This is a painful letter no brother wishes to write. What would and could any of us say or do in his situation? He is in China, seemingly free but he is getting ready to fly to Iran to do whatever he can to rescue his sister Fariba Kamal-abadi and Mahvash Sabet from the Islamic Republic Regime’s death camp. Everyone who has a sister, a brother, a child, a loved one facing death following a sham trial can empathize with this brother and his moral turmoil. We all can put ourselves in his shoes.
Fariba kamal-Abadi and Mahvash Sabet; the two Baha’i women who served as administrators of the Baha’i community in Iran were arrested and imprisoned about three years ago and following a sham trail were sentenced to 20 years of prison!!
From the onset, the intention of the captors was their death, preferably in the form of an accident in the prison. For whatever reason, the two women have survived one abuse after another, and multiple transfers one after the other to make sure, as the authorities themselves had claimed, they suffer what they deserve; the worse of the worse punishments. To make sure of the outcome, the authorities threw Fariba and Mahvash in the midst of dangerous prisoners who on top of criminal records of the worse kind, have problems with drug dependency and addiction, have frequent violent outbreaks, psychotic episodes and sociopolitical tendencies.
This last transfer is to a God forsaken hot and humid pit away from civilization. The place is called Gharchak prison and was formerly a commercial warehouse for poultry in the outskirts of Tehran. The horrifying condition of this place has made death to appear as the only relief. we know this since Fariba, previously calm and collected and in fact, radiant and patient, have asked for her life to be taken so she does not have to endure the inhumane conditions she and other 450 women prisoners have been subjected to.
From the reports prisoners have given out of this hot, feces infested and foul smelling violent death camp, the 450 prisoners have only four bathroom facilities making it into a collective infested foul pit. Only 150 beds for the 450 women, and a having to deal with chronic hunger getting one cooked potato or an egg for the whole day, adds to the dehumanizing stresses of their condition, making non stop fights, sexual assaults and killings amongst the prisoners and subsequent attacks of the guards an ongoing source of danger, fear and trauma.
A letter written by the families of women prisoners to the authorities posted on the following face book.
Gharchak Prison in Varamin A Humanitarian Disaster Waiting To Unfold در زندان قرچک ورامین، یک فاجعه انسانی در حال وقوع است
by Banooye Sabz on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 1:42pm
Farzam Kamal-abdi left China for a heroic rescue mission. Everyone told him this is a mission impossible considering the deliberate plans of the Iranian Regime for the Baha’is of Iran considered to be enemies of God and Islam. Farzam knows this is not an action grounded in wisdom but one deeply rooted in love of a brother for his angelic sister.
Before leaving, Farzam called in his wife and his children to let them know of his decision and the dangers before him and that he might not return home from this trip alive. Lixin, his beloved Chinese Baha’i wife and all four children understood and supported their dads courage and love with harts filled with love, admiration and prayers for his success. They have known their dad who had witnessed the imprisonment, torture and subsequent death of his noble father Dr. Rouhollah Kamal-Abadi on account of being a Baha’i in Iran and knew also that Farzam would not be able to call himself a human without living up to what is expected of the name “human”.
We all can hear the painful questions we ask ourselves if we take a moment:
Please read the letter and add your questions that all of us are or will be asking ourselves.
The English translation needs some help. It would be wonderful if someone takes the time and send me a brief translation of the key points in English.
To the last upholders of any remaining human decency in the World:
The most pure, the most innocent, and the truly Godly and saintly
Baha’is, Fariba Kamalabadi & Mahvash Sabet, after three years of
continued humiliating captivity in the worst dungeon of the World in
Iran as prisoners of conscience transferred to a subterranean dungeon with the worst of killers and criminals cast into the worst animal slaughter-house and thrown into sub-animal conditions.
Filled with filth of human waste and urine due to only 2-3 open
toilets for 400 prisoners under one roof, and with no fresh air, no
cell walls, and few beds, stampeded by daily riots,
and even all nights in the pitch dark while cell-mates running with fear due to
purposeful agitation caused by excruciating super loud sirens of the
guards to torture and throw the prisoners into chaos. The two heavenly
Angels, Fariba and Mahvash, are now at the danger of undignified
imminent death, save by the protecting Will of God , only
and the universal outcry of people of good will in the World.
The angelic voice of Fariba, just over two hours ago, for less
than one minute phone call from that death camp, was the
message to tell the people, and the leaders of the free-world, “to do whatever they can, NOW, for our death is eminent. And in another one minute call message the day before: “Tell the Iranian government, to issue our execution sentence immediately, so that we do not have to witness this unimaginable indignity towards humanity.”
If we, after all these three years, only have words in the form of with all the top governments of resolutions, statements, and media reports and cannot and do not go beyond well wishes, if in this the 21st Century we cannot get their immediate
freedom, then we all, starting with myself here and now, must just
close our chapter on any claim to our humanity. If these precious
souls, and the highest expressions of human purity and dignity in the
World, are to be left to their fate in this manner, and we do nothing, I shall claim
myself less than animal, just similar to the perpetrators of these heinous acts
I chose not this scenario. I am getting my tickets and flying to Iran to do my part; perchance others elsewhere in their various
capacities will also act on behalf of the innocent and the meek.
Fariba Kamalabadi & Mahvash Sabet’s lowliest servant and the dust
under their feet.
God bless the Yaran and comfort the Kamalabadi family–and all those who understand and care about these holy souls.
If I had Iranian passport Iwould fly with him. I always had the same feeling that I have to do something I don’t know how effective would be Mr. Kamalabadi’s trip to Iran but I really wish I could go with him.
Didn’t the UN just form a committee to look into human rights issues in Iran? Can’t the Baha’i representatives at UN request a quick trip by this committee to check into the conditions of this prison?
i do not have the answer to this valid question. The External Affairs office might be the place to ask
Lord help the captors. “Father forgive them because they know not what they do.” I will pray that justice will soon be realized and this oppression will forever cease!
Thank you for publishing this heartbreaking letter, but could you correct a factual error in your headline? The Bahai women are not political prisoners. They were not active in politics. They are religious prisoners, imprisoned because of their religion, which has as part of its teachings a prohibition of Bahais participating in politics.
You are right about the Baha’is being religious prisoners but for whatever reason, the media refers to them as political/religious prisoners. As you mentioned everyone must keep in mind that Baha’is do not take side of any political group or ideology any where in the world. They remain the well wishers and unifiers of all mankind and their focus remains the oneness of all humanity, the real medicine for the disintegrating world.
On May 19, 2011 these two spiritual women were transferred back to Evin Prison.
Here is an update:
You are right, a number of Baha’i women are imprisoned in the notorious Evin prison including Fariba kamal-Abadi and Mahvash Sabet. Our prayers and thoughts are with them as they are sadly and unjustly deprived of their liberty and human rights each second, each minute, each hour, each day and for many years to come! What a precious loss for all humanity.
Thank you, Keyvan, for printing the distinction and for expanding upon it. You are correct about media making factual errors regarding their imprisonment. I just think it’s better to be accurate, no matter what media do, when we, as bloggers post articles and links.
Dear Farzam and friends, I am so sorry to hear about this situation. You and your dear sisters will be in my prayers. I will check our National web site in the United States to see if there are any instructions about who and how best to contact them for help for these women who are being treated in such a cruel and unfair way. I am also sharing this with all my Facebook friends. I hope all our prayers will give you comfort during this time and help bring peace and justice to Fariba and Mahvash. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to provide assistance in this shocking, horrible, and tragic situation. With prayers, Nona
Prayers for the Hearts of the women, of the captors, of the cowardly and fearful Bueaurocrats and politicians. Prayers for the Hearts of all beings. The Divine will cleanse us and take us ALL back home to live forever. Help us to let go. Amen
All I can think to do is to set aside a special time each day to pray for these women, and the other Baha’i prisoners, and to ask my friends to do the same.
I’m confused. These posts are all recent, January 2012. Dru’s link goes to a story dated May 2011 saying the women were transferred back to Evin. Were they moved back or not?
Fariba Kamalabadi and Mahvash Sabet were transfered to Evin as political prisoners and are serving their 20 year sentence! There are other Baha’i women with them in Evin along with other women who are imprisoned for political reasons such as Nasrin Sotoodeh, the human rights attorney.
I will pray as hard as I can that they will be freed from this pit of Human waste and poverty. I can only say prayers for you and your family for peace, love and humility of the voices of Bahaullah, and American Bahais like me. You are an angel and I hope that you survive.
There seems to be confusion here. It is true that the Baha’is, whether in Iran or elsewhere, do not take part in political. But from the point of view of the Iranian regime, this is a political matter. That is because there is no distinction between religion and politics in Islam (nor, to be honest, in the Baha’i religion). The Shi’ite regime ruling Iran has carried this to an extreme and has established a theocracy. To be kuffar means Baha’is have rebelled against Islam and are, therefore considered enemies of the regime. But from Western point of view, they are being persecuted for what are, to us, purely religious reasons.
At the moment, the regime is feeling shaky. Opposition to its nuclear programme has been growing internationally, and they are under grave suspicion. Human rights issue play a part in how they are perceived, so this is a good time to put pressure on them through human rights issues.
Also, I don’t think this is a concentration camp. It is a prison which has bad conditions. That seems enough.
Thank you Denis, well said. It has been many years since we went to the corner shop in Haifa and you pretended you know Hebrew with your notes in your hand and the shop keeper took it that you did speak the language!! I have fond memories of our service in 1968.