Sunday, 9 May 2010

Letter of Shirin Alam Hooli

I am entering into my third year of imprisonment, three years under the worst conditions behind the bars of the Evin prison. I spent the first two years of my imprisonment without a lawyer, and in pre-trial custody. All my inquiries about my case went unanswered until I was unjustly sentenced to death. Why have I been imprisoned and why am I going to be executed? For what crime? Is it because I am Kurdish? If that’s the case then I must say I was born a Kurd. My language is Kurdish, the language that I use to communicate with my family, friends and community, and the language that I grew up with. But I am not allowed to speak my language or read it, I am not allowed to go to school in my own language and I am not allowed to write it. They are telling me to deny my Kurdish identity, but if I do, that means I have to deny who I am. Mr. Judge and Interrogator: When you were interrogating me, I couldn’t speak your language and couldn’t understand you. I learned Farsi in the past two years in the Women’s section of the prison from my friends. But you interrogated me, tried me and sentenced me in your own language even though I couldn’t understand it and couldn’t defend myself. The torture that you subjected me to has become my nightmare.

I am in constant pain because of the torture I was subjected to. The blows to my head during interrogation has caused major problems to my head, and sometimes I suffer from severe headaches, where I lose all sense of myself, my nose starts bleeding from the pain and this lasts for several hours until I start to feel normal again. Another “gift” your torture has left me is the damage to my eyes which get worse by the day. My request for glasses has gone unanswered. When I entered this prison my hair was black, now after three (3) years of imprisonment, my hair has started to turn white. I know you have done this not only to me but to all Kurds including Zeynab Jalaliyan and Ronak Safarzadeh… The eyes of Kurdish mothers are full of tears, waiting to see their children. They are in a state of constant worry, in fear that each phone call may bring the news of the execution of their children.

Today is May 2, 2010 and once again they took me to Section 209 of the Evin prison for interrogation. They asked me to cooperate with them in order for me to be pardoned and not executed. I don’t understand what they mean by cooperation, when I don’t have anything more to say than what I have already said. They want me to repeat whatever they say, but I refuse to do it. The interrogators told me “we wanted to release you last year, but your family wouldn’t cooperate with us so things had to come to this.” He admitted to me that I was a hostage and until they reach their goal they will keep me a prisoner or execute me, but they will never release me.
Shirin Alam Hooli May 3rd 2010-05 Serkeftin
(It must be noted that at the end of her letter after her name and the date she has written “Serkefitn” in Kurdish which means Victory.)

(Translation by


  1. I am so deeply shocked and i am very sad for what has happened to these young people yesterday. I am a teacher myself and a member of Amnesty International, the world wide Human Rights Organisation; I promise to the families of the victims to do all what is in my posibilities to stand up for justice!

    Monique Smits

  2. when will all of this stop?