The Reason for Sit-In and Protest in Mashhad Hospital

Compiled by: Islamic Revolution Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


After a few years, the Keramat Mosque became a center of revolutionary activities again in 1957, and it was the time when I returned from exile to Jiroft in November or possibly in late October. It was the time when the demonstrations in Mashhad and elsewhere began. We formed a headquarters in the Keramat Mosque to lead the work and struggles of Mashhad, in which the headquarters of the late Martyr Hasheminejad and our friend Mr. Tabasi and I and also a group of young student brothers who were always with us and two of them named Mousavi Ghouchani and Kamyab is no longer alive and has been martyred. These two were students who were constantly accompanying us in our activities. We used to gather in there along with people who were constantly on the movement, and, strangely, the militants and the police did not dare to attend in this way - the Naderi crossroads where the mosque was located- for fear of the excitement and protest of the people, and this was why we spent the day in this mosque safely and had no fear of being seized captured. Of course, there were exciting and decisive currents in all cities, including Mashhad, but unfortunately, no one mentioned them, while these are the history of the days of the revolution, and when we received the news that we were in the mosque, I had a call; I went and took the phone. I saw some of my friends and others were shouting repeatedly: “they shot, they killed; help, help!” I called Mr. Tabasi, and then we went to a room where there are some clerics and some of the well-known clerics and a homilist.

I addressed the clergymen: “the hospital was in a bad situation and we can enter in this situation and prevent the attacks to nurses and doctors; surly, Mr. Tabasi and I will go there.” Although I had not already made an appointment with him, I knew that Mr. Tabasi would accept to come and join us to protest; I believed that if the men come with us, it will be better, and if they do not come, Mr. Tabasi and I will go there. My words that combined with a serious determination and decision caused some famous and respected clerics of Mashhad to say:" When we came with you." Mr. Morvarid, some others, and I walked toward the hospital. They came and the people walked behind us and walked from the market to the hospital, which was perhaps an hour, and the further we went, the more the crowd joined us, we were moving towards the destination without slogans and exciting actions until we arrived the hospital. Until we got close to the hospital. As you know, there is a square in front of the street that leads to Imam Reza (PBUH) Hospital in Mashhad that is now called Imam Reza (PBUH) Square. Three streets lead to that square. When we came to the hospital from the street called Jahanbani, we saw from a distance that the soldiers were blocking the way; That is, they were standing in a line and had guns in their hands; we couldn't cross. I found that the people were a little anxious; I said to clerics that we should show ourselves confident and powerful so that those who are behind us follow us and then show themselves confident and powerful as well. We put our head down and tried to pretend that there were not any soldiers or armed men; we went ahead and reached to the soldiers and they opened spontaneously a narrow way for us to pass. Although they were going to close the gate when we entered into hospital, they were not able to do it because when we entered the hospital, many other people entered as well; the soldiers were not able to control them. After entering into hospital, the nurses, doctors and…..who were in the hospitals saw us and became brave to cooperate with us; all of us walked toward the center position of the hospital where, I think, there was a statue in the middle of it, and the people pulled the statue down and broke it. At this time, the soldiers began to fire toward the people. Although using a small gun was enough to prevent and kill people, they used heavy guns that were very dangerous and were made for operations. When the foreign reporter came there, I showed them the shells and said that they should share this news with the world so that all knew how the regime behaved toward us.

After an hour that we did not know what to do, we went to a room with some clerics to decide what to do, although it was not clear whether the attack was going on or not. I suggested that we can announce that we would sit here and we would not leave until our demands are met. At that meeting, which was attended by about eight to ten clerics from Mashhad, I immediately brought a piece of paper so that there would be no hesitation to the purpose, and I wrote: We, the signatories, announce: "We will be here to fulfill our demands..."One of the demands was the dismissal of the military governor and the other was the trial of the perpetrator of the firing Imam Reza (PBUH) Hospital and other things.

Thus, we announced a sit-in, and this sit-in and protest had an important effect both in Mashhad and outside Mashhad. And it was one of the major points of Mashhad's struggles that it led to a lot of excitement and passionate demonstrations and massacres in Mashhad."[1]


[1]Memoirs and anecdotes for the biography of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. (1999). Tehran, Qadr Velayat, pp. 74-78. 


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