“Those who ridicule death”

By Hamid Imeni

Lost in my memories I remembered the first half of 1981 when for a few months a movie named “I want to live” starring Fara Foste was on Tehran’s silver screens.  At that time it was about two months since I had fled from a Revolutionary Guards prison, only a few days before my execution. Therefore, I fully understood the moral objective sought in that film.

I suddenly remembered the thousands of prisoners who before being executed did not even give their names to the henchmen, and the regime posted their pictures asking their families to identify their children at the forensics. The families, after paying the gun-squad charges of their own children’s execution, would finally receive their dead bodies! Although this may seem unbelievable, but it is truly painstaking for a father to pay for the bullets that killed his own son, just to receive his dead body! All of them loved life and had devoted their all struggling for it.

Although this movie had a social theme, it always left this question in the viewer’s mind: what is justice and where can it be found? In what rusty charter can human rights truly be sought? The value of the life of a human being is measured according to what scale? And many other questions in my occupied nation that always made me think and I am continuing my struggle in the quest for these answers. However, this time around, in a prison ironically called ‘Liberty’. What a name, because it is ridiculing all human values.

I ask the entire world for what ‘crime’ did 25 people lose their lives as a result of a criminal medical siege… no, no, I have to correct myself (one must respect the value of a word) because they literally suffered to death!

I was lot in these thoughts when I suddenly began thinking of Jesus Christ, who was crucified by dictators and extremist groups of that time due to their deep inhumane hatred towards this messenger of compassion and emancipation, and many of his followers who were also crucified in this cause. This is the method and customs of all dictators through the generations. However, based on the historical stage, mechanisms change in each period of mankind’s history, yet the goal is always one: annihilating humanity, its values, causes and …

One night in Liberty I felt full of anger, and to soothe my pains I could only think of my memories with a number of these friends who lost their lives as a result of the medical siege. Mehdi1 who used to say they think I will give up my goals to ask for a medical specialist appointment, or to be transferred to a Baghdad hospital and/or have a turn to receive chemotherapy; never! I looked at his pale face for some time, and I saw nothing but utter perseverance. While he could hardly talk, he continued to say: While “I want to live” to continue my struggle, the love of sacrificing for the freedom of my nation, is truly something special.

Yes, this was how each of them left, in higher spirits than the one before, and gave us hope and confidence. And I asked myself what kind of a test is this that has come before us…? It was with these memories that I fell asleep.

In the middle of the night, suddenly the sounds of a massive explosion broke my sleep. One after another… I asked myself, where should I go? In these match-box trailers that have no protection, with only a thin layer separating the inside from the outdoors, a missile hit somewhere very close. All the glasses shattered and I quickly threw myself outside. I saw Mostafa2, trying to find shelter, being hit by 20 shrapnel and being drenched in blood. All the 30 years of memories I had with him ran before my eyes. From another corner I could hear the pains of those wounded. I didn’t know what to do. Finally, I decided to take Mostafa and the others injured to a clinic while the missile barrage continued. We didn’t even have a stretcher. An hour later one of my friends who had accompanied the injured returned, weeping, looking at the sky, saying Mostafa passed away…

Imagine living in this camp where you cannot feel secure for a single second. Are these the international obligations promised about our rights before transferring from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty? Therefore, to retake these rights, “I want to live” to be the voice of the oppressed in my nation, to challenge injustice, to end the shadows of the religious fascism ruling my country, so that I would never witness my country’s children, girls and women being sold abroad in the new yet filthy sex slave market. And if they asked to what extent am I willing to continue this struggle, I will say until eternity, just as Christ was crucified and became eternal.

 

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