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 of Prison

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

We had certain plans at days and nights in the prison (Qasr); the 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 a small ground which was on the opposite side of building and began exercising. The leftists also participated in morning exercise. I was not able 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 in the opposite side of building. Early evening, maybe earlier, dinner was served. After dinner and 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 about their future plans and decisions very slowly. Some were busy doing their own works. It was a good time for reading. However, no one slept. After midnight, 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 visit 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 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. Hearing my illness, perhaps the family begged help from someone to release me. I nursed my kids and sat them down on my knees to stroke their heads, even though I had severe pain; but I did not want to lose those sweet moments which was combined with my kids’ loving childish naughtiness. One or two of the guards also noticed my pleasure, so, after the end of visit time, they took my children later. "We want to be with our Mom!" They cried and said. They thought that they have come to a party!

My children left by force, but my family said that whenever, for a long time, both of them saw a police on the street, they became ill-tempered and said this is the one who did not allow us to be with our Mom and separated us.

Each prisoner had expenses, including buying cigarettes, milk, yogurt, and so on. Those who had gastro-intestinal diseases and taking the foodstuffs of prison was 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 family and relatives gave in visits[2].


Release from prison

At the first time I was imprisoned, developed cutaneous conditions and infectious diseases, and recovered very hard; so, it was necessary to be more careful hygienically in order to prevent recurring because my body had capacity to be affected by infectious diseases again.

At the second time, my wounds (new and old) was infected again and got worse day by day and deteriorated, due to the lack of proper hygiene in prison, and then the lack of facilities for treatment. The infection spread over my body and the stench filled up all the space of the block. It was natural that my other inmates got into trouble. Nobody was willing to associate with me. The staff of prison clinic were no longer able to handle my therapy after long time treatment and injection of very strong antibiotics; 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 feared that my disease would be contagious and spread to them. After consulting, they wrote a letter to the prison warden and the Farah Foundation in which had explained my situation and said that a woman with these characteristics and having large number of children suffers from such an illness, and her smell has filled everywhere and her nightly moans doesn’t allow us to sleep, and the continuation of this situation is unbearable for us, and it is possible for us to get infected, and they wanted either to change my cell or them as soon as possible.

I went into coma for a few days and did not know anything about my surrounding. All waited impatiently for my death. Because of the leftists’ letter and pursuits, some physicians from outside the prison came to examine me. None of them dared to enter the block. They stretched 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 has clutched all my skin cells and there was no cure.

Chaired by Khwaja Nouri, my first and second court had been held in the form of normative at previous months and I got 15-year sentence. However, with the advice of court-appointed attorney, I had filed an appeal to the court; but until the physicians’ examination there was no answer. By announcing my cancer disease, they quickly held a court for the third time which was chaired by Khwaja Nouri, and he reduced my imprisonment period to the time I had served 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 with a disease which was hard to cure. The SAVAK agents hoped that I die out of prison and the revolutionaries and fighters could not use it as a propaganda.

My family had been informed the time of my release. Coming out of prison, I could not stand on my feet and dragged myself along. As I reached the top stair, my older son-in-law rushed and held my arms and took me into the car.

My family immediately hospitalized me at Aria Hospital. And Dr. Kouhi and his medical department operated me. Although prison doctors had no hope for my recovery, but by treatment and observing treatment principles of 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 sensations still has remained, and from time to time its outbreak reminds me those bitter and full of pain and suffering days.


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: 48


Full Name:
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