LONDON: A woman imprisoned in Iran since 2009 has shared a letter from inside her “hell-like” prison, it was reported on Monday.
Maryam Akbari Monfared, 47, who is a mother to three daughters, was detained more than 13 years ago on charges of supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran.
She has been separated from her children since her arrest, and her three brothers and sister were killed by the regime, the Independent reported.
“As of December 29, 2022, 13 years have passed since I was separated from my four-year-old Sarah and my two 12-year-old daughters on that winter midnight,” Monfared wrote in her letter.
“Without giving me a chance to say goodbye to my loved ones, they took me to Evin prison to give some explanations, and made the ridiculous promise that ‘you will return to your children in the morning.’
“This is not a 4,000-page story, but the pure reality of a life under the domination of fascists who imposed it on us while we refused to give in. On this side of the bars, in the dark desert of torture and oppression, as far as one can see – even where one cannot see – there is just vileness and brutality,” she added.
Amnesty International and Center for Human Rights in Iran have repeatedly called for Monfared’s release, describing her as a “prisoner of conscience” being held in “cruel, unlawful and inhumane” conditions and facing “baseless” charges.
In her letter, Monfared also shared a message of solidarity with protesters currently demonstrating against the regime in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the regime’s “morality police.”
“To my daughters and sons, who are bravely on the streets … I say: if you are arrested, do not trust the interrogators even an iota,” she wrote.
“To the grieving families … I say that I share in their grief too. I hold their hands from here and stand shoulder to shoulder with them, stronger than before, for justice.
“With the news of every protest and every uprising, and with the sparks of this rebellious flame, the hearts of women whose only hope of freedom is to break these iron gates are filled with hope,” she added.