"PLEASE do anything to help MAJID": Mother of Majid Tavakoli

Interview of Majod Tavakoli's mother with VOA:
"Please, do ANYTHING in your power" , anywhere you are, " To save my Majid, he is on Dry Hungerstrike ..I don't Know what may happne" .." I am ill and can't travel and move to go and see him..Please help him"...

Letter from Majid Tavakoli About the Executed (11 May)

They announced that Ali was being sent to ward 209. The phones in
the halls were disconnected. I tried to call from the phone in my hall, but that
too was disconnected.

When we went upstairs, Farzad said that they had
announced that he too will be moved to ward 209, but it turned out to be a lie,
as they ended up moving him to ward 240.

The announcement on Saturday
afternoon had worried all of us. They usually announce the executions for
political prisoners on Saturdays. An intense sadness took over my body, but
Farzad kept saying that nothing was going to happen. He said they were only
going to ask him a few questions. He knew what was awaiting him, but as always,
he had a positive attitude and tried to make the best of the situation.

It was hard to believe. Until moments before, we were in the library
together. Ali had stopped playing volleyball. He had washed his face and was
getting ready. It was very difficult and painful. It was around this time every
day, after Ali had worked out, that he would come over so we could study physics
together. He intended to take the last two exams left so he could receive his
diploma in June.

He had such high spirits that no one could ever believe
that he was on death row. If you had a hard time believing Ali’s predicament,
then it was impossible to fathom Farzad’s. He too was preparing for the
university exams. The story of his engagement and wedding were also so
heartfelt. It broke my heart when I thought about the courage of the young girl
who was so taken by Farzad’s attitude and spirit that she married a person on
death row.

It wasn’t the first time that I was witnessing my friends in
this state. It was the summer of 2008 and I had met with friends in Evin
prison’s ward 209. The first person I saw after my days in solitary confinement
was Farhad. He was sharing the drawings of his young child. His incredible
determination was a great inspiration to all of us. After a while, I also met
Ali and Farzad. Ali always exuded calmness and Farzad was a solid pillar amongst
us. He represented an entire nation alone and he stood proud and tall. He was
always happy. he laughed and was hopeful, despite the hardships, the
humiliation, the physically-grueling interrogations, and the unjust sentences by
the Revolutionary Court. I was once again witnessing him in that similar

It was during the Sanandaj arrests that Farzad was
transferred to Evin prison for the second time. He was wearing a neck brace, his
shoulder was dislocated, and his teeth were broken, but his determination was
stronger than ever.

When they transferred Ali and Farzad from Rajai
Shahr prison to Evin’s ward 240 for execution, their presence in section 7 was
excuse enough for those of us who were in section 8 to try and visit them

As they sat in solitary confinement waiting for the arrival
of 4:00am, I was weak and on hunger strike. I was fully aware of why they had
been transferred and I was unable to do a thing. Farzad kept encouraging me. He
would say that everything is going to be okay and Ali continued to be calm,
despite all the hardships.

During all the days when I was free, the
uplifting meetings with Farzad and listening to his warm voice were a source of
strength for my mother. It made me realize that a human being can achieve
anything, even in the worst circumstances. But they killed my older brother, a
Kurdish brother whom I loved with all my heart. He was my brother and my
teacher- a teacher who represented resistance. He was someone who represented
all of Iran’s children. I learned from him the ABC’s of resistance against the
worst form of torture, deceit, and false accusations against people. I learned
the role that faith plays in a person’s life when they face such hardships. I
came to the realization that continuous visits to interrogation rooms and the
narrow halls of solitary confinement may defeat your body, but they will never
make you surrender or take away your soul, your thoughts, and your opinions. He
was my teacher. He was a teacher who taught me to always smile and said that
regardless of our differences, we can treat everyone humanely with the respect
they deserve.

Now he is gone. He was unwilling to say goodbye and kept
repeating, “I will see you tomorrow.” He didn’t let me embrace him and kept
repeating, “I will see you tomorrow.” I know that he took those courageous steps
together with his friends as he approached his final destination. He promised
repeatedly to never allow the hatred of tyranny to break his spirits and remove
the stool from underneath his feet. He promised to remove the stool from
underneath his feet by himself. He never allowed the long reaching arms of
tyranny to take his life. I am certain that he kept his promise. I am certain
that he also smiled in the face of death – a heroic smile that has left us, but
will remain eternal.

He and his innocent friends are gone, but their
memories will live on forever. He left knowing that he was a good person and
became an eternal teacher- a teacher who now represents resistance in the
history books. He is a pillar of hope. He is an ever-lasting encouragement and
beacon of light for all those who seek freedom. He is no longer with us, but we
can still remember his memory. We will remember the time when the Ministry of
Information was forced to kneel in front of the spirit of an entire generation;
a Ministry of Information that will finally be forced to confess to its crimes
so that when there are arrests after Farzad’s, the summer of 2008 is never
repeated in Evin’s ward 209.

They had removed the airway passages and
taken away our mail box. They believed that they could silence our spirits, but
Farzad kept smiling in protest, demonstrating that we will stand strong and tall

They took the hostages in order to demonstrate that they are
tired of our resolve. But our friends showed that the power of tyranny is
nothing in comparison to the strength and resolve of the brave children of
Kurdistan. Farzad always stated that his interrogator said, “You are laughing in
our faces when you continue to study and plan to marry.”

Farzad, Ali,
and Farhad’s fighting spirit was incredible. I sit today in the memory of a few
friends who were more than just a few. Farzad was a nation to himself, Ali was a
great friend to all, and Farhad was a mountain of strength. Farzad was such an
inspiration that when we were feeling depressed and down, even though he was
ordered to stay away from other political prisoners, knowing that he was present
brought hope to all those in section 7. I would use any excuse to go to the
library, even for a few hours, just to be next to Farzad.

Even though
Farzad left us hopeful for the future, he was nevertheless disappointed about a
few things. He regretted the fact that a group of people want to confiscate
everything and arrest everyone. He was writing a letter entitled, “I am an
Iranian. I am an Iranian from Kurdistan.” His goal was to express the fact that
even though being a Kurd meant being subjected to oppression and deprivation,
the plight of the Kurdish people with regards to their ethnicity was an
important one. He tried very hard to bring attention to the challenges in
Kurdistan and the issues associated with ethnicity and minority rights. He was
worried and sad until the last moments, that because of differences in opinion,
attention would not be paid to the ethnic and human rights of the Kurdish

He was an offspring of the people of Kurdistan and worried about
their fate. When he left us, he would have wanted someone to assure him that his
ideals and lessons will bear fruit one day. He wanted everyone to know that if
the violence, deprivation, and oppression in Kurdistan does not end, many more
innocent people will become hostages and be arrested under false accusations,
just like he was.

Oh, how evil is tyranny when it is fearful that it
will no longer be able to commit crimes- The crimes that lead Farzad to teach us
to resist? They feared his smile and perseverance and that is why they
disconnected the phones.

It was this fear that led them to cancel any
gatherings and distribute sweets and dates. It was this fear that led them to
insist that we not talk of him, even though nothing they said stopped us from
keeping his memory alive and strong. It was this fear that led them to resort to
martial law. It was this fear that led them to shout that they had executed
terrorists, when everyone was fully aware that those executed were not
terrorists. They are fully aware that there were no bombs involved. They know
how they lied to incriminate Farzad. They also know why they sentenced him. Even
though they killed him, they were unable to destroy his spirit. Because his
death allowed us to realize that tyranny can never take away the children of our
nation without paying a price.

Today I went to the library once again.
Farzad and Ali were not there. Farzad was not there to tell me about past
memories and our friends. He was not there to bring back hope, to sit with me
and discuss ways to end this suffering and tyranny. He was no longer there so we
could talk about the possibility of a bright future and sing a song of freedom.

Ali was not there to bring calm and serenity to the library as we sat
leafing through the books. Even though they were not there, the memories of
Farzad, Ali, and Farhad remained strong. I promised Farzad I would not cry as it
would only glorify oppression and tyranny. But I want my brother Farzad to know,
that like all the other children of this nation, I have made a vow to never
forget him and continue his cause for freedom.

Majid Tavakoli
May 11,2009


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