Translation by Negar Irani – Translator’s Note: I decided to translate this blog by Jila Bani Yaghoub, Bahman Ahmadi Amouei’s wife because she expresses the thoughts that went through my mind when the 16 political prisoners finally decided to end their hunger strike after 15 days this week. I recall the noise on Facebook and and Twitter. People questioning whether after putting all this pressure on the Islamic Republic, if the prisoners should have ended their hunger strike. I remember being furious, thinking out loud “Do you not have compassion? Can you not put yourselves in the shoes of their family members, even for one second?” It became clear to me then, that it’s easier to preach when you are not the one putting your life in danger. It’s easier to be a hero when you are not the one affected. It is easier to forget the human suffering when you are so disconnected....
The content of Jila Bani Yaghoub’s message posted on her blog on Wednesday August 11th, 2010 is as follows:
I have heard that some are disappointed and unhappy about the fact that the political prisoners ended their hunger strike. I am not going to go into any significant detail regarding this matter. I will say, however, that we should perhaps take into consideration the level of human endurance. Perhaps we should try and imagine, if only for one moment what these families have endured; imagine not just Majid Dari’s mother, or Ali Parviz’s or even Hamid Reza Mohammadi or Hossein Nourani Nejad’s, or any of the other mothers, spouses and relatives who were unable to eat for two weeks, but also my mother whose son-in-law was on hunger strike and couldn’t touch food.
Think of little Amir Ali, who despite all our efforts to hide things from him, is smart and figured out from the whispers of the adults that his uncle Bahman was not eating. Think of little Amir Ali who was suffering from severe anxiety and couldn’t sleep at night. Think of this young boy who had difficulty breathing and when his mother would inquire why would respond “I’m afraid that uncle Bahman will starve, fall to the ground and never get up.” It made me want to call Bahman and to tell him “Even if the requests by important well known figures are not important to you then at least end your hunger strike for little Amir Ali who is having trouble breathing day and night.”
I also believe that the fact that the message of those on hunger strike reached our nation was a victory in itself; it meant that their demands had some how been met. We could not tolerate to see any further risk on their heath. The two week hunger strike by these prisoners was significant enough in and of itself. Why should we be upset that it ended? How many more days should their mothers and spouses have worried about their well being? We were close to a disaster both for the prisons and for their families. If you had witnessed the agony and distraught look on the faces of mothers who stood in the hot summer sun outside of the prosecutor’s office and the prison, you too would realize that the lives of these mothers based on the physical and psychological pressures they had endured was in no less danger than that of their imprisoned children.
Believe me when I say we could no longer bear to see the tears of their mothers and to watch them refuse to eat. We could not bear to see them disappear slowly in front of our eyes. They suffer enough as a result of their children’s incarceration. Please don’t ask more of them. Some of the prisoners on hungers strike suffer from acute illnesses and this was of grave concern to us. Need I say more?