What it’s about
: Where’s my elephant, a weblog by an expat Iranian and soon-to-be Harvard law student, writes to remind us about the victims of Iran’s Islamic republic:
this morning, as i looked at my usual sites, i came across this article (in persian), commemorating the anniversary of the mass executions which took place in iranian prisons in 1988, a time when the iranian regime decided to empty the prisons of all their political opponents.
i looked through the partially-compiled list (in english) of all of all of those executed and i recognized quite a few names….
i saw the name of a distant relative who had been arrested on no real charges and kept in prison idefinitely. one random day, his father was called by the prison authorities and told: “come here and pick up your son. he’s now free.” the father went to the prison excitedly only to be greeted with his son’s corpse.
i saw the names of family friends who had been executed. husband and pregnant wife.
and finally, with real dread, i saw my uncle’s name. he was arrested in 1980, at the age of 20. his “crime” was selling political newspapers and attending some protests….
they called my grandmother’s house one day from the prison. they asked my grandmother if she was the mother of the prisoner. then they coldly told her to come and pick up my uncle’s clothes and his watch.
to this day we don’t know how he was killed or where his body is buried.
sometimes people tell me that it is time to move on. to forgive. to focus on reform.
and i can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of that notion.
will the so-called ‘reformists’, many of whom were directly complicit in these murders and others who deny they occurred, answer to my grandmother when she asks about what was done to her son?
how can she forgive?