Ahmad Ahmad Memoirs (37)

Edited by Mohsen Kazemi

Ahmad Ahmad Memoirs (37)
Edited by Mohsen Kazemi
Soureh Mehr Publishing Company
(Original Text in Persian, 2000)
Translated by Mohammad Karimi

Transferring to Evin Prison

After 8 months of up and downs I had almost lost my temper. I was getting crazy in solitary confinement. To get free of such conditions I decided to go on a hunger strike. The next day I did it. The prison guards noticed my refusal for eating and they reported the matter to SAVAK. It was about 10 at night that they came to my cell and asked my reason. I told them that I was on a hunger strike and I would not eat anything till they clear what they want to do with me. They began threatening me. I told them: “It has been 8 months that you have done to me whatever you wanted to. I have been here without being trialed. I am fed up. I cannot tolerate any more. Do what the hell you want. You want to kill me …! Do it…! I’d be happy and prefer death to this living…”
SAVAK agents could not get any result and went back. The next day Saghi came and with rich Turkic accent said: “Ahmad! You are disturbing everything here again! Have you forgotten the beatings and slashes?!” I told him: “Mr. Saghi, This time I wanna die, I don’t want to live any more. I’m fed up with everything and have reached to the end…” Saghi talked for some moments and at last threatened me to break my hunger strike; I did not accept and insisted that they had to clear what would happen to me or at least take me to the public row. Saghi (1) promised to clear my status the next day (Saturday) if I break my hunger strike. I accepted his offer since I knew him and was almost sure that he would fulfill his promise. So I broke my hunger strike.
Saturday morning, Sergeant Anousheh opened the cell’s door and said: “Gather you things and follow me!” I found out that Saghi had been faithful to his promise. I took my clothes and followed him. He took me to the public row.
The public row had changed a lot in comparison to few years before. In this new atmosphere it was hard to distinguish between Marxists from Muslims. They were so mixed that it was hard to know who is who. They even had a common tablecloth. I felt so sorry to see such a situation.
I was in public row for three days. On the third day, Manouchehri –the famous SAVAK torturer- entered the prison. I knew him since I had seen him during my early torturing days. After a walk around the prison he came to me. It seemed that my face was familiar to him. He asked: “What’s your name?” When he heard: “Ahmad Ahmad”, he winced and asked: “Are you Ahmad Ahmad?” and I said: “Yes”. He hesitated for some moments and then went. About three hours later, two other agents came and asked me to take my clothes and follow them. When we reached to the gate of the public prison the put my hand in the hands of a person that later I found he was Husseini (2), warden of Evin prison.
We picked up a car and went. Husseini asked me to keep my head down. Then they covered my head with my coat. This way I was moved to Evin Prison in late February 1972. They took me to a room. I waited about three hours and then Husseini came along with a Sergeant. Hussini’s face was interesting to me; his mouth was almost always open in a special way that seemed to be smiling all the time. Even when he was beating somebody it seeded that he was smiling. At these moments we would think that there was a hint of mockery in his face.  Husseini asked: “Do you know where here is?” I said: “Evin”. He said: “Here, we skin people alive…”
Husseini would speak by threatening all the time and hit on my head several times. I said: “Why you hit me?!” and he said: “Look down! When you speak to me, do not look at my eyes!” Then he took me to Cell No. 16.
Cell No. 16, Evin
When we entered Evin, there was a two-stair building on the right side and a building with two rows of cells on the left side. In the second row of this building, there were 16 big cells with about 2.5*3 square meters area, a supervision room, and in the end 20 solitary confinements with about 1.5*2 square meters area that all were equipped with central heating system. I was located in Cell No. 16. It looked newly made. Much equipment had not been installed and the plaster on walls not dried yet. It was so dank in a way that when I would wake up in the mornings, my blanket was completely wet. I got sick because of that much of wetness and had become allergic to smells. This sickness made serious problems for me later that sometimes it would became maddeningly intolerable.
Some nights later, they suddenly opened the cell door and threw in somebody. He was no one other than Saeed Mohammadi Fateh. After greetings I found out he was not there reasonless. Based on my experience, I guessed there would be a trail in the next few days. They were possibly seeking two aims by this attempt; one, they would check if we would coordinate and check what knew, and second, they would hear us through the microphones which had possibly been located there secretly in order to use our dialogues in the court.
First I got close my mouth to his ears and whispered: “Listen, they may possibly listen to us. Take care and speak quietly!” Then we began talking by gestures and into ears. I told him: “Saeed! Be careful a lot! You are only here for tonight. Take care about what you say. Speak quietly and tell me what have you told them about me?” He said: “I narrated the story of my visit with Massali and Rezaee and my written contacts with you.” I said: “I am not upset if you have exposed me. It is a fight and these things may happen. It is over now. Your verdict may be execution and mine would be 15 years in prison. However, we should be hopeful that we may go out one day and continue our fight.”
He said that he had been tortured a lot. That night we talked to each other till morning and matched what we had in mind. About 9 o’clock in the morning they came and took Saeed. I was waiting to be trailed soon.
One day morning, when I was coming back from toilet I met Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani in my cell. I asked: “Dear sir, what do you do here?” He said: “They took me here two or three days after that event (he meant pouring water to his throat when he was fasting in Qezel Qal’eh).” I asked him: “Why did you resist that day for drinking water? There was no need for it. Your fasting would not be lapsed.” He said with a smile: “I know the God’s order for this matter. However, we should resisit against whatever thay say.”
Then he advised me to tell the other palls to be careful about their encounters with Husseini. Do not be deceived by some butter or yogurt they may be given. Save their pride. At last I asked him to inform others outside prison that I had been transferred to Evin. Then we said our goodbyes.

1- Sergeat Saghi –Ostovar Saghi- Warden of Qezel Qal’eh, was a kind of man who had some sort of compassion and generosity despite being occupied as a warden. While doing his job he was kind to the prisoners and would listen to them and help them as much as he could without considering the status and rank of the prisoner…. He was arrested after the Islamic Revolution, however, a big number of political prisoners in the Shah’s regime including the late Ayatollah Taleghani asked for his freedom in letter to the Revolution Court because of his humane behavior toward the prisoners; and the court freed him.
(See: Tarikh-e 25 Saleh-ye Iran, Col. Gholam Reza Nejati)
2- Mohammad Ali Sha’bani known as “Husseini”, one of barbarous torturers of the Shah’s regime was born in 1924 in Khomeyn, central Iran. He was a SAVAK interrogator and torturer for years in Evin Prison and Komite Moshtarak (Common Anti-Sabotage Committee of the Iranian Police and SAVAK). He was a sergeant in the Army G-2 and when SAVAK was established in 1957, he was transferred there. For some time he was internal administrate of Evin Prison. In 1972 when Komite Moshtarak was established, he was transferred there. The most horrible and barbarous tortures at Komite Moshtarak have been recorded by his name.
Mr. Javad Mansouri writes about him in his memoirs as follow:
“Frankly speaking, Husseini was a wolf or gorilla or a hyena. He would torture the prisoners personally in a brutal way and had a very insulting and sometimes barbarous behavior toward them. Husseini was an army sergeant whose big body and bad face would frighten others. Despite a long term of service in SAVAK and old age he worked until the last days of the Shah’s regime. After the Islamic Revolution there was a big attempt to arrest him and finally when the Revolutionary Guards entrapped him, he committed suicide by his own gun and died few days later in hospital.”
(See: Khaterat-e Javad-e Mansouri)
Kayhan Newspaper in its March 17th 1979 issue narrates how he was arrested in an article, “How Master of Torture Entrapped”:
“…the Revolutionary Committee of Seheb Zaman Mosque was informed few days before that Husseini, the famous torturer of SAVAK in Evin Prison is settled in his house in Northern Khosh Street. So the Revolutionary Guards monitored his house for few days and when he was picking up a car, they entrapped him to arrest him alive and he commits suicide by his own gun…Husseini is known to all Iranian and internationally he is known as his master The Shah. After 1971 and the expansion of the Komite-ye Moshtarak activities, he became the symbol of the brutality of the regime. He had a room in the second stair of Komite named “Husseini Room”. There was no need to call that room as “Torture Room”. Name of “Husseini” was a torture itself. He had a big body and blackened face. He was about 100 kilograms. He had small head and bloody savage eyes. He was so nervous because of his job and his tall teeth would show off by each jump of his cheek and it seemed there was a hint of mockery in his dirty smile.”

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