Political prisoner Saeed Eghbali writes about the horrible trend of weekly executions in Rajai Shahr Prison
In a letter addressing the horrible trend of weekly executions in Rajai Shahr Prison (Gohardasht Prison), political prisoner, Saeed Eghbali wrote: “At dawn on Wednesdays sometimes more than 10 prisoners are taken to the gallows.”
“The sound of vehicles that come and go on Tuesday nights to provide for the event is heard from my cell’s window.”
The human rights center of “No to Prison- No to Execution”- On Thursday, March 24, 2022, political prisoner, Saeed Eghbali, wrote a letter about the horrible trend of weekly executions in Rajai Shahr Prison on Wednesdays and the sound of the death machines coming and going on Tuesday nights heard in ward four where he is confined.
Political Prisoner, Saeed Eghbali wrote in his letter that the executions costed many lives since 1981, including political prisoners but currently it is horrifyingly going on as “weekly executions”.
He points to the “Suite” cells the prisoners are taken to for punishment or before their execution.
Saeed Eghbali noted that the prison authorities have the death row prisoner consume narcotics to ease their own conscience?!
The political prisoner names some of the political prisoners who have been executed at this prison including Hamzeh Savari, Zanaiar and Loghman Moradi, Farzad Kamangar, Ali Saremi, Gholamreza Khosravi, Ramin Hossein Panahi, Ms. Rayhaneh Jabbari and Ms. Shirin Alam Hooli.
“With all these experiences and what we witness that burns us deep, the powerless men in power must know that under all these pressures we will not only surrender but each noose, each bullet and each batons that you kill and hurt our people with, makes us more decisive and you, closer to your end.”
The complete letter of political prisoner, Saeed Eghbali, a copy of which was obtained by the human rights center of “No to Prison- No to Execution” reads:
The narration of executions from Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj
The first time I was confronted with the issue of execution was when I was a kid, when I saw death dangling in struggle in the main square of our city. But after being exiled to Rajai Shahr (Prison), I felt the execution with all my being.
First of all, I would like to recall my dear friend and fellow prisoner Behnam Mahjoubi, who was also executed in a way. A friend who died in front of my eyes and still when I look at the picture of him that I have put on my bed, my heart burns from all the cruelty and oppression, I remember how lonely I am and then it’s crying hard in the showers of ward 8.
For people like me, who are from the lowest and most forgotten class of society, it is normal to die and lose under the rule of the oppressors; to lose our lives, belongings, jobs, dreams, peace, love and everything or I better say they steal all these from us; just like Behnam Mahjoobi…
In Rajai Shahr Prison this has another face the horrible trend of weekly executions!
There is a place called a “suite” here that consists of several solitary cells and these cells are used for different purposes; for punishment of those who quarrel or go on strikers and those who commit so-called “prison crimes” to these solitary confinement cells. But the most frightening is the transfer of prisoners sentenced to death to these cells a few days before their execution.
On Wednesday mornings, the day of execution, the sentence is carried out somewhere close to our current ward (ward 4). Sometimes two or three people and sometimes up to ten prisoners are transferred to this place to serve their sentences.
Prison officials, officials from the prosecutor’s office and the Sentence Enforcement Unit also participate in this ceremony to ensure the execution of the death sentence and death of the prisoner! The sound of cars actively moving around the execution site on Tuesday nights can be heard through the fenced windows of my cell. Familiar voices that have nestled in the bricks of this prison from the 1980s until today.
The sound of cars reminds me of Zanyar and Loghman, whom we do not even have a sign of their graves!
It reminds me of all the faces I see in the visitor’s room and the main corridor! On Tuesday nights, I ask myself, which one of them was hanged today?! Everyone reminds me of my dear Behnam….
Every day I see people here who have been sentenced to death on various charges and who spend their time in prison with anxiety and fear. Every time their names are called for different reasons, they pail out and to give themselves hope, even for a short moment, they spend the day joking and laughing and saying to their cellmates: forgive us guys….
Before, Tuesday, the days are full of worries and anxiety lest they be beaten with sticks and clubs and taken to the “suite” handcuffed and tied, and on Wednesday morning a lever is pulled and ….
They are human beings who died and came to life a thousand times before death in a solitary cells that stink in their walls and in the cold that burns bones! The drugs and pills that prison officials give to the person sentenced to death in the last moments of his life to relieve their own conscience do not answer the question, “why should I die”? “Who decides I should die”? An 80-year-old man (Ali Khamenei) who considers himself the representative of God on earth?!
I know people here who have spent nights by the wall of the cell of a person sentenced to death, and the sound of moaning and screaming, the sound of the chains of their hands and feet and the sound of them being beaten by the prison guards is still with them. I spent a short time in ward 209, cell 113, with Esmail and Khosro who were sentenced to death and on the end, they were executed before I left the ward.
The root and cause of every murder, rape and robbery can be discovered in the structure of a regime that itself generates and promotes poverty, injustice, corruption, death and oppression. Any person sentenced to death, mirrors me as he is from the same class whose dreams have vanished in the dark world that the Islamic Republic has created; now they have to welcome death while their legs are shaking.
The author of this story is not Saeed Eghbali from Rajai Shahr. I am the construction worker who fell from the top of a building (in lack of safety measures)! I am the homeless that sleeps in the graves of Behehsht-e-Zahra Cemetery, the prostitute who burned her body and soul (of poverty), the child who searches for her childhood in the trashcans, the addict who is frozen with a syringe in his/her hands under the bridge, the peddler who has bruises under his eyes (beaten by suppressive forces) and all those who every day, in this air that smells of death, are executed under various pretexts and accusations!
But with all that we had experience and all we had witness, which burns us deep, the powerless men in power must know that under all these pressures we will not only surrender but each noose, each bullet and each batons that you kill and hurt our people with, makes us more decisive and you, closer to your end.
I recall my dear brothers and sisters, Hamzeh Savari, Zaniar and Loqman Moradi, Farzad Kamangar, Ali Saremi, Gholamreza Khosravi, Ramin Hossein Panahi, Ms. Raihaneh Jabbari and Ms. Shirin Alam Hooli (all executed in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison).
Rajai Shahr Prison.
It is worth noting that in connection with the horrific process of weekly executions at Gohardasht Prison, Javanehha website had earlier announced that the Public Crimes Prosecutor’s Office had ordered that 300 death row prisoners’s cases be closed, and that after this order, the prison had witnessed the executions of several prisoners every week on Wednesdays, and only a limited number of them were published with the efforts of human rights activists.
About political prisoner, Saeed Eghbali (Eqbali)
Saeed Eghbali was detained on a vicious raid by Intelligence agents in Kermanshah on February 1, 2018. He was beaten and taken to ward 209 of Evin prison, Tehran.
Saeed was released on bail on April 11, 2018.
The political prisoner was sentenced to 5 years in prison on charge of “gathering and collusion against the national security” and to another year on charge of “propagating against the state” by branch 28 of Tehran Revolution Court, headed by Judge Mohammad Moqiseh in late September of 2019. The sentence was upheld by the revision court. Eventually the maximum sentence of five years was applicable to him.
Eventually, Saeed Eghbali was detained and taken to Evin Prison to serve his term on Sunday, on May 31, 2020. Saeed Eghbali was exiled from Evin Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on March 22, 2021. After 17 days in solitary confinement, he was taken to a public ward at the prison and is since confined in Saloon 10 of Gohardasht Prison, deprived of medical care.