“Some days of the week are special for the women held in Evin Prison. Eight prisoners out of a total 31, namely Maryam Akbari Monfared, Leila Jamaat, Nigara Afsharzadeh, Narges Mohammadi, Zahra Zehtabchi, Fatemeh Mosana, Azita Rafeizadeh and Nazanin Zaghari, have little kids”, writes Narges Mohammadi.
The Iranian regime give these inmates only one hour to meet with their little children in this special day. Narges Mohammadi writes about the short visits and the heavy regret and deprivation the hearts and souls of these little kids have to go through, and also describes the common sense among these mothers at the end of their meetings with their kids.
Nazanin Zaghari is one of these mothers. She came to Iran to visit her sick mother and now she’s sentenced to five years in jail. She’s been separated from her little daughter. In a letter from prison to her daughter, who was only 22-months old at the time of her arrest, Zaghari writes: “Believe me, I had no idea such a horrifying and painful fate was awaiting you in the country where your mother was born and raised, otherwise, I would’ve never rushed a single moment to pack for or a two-week trip to Tehran in March 2016.” Nazanin was arrested in April 2016 at Tehran’s airport when returning from her two-week trip to Iran.
Another mother is Zahra Zehtabchi. At 49, she’s been sentenced to 12 years in prison. “Zahra is a very calm and patient woman”, writes Narges Mohammadi, “you can’t believe how patient she is. Her little (daughter) Mina comes to visit her on Wednesdays. She quickly heads to the prison after school to meet with her mom.”
Fatemeh Mosana, a 48-year-old mother, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. Narges describes her situation and her relation with her two kids this way:”Fatemeh is so lonely. Her husband Mr. Hassan is held in Karaj’s Rajaee-Shahr Prison. Her two children, Maryam and Iman, go visit their dad at Rajaee-Shahr Prison one week, and come to meet their mom at Evin Prison the other.”
Maryam Akbari Monfared is a 40-year-old prisoner. She, too, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. A mother who, as Narges Mohammadi writes, has been forced to leave her little daughter at the age of 3.5, to go to jail. She has not much experience having mother-daughter relations with her little kid. “But these very short visits, is a chance for mother and daughter to chat. A daughter who got to know the mother sense not through Maryam but through her two older sisters, and Maryam is more of a mother name for her than a mother sense”, writes Narges Mohammadi.
Later in her report, Mohammadi writes about Azita Rafeizadeh who at 34 has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. “As soon as she enters the ward, Azita begins talking about Bahsir, her 6-year-old son whose childish behavior and way of talking is so sweet for everyone. Bahsir goes to Rajayee-Shahr Prison to visit his imprisoned dad, and comes to Evin Prison to meet with her jailed mom. His little body can’t sustain long distances, short visits and heavy regrets and deprivations afterwards. But for Azita, meeting him is heartwarming.”
The conditions of Nigara Afsharzadeh, a 39-year-old Turkmenistan national, is the most deplorable compared to others. “She’s been kept in solitary confinement 209 for one and a half year and now it’s six months that she’s been transferred to Evin women’s ward. Her son Eldar is eight and her daughter Mirana is ten. It’s now two years since Nigara last met with her children and now she feels impatient for seeing them again. Eldar’s birthday was celebrated in women’s ward on January 16…”
Leila Jamaat is a young mother whose children come to visit her every once in a while. ”it’s difficult for her children to come here”, writes Narges Mohammadi, “Leila entertains the women in ward for half a day, playing with her 8-year-old son Arad and her 6-year-old daughter Armita. But this doesn’t happen often.” Leila Jamaat is 36 and has been sentenced to two years in jail.
And finally, Narges Mohammadi has written about herself. A 44-year-old woman with twins who has been sentenced twice in two different cases, with a 6-year prison sentence for the first case and another 16-year for the second. “Narges’ twins, Kiana and Ali, are living in Paris by their dad. Wednesday is a good day for her, for mothers being happy meeting their kids, and a hard day as well, as she’s been deprived of meeting her own.”