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Nasrin Sotoudeh نسرین ستوده

Veröffentlicht am 18.11.2023

Nasrin Sotoudeh and Manzar Zarrabi at the Armita Geravand ceremony before their arrest


Nasrin Sotudehs erster Brief nach ihrer Verhaftung bei der Beerdigung von Armita Geravand am 8/8/1402
30. Oktober 2023

Nasrin Sotudeh’s first letter after her arrest at the funeral of Armita Geravand 8/8/1402
Oct 30, 2023
It is Monday morning. We arrived at the Evin prosecutor’s office at 10 am. We were sitting in the yard. Every other one unveiled, every other one smoking, every other one with her entire earlobe pierced with rings. One with a pierced nose, the other tall as a cypress, with a beautiful short army jacket, velvet green, with black pants that surreptitiously drew the eyes to her ankles. Her head, a riot of gorgeous curly hair glistened in the pale autumn light, hues of brown, shining ever so brightly and beautifully.
There were 23 of us that day, 23 women on one side of the yard, 20 men on the other. We had all been arrested the previous day. Most of us were arrested at the funeral, at the graveside. Two or three were arrested at the mosque. Most of those arrested at the mosque had been released that very night. Two or three had refused to post bail and take an oath. What oath? The oath that they would not participate in such a ceremony.
Among those arrested, next to us in the van, was a woman wrapped in official garb, clad in a heavy veil. She was telling us how sick of herself she had felt for appearing at work every day wearing that uniform. And how, now, in that moment, she felt relief, more at ease.
When we had reached Zahra’s Paradise, the cemetery, I had gone to the mortuary, where the family wash their dead. Armita’s relatives were there. Her mother and sister arrived a little later. People would come forth, introduce themselves, get acquainted. Among those who came forth and exchanged greetings was Manzar Khanom, holding her children’s pictures. [note, Manzar Zarrabi’s children were killed in the downing of Ukrainian Airline, Flight 752 by the IRGC.] She and I exited together, sat in her car, and drove to the graveside. As she was holding the photos of her children, the security guard snatched them from behind, mid air. She rushed to get them back. Afterwards, she folded the photos and put them back in her bag. Next, we suddenly saw them dragging a young woman who was standing next to me on the ground. I pulled her back, as did others, until she was in our midst, a few rows ahead. They covered her hair with a scarf and did what was necessary to conceal her…
A few moments later, they dragged Manzar, I stepped forward to pull her back, they dragged both of us on the ground and took us. When they forced us in the van, we realized that they had arrested others before us. The van was almost full. I sat next to the door and refused to step in. They used a stun gun, delivering multiple shocks to my legs. I didn’t budge. For a reason. I could see the tears in the eyes of the woman standing in front of the van, expecting arrest. They had no more room. Later, one of my ward mates told me that her friend had left a message with her family. She had asked them to thank me for sitting in front of the van, saying: “There was no room for them to arrest me, so they freed me.” From there, Zahra’s Paradise, they took us to the Vozara Detention Center.
A wind, as carefree as young children at play, caressed our hair. Manzar khanom and I, aged 60 and 65, categorically refused to wear headscarves. After a while, those younger than us, would hesitantly don a headscarf in between entering and exiting the prosecutor’s office so that perhaps they might be freed. The men at the prosecutor’s office would abandon their stations, come out one after another and stare at us, wide-eyed. We had done the simplest thing in the world. We were just casually sitting there but it was as if the gentlemen in the prosecutor’s office were choking on their breath. They looked at us wondering what had come to pass.
Every hour or so, they would handcuff Manzar and I to one another and tell us they would be taking us back to Vozara Detention Center. Then, after a half hour or so, they’d tell us to step out of the van, wear our headscarves and go back to the prosecutor’s office for cross-examination. We refused and didn’t go in. They repeated it again. On one of these occasions, as they were taking us back into the van, I told one of the officials to tell Mr. Qenaatkar that I would complain against him as he did not have the authority to stop me from being prosecuted because I was not wearing a veil. In the throes of our deep sorrow, the grief of losing Armita, I who had refused to step into any court for years found myself insisting that I appear before the Evin prosecutor unveiled. A few of us, the accused women, had spent hours in the yard, effectively feminizing the Evin prosecutor’s yard, without realizing what we had done. We had thrown Evin, so totally manly and high security, into convulsions, with our hair…
Nasrin Sotoudeh
Qarchak prison


siehe auch: Heroine Award 2023 for Nasrin Sotoudeh (mehr dazu) (youtube)