Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Part 33)


Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabbagh) (Part 33)

Edited by: Mohsen Kazemi

Tehran, Sooreh Mehr Publications Company

‎2002 (Persian Version)‎

Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian

During these three days I witnessed the lifestyle and visits of Bani-Sadr and his family. His family (i.e. his wife and daughter) were totally indifferent to Islamic principles and values; they neither performed prayers, nor were hijab; they were unbound. They easily appeared among the non-mahram men without hijab and socialized with them. Bani-Sadr's house had nothing short of equipment and supplies. He himself had a room decorated like the clergymen’s; placed a mattress and a blanket on the corner of the room which had been covered with a sheepskin, and a Quran and a Mafatih al-Jinan were on a small and short table; quite simple and trivial.

When I objected to Bani-Sadr about his wife and daughter’s hijab and I said: "You are son of Ayatollah, so it’s not good that your wife and your children to have such a hijab." he said, "I don’t force them to do anything. They themselves should believe in it."

Tolerating the conditions of Bani-Sadr's home was hard for me, so after recovery, I rejoined the strikers. Those days were interesting and good. The hunger strike was considered by the mass media in Europe and the journalists were constantly seen among the crowd. I was interviewed several times. Martyr Montazeri also introduced me to a number of female journalists, and I in a small room showed them traces of SAVAK torture on my body.

The news of this strike in the world led to further supportive moves in different countries. In Iran also various meetings and even press conferences as well as protests supporting this movement (hunger strike) were organized by various militant groups; and a large crowd had gathered in the courtyard of Shāh Abdol Azīm shrine in Tehran[1].

The hunger strike lasted ten days. After we reached our goal, which was informing the world of our protest, we broke the strike and issued a resolution at the end in which we demanded the return of Imam Khomeini to Iran and the release of prisoners, such as Ayatollah Taleghani and Ayatollah Montazeri and other political ones.


To be continued…


[1]. The SAVAK officers’ report suggested the massiveness of the crowd: "Following the sit-in of a number of deviant Iranian students affiliated with religious subversive groups in the church of Saint-Merri of Paris, and their request for returning of [ayatollah] Rouhollah Khomeini to Iran and for releasing of a number of anti-security prisoners affiliated with the subversive religious groups and the extremist clerics, some of the supporters of these groups in Iran also made some attempts following the in sanctuary students abroad. And with cooperation of the fans of the so-called Population of Freedom Movement, the former so-called National Front, the extremist clerics, and the religious fanatics, provided preliminaries for gathering in the courtyard of the Shāh Abdol Azīm shrine on October 7th 1977 in Tehran; and some leaflets from these groups, especially from the extremist clerics, were distributed and people were invited to participate in this gathering. Following these activities, about 500 people related to these groups were gathered in the courtyard of the Shāh Abdol Azīm shrine at around 16:00 on October 7th 1977 in Tehran. In this gathering, slogans were shouted in favor of Rouhollah Khomeini and Ali Shariati and some leaflets were distributed to support them." (SAVAK and the clergy, volume 1, Tehran, Islamic Revolutionary Literature Bureau, 1992, periodic bulletin, No. 9535 (1978/03/14)). In an interview with the Islamic Revolutionary Document Center, Mr. Ali Jannati said about the formation, leading, and the result of hunger strike in the church of Saint-Merri:

"... Seyyed Mehdi wrote a letter for Carter, because Carter was the president of the United States at the time and shouted a lot of slogans in protection of human rights. Therefore, he sent a letter to Carter through the US embassy in Damascus to draw him to the inside conditions of prisons in Iran. The late Montazeri suggested that we held a hunger strike in Paris and New York and draw the world's public opinion both to the particular issue of Seyyed Mahdi and also to the conditions of Iran. The friends in Syria did not agree. They believed that Seyyed Mahdi is not a person whom we made a special effort for him. Finally, after various discussion it was supposed to put four characters along with Seyyed Mahdi in the limelight, as those who are fighting and are now severely under the pressure of the regime. They were ayatollah Montazeri, ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi, ayatollah Taleghani, and engineer Sahabi (who was in the Adelabad prison of Shiraz with a group of combatant at that time. He lived in very difficult conditions and apparently had suffered from tuberculosis). We first contacted our friends in Najaf: Mr. Emlaee, Mr. Doaee and some other friends in Pakistan, such as Mr. Asheikh Hassan Ebrahimi and others. It was decided that the hunger strike was held under the name of Iranian militant clerics outside the country. I went to Paris along with my friends, who were in Syria and wanted not to become known, to prepare the preliminaries. I was there around a month or forty days. Almost all of our members, who were in the Syria and Lebanon, participated in the hunger strike. Mr. Doaee also came from Iraq. During the time we were planning, a group of friends were at the hotel and some others were at the house of Mr. Sadeq Ghotbzadeh. I remember that we contacted Mr. Hassan Habibi at the time, because he was expert in legal matters and he well guided us in declaring some of statements and announcements which should be issued. We contacted Mr. Sadegh Tabatabaee and our friends in the union of Islamic Associations of Europe, and we invited them to join the gathering. Finally, they all accepted after some negotiations, and a large number of our friends, students who resided in the European countries, and Muslim students participated in the hunger strike. At the same time, we contacted Mr. Yazdi in the USA. We tried to do the same in the United States at any rate. I remember that there was a lot of telephone conversation about the name under which we wanted to bring it up. Apparently, Dr. Yazdi insisted that it would be better under the name of students Islamic associations of the United States and Canada. We believed that it should be under the name of militant clerics; however, there was no mutual agreement. Even during one of our meetings, Mr. Gharazi made a phone call with Dr. Yazdi in the United States in the middle of meeting, and perhaps about more than one hour spoke with him; but in total we did not get any results. It was a church called the church of Saint-Merri, where we chose for sit-in. Given the relationship these gentlemen had with human rights circles, the news of the hunger strike was reflected: for example Mr. Sadeq Ghotbzadeh himself was familiar with several international lawyers, and he asked them to put this issue in the limelight; the Amnesty International and some human rights organizations were contacted; and almost everyone came to aid. I remember that one of the people who helped was Mr. Ahmad Salamatian, who was one of supporters of Bani-Sadr. Bani-Sadr himself, of course, helped much. Many of the students in the Paris helped in publishing, translating and distributing the statements we issued. On the whole, the hunger strike was given very broad news coverage at that time. The length of the sit-in was one week. Inside the church, the people were interviewed. Some photographs of these interviews still existed. The late Mohammad Montazeri and Mr. Gharazi and some of friends were most interviewed. During the interview their faces were covered and only their eyes were seen; because they wanted not to become known in the photos and films. We tried very hard to go to the United States and took sanctuary in front of the United Nations in New York. In fact, we were not given visa. We made a move to get visa in the Damascus and Paris, but it was rejected. Once we even decided to go to New York without a visa and took sanctuary in the New York Airport, but it was impossible, because we couldn’t buy tickets without having visa. During the strike we made phone calls to Iran and announced that such a hunger strike is now taking place in Paris. The newspapers didn’t have objections, but the militant people eventually were informed. For instance, I myself called Mr. Ghodousi then without introducing myself, and only read the strike news. It caused the news of strike to be quickly released inside the country. On the whole, I think that the pressure which was on Mr. Taleghani and Mr. Montazeri and others who had been named anyway in the strike, was reduced, and it was somewhat effective.

Number of Visits: 676


Full Name:

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