s fans.

The Ramadan month of those years had certain qualities for us, and its memory is still alive in our minds. We (the few fasted) got up silently before morning Adhan and ate a slice of bread with an orange and apple, and then began to pray.

Sedigheh Sirefi was a leftist from Shiraz, who neither performed pray nor fasted, but she woke up at dawns and observed us. During Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Decree) the Ramadan, we held a simple ceremony; and we prayed and recited Quran. In one of these nights, I noticed that Simin Nahavandi, who was also one of leftist leaders and had no faith in God, came and sat down in a corner behind us, and listened to our mournful whispering prayers, and had been immersed in thought. Whoever did not know her thought that she traveled through another world and had a high mystical position. I think that the God-seeker nature of her and of others like her was still alive, and she sought the almighty creator in her inner self. Unfortunately, she missed this opportunity and did not take advantage of it until...

Among the Marxist girls and women, Sedigheh Sirefi enjoyed pure nature and tried very hard to be close with me, so I told her about God and Qur'an and Resurrection, and in other words, about "religion". Seeing positive signs in her, I tried to explain to her, in simple language, what I had learned and what I knew.

One day the officers came and took Sirefi to the committee. She had been terrified. As she was going, turned to me and said: "Marzieh! Pray for me! You think what will happen for me?" I said: "God knows. I don’t know, but you might know better. However, trust in God and be sure He will help you." And she went...

About forty-five days we did not hear about Sirefi. During this time, my wounds recurred and were infected. I ran a high fever and again was confined to bed. They put me on a drip there. I was in that condition when I heard the block door opened and Sedigheh was sent into. It came to my ears she asked about and looked for me, "Haven’t you seen Mrs. Hadidchi? Don’t you know where Marzieh is? And..." One of the leftists told her, "Oh, my God! What do you want from that goner?!" It was simple that she was looking for me room by room until she found me. As she was crying, bent down and kissed me. She gave me a hug and sobbed. "Marzieh! I saw the one you told me!" she said. At the first place I thought that she has seen one of my inmates, or for example, one of those whom I had talked about before, and she may have brought me a message from them. She asked, "Did you know whom I’ve seen?" I replied, "No!" she said, "God! God!" I laid my hand around her neck and kissed her forehead and said, "Are you telling the truth or do you want to condole and calm me down in this situation?" She replied, "No! I swear to anything you worship, I saw Him, I saw God." I asked, "How?" she answered, "They had arrested some people and put pressure on me to get information about them. If I said anything, it would get worse and my case got heavier. I decided to say nothing as far as I could. I was tortured and beaten up very much, but I prayed, O God! If you are here, as Marzieh says and probably she is right, then, help me out and save me now..." I looked at her bewildered. "You can’t believe it," she continued, "God really helped me. After twenty-four times interrogation, the interrogators came to the conclusion that I don’t know that group and have no relationship with them. Thank God, they also hadn’t said anything against me, while we completely related to each other and had common activities..." In this way, she got on more intimate terms with me.

Sirefi came to me one day and said that she wanted to know about the Qur'an. I gave her a summery. She was interested in reading it, but had a problem. "If I register my name for getting the Qur'an," She said, "leftists will ridicule me and make trouble for me." Because of that, I myself took the Qur'an from others and gave it to her at the end of each night in this way; in a way that I put the Quran beside my head and as her bed was on top bunk she stretched her hand and took it and after reciting, put it back. After a while, they came and took her and I didn’t see her again, and until now I haven’t heard from her.

The wife of Golsorkhi was a weak person. I've heard that her aunt was a doctor and worked in the prison clinic. SAVAK officers had been able to convince her for cooperation; and she reported them more or less about us.

Sometimes, when I felt a little better, went to the bathroom to perform prayer and recite Quran at midnight. At that hour, prison authorities cut off the water and shut its door down, so that no one could go there and kill herself; but I had found a way and went there. One day, I was brought before the prison warden. He asked me what I did in bathroom last night. "What did you do there for one hour and half?" he asked. It was hard to answer. I replied, "When I perform my prayers, I moan so much because of my physical condition; and in this respect my inmates are bothered." The prison warden accepted my explanation, but asked me not to go there again. I found out that Golsorkhi's wife had reported them.


[1]. See Appendix 1, Section A, for more information about Refah School and how to arrest some of these people.

[2]. Esmat al-Sadat Nasri, see Appendix 1, Part B, Mrs. Khayyer's explanations.

[3]. For more information about Vida Hajibi, see Appendix 1, Part C.

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