Een nieuw dieptepunt in Iran dat ons nieuws amper haalt, dus vertel ik het hier: bij de begrafenis van de Iraanse dissident Ezatollah Sahabi (81) is diens dochter Haleh gisteren aan een hartaanval overleden. Volgens websites van de oppositie had Haleh Sahabi twee dagen verlof gekregen om de begrafenis van haar vader bij te wonen. Volgens officieel onbevestigde berichten kwam het op het kerkhof in Teheran tot een handgemeen tussen de politie en leden van de oppositie, waarbij de 57-jarige vrouw een hartstilstand kreeg. De Iraanse Nederlander Afshin Ellian meldt echter in zijn column voor Elsevier dat Haleh Sahabi gewoon werd doodgeslagen, en dat is ook wat vrienden uit Teheran mij meldden: Toen ze met de kist buiten waren, droeg Haleh een foto van haar vader. Op dat moment werd zij aangevallen door een paar veiligheidsbeambten van het islamitische regime. Ze pakten haar foto. De foto van Sahabi werd verscheurd. Zij protesteerde. En toen werd zij weer aangevallen waardoor zij op de grond viel. Terwijl zij op de grond lag, werd zij geschopt en vertrapt. De omstanders merkten dat Haleh niet meer opstond. Zij was dood.
Een vriend uit Teheran bracht me gisterenochtend als eerste op de hoogte van het nieuws, en schreef me daarover dit hartverscheurende verhaal:
“This is a true story.
I was only nine. Because of the surgery on my broken left arm, I had to stay in hospital for two weeks. One day my mum told me she had met a mother of one of her students in the room next door. Every day, the lady came to visit her grandfather, who was hospitalized next door. My mum asked me if I would like to see that lady, as she had told my mum she was interested in visiting me. I said that is was fine, as I liked talking to someone else other than my mum.
She entered my room. I saw a cute lovely young lady, who was sweet and beautiful, but her beauty did not have the nature of sexual attraction, or at least that was how I viewed her (I was too evil for a nine-year-old boy anyway). She was full of life. You could probably say she was born with that smile on her face, the smile which I don’t remember her being one moment without. Before starting usual cliché questions like ‘how did you break your arm’, ‘what are you doing here’ or ‘what happens with your school’, she just pointed her finger at a book which my sister had given to me. ‘Jane Eyre?’ she asked. ‘Wow, have you read that book ?’ I answered no, not yet, actually I was interested in reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë but they did not let me take it from my sister’s shelf, they said it was not for my age, I had a big quarrel with my sister, so when my arm broke, she bought this instead of Wuthering Heights. She told me it was written by Emily’s sister, Charlotte. ‘Would you like me to read it for you?’ I said yes and she started to read Jane Eyre. Everyday she came to visit me and read a few pages of Jane Eyre. I never got interested in Jane Eyre but I got so interested in her.
Her name was Haleh. She was so kind, so sweet, so lovely. I left the hospital and I could not say farewell to her, as she came in the afternoon and I was leaving in the morning. Her grandfather had to stay some more days in hospital. I never met her again, but just heard from my mum that she asked about me. Yesterday I read in the news that they had released her only for two days from the Iranian prison Evin to be able to attend her father’s funeral. Her father was one of the pioneers of the liberal Muslim party called ‘Movement of Liberty’. He had experienced prison both in the shah’s time and in the Islamic Republic, and he believed the Islamic one is truly a different story.
Today I read in the news that this morning, some official troops of the Islamic government had attacked the funeral ceremony of Haleh’s father, Ezatollah Sahabi. She had tried to protect her father’s corpse so they beat her till she died.
Yes she died, today, Haleh Sahabi died just next to her father’s corpse. And I think about how I stop hating them, even if I know very well that Haleh never could hate them.”