Thursday, July 2, 2009

Don't Hit, Brother!

Tuesday June 30, 2009: Human Rights Watch asked Iranian officials to release Saeed Hajarian or transfer him to a medical center as soon as possible. Ms. Sarah Leah Whitson, the Executive Director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, mentioned that given Mr. Hajarian's physical condition, his arrest is not acceptable in the first place; however, terrible jail conditions together with the pressure on him to confess put his life in danger.

Saeed Hajarian, a prominent reformist theorist, was assassinated, in March 2000, at the peak of the conflicts between conservatives and reformists in Iran. He survived, but he has been severely disabled.

The following is a translation of a piece written by Ebrahim Nabavi.

Don't Hit, Brother!

Dear Mr. Interrogator:

I don't know what your name is. Are you Hosseini, Mortazavi,Ahmadi, or whatever name you have chosen for yourself, so people wouldn't recognize you? I don't know what you have done til now and whom you have interrogated, but be careful with this one.

I'm talking about Saeed Hajarian.

My friends are telling me you have beaten him up and have put him under severe pressure. How could you do that?! You were telling the kids to talk and to talk, and to tell whatever they know.

What did you tell Saeed? How did you ask him to talk? Saeed?

He can't talk. I have seen Saeed. When he wants to talk he has to concentrate all his afflicted and sick body to utter a word. Don't tell him to talk; he can't talk. When he was able to talk, he wasn't talking either. Outside the prison, when he met his friends, he was barely talking. Now what do you expect from him? Him who hardly can speak and even forcing himself is still not able to utter a word.

You have been putting your one hand on his afflicted shoulder and have been pressuring his weak body and have been telling him, “Tell me you were trying to do 'Green Revolution,' Tell me...” Meanwhile, you have been making a fist with the other hand to punch his face. Move away your hand. HE CANNOT TALK!

I had visited Saeed Hajarian when he was at “City Council”. With numerous surgeries they had kept him alive and he was still not able to have control over his face and his hands. With great effort, he said,“ Seyed, I read your piece and I laughed. It's been a while since I've laughed.” I was glad I was able to give a smile to his afflicted heart, but I was upset that this smile might have made him suffer more pain in his body. A body which suffered for freedom and was injured for knowing.

Mr. Interrogator, now you're standing and you're placing a piece of paper on top of which is written “النجاه فی الصدق "in front of Saeed, and you're writing: “Write down all your connections with American agents.” Telling him, “We know everything Mr. Saeed! You got caught very badly. They'll call you out at 5am to execute you! Write down that you had connections with American agents.”

But, my dear brother! Mr Hosseini, Mr Ahmadi. Whoever you are. Saeed can't write! To write one word, all of his body would be racked with pain. How could he write?

Once, he could write, and with every word he would have shaken the country. But they took his hand. They took his tongue. They made him into a Zombie. LET HIM GO, brother!

His book had been recently published. Before leaving the room, I bent to kiss his face. Then, with his unspoken words, he told me, “Here you go!” and he gave me a book. He opened the first page and, with effort, he wrote something. His autograph was merely crossed and messy lines. This was few months after he had been released from the hospital.

When Saeed was shot, Shareeatmadari wrote an article praising him as if he'd been assassinated by Israelis, and as if Shareeatmadari's people hadn't been behind the assassination. Brother interrogator! Does not Shareeatmadiri today mutually agree with you on how to interrogate?

I can't see your face. You're not yourself. I know you would not assign just anyone to be in charge of Hajarian. And who would be a better interrogator than Hossein Shareetmadari? But maybe even Shareeatmadari himself doesn't know that Hajarian can't write. I know if he was tortured, his dear, healthy body would not be able to write either. But with this afflicted body and weary hand, how could anyone write?

Mr. Interrogator! Mr. Hosseini! Mr. Shareeatmadari. Whoever you are! You put your hand underneath Saeed's chin and you pressure it and you say, “ Write down all your positions.”

What position do you want? What do you not know about Hajarian? Ask elders and don't pressure him anymore.

He's the one who once founded the security system of this country. And when he matured politically, he was the theorist for reform and a democratic society. He created such an evolution in people's thoughts and words that when the people's enemies wanted to destroy the core of reform movement, they recognized only one way. A bullet into Hajarian's brain.

Now what do you want and what do you not know of? If you do not know his position after his reforms, read his books. If you want to know with whom he had contacts outside Iran, be assured that, on the long list of doctors who performed surgery on his afflicted body, you can find at least one.

Who are you looking for?

Mr. Interrogator, he is the son of the revolution who is now injured. You can not even let go of a corpse!

I see you standing in front of Saeed's wheelchair and looking at his forehead and wishing that Saeed Asgars' bullet had hit him in the forehead and thinking that what if you were able to break his skull and to see what's going on in his mind and how his brain, with weary and tired body, still works like a clock. And with kicking, you push him backward, he with bent neck looking at you. He wants to say, my dear brother! Don't look for an anti-coup institution. Tehran is the anti-coup institution. All the country is the anti-coup institution.

The center of the mental war is the houses of all cities in the country. If you are looking for the leaders of the movement, you should take every citizen to prison. Your prisons don't have the capacity. Hajarian lips are slowly moving. It's something between laughter and pain.

My brother! Mr. Interrogator! You once killed Hajarian, once paralyzed all his body, took his body from one nation. What else do you want? He can't write, don't hurt his hand, don't beat him up. He's a child of this nation. He can't confess to anything. Who can believe that a person who can hardly walk up even one stair would stand against the officers who savagely beat innocent people in front of the cameras of all the people around the world?

What's resistance? For a guy whose body is constantly suffering pain - pain more than this - what meaning does it have?

Is that all your power? All the glory and power that you have acquired is being acquired by beating Saeed Hajarian? Your intention to be affectionate was this? Your intention to use your intellectuals and geniuses was this? Your intention of global management was this?

Mr. Interrogator! Stop it! Come out of prison room 261 and say you can't live anymore with the guilt of torturing a motionless, yet still living, corpse.

Years from now, your grandchild will ask you why this street is named Saeed Hajarian? And will ask Grandpa, who always introduces himself as an employee of courtroom, “Who's Saeed Hajarian?”

And you know well who is Hajarian.

Now look twice at yourself, and at those whom you interrogate, and when you lift your boot to hit one of the great men of this country, at least your leg should shake a little bit. Any human whose leg does not shake, is a human who is dead inside his heart.

How would you continue your life without heart?­

By: Ebrahim Nabavi

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