Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Part 20)


Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabbagh)

Edited by: Mohsen Kazemi

Tehran, Sooreh Mehr Publications Company

‎2002 (Persian Version)‎

Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


Plans and Events in Prison

In the previous period of being imprisoned, I had pretended that I am an illiterate woman and it had been written in my case, so I was aware that I should keep playing the same role and acknowledge that I'm illiterate. Insisting on my illiteracy and lack of ability of reading and writing angered the interrogator as he said, "You can’t write even simple words, then how you wanted to fight against Shah and change the rule?" He asked me to learn reading and writing at least in jail. In order to have a witness for the process of my learning how to write and read and for completing my plans I selected Sedigheh Sirefi as my teacher, which subsequently led to close relation with Sirefi and I was able to influence on her[1].

We had certain plans at days and nights in the prison (Qasr); Muslims woke up before morning Adhan and each one were busy performing religious duties and recommended prayers in a corner. After performing the morning prayers, they went to the small ground which was on the opposite side of the building and began exercising. The leftists also participated in morning exercise. I was unable to participate due to the seriousness of my wounds and injuries and general weakness. After the exercise, it was breakfast time, and then everyone was busy doing their works. Most of our time was spent on reading books and attending political debates. After lunch, the prisoners were resting, walking and wandering around the block, rooms and beds. Sometimes the guard felt sorry for prisoners and allowed them to go out doors to take in fresh air in a ground which was on the opposite side of the building. Early evening, or maybe earlier, dinner was served. After dinner and performing the prayer, the prisoners sat down together and talked about the books they had read. At 10 o'clock, it was the time of silence, and just after this hour the prisoners began whispering. In a corner, each two or three ones spoke with each other very slowly about their future plans and decisions. Some others were busy doing their own works. It was a good time for reading. However, no one slept. After midnight the prisoners slept one by one, but their eyes were hurt by the light of lamps, and they often blindfolded by scarf to sleep.

The schedule of visits was in the usual form and only the members of my family had the right of visiting.

Several times my own family and my sisters visited me. One or two times my aunt’s daughter and son, whose family name was Hadidchi, visited me by introducing themselves as my sister and brother. My husband also came from Ahwaz once a month and visited me.

Children under seven years old were not allowed to visit. However, during the Nowruz of 1353 (1974), the ban was lifted temporarily and a public visit was announced. My parents, brother and sister came to visit me and they had brought my little boy and daughter too; a visit behind the bars and window screen. They raised the children in order we could see each other. At the same time, I do not know how the prison warden permitted my kids came to visit me face to face. For me, it was a very sweet and memorable moment. I hugged them firmly and they wriggled in my arms. While my infectious wounds had relapsed and gave me a lot of pain, I had to tolerate and take care not to let my kids’ body touched directly with them because of their germ carrying, and also not to moan to let them notice my state and tell the family. By hearing about my illness, perhaps the family would beg help from someone to release me. I hugged my beloved children and sat them down on my knees and caressed them, even though I felt severe pain; but I did not want to lose those sweet moments which were combined with my kids’ loving childish naughtiness. Some of the officers also noticed my pleasure, so, after the end of visit time, they took my children out of there later. "We want to be with our Mom!" They cried and said. They thought that they have come to a party!

My children were forced to leave, but my family said that for a long time whenever these two children saw a police on the street, they became ill-tempered and said this is the one who did not allow us stay with our Mom and separated us.

Each prisoner had her own expenses, including buying cigarettes, milk, yogurt, and etc. Those who had digestive diseases and the foods of the prison were harmful for them, bought their own food from the prison canteen. The budget of these expenditures prepared either from the prison payment or from the money that their family and relatives gave them in visits[2].


Release from Prison

At the first time that I was imprisoned, I suffered from skin and infectious diseases, and recovered very hard; so, it was necessary to be more careful hygienically, so that the diseases did not recur do to the background and potential of my body.

At the second time of imprisonment, my old and new wounds were infected again and were getting worse day by day, due to the lack of proper hygiene in prison and also the lack of facilities for treatment. The infection spread over my body and its stench filled all the space of the block and my other inmates got into trouble. Nobody was willing to associate with me. After a prolonged treatment and injection of very strong antibiotics, the staff of the prison clinic were unable to cure me and they concluded that there was no possibility of recovery and the treatments did not work, and announced that I would die soon.

The leftists were not willing to live in such an environment and they feared that my disease would be contagious. After consulting with each other, they sent a letter to the head of the prison and to Farah Foundation explaining my situation. In the letter it was said that a woman with such characteristics who has a large number of children suffers from such an illness, and the stench of her infectious wounds has filled everywhere. Her nightly moans also don’t allow us to sleep, and it is impossible for us to tolerate this situation and we may be infected. They had wanted to change either my cell or theirs as soon as possible.

I was in a coma for a few days and did not know anything about my surrounding. Everyone was waiting for my death. Following the letter of leftists and their following up the issue, some physicians from outside the prison came to examine me. They had no dare to enter the block. They put me on the stretcher and took me to the clinic, where they examined my wounds with the magnifying glass and extracted some tissues from different parts of my body. A few days later, it was reported that cancer had crippled all my skin cells and there was no cure.

My first and second court was held in the form of normative in previous months, Chaired by Khwaja Nouri, and I was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. However, with the advice of court-appointed attorney, I had filed an appeal to the court that until the physicians’ examination, there was no news of its outcome. By announcing my cancer disease, they quickly set up a court for the third time, headed by Khwaja Nouri, and reduced my imprisonment for a while, i.e., my sentence that was one year and four months.

As a result, I was released from prison in a deplorable state and physical weakness, while suffered from a disease which was hard to cure. The SAVAKs hoped that I die out of prison, and the revolutionaries and fighters could not use it as propaganda.

They had informed my family about the time of my release. When I came out of the prison, I could not stand on my feet, and I dragged myself along. As I reached the top stair, my older son-in-law came to me swiftly, hugged me and took me into the car.

My family immediately hospitalized me at Aria Hospital. And Dr. Kouhi and his medical team operated on me. Although doctors in jail and out of jail were frustrated by my recovery, but by treatment and observing treatment principles of the hospital, the symptoms of relative recovery were seen after about two months. In the near future, I stood on my feet and felt well. But my skin sensation has still remained until today, and from time to time its outbreak reminds me those bitter days, full of pain and suffering.


To be continued…


[1].  For more information, see Appendix 1, Part B; Mrs. Khayyer’s explanation.

[2]. See Appendix 1, Part B for more information on prison plans and events.

Number of Visits: 620


Full Name:

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