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I'm Worried … The story of Zahra Kazemie keeps poisoning my mind!, Interview with daughter of Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh

Now it is 150 hours that Mahboubeh has been detained. Only Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh and Shadi Sadr who are still detained and the remaining 33 are released. Everybody is worried about them. This interview is with Mahboubeh's 24-25 year old daughter "Maryam Ommie". Maryam is a contemporary and modern girl, who has a goal in life and is studying and is always up to date regarding the latest news and developments in the world. She is one of those who fluently speak English and travelling to different parts of the world has helped them to know more. She is very simple and very intimate and her eyes are sunken due to lack of sleep during recent nights. Although she has caught cold, she doesn't have time to rest, she is worried, but she knows that she has to stay calm because of her sister and for the sake of the activities her mother was following. She and her sister have had the same experience three years ago when their mother Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh spent 21 days in solitary confinement and 8 days in general prison.
Are you worried?
I'm worried about Darya, Shadi's little daughter and my sister and the fact that I haven't heard from my mother. While all of them have called, she has not called us, I'm worried about her health and I'm afraid that something might have happened to her…Zahra Kazemi's case keeps poisoning my mind!
Till couple of days ago, I was worried about hunger strike and Mahnaz Mohammadi that I took her medicine for her but they didn't accept and promised to take medical care inside prison. I heard that she couldn't move her feet. Now that she has been released I understand that all those promises were not true and she doesn't feel well!
I went to see the last person who was recently released but she has been in solitary confinement. It's a while that we haven't heard from my mother and Shadi. I hope they are fine.
If your mother calls, will you feel better?
My sister is impatiently waiting for a telephone call. She says it's better than nothing. But I don't believe telephone conversations, since most of them are dictated dialogues. I have to see her to feel better and calm.
Why do you think it took so long?
I think they wanted to repress March 8, which didn't come true. They are paying high enough for it. The costs of this act gets higher every day.

So, that was the reason that you were thinking of March 8 and managed to organize such a good program?
By imprisoning some people, the fact doesn’t go away and issues and concerns of Iranian women are still there. That's why the March 8 celebration was very important and needed good programming, media support, even if there were couple of small programs. Here, Meydaan family really cooperated and we managed to have an effective and influential program.

Were you expecting such a thing?
Since 3 years ago, when they arrested my mother, I was expecting that it will happen again. It is not a rare event for those who are women's human rights activists.
Can you tell me from the beginning? How you were informed that you mother has been arrested. They say that you were not here and you travelled a five-hour distance in 2 hour and a half. You are a student is that right?

Yes, I was attending another student's defense session. It was a very important session due to the theme that I've chosen for my thesis and I had to attend it. One of my mother's friends called. I left the session and called her. I thought it must have been a very important issue that she has called me. When I called, she said that my mother has been arrested. I thought, they wanted my mother's cell phone number and they've got it (due to similar verbs that we use in both cases). I was saying goodbye when she said: look your mother has been arrested. I was silent for 5 seconds and didn't say anything till my mind processed the issue.
What did you do, then?
I called one of my close friends and inquired the reason that I have not been informed about it and asked for the latest news. They told me not to worry and it is not very serious. Then I called my sister and she said that her friends are insisting that she goes there and sleep over and in this way I found out that it has to be very serious and it might take a long time. I described the situation to one of my classmates and gave my stuff to them and headed towards Tehran. I didn't even take my luggage.
You arrived pretty soon, did you fly?
I covered the distance. The whole story from finding out about my mother's arrest till starting my way to Tehran didn't take more than half an hour. In the terminal I was lucky and a car (Samand) was waiting for one passenger. I got in and I said that I'm in a hurry. He was driving 140 and some times 180 Km/h. He had a lot of fake speed papers that he used to show to the police.
Did you directly go to Amaken (Security Police)?
Everybody was there. Javan, Hossein, Leilie, etc… and they kept me informed by their calls. On my way back I thought dissemination of information and my presence in Internet sphere is more important. I quickly came and helped to others to implement the campaign in Meydaan Site. I wrote the content, then we did the graphic design, we translated the text and it was 6 or 7 pm that the campaign started running.
It was really welcomed. In a very short time, a lot of people signed. We, ourselves were astonished. In the first half an hour 125 people signed.

What is your sister doing?
She was shocked when she had heard the news. Since afternoon her situation deteriorated and at night I went home to calm her. She is sitting near the telephone now and is waiting for my mother to call.

The next morning you went to Evin prison, were there a lot of people?
Yes, in the morning we went to Evin. I knew it was to show our concern and they won't do anything for us. There were 40 of us, aroung 11 am, another 10 or 15 joined us. We wanted to give their personal stuff, to give medicine for Mahnaz and others that they didn’t accept. Nobody reflected. They finally disavowed themselves of any responsibility and referred us to Ministry of Intelligence.
Do your friends at university know about this event?
They have been calling since then and insist that all important sessions are to take place before Noruz. Why don't you come? Now the atmosphere at university is not proper to tell them what has happened. Only couple of my close friends know about it.
What if they find out?
They will be proud.



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