Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Families and friends of political prisoners gather in front of Evin & Rejaiishahr Prison

Iran Press News: Translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi.
Student reportage committee on human rights:

Archive photos from the March 2004 gathering of families of political prisoners in front of Evin Prison

Based on received reports families and friends of political prisoners gathered in front of Evin and Rejaiishahr prisons. The families of Hashmat Tabarzadi, Khaled Hardani, Haydarpour, Dr. Jilani, Youssef Mowlaii and many more were present. The families had announced that this like every other years was organized in order to take the Islamic regime to task for denying their loved ones a new year furlough; they said that the only way they could be next to their imprisoned family members was to bring their Haft Seen* to them by the prison gates to communicate their love and concern from behind the prison gates. The gathering was extremely peaceful and no one chanted anti-regime slogans.

Several prisoners in ward 350 of Evin prisons themselves were able to set up their own Haft Seen in order to observe this ancient Persian celebration. READ MORE

*The Haft Seen is one of the main aspects of the Norouz tradition; it means the seven ‘S’s which are seven specific items starting with the letter “S” (pronounced “seen”) in the Persian alphabet. Each item represents and corresponds to the 7 creations and the 7 holy immortals protecting them, according to Avestan tradition. The items are:
  • Sabzeh = Sprouts that Iranians grow from a couple of weeks before the New Year. This represents rebirth, the spring.
  • Samanou = A sweet pudding made of Wheat Germ; representing affluence.
  • Senjed = Dried Jujube tree fruit; representing Love.
Seer = Garlic; representing cure.
Seeb = Apples represent beauty and health.
Somagh = dried and pulverized Sumac berries represent the rising sun.
Serkeh = Vinegar represents growth and tolerance.
Sonbol = The Hyacinth represents yet other tidings of spring.
Sekkeh = Coins represent prosperity and wealth.
Other items on the Haft Seen, which do not start with the letter “S” but are nonetheless a part of the table, are:
  • Pastries for a sweet year to come.
  • Candles are for enlightenment and clarity.
  • A mirror is for reflection and study
  • Painted eggs represents birth and fertility
  • Goldfish are the symbols of life and Pisces, which is the sign of the time of the year where Norouz is celebrated.
  • An orange, usually floating in the same bowl with the Gold Fish represent the planet earth.
  • Rose water is for miraculous cleansing powers.
  • A holy book. Many still put the Qoran but since the advent of the Islamic Republic the majority of Iranians either place the Zoroastrian holy book, the Avesta or the two favorite books of Poetry by the two celebrated Persian poets that represent the Persian spirit at it’s best: Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh or Hafez’s books of Ghazals or Rubayiat.