A memory of Nayereh Sadat Ehtesham Razavi

Arrest and re-arrest of Mr. Nawab (July 1951)

Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


In 1951, Mr. Nawab was rearrested. I was at Mr. Akbari's house those days. On the day Mr. Nawab was arrested, the newspapers headlined: "Nawab Safavi was arrested." At the same time, there were about twelve or thirteen high-ranking members of the Fadaiyan-e-Islam in the police prison, with whom their family members usually met daily. On one of the visit days, Sheikh Mahdi Haghpanah[1] spoke against the government in the prison courtyard. A crowd of over 2000 people and Fadaiyan-e-Islam began chanting slogans against the government. Officers asked them to leave the prison yard to allow women to visit. That day, some members of the Fadaiyan-e-Islam, such as Amir Abdullah Karbaschian[2], Abolghasem Rafiei, Akbari, Yousefi, and Seyyed Abdul Hussein Vahedi, were among the visitors. When the men left, the officers told the women to disperse, as they would not be allowed to meet. Fatima was ten or eleven months old at that time. I handed her over to one of the women and started speaking, "You have chained the lions of Islam’s forest and arrested and imprisoned the great leader of Fadaiyan-e-Islam. Out of fear, you first disperse the men and then do not allow the women to visit their loved ones; but I swear to God, even if it takes ten days, we will stay behind this shantytown of injustice to visit our loved ones." In the meantime, the guards surrounded us and aimed their weapons at us; but I went on and said, "If it happens, we smash the brain of you criminals with stones and sticks, and we don’t move." It was announced through a loudspeaker that the woman, who was so angry, allows visiting. I said, "I will continue speaking until all women to be allowed to visit." Eventually, they surrendered and announced, "Ladies, come and visit." Entering the inside of the prison courtyard, they wanted to prevent us, but they had to allow us to visit as I began speaking again. I met Mr. Nawab in political ward 3 of Qasr Prison. He had a heavenly and bright face, wore green turbans, and spoke with enthusiasm. Several members of the Fadaiyan-e-Islam had been imprisoned, and some women were crying, but I met them without crying or expressing regret. At the same time, I was very happy and satisfied that it was so easy to meet Mr. Nawab and be with him.[3]


[1] Sheikh Mahdi Haghpanah, known as Dolabi, son of Gholamreza, was born in 1916, Tehran. The records of SAVAK on August 04, 1964, introduced him as follows: He was previously a member of the Fadaiyan-e-Islam and was arrested twice during Dr. Mossadegh's rule; once for two months and once for a week on charges of collaborating with the Fadaiyan-e-Islam and then released. The police have announced that he has been an active member of the Fadaiyan-e-Islam and gave speeches in front of the Palace of Justice in 1951. He brought around one thousand people to the Dolab Gate on June 05, 1963, and on the same day, he forced the crowd to break the bottles of the liquor stores. On June 06, he incited them to close their shops and asked them to be equipped with knives. Sheikh Mahdi Haghpanah, known as Dolabi, who was the imam of the Ansar Mosque in Dolab, was arrested on July 13, 1964, on charges of inciting the people on June 06, 1963, and with the obligation not to leave the jurisdiction of Tehran, he was released on August 05, 1964. (Imam's Companions according to SAVAK documents, Martyr Mahdi Iraqi, Center for the Study of Historical Documents of the Ministry of Intelligence, 1999, p. 9).

[2] One of the members of Fadaiyan-e-Islam and the director of the Nabrad-e Mellat newspaper, who later separated from Fadaiyan-e-Islam.

[3] Taheri, Hojjatollah, Memoirs of Nayereh Sadat Ehtesham Razavi, Shahid Nawab Safavi’s wife, Tehran, Islamic Revolutionary Documentation Center, p.84.


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