Secret campaigns

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


Sedigheh Amir Shahkarami the narrator: we were two sisters and three brothers who started secret campaigns against the regime during the Shah and in order not to be arrested by SAVAK (Shah’s secret police), we had a covert life during the years 52 and 53 (1973 and 1974).

At first, Mehdi and Mohammad Amir Shahkarami were the members of the Mujahedin Organization. But after a while, they realized the deviation of their beliefs, and after ideological opposition to this organization, they separated from that group. The two chose another path and launched an independent and steady organization by recruiting religious and intellectual people who were in indirect contact with Imam Khomeini and took orders from him on many issues.

Of course, SAVAK was actively pursuing Mehdi and Mohammad and had even set a reward for their capture. For this reason, our residential house, which was located on Sharif Street in Isfahan, was under the control of SAVAK agents. They regularly broke into our house and tortured and harassed my parents, who were unaware, asking them to show where they were.

My mother, who was a very knowledgeable and brave woman, confronted them and somehow was always involved in a way that she stood agasint their tortures.

Both Mehdi and Mohammad were the students of Ariyamehr (Sharif) University and among the first rank students of the university. Their friends said that they were politically active in the university and that's why they were wanted by SAVAK.

Finally, they were forced to leave the university and their father's house and turn to a very difficult and tough life in secret. Even though we were very problematic, they took us with them and hid us. Because of this, SAVAK used to harass my parents and one of my brothers, who was older than all of us, asking them about us. In addition to that, they monitored the movement of friends and family and interrogated them. Every week, two soldiers attacked our house and walked on the roofs at night and watched the house. My mother was very upset. She was truly a brave, patient and selfless woman. Sometimes, when she ran out of patience, she attacked them with stones.

SAVAK took my father every now and then and tortured him and demanded information about my brothers. But my father would answer:

You caused my children to escape. It is not clear where they are. You also treat me this way. What do you want form us?

In 1354 (1975), Mehdi’s friends (martyrs Morteza and Ebrahim Jafarian) were martyred along with their wives in a clash with SAVAK in Tabriz. They wanted to arrest him alive. He escaped by a motor bike but was shot dead by the officers.

They did not deliver his body to the family and in response, they just told them that we threw him in the river.

After that, they were not allowed to hold any funeral ceremony and they said that if you held a ceremony for Mehdi, we would arrest all those who participate in it, and by placing many officers in the place, they prevented the movement of people.



In the same year in 1354 (1975), a few months later, Mohammad was pursued by SAVAK in an operation. They ordered him to stop, but he didn't want to be caught alive since he had a lot of information and was one of the main members of the group, so he ran away. SAVAK shot him in the leg and he continued to run away with a wounded leg, walking a long distance. His bleeding worsened and in one of the alleys of Baharestan Square in Tehran, the officers surrounded and took him half-life to the committee. Finally, after a lot of torture, while they did not get any information from him, they martyred him. They did not give us his body either. After the revolution, we found out through his file that he was buried in Behesht Zahra (PBUH) Cemetery. In the same year, after a few months, due to the martyrdom of Mehdi and Mohammad and several others that happened in Tabriz, the situation of the group became a bit chaotic, and due to the escape of some guys and the discovery of our house, I and my wife and one of my friends, martyr Zandizadeh, were arrested at home. We were interrogated for four months in solitary confinement and with the plans made by SAVAK to free us, we (of course, I and Zandizadeh and our wives) were freed. My sister had not been arrested and hidden in Isfahan. SAVAK's purpose in releasing us was to arrest them while we were traveling with the rest of the group.

They planned us a trip to Mashhad. It was aimed at getting us out of the way, which they almost succeeded, and on the way from Isfahan to Mashhad, they created a fake accident program and hit our car with a trailer and overturned it. In that accident, my mother and Zahra Zandizadeh were martyred. They took the three of us to the hospital and discharged us after some time. But we were still wanted by SAVAK and they monitored our movements.

In the years 1356 and 1357, when the harsh treatment of the regime decreased, I along with my wife and some others were typing and distributing the Imam's leaflets until they attacked our home again and took my child from me by force and torture, and tortured me. They also asked me to give information about my sister who was also hidden and I knew nothing about her.

They arrested me and my wife again and imprisoned in solitary confinement. They tortured us a lot and did not allow us to meet anyone. Finally, contrary to the enemy's wish, their plots were nullified and the revolution became victorious and we were freed.


Source: Kiani, Tayebeh, Shoulder to shoulder: Memoirs of Female Veterans of Isfahan Province from the Eight-Year Sacred Defense, Isfahan, Discourse of Contemporary Thought, 1388 (2009), pp. 135-139


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