“Internal Reaction” published

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


Apart from the student activities and massive demonstrations in the years 1352 to 1354 (1973-1975), another part of my activities was the books I was writing myself. Of course, before they turned into books, I used to lend them in the form of nameless pamphlets in university libraries. Many harmful writings or books were taken to the mountains or transferred to other universities, sometimes even abroad. During the time I was in prison and under the detention of Savak, it is interesting that despite all the power that Savak had, it was not informed of any of these harmful pamphlets and writings that had been written by me, and I name them now, and some of them were published in Tehran and even all over Iran in the form of books.

Maybe because another name had been written on it. That is, the first pamphlet, which was the result of a speech I gave in a mosque, was published as a book because part of my activities was to deliver speeches. Whether inside Tehran University or outside it, in some mosques or in some cities, I sometimes gave public or private speeches. One of these speeches was published in the form of a small booklet called "Modern Reaction and Our Mission" by the Be'that Publications under the supervision of Mr. Fakhreddin Hejazi, concurrent with the times I was in prison and under the control of Savak. This was the first pamphlet that I had left in the university libraries in manuscript form, and it was published in the form of a book. Fortunately, Savak did not realize at all that this was the same person who was being held captive inside the prison of the committee. Of course, after I came out of prison, when I saw this book, I realized that parts of this book had been censored in the writing department - which was an office on the former Takht-e Jamshid Avenue. And even in some places, they had added their own sentences to it!

There was another pamphlet that Savak had become very sensitive about, and I noticed this during the interrogation. The name of that pamphlet was "Prayer, Rebellious Human Submission". The story of this book was that in the year 1353 or 1354 (1974 or 1975), at the height of strikes and protests at Tehran University, a person from a faculty would lead the prayer every day in the university mosque, and the students would hold the congregational prayer. One person should also read an article during this congregational prayer. And usually, these articles had a political aspect as well, and they were harsh. On the day it was the turn of Law School, I wrote an article about prayer. Of course, this article was written under the influence of the atmosphere of armed wars and guerrilla activities. I read this writing in Tehran University Mosque while sitting among the rows of worshipers. Two or three of my friends (including Dr. Vahid Asili, who is now a doctor) were on the other side, making sure that the Savak agent was not nearby. Later, this writing was welcomed by the students, and the individuals and groups reproduced it in different lines that were completely out of my hands. I had even heard that a copy of it was shown by Dr. Shariati showed to one of the fighters abroad and said that he was happy that despite all the droughts, hardships and poverty that the Shah's regime imposed on the Iranian society in the field of thought and intellectuality, there are still such sprouts emerging and I see teenagers and young people who enter this field and are influenced by the general revolutionary and Islamic movement.

Now, I have a memory about the article "Prayer, Rebellious Human Submission" which is interesting. I had sitting in the interrogation room in the same building of the Joint Anti-Sabotage Committee. There were two interrogators in that room, one was Riahi, the other was Rahmani. Riahi was my interrogator and Rahmani was the interrogator of others. They were interrogating one of the prisoners. I suddenly realized that the interrogator was saying violently to him: "Tell me from who you have gotten and read the pamphlet "Prayer, Rebellious Human Submission", and then to whom did you give it?" ..." Ten, I heard that he said: "You blankety blanks have made a guerilla prayer"! I looked at that prisoner from the corner of my eye and saw that his legs were bloody. It was clear that he had been tortured. Of course, it was not only this book that he asked the prisoner about, but also a list of numerous banned books and pamphlets as organizational and guerrilla pamphlets. The interrogator's impression was that this pamphlet was one of the so-called "internal" training pamphlets in guerilla organizations. At that moment, only God knows what happened to me.

Meanwhile, something else happened. The angry interrogator with a cable in his hand suddenly rushed towards me and said while insulting and shouting (perhaps because of the reaction I had unconsciously shown when I heard the name of the prayer pamphlet): What's wrong with you? Do you also pray the guerrilla prayer?! and immediately hit my head against the wall. I thought they doubted me about writing this pamphlet and wanted to know everything. So, I was shocked by this sudden move and said no, I will not pray! I thought that I answered in a state of fear and dissimulation, and in a way, I had lost track! It was the beginning of interrogations and I had not yet gained any experience. The interrogator asked: So are you a Marxist?! I said no, I am not a Marxist either. He got nervous and while tearing up the interrogation notes, he said: "The words you wrote are poems, I will show you the result of telling a lie tomorrow." And then, he asked the guard to kick me out while beating.


Source: From Tehran University to Savak's Torture Room: Narration of Student Campaigns and Story of Joint Anti-Sabotage Committees, An interview with Jalal Rafi, Tehran, Iran Ebrat Museum, 1384 (2005), pp. 66-70


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