The Temporary Grave

Memories of Amir Saeidzadeh

Selected By: Faezeh Sasanikhah,
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


Last year, a heavy snow fell in Dole Baderan and Kriskan region and the main prison was snow-covered. Due to the fall of the avalanche and the destruction of the walls and roof, a number of prisoners had been buried under rubble. The Democrat was forced to move the prison to Kriskan region and take the prisoners into a tent and build a short wall around it. The prisoners had to live in this temporary place until the main prison to be repaired and reconstructed.

Every day we had to go to the main prison and repair it. Last year's snow had completely destroyed the prison and buried its equipment and furniture under mud. I was digging the dirt and debris of the ruined walls with a shovel and a pickaxe, when suddenly a dead body's foot stuck out of the debris. I pulled myself back in fear and distress and screamed. Zahir came to me and said: "This is the body of Mam Abdullah Piranshahri. Last year, she caught in the avalanche and died."

The corpse was intact and it seemed that the death was occurred right now, but in this cold weather, a mosquito hovered over the body and constantly bothered him. We took out the body and buried there. Hossein Moradi wanted to bury Mam Abdullah's body in an Islamic and respectable way, but the democrat guards got upset and forced him to take off his clothes and creep on the snow like a goat. Then they poured hot water drop by drop on his back to torture him. Sometime later they executed him.

Each of the executed ones cooperated with Iran's intelligence in some way and collected news and information from Iraqi Kurdistan and sent them to Iran. During the reconstruction of the prison, I found a fox nest place in a ruined wall in which a dog can hardly fit. While working, I monitored the nest and waited for an opportunity to hide there and then to escape. In the evening, when the guards were busy drinking tea and they were distracted, I crawled into the nest with difficulty and concealed myself with some wood and mats. I had a pack of sleeping pills with me, which was a good excuse to say I was asleep if I get caught.

In the evening, when the prisoners return to the tent, they realized that I am not among them. All democratic forces became on alert and surrounded the region. They searched the valley, forest, plain, and desert, but couldn’t find me. When they were completely disappointed and wanted to leave, suddenly a guard saw my toe sticking out of the hole and shot at me. The wall prevented the bullet hit my body. They took me out with threats and coercion. Someone said: "he’s here, kill this mercenary." Another said: "Don't. He’s valuable for us. We can exchange him."

They tied my hands and beat me with butt stock, sticks and kicks, walking toward the Kahrukh River. My whole body was wounded and bloody. They said: "Cross the river."

As I stepped into the water, four people griped my hands and feet and immersed my head in the water many times. Wounds, pain, and cold multiplied my torment, but I tolerated, and after a while I felt better.

In the summer, Khizr Sedaqat, who was a democratic security guard, became match with me and spoke of friendship. He brought me bread, yogurt and cigarettes, and had won my trust to some extent. I told him: "Go to the Dole Gard Ranieh village, and take whatever money, weapons and facilities you want from Mamnad Mahmoud. He will give you whatever you want, provided that you only take me ten steps away from the democratic prison."

I believed in myself so much that if I went only ten meters away from the prison, I would disappear and it was impossible for them to find me. Khizr was a cowardice and reported me to the head of the prison. Osman Lenousi, Hirsh and Seyyed Latif came to me and beat me hardly with a piece of hose. They beat me so much that I passed out. My whole body bruised and my head, face, nose and hips were injured. They tortured me with a big needle. Then they threw me into a hot tandoor, where its walls and ashes were still hot. I slowly sweated and then got a slight fever. Little by little I felt the smell of my body’s burning; so, I inevitably screamed. As soon as I took my head out of the tandoor, they hit me with a butt stock and I fell into the hot ashes. The heat was getting hotter. My skin was slowly blistering. I tolerated for a half-hour and became half burned. I screamed so much that they has to drag me outside.

They only opened my handcuff when eating and going to the bathroom. I had no energy and only tolerated and suffered my pains with closed hands. After all this, I understood that I was naive and was deceived. They monitored me more and waited for me to make a mistake, so they could shoot at me intentionally or unintentionally. I had to be more careful.[1]


[1] Source: Golzar Ragheb, Kianoosh, Memories of Amir Saeidzadeh, Kriskan Evenings, 3rd edition, Tehran, Surah Mehr Publications, 2017, p. 179.

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