Speaking Up for Those Left Behind

IN 1988, there were mass executions of political prisoners in Iran, according to Borjkhani. Each prisoner would get a 10-minute court date in front of a few clerics. They would be asked: “Do you support Khomeini?” and given their response, they would be put in a line to the left or the right, Borjkhani said. 

At Borjkhani’s court date, he remained defiant. He was put in the line to be executed. While he was there, a guard went to his cell to find him for execution. The guard was told he was already in line. But Borjkhani escaped being executed because the line was too long. At 11 p.m., they stopped executing prisoners for the day and sent them back to their cells. 

Because of the miscommunication with the guard who had visited his cell, Borjkhani narrowly avoided death. By the time his next court date came up, the massacre had ended. 

In 1991, when Borjkhani’s nine years were up, he had to leverage a friend’s home to be allowed out of prison. He had no money of his own because the government had seized all of his assets. 

When he was released, he said he was told, “Don’t think you are free now. We can kill you whenever we want to.” 

Borjkhani was glad to be reunited with his wife, Samira. Seven months after Borjkhani had been imprisoned, Samira ha… >>>

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