A Letter From Sakineh's Children

This is an exceptional document and, for those who defend Sakineh, especially moving. It is, of course, not the first time Sajjad Ghaderradeh, Sakineh's son, has spoken. He did so initially on September 2nd during a telephone conversation that was published, the day after, on the web site of La Règle du Jeu, in Libération and on the Huffington Post. And then a second time, on Sunday, September 12th, the day of the demonstration I organized in Paris, with the French feminist association Ni Putes Ni Soumises [Neither Whores nor Submissive], again over the telephone, still from Tabriz, to express his gratitude to the demonstrators gathered at the Place de la République and to transmit news of his mother. Today, Sajjad is changing his means of communication to the written word in a letter co-signed by his sister, Saeidah, sent to La Règle du Jeu, which he has chosen to address, as he says, to the "citizens of the world." Sakineh's two children know what risks they are taking in sending us this message of distress and asking us to disseminate it. May their voices, the expression of their despair, their prayer, be heard.

~Bernard-Henri Lévy

We do not know what is going on behind the scenes. Why and how many interviews, and for what reason? All this suffering because our attorney revealed the truth and the illegality in a file? Why is it that they provoke their partisans against us by producing false interviews, so that we are the target of their attacks? Why are my little sister and I forced to hide? Where is the justice in all of this? Why didn't you allow us to be next to our mother during the interview? Why are you playing with her life and with our family's reputation in your televised broadcast? Why are you urging your supporters on against us, so that they pursue us and strike us, in the street? And so that they call us sons of.... How many more false interviews are there yet to come?
These days, we feel lost, searching for ourselves.

With each day that passes, everything that is happening makes the meaning of our lives more incomprehensible.

We are tired and want only one thing, to find refuge and peace in the arms of our mother.

We are tired, and we shiver at all the insults and injustices we have suffered, and all the times we have had to conceal our tears.

We follow this obscure path of life with fear in our bellies and despair in our hearts.

We are so tired, from having run for so long, and all alone.

We have run out of tears to wash over our faces.

We are tired of having cried so much, and we want so much, today, to be able to cry with you.

We are tired of fighting alone.

We wish we could put our arms about your neck and hug your shoulders.

Yes, Mama, it's been years now that we are no longer protected by your shadow, or by Papa's. Often, we stare at the door, but now they are forbidding us to receive news from you.

Who are we? Living beings? Where and for whom are we living? We don't know. Why did God create us, the two of us, my sister and me? Did we come into the world to suffer so much torture? Why, and how much? During our childhood, when we huddled with fear in the dark and cold streets, we lost our home.

While other girls in their mothers' arms were teasing them to braid their hair, my sister was shivering in the cold and the snow, praying, all along the great wall of the prison, that perhaps she would be allowed a glimpse of her mother.

While my friends were sitting alongside their fathers, doing their homework, I was witness to the murder of my father and, even more painful, the false and ignominious accusation against our mother of having assassinated our father.

In the course of spelling lessons, we always made mistakes writing the word "mother", so the master would punish us by making us write "Mother" a thousand times on a blank page. Can you imagine it?

Our attorney, Houtan himself, has lost his home. For the sole crime of having defended us, he is no longer allowed to even enter the Ministry of Justice. He even needs someone to protect him. For all of us, this life has become a tragedy. Perhaps the interrogator of the régime's Intelligence Service was right when he told us, last week when our lawyer's office was searched, that even if our mother comes back to us, "they" will never let us live in peace. Because, according to him, the world is concerned only with our mother's liberation, not with our lives.

Yes, our lives have no meaning. We have been rejected everywhere, even by our own family.

The day when, overcome with despair, I called Mrs. Mina Ahadi, and the day, in Iran, when I became aware of the generous support of our friends, those we knew and others we did not know, the world over, those days were like a light breaking through the shadows of solitude.

We beg you, from the bottom of our hearts, to continue to think of us, but also of those like us, and of all the people imprisoned in Iran, and especially to remember that they have no means of defense, even though they are innocent. Yes, we plead with you. We beg you.

Sajjad and Saeideh, to the entire world.

(Letter translated from Persian by Franco-Iranian journalist Armin Arefi)