Tehran is an Open Air Prison


Seems like while building a career out of condemning the atrocities in Gaza, the IRI officials are taking careful lessons from its perpetrators: turning Iran into an open air prison. [I am in no way comparing the monstrous living conditions imposed on the people of Gaza to Tehran].

Why release Tajzadeh? I wonder? And Jalaipour? Tabataie? Abtahi? … Well, just take a look at how quiet they have been after their release. They are forced to keep deathly quiet, because as soon as they speak out, it’s back to prison for them (as Emad Bahavar was “called” to prison this week). They keep the dissidents in jail for months and months and months, most of it in ghastly solitary confinement, in brutal conditions … and then release them, forcing them to renew their leave day by day … to make sure they remain quiet.

The IRI officials have learned that they can release them … to have them on a leash and make sure they don’t utter a word. It gets less negative media attention if they are outside prison, but they are living inside an open air prison anyway.

And even that’s not working! Just remember Nabavi’s 10 day leave … His home was on fire!

This encounter Samaneh Navab recounts on her blog about meeting Safaie Farahani (who was recently released) demonstrates this to the core.


Dad was standing in the line at the sandwich shop, and we were standing a bit farther back. Dad suddenly ran to us and said: “hurry up! come and see him!”

At first we thought dad had mistaken him with someone else, but a few seconds later, we too were running towards him. Yes, it was him alright: Safaie Farahani.

My mind had stopped and I couldn’t say anything. We only managed to say that we are so proud of him, and that he keeps our hopes alive.

With this weird smile he replied: our time here [on earth] is almost up. Your hopes should lie with god first, and then yourselves, the younger generation.

Dad told him that I was a student at Amir Kabir University. It was interesting to me that the first thing he asked was: did the university hold the final exams? [there was talk that the exams would be canceled]. So even he knew about this?!

He said that his appeal would be answered any day now, and that there was no way he’d get less than five years. He said that even now they are not free, and they must renew their leave of absence every week.

He seemed very determined, and when mom told him that our hearts are with him and that we pray for him everyday, he said that everybody’s fate rests in god’s hands.

He seemed calm and determined. It was really awe inspiring.

I remembered Galileo, and Tajzadeh, and Nabavi and Abtahi and … I was dizzy.


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