On the morning of 19 June 1982, we had just eaten breakfast in the IRGC prison in the northern city of Lahijan. We tried sat in the corner of our cell in order to read a book. There were nine of us and were confined in a 16 meter squared cell. We were all political prisoners and opposed the religious regime in Iran for the crimes it had carried out against youths and freedom-loving individuals. Suddenly, the cell door that was locked with a heavy chain opened. The guard looked at us and said: Mohammad and Abdullah Samizadeh, come out! Mohaammad and Abdullah were brothers; both stepped out of the cell after a moment. I was a bit surprised; why did they take Mohammad and Abdullah at 7 in the morning I thought to myself. We became worried.

Mohammad and Abdullah were arrested in 1980 on charges of being People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran supporters. Mohammad was sentenced to 15 years and Abdullah received a life sentence. These two brothers were their family’s only children. At around noontime Mohammad came back to the cell alone. We were worried, especially since we could see his furious face. One of the guys carefully asked: where is Abdullah? Mohammad looked at us and said: they hanged Abdullah. Silence broke out throughout the cell. No one asked anymore questions.
Mohammad continued: they transferred Abdullah and me to Siyahcal city with a car. At the entrance of IRGC base they took Abdullah and told me to stay in the car. The driver also stayed in the car.
I was waiting for ten minutes. I was trying to find out what they were doing and why had we been brought here. Suddenly an IRGC guard came up to the driver and whispered something in his ear and left. The driver began stepping on the gas pedal while the car was on. I couldn’t understand what he was doing. All of a sudden I hear Abdullah’s voice as he shouted: long live Mojahed, long live freedom. His voice suddenly silenced. I realized that they had hanged Abdullah and as they had kicked the chair from under him, his voice went silent.
It was then that I realized why the driver was pushing the gas pedal so hard; he didn’t want me to hear Abdullah’s cry for freedom in his last moments of life.

Abdullah and Mohammad’s story is the story of tens of thousands of political prisoners in Iran who have been tortured and hanged by the mullahs in the past three decades. Many current officials in the Rouhani government are the same individuals who gave the orders or carried out the execution verdicts of freedom-lovers in Iran. Executions must stop in Iran and the West’s economic interest must not lead to their disregard of human rights violations in this country. Until executions and suppression have not come to an end in Iran, meeting or shaking hands with Rouhani or the Iranian regime have no legitimacy or explanation.

By: Akbar Kazemi