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IRAN: Rouhani’s “Moderate” Slaughterhouse for Young Men

by Shadi Paveh

masshanging

Note: Hangings in Iran are often carried out via cranes, in order to prolong agony and suffering.

…Four days ago, on February 18, 2014, in a solitary cell in Ward 5 of the prison, I was busy feeling sorry for myself — thinking of all the abuses and oppression to which I have been subjected and the unimaginable circumstances forced on me — when the voice of a guard, startled me; saying I was being moved to a new cell.

I gathered all my belongings, which were two blankets, and followed him. In the corridor I saw eight young men; their eyes showed the sparkle of youth combined with a wave of panic — absolute terror mixed with hope, hatred, love, and despair.

They looked as if they were trying somehow to connect their past, present and future to this one horrifying moment. “Why were these boys brought to solitary?” I asked the guard. “For ‘carrying out their sentence,'” he said. “You mean you are going to hang these boys?” I said. “Yes” he said. “That is what we have been doing for the last couple of days now…they are bringing more people for hangings tomorrow. We had to turn away people for hangings the other day due to lack of holding space. There are 40 people waiting to be hanged by the end of the month — in the next two days…They are on the waiting list.”

What is this curse that has befallen us in Iran? What kind of slaughterhouse lines up young men for hangings? How much more blood does this regime need in order to simply stay in power — with its increased wave of executions behind closed doors?

Next, I was awakened by lots of noise, slamming cell doors, sobs, hysterics, begging, and moans of the young men. I desperately waited for news that the young men were somehow spared. They were being sacrificed so their government could remain in power. You felt as if you had died hours ago, too, many times, with the noose around your neck. You even started to feel suffocated, as if you, too, were being pulled up by the noose.

Then you can hear other people, maybe the families or onlookers. Why, instead of these men’s families, couldn’t one have brought the families of the authorities — Ayatollah Larijani [Head of Judiciary of the Islamic Republic] and others in power — to this prison to make them watch these murders. Tell them to watch this butchery, these factories, that they, or their families, have created for killing young people.

In Iran, they hang innocent young people in groups in front of their families. This regime has sustained itself only by killing; to survive, it must continue killing. To stay in power, the Islamic Republic is killing so many people in one day that they have run out of space for them? My God! If you do not object to all these killings, you, too, are responsible; you, too, have blood on your hands….

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