by Jila Baniyaghoob
Friday, 9 March 2012
In a few days’ time, it will be exactly two years that Bahman has not set foot outside prison, I mean Evin Prison. They did not even allow him to have his teeth treated at a dental clinic outside prison.
In a few days’ time, it will be two years that Bahman has not seen the other side of Evin Prison’s high walls; has not been able to walk somewhere without his view being blocked by high walls; has not been able to see the beauties of nature, its mountains and its fields, and walk in it freely.
In a few days’ time, it will be nearly three years since Bahman was arrested one day after that eventful election and taken to Evin Prison. Only in March 2010 was he allowed furlough. Since then, they have never allowed him to leave that big prison.
In a few days’ time, it will be nearly two years that has been deprived of the right to have regular weekly visits, and from the right to have access to a suitable doctor and have medical tests.
In a few days’ time, it will be exactly two years that Bahman has not been able to see his very old and severely disabled mother, who lives in a provincial town and cannot travel to Tehran to see her son.
In a few days’ time, Nowrouz will arrive. Once again, Bahman will not be sitting by our Haft Seen table and must celebrate the New Year with his friends in Evin Prison’s Ward 350.
In a few days’ time, it will be Nowrouz. I hope the judicial authorities will provide at least some modest facilities for Bahman and his friends to prepare their Haft Seen in the ward. It is still not too late for them to be given some wheat to grow for their Haft Seen.
In a few days’ time, it will be Nowrouz and unlike all other places, including hospitals, where patients are not deprived of visits by their family members during the Eid holidays, the big door of Evin Prison will be closed and prisoners’ families will not even be able to have their weekly visits.
Messrs Judiciary authorities, prison authorities or security authorities, if you will not give them a few days of freedom or leave, at least do not deprive them of their meetings during the Eid holidays. Open the prison’s door on the first day of the Eid, as was the practice under the Shah’s regime, when prison visits would not be suspended during the Eid holidays, and even less immediate family members would be allowed face-to-face visits, and would be even allowed to have lunch in Evin prison’s grounds. Please do something for the prisoners’ and their families during the Eid.
You might say that Evin staff should take their Eid vacation! Do hospital staff not have Eid vacations? Still, they arrange their schedules so that patients could be visited during the Eid. It should not be too difficult to organize something like this.
Gentlemen, in a few days’ time, spring will arrive. It might still not be too late to start planning. Of course, if this matters to you at all.
translated by Hossein Shahidi