Loss of Memory in Pahlavi Prisons

Compiled by: Islamic Revolutionary Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


In total, [I was in prison] about 6 years in two arrests. For the first time after several years, a soldier arranged my escape. I do not know why! Maybe he was one of the influential elements of Islamic groups. They took me to the hospital for the treatment of my hand, which was broken due to the callousness of an officer. In the hospital, with the help of one of the employees, I hid inside the refrigerator carton and was taken out of the hospital.

I was almost alone between the two prisons. I worked in several places as a worker until the days passed, from selling in Iranian stores to cleaning carpets. I did not dare to go back to my city, both for fear of SAVAK, who were undoubtedly watching my family, and because of my forgetfulness, I thought I would not be able to find them.

The group had re-established its contacts. After some time, one day when I was supposed to give a message to someone in Revolution Square, I was arrested again. This time I had learned how to deal with SAVAK agents. I pretended to be an addict and answered everything they asked me with the attitude of an addict. Unfortunately, one of the officers, who remembered my appearance from the previous prison, suspected that they had fingerprinted me, and I was transferred to the prison behind the knowledge for the second time as a political prisoner.

There were more tortures, especially mental ones. They forced me to search with my head and face for the objects that they claimed were in the toilet well, and then I was not allowed to wash my head and face. I had to stay until the dirt dried on my body. They let wild dogs kill me and put me in the cell of deviant women to be mentally tortured.

Fortunately, the days and nights of terror ended with the sound of the revolution heard from outside.

I was released along with several others at the end of 1956. For a while, I was hospitalized in the neuropsychiatric department of the current Imam Khomeini Hospital. I don't remember exactly when I was covered by the Committee for the Protection of Political Prisoners, but this time my condition was better than the distance between the two prisons.

With the victory of the revolution, I started working in the mosque of Amir al-Mu'minin (PBUH). I didn't know myself and my family anymore. When the war started, I worked with Basij organization to provide support and supplies to the fronts, until one day after returning from the war zones, I miraculously regained my memory. It was the days of Tasua and Ashura. I had made a vow to the Azerbaijani mourning committee so that I could find my family. At the same time, I had a dream similar to the dream of Zandam, in which Imam Khomeini gave me another loan.

We were in the mosque when the radio announced that Iraqi planes had bombed the Suleiman Mosque and... I remembered everything at once. It was 1983 when I returned to my family after 12 years of not knowing, everything had changed. The younger children had grown up and my elder brother was martyred in the fronts and my other brother was honored as a veteran. My father was exiled to Gachsaran because of my activities and naturally I found my family in that city.

My father explained that after my arrest and continuous follow-up, they finally sent him a package of clothes from the prison and said: Your daughter was killed a few nights ago while escaping... and my mother died of grief.[1]


[1] Source: Ibtahaj Shirazi, Fariba, From the epic saga, Tehran, Secretariat of the Congress of Women's Role in Defense and Security, 1997, pp. 25-26.


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