For the man walking on Tonekabon streets


For the man walking on Tonekabon streets
by Shifteh Ansari

With all the news I read everyday, I wish I would become insensitive to hearing bad news. I still feel sad when I read about prisoner families talking about the inhumane way in which their prisoner kin and themselves are treated inside Evin Prison. When I hear that someone is going to be imminently executed, I read Iran news with a thumping heart and sweaty palms shortly after the sunrise hours in Iran, knowing by now that prison hangings happen just before sunrise. I read news of another student's education ban with rage, as I know just what kind of IQ that student must have had in order to be admitted in the university in the first place, and the thought of that loss of human potential angers me beyond words.

Sometimes, when I read the news, I feel so sad, like reading that an 80-year old man jumped to his death to protest the living conditions that were his sentence for thinking, for talking, for writing.

But there are times when I read a piece of news and I feel so ashamed and so inadequate, I can do nothing but to weep for Iran, for Iranians, and for humanity. Today was one such day. I read the story of Vajihollah Mirza Golpour, a 71-year old resident of Safar Abad Village outside Sari in the province of Mazandaran.

He was arrested after he appeared at the Sari Intelligence Office, following summons. His relatives said that he was transferred from Sari to Tonekabon, where he was interrogated. Mirza Golpur's relatives say he has heart disease and only one week prior to his arrest, he had been hospitalized for treatment. His family say they still don't know exactly on what charges he was arrested. All they know is that he is a Bahai, and he is just one in a large group of Bahai's who have been rounded up and arrested over the past couple of years in Mazandaran, some with their homes and farms destroyed.

Friends and relatives of Vajihollah Mirza Golpour said that in order "to put him under more pressure," last Tuesday he was made to walk ankle-cuffed all around the town of Tonekabon. A source said that earlier, during his interrogation, "in order to extract confessions of him, his head was hit against the wall, and he has been kicked in his side."

I wonder what the sick men who made the 71-year old man walk ankle-cuffed around Tonekabon want of him. I wonder why he is being so extensively interrogated. To confess? To what? To being a Bahai? I doubt Vajihollah and his family made it too hard for the interrogators to find out that he is a Bahai. Did they want him to confess about his undercover operations in the village of Safar Abad? Of how he collects intelligence about the other farmers and residents of the village and sends it abroad? Why would they publicly humiliate a 71-year old man like that? To set a good example for others?

I am so sad for Iran and Iranians tonight. But I have a message for Mr. Vajihollah Mirza Golpour. You are not humiliated, Sir. You are not diminished in any way, not for your faith, not for your conscience, and not for being paraded through Tonekabon withe shackles on your feet. You will not be insulted, for neither you, nor I believe that this savagery has any projection or impact on you. It is only your small jailers who grew even smaller and less significant with this act. To me, you stand tall and you stand strong, Mr. Mirza Golpour. You do.

Read the story here.



more from Shifteh Ansari

Germany 1939 Iran 2011

by IranMarzban on

wow i just don`t know what to say this is sad very sad  




Heart wrenching, barbaric, tragic...

by Monda on

شیفته جان، با مطلع کردن ما از جنایات و خیانت‌هایی‌ که روزانه به انسانیت، ایرانیان و حق وارد میشود - مسئولیت وجدانی بزرگی‌ که بر دوش گرفته‌ای، به سهم خودم برایت آرزوی آرامش و قدرت دارم.

تشکر از تمام گزارش‌های واقعی‌ و دردناک.




What is wrong with these people?

by Reality-Bites on

What is it that makes them so cruel and inhumane? Utterly disgraceful.

My thoughts are with Mr. Golpour and his family. Shifteh jaan, thank you for this article. 

Sahameddin Ghiassi

In the hope that love will come over the hate?

by Sahameddin Ghiassi on

The hate is a big business for some people to make money and let the other people be busy with their hate. Sometimes we are shying to be even human being?


It's sad, and there is no

by comments on

It's sad, and there is no word to express my support to him.  Indeed: "You are not diminished in any way, not for your faith, not for your conscience".

This is just one example.  What about people who gather, watch, laugh at the person in public stoning?  Is there any heart left there?


اگر این مردم به غیرت ما هستند


که اگه بهشون دو تا مرغ یخ زده مجانی‌ میدادند نه تنها نگاه میکردند بلکه می‌رفتند دو تا هم تو سر این پیر مرد بدبخت میزدند.  جمهوری اسلامی از این بدتر هم به سرمون آورده و ما هیچی‌ نگفتیم.  خاک بر سر هممون که غیرت نداریم.



by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Shame on the people who did this to an old man just because of his religion

Shame on the people who stood by, watched and said or did nothing, or worse cheered.

Shame on those who still go on defending ANY aspect of this vile fascistic islamist ideology and regime. 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

i am a bahai too

Ya Vajihollah

by i am a bahai too on

WhenI grow up I want to be just like this man. No, he is not humiliated; he is blessed. Sorry for the officials in this benighted town who have nothing better to do than try to humilate a sick old man. Only someone who is very weak would attack in this way. Poor Iran, Ay iran!


What else is new

by afshinazad on

We are the people and we are the power behind the regime and we are the people who help this regime to do what ever is doing to any one in our country and let's not forget who are working in prisons and offices and who are in IRGC and in mosques and every thing we see is our own doing.

I don't see the regime as a major power, I see only handfull of people who just talk, but who are doing the job? that is issue that still we don't want to accept. if we are the nation who betray eachother? why we should expect anything better from Regime, if why are not evolving as a human in this century, then when we suppose to evolve?

our nation living in poverty and millions of people have no job and only thing they do is complain in taxi or the corner of street and behind their doors, they want to have a better life and democracy and freedom, but they just know one thing complain no action, our nation and country has been looted every day and workers can not get their money, but still they go to work and wait for unpaid salaries, leader of labour is prison, because of same people right, but labours go on with their misrable life, your friend and others are in prison, but you forget about them and you go with your misrable life. if we are suppose to complain, let's make it in public and let's make it effective, if our parents or older brothers or sisters were able to tople Shah for M****f Khomenie, I am sure we could tople this regime as well, so let's talk see which one of us want to cheer for the regime and which one of us wants to topple the regime, there is no magic to topple this regime, there is only one thing and that is will of people and united we could do what we want. 


Insite Fear!

by ariane on

This is a routine tactic practised by the totalitarian regimes to insite fear in people. So if you're a Bahai or have similar inclinations, you would think twice.

Shame full as it is, there are people attending the event. It's a good day out for many people. Afterall, aren't we the same nation that throws stones at an adulterer? 

Maryam Hojjat

رنجنامه همسر وجيه الله ميرزا گلپور زندانی بهايی

Maryam Hojjat

 This is the link to the letter of Mr. Golpour's wife:

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

خاک برسرشان کنند این پدر سوخته‌های بی‌ عقل و دین را که اینطور زورشان را به یک پیرمرد بی‌ دفاع میرسانند،این آخر چه حکومتیست که اینجور ظلم بر مردمانش روا میدارد ! کجاست خدای ما و خدای ایران زمین !؟

شیفته جان دست شما درد نکند از این مطلبی که نوشتید.


Maryam Hojjat

Tragedy in Human history against Bahais in IRAN

by Maryam Hojjat on

Has been happening by IRI since it inception.  We are guilty too for not reacting inside IRAN for the Bahaies' plight. 

Mona 19

Shifteh jan ...

by Mona 19 on

Thank you for writing about his plight...May the light of justice shine upon my fairest land & sanctify it from tyranny.

Here is his wife's . letter

Warmest regards, Mona

Azadeh Azad

Very sad, indeed

by Azadeh Azad on

It evokes the way Jews were treated by the Geshtapo. It's horrible.

Thank you for this heart-felt write-up, Shifteh jan.