Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

A Letter of Suffering by Bahareh Maghami, A Victim of Prison Rape

April 13, 2010

My name is Bahar (the meaning of Bahar is spring in Persian).  It is spring and I write to you of flowers, but flowers with scattered petals. I write to you of the green sprouts, but crushed sprouts that have been trampled on by hatred; a hatred by betrayers of beauty and those who seek justice. I write to you of those who are not real men.

My name is Bahareh Maghami and I am 28 years old. There is nothing left of me anymore, so I have no reason to hide my identity. I have lost everyone important to me. I have lost relatives, friends, neighbours, companions, co-workers, and colleagues. I have lost everything. Those who pretend to be men stole it all from me unjustly. They stole my life. Now that I have left the country, I want to share my pain with someone, even if I only share it once. I would like to ask other friends who have experienced a similar painful fate to write about it as well. They must write about what happened to them. Even if they fear their lives or the loss of their dignity, then they should use anonymous names. They must write so that history is aware of what happened to our generation, the grief-stricken generation. They must write so that the next generation who will live in a free Iran understands the price paid for their freedom, so they are aware how many lives were destroyed and how many hopes have vanished. They must know about the broken backs and the bent knees.

When my father found out, his back broke and he shattered into pieces. My mom aged a hundred years overnight. I still have not been able to look into my brother’s eyes and he doesn’t look at me either.  He doesn’t want me to suffer any more than I already have. When he found out, it was like they took away his manhood. When he found out that there are people who pretend to be men, he began to hate his own manhood. For the [fake men], dignity, nobility and chastity have no meaning.

I was a first grade teacher. I was teaching the children of our country how to read and write. I was teaching them [how to write] “Dad brought water,” “The man comes,” “The man brings bread.” For me the image of a man was the kind breadwinner. I was waiting for him to arrive. And now that image has changed. He is angry and blinded by his desires. I cannot rid myself of his infectious smell of sweat. I am always scared of him coming back. I jump out of bed in the middle of the night fearing his footsteps. My whole body shakes with the smallest sounds and my heart starts beating faster because I fear his arrival. I am always ready to escape. I leave the lights on at during the nights and I pass the days with tears and grief.

Our house was on Kargar Shomali Street. I was at Ghoba Mosque with my brother when I was arrested. They beat me and took me away and then they destroyed me. As our ancient poet Hafez said, “They did what the Mongolians did!” [referring to the Mongol invasion of Iran]

Some had broken arms, some had broken legs, and some had broken backs. Others like me had broken spirits, as if all of humanity was stripped from me. I used to be Spring, and now I am dead. I am a squashed corn poppy.

I would like to ask those who read this letter and who know someone who is a victim of rape to show more kindness and sympathy toward them. The issue is that in our culture, rape is not just a blow to one person; it is a blow to the whole family.  A victim of rape is never healed with the passing of time. With every look given by a father, the wounds open again. Her heart breaks again with every drop of her mother’s tears. Relatives, friends, neighbours and everyone else cut their relationship off.

My family was forced to sell our house significantly below market price and move to Karaj (a suburb of Tehran), but we didn’t last there either. The agents found our new address quickly and monitored us. They stood in the corner of our street and smirked at my father every time he passed by.

We left everything behind and immigrated [to Germany]. At their old age, my parents became refugees in a camp. I can easily say that the cultural wounds were much harder to deal with than the physical ones. Many people smile when they hear about rape. I swear that there is nothing funny about rape. It is about the suffering of a simple family. It is about a young girl or boy who loses his or her dignity. Breaking the dignity of love is not funny.

Those who raped me laughed. There were three of them. All three were dirty and they each had a beard. They had terrible accents and foul mouths. Their curse words were directed toward my entire family. Even though they saw I was a virgin, they accused me of being a whore and forced me to sign a statement that declared I was a prostitute.

I am not ashamed to say it anymore. Not only am I not ashamed, I am even proud to say it: they called me a whore. They said, “Sign this you whore!” I told them that I was a teacher and I would not sign. They said they had three witnesses who had seen me sleep with three people in one night. I told them that I have 30 witnesses who can confirm that I am a teacher, and that if anything happens to me [in prison], it would be their fault. They laughed and said, “Well, it’s not that bad for you. Your pay has now increased!” The privacy and dignity of people is worthless to them. Words like modesty and chastity are empty to them. They have never seen these virtues. All women are whores to them. But, it was not only women. They did the same to men. They were not human beings. They suffered from self-subordination. They had turned into perverted animals who knew nothing but how to destroy beauty. Sometimes I see people cursing at the mothers and sisters of these people [the rapists]. I feel sorry for those who have to live with these rabid animals all their lives. My front teeth broke and my shoulder was displaced; my womanhood was destroyed.

I know that I will never be able to love a man or get close to him and trust him. I realize that my land bears many brave men who have also suffered, but for me, real men and fake men are the same. My life as a woman has reached an end and I resemble a zombie, but I still write. I write in order to regain my livelihood. I write that I was a teacher who turned into a prostitute and who is a writer now. I write that I was Spring, and although I turned into Autumn, I am now more beautiful. I am a beautiful whore who turned into the outcast of the neighbourhood. I turned into a teacher without a classroom. I became the subject of ridicule who has been sentenced to loneliness and immersed in the injustices of the oppressors. For the Islamic Republic, I am the woman with a broken arm and a bloody face. I am proud to be a whore for freedom. I know that I am not alone.

With my lifeless body lying on the ground of my cell, I would often hear their voices in the nearby cells displaying their fake manhood.

I ask all people who have suffered like me to write. They need to express their suffering any way they can because these are the same pains that Sadegh Hedayat (contemporary writer) referred to as, “pains that chew at a person’s soul.” Let it all come out. Let everyone know. You should realize that you are not alone. There are many like me and you. We all share this pain.

This letter of suffering should be much larger than this, but I will end with one last message to Khamenei [the Supreme Leader of Iran]: You consider yourself the father of this nation. I was a daughter of Iran. Your sons raped me. Who will pay for the loss of my dignity?

Bahareh Maghami,
April 2010, Germany

Translation by: Tour Irani |

بهاره مقامی: زجرنامه‌ی يکی از شقايق‌های لِه‌شده‌ی ايران (قربانی تجاوز در زندان)

نام من بهار است، بهار است و از گل می نويسم ، اما گلهای پر پر. از سبزه می نوسم و از جوانه، اما جوانه های له شده، در زير لگد مال نفرت، نفرت زشت خويان از زيبايی و از هر چه که زيباست، نفرت مزدوران از حق و حق خواهی و حق جويی. از نامرد می نويسم.

بيست و هشت ساله ام، نامم بهاره مقامی است و ديگر هيچ چيزی برايم باقی نمانده که بخواهم به اميد آن نامم را پنهان کنم. همه آنهايی که روزی برايم مهم بودند را از دست داده ام، اقوام و دوستان، آشنا و همسايه، همکار و هم قطار ، همه و همه را از دست داده ام. همه چيزم را نامردان نامردانه ربودند، زندگيم را. حال که جلای وطن کرده ام، می خواهم برای يک بار هم که شده، دردم را با کسی قسمت کنم. از همه دوستان ديگری هم که سرنوشت دردناکی چون من داشته اند می خواهم که بنويسند. بنويسند که بر آنها چه گذشته. اگر هم از بيم جان يا آبرو نمی توانند اسمشان را بگويند، با اسم مستعار بنويسند. بنويسند تا تاريخ بداند که بر نسل ما چه گذشت، بر نسل غم. تا آيندگانی که در آزادی در ايران زندگی خواهند کرد بدانند که اين آزادی به چه قيمتی به دست آمده، به بهای چه جانهای سوخته، چه اميدهای بر باد رفته، چه کمر های شکسته و زانوان خميده.

کمر پدرم شکست وقتی فهميد. خرد شد. مادرم يک شبه انگار صد سال پير شد. برادرم، برادرم که هنوز هم روی آنرا ندارم که به صورتش نگاه کنم، و او هم نگاهم نميکند تا مرا بيش از اين نيازارد. انگار مرديش را از او گرفتند وقتی فهميد. از مرد بودن خودش هم بيزار شد وقتی فهميد، که نامردهايی هستند که از مردی فقط نرينگی را دارند. ناموس و عنف و شرف و نجابت و عصمت و حيا برايشان بی معنيست. من معلم اول دبستان بودم، به غنچه های کشورم خواندن و نوشتن ياد می دادم، ياد می دادم “بابا آب داد”، “آن مرد می آيد”، “آن مرد نان دارد”. مرد برايم آن نان آور مهربان بود. او که منتظر بودم بيايد. حال برايم چهره اش عوض شده، خشماگين و در هم کشيده از هوس کور، بوی تعفن عرقش يک لحظه هم از خاطرم نميرود. هميشه ترسم از اين است که بيايد، نيمه شبها با ترس آمدنش از خواب می پرم. با کوچکترين صدايی همه وجودم به لرزه می افتد و قلبم به تپش می افتد، مبادا بيايد؟ هر لحظه آماده فرارم، شبها را با چراغ روشن به روز می رسانم و روز ها را با اشک و آه به شب.

خانه مان در کارگر شمالی بود. با برادرم به سمت مسجد قبا رفته بوديم که دستگيرم کردند. زدند و بردند و داغان کردند، به قول حافظ همان طور که ترکان خوان يغما را. بعضی ها دستشان شکست، بعضی ها پايشان، بعضی ها کمرشان. بعضی ها هم مثل من روحشان، خرد و خمير شد. له شدم. انگار انسان بودنم از من گرفته شد. بهار بودم، مرده ام حالا، شقايق له شده ام.

از کسانی که اين نامه را می خوانند می خواهم، که اگر کسی را می شناسند که مثل من قربانی تجاوز نامردان شده، با او مهربانتر باشند، همدرد باشند. بدبختی من و امثال من اين است که در فرهنگ ما تجاوز فقط ضربه به يک فرد نيست، به کل خانواده يا حتی خاندان اوست. فردی که قربانی تجاوز شده دردش با گذشت زمان التيام نمی پذيرد، بلکه با هر نگاه پدرش داغش تازه می شود، با هر قطره اشک مادرش، قلبش از نو ميشکند. فاميل و دوست و همسايه که هيچ. همه با آدم قطع رابطه می کنند. خانه مان را مجبور شديم مفت بفروشيم و برويم به کرج. اما آنجا هم دوام نياورديم. مأموران که سريع آدرس خانه جديدمان را پيدا کردند. زير نظرمان داشتند. می آمدند سر کو چه مان می ايستادند، پدرم که رد می شد پوزخند می زدند. همه چيز را گذاشتيم و جلای وطن کرديم. پدر و مادرم سر پيری آواره کمپ پناهندگی شده اند. به جرأت می توانم بگويم که درد فرهنگی پس از تجاوز بارها و بارها بدتر و شديد تر از درد جسمی آن بود. خيلی ها وقتی که در مورد تجاوز می شنوند می خندند، قسم به هر چه که برايتان عزيز است، خنده دار نيست. رنج و عذاب يک خانواده ساده، بی آبرو شدن يک دختر يا پسر جوان، هتک حرمت از عشق خنده دار نيست. آنها که تجاوز می کردند می خنديدند، سه نفر بودند. هر سه ريشو و کثيف، بد لهجه و بد دهن. به همه فاميلم فحش می دادند، با اينکه خودشان ديدند باکره ام به من تهمت فاحشگی زدند و مجبورم کردند زيرش را امضا کنم. ديگر خجالت نمی کشم که اين را بگويم، برايم قبحش را از دست داده که هيچ به آن افتخار هم می کنم: گفتند جنده. گفتند جنده امضا کن. گفتم من معلمم. امضا نمی کنم. گفتند ما سه تا شاهد عادل داريم که ديده اند تو يک شب با سه نفر خوابيده ای. گفتم من هم بيش از سی تا شاهد دارم که معلمم، اگر حالا کارم به اينجا کشيده شده تقصير شماست. پوزخند زدند که خب برايت بد نشد، از حالا به بعد درآمدت کلی بالا می رود. ناموس برايشان تا اين حد بی معنا بود، نجابت تا اين حد پوچ. نديده بودند، نداشتند. همه زنها برايشان جنده بودند، زن که هيچ، به مرد ها هم رحم نمی کردند. انسان نبودند، در اثر کمبود و عقده، به جانوارن منحرفی تبديل شده بودند که جز به کثافت کشيدن همه زيباييها کاری بلد نبودند. می بينم مردم گاهی به خواهر و مادر اينها فحش ميدهند، اين جانورانی که من ديدم به خواهر و مادر خودشان هم رحم نمی کنند، خدا به داد آن بيچارگان برسد که بايد عمری را با اين درنده خويان بدصفت سر کنند. دندانهای جلويم شکست، شانه ام از جا در رفت، زنانگی ام ويران شد. می دانم که ديگر هيچ گاه قادر نخواهم بود مردی را دوست بدارم، هيچ گاه نخواهم توانست با مردی صميمی و نزديک باشم و به او اعتماد کنم. می دانم که سرزمينم مردان غيور درد آشنا هم زياد دارد، اما برای من ديگر مرد و نامرد يکی شده است. زندگيم ديگر به عنوان يک زن به پايان رسيده، انگار مرده متحرکی بيش نيستم. اما می نويسم، می نويسم تا زنده بودنم را پس بگيرم. می نويسم معلم بودم ، جنده شدم، حالا هم نويسنده ام. می نويسم بهار بودم، با اينکه خزان شدم حالا زيباترم. جنده زيبايم، بی آبروی محله مان شدم، معلم بی کلاس شدم، مسخره خاص و عام شدم، محکوم به تنهايی شدم، آغشته به کثافت ظالم شدم، گيسو بريده و شکسته دست و خونين چهره مزدوران جمهوری اسلامی شدم، پس افتخار می کنم که جنده آزاديم . می دانم که من تنها نيستم، صدايشان را ميشنيدم، در بند های مجاور، وقتی که مثل يک جسد بی جان و بی مصرف روی زمين افتاده بودم ميشنيدم که نامرديشان را بارها به نمايش گذاشتند. از همه هم دردانم ميخواهم که بنويسند، دردشان را هر جوری که می توانند فرياد بزنند، چون اين از همان دردهاييست که به قول هدايت مثل خوره روح آدم را ميخورد. بگذاريد بيرون بيايد، بگذاريد همه بدانند. بدانيد که تنها نيستيد، مثل من و شما بسيار است، ما همه در اين درد شريکيم.

اين زجر نامه طولانی تر از اين هاست، اما برای حالا آن را با يک حرف به پايان ميبرم، روی صحبتم با شخص آقای خامنه ايست: تو که خودت را پدر همه ملت ميدانی، من دختر ايران زمين بودم، پسران تو به من تجاوز کردند. تقاص عصمت من را چه کسی خواهد پرداخت؟

بهاره مقامی

فروردين ۸۹، آلمان

Source: Rowzane
  • Balatarin
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    1. Thank you for sharing your story and giving up so much for freedom. You are not alone, and your efforts are not in vain. We will be victorious. Best wishes for you and your family.

    2. salam
      man kheili ashk rikhtam…vali….chera in harfa ro mizanid?bahar hamishe bahare,mage gheir az ine?chera migid zendegitun tamum shode?be khoda intor 100%bahatun mokhalefam,un mardike shoma dustesh darid bayad eftekhar kone ke ba khoda inha shoar hamegi dustetun darim&be khodemun mibalim ke shirzanani bas bozorgtar az mardanemun darim.faghat 1khahesh daram:be aiande fekr konid.ozr mikham,gure pedareshun,in heivuna kuchiktar az unian ke betunan zendegie maharo kharab khat in neshun,age zendegie khubi dar aiande nadashtid?shoma bahrha golaie maeed,mage mishe ba in karhaie heivani unaro leh kard?malume ke nemishe,be khoda kami be harfam fekr konid&in afkare manfio faramush konid.age dustan ham miran bezar beran ,dust nistand akhe.amma ghiafeie un junevara ro lotfan 1ja begid bekeshand va bezarid montasher she ta una bedunan,mardomam bedunan una kian.dir nakhahad bud sarneveshti be marateb badtar az saddam vase in kesafataie past.shoma ezzat&eftekhare maeed.

    3. I praise your strength.

    4. Hi, you are a brave woman.. By the name of love and by the name of beauty, we will not sit and watch you suffer like that , i am noa man if i ever forget what happend to you and girls and boys ,innocent lovely and unique like you..may people just shit their mouth and say nothing , its allright bahare , because if you really want to do something if you want to destroy the bad , you just cant do it without a plan. Emotions are deadly who really want to do something ..we have to learn to control our emotions and set up a long term plan to destoy the evil. To them you are whore , not only you , girls an boys like you , but bahare dont be sad , dont be ashamed , they want to destroy you , put hands on things you are ashamed of ..dont be are brave and strong .for them there is no turning back ..for you ..your wounds will heal faster than you think ..i am sure…it might take years ..but you will do it ..but they already belong in hell ..dont be afraid was your destiny to stay alive have a duty…i kiss the hands of your brother ,mother father and yours and believe me one day you will fall in love..i dont unrstand why your family is ashamed..i mean those who rapee you are the real fake men , they are not men , what could your family do? They dont even show themselves..


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