A memory from Asadollah Tajrishi

Selected by Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


At the beginning of my arrival in Evin Prison, I was taken to solitary confinement as always and after a few days, I was transferred to the public cell. The public cells had been located in two floors. The arrangement of these cells in the cells of 1355 and 1356 was such that on the lower floor, there was a ward for non-religious and Marxist prisoners and another ward for religious prisoners. The third ward, which was on the upper floor, had two separate parts. In one part, 18 famous militant clerics of those days were imprisoned, and in the other part, seven or eight leftist prisoners lived. The difference between these communist prisoners and the lower class leftists was that they did not believe in armed struggle and most of them were intellectuals and theorists who were arrested for the crime of writing books or plays or performing theater. At the beginning of my arrival in the public cells, I was taken to the ward of religious prisoners. The management of that department was almost in the hands of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization and they came to see me as soon as I arrived. Masoud Rajavi, Mussa Khiabani and Kashani together with fifteen other people entered the ward and welcomed me warmly. After kissing, I started talking to all of them. We talked about various issues for about half an hour and at the end, they said goodbye to me and went to their ward. After a while, Abbas Modaressi came to me. I already knew him. He was considered as my go-between with the organization. After the usual compliments, he quickly got to the point and said: Look, Asadollah, here is different from Qasr prison, here you have to clearly determine your position, because after the announcement of the fatwas of the Ulema in prison on the separation of the religious from the Mojahedin organization, you must express your position openly. We need to know if you still cooperate with the organization or are you a supporter of the religious and follow the fatwa! Without delay, I gave the answer in one sentence: I believe in the revolutionary fighters, but minus the Mojahedin! He didn't expect me to give him such an answer, he became upset and got out of the ward very soon. A very interesting thing happened the next morning. All those who had welcomed me the day before and some of them had even bowed down to the waist, their behavior had completely changed. Some people turned their backs to me when they saw me, and others, who were more insolent, stared straight into my eyes and passed me by and didn't even answer my greetings.


In the term of those prison days, I had been "boycotted". Boycott meant that no one had the right to talk, eat, discuss, exercise and do anything else with me. The behavior continued to the extent that the boycotted person did not see two more ways ahead of him, either he was forced to take refuge in the lap of the police and Savak and cooperated with them, or with helplessness, he repented and submitted to an apology and obeyed the orders of the heads of the organization. I saw a clear example of this behavior a few days after I was boycotted. One afternoon, I was doing ablution in the bathroom when two people were talking behind the door.


They were talking very easily and loudly, thinking that no one was in the bathroom. One of them was a young boy named Hasan Khajeh Nizam al-Molki. He was one of the students who was a member of the Mojahedin Organization, who had been condemned to boycott because of his opposition to Masoud Rajavi. Hassan said to his friend who was close to Rajavi: Tell Mr. Massoud, I swear to the Prophet that I was wrong! I made a mistake! I swear to God, I'm tired. Say, Mr. Masoud, we fully obey you! Forgive us, save us from this situation and accept us as before, I will accept whatever you say to God. Hearing these words, I felt sorry for him from the bottom of my heart. The Mojahedin organization had trampled his courage and human dignity. After a week passed, I was sent to a room where eleven other people who had boycotted were also there. I already knew some of them. Ezzat Motahari, Hossein Bonakdar and Kamal Ganjehei were among the famous personalities of that group. One of the heads of the organization was also present in that room, conveying news and information to his superiors. He was Parviz Yaqoubi who started talking to me as soon as I entered the room. He suggested me to accept the responsibility of the non-Mojahed religious prisoners, so that, in his words, while leading and supervising the boycotted people, I would be the go-between of that group with the officials of the organization and they would solve their issues with them through me. Without thinking, I rejected his offer and he, who was shocked by my answer, quickly left the room to report to higher officials.



Source: Prison memoirs: A selection of memoirs of political prisoners during the Pahlavi regime, compiled by Saeed Ghiasian, Tehran Sooreh Mehr, 1388 (2009), p. 134


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A memory from Asadollah Tajrishi
At the beginning of my arrival in Evin Prison, I was taken to solitary confinement as always and after a few days, I was transferred to the public cell. The public cells had been located in two floors. The arrangement of these cells in the cells of 1355 and 1356 was such that on the lower floor, there was a ward ...