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October 26, 2005

Big old prison

This is a photo of citadel of Falk al-Aflaak in Khorramabad (Lorestan province). It is said that its original foundation goes back to the Sasanian period (225-651 CE) but I doubt it and at any rate there is no way to tell. What can be said is that it was a military fort during the Qajar period (1795 1925) and Pahlavi period (1926-1979) and that it also doubled as a military detention center. It became notorious after the 1953 coup as many political detainees were sent there, including members of my own family. So, the visit had a personal meaning for me as well as a historical one. Today, it is a museum of anthropology dedicated to the culture of Lorestan and has a very nice teahouse. As I was looking around I asked one of the caretakers where prisoners were held and he told me where I was standing was one such place and showed me where they were chained to the wall.
-- Maziar Behrooz

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