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Mahsa and Masoud in Prison

08/31/12 Opinion Article by Taghi Rahmani, Rooz Online (August 22, 2012)

Iranian journalist Masoud Bastani went to prison so that security agents would release his wife, Mahsa Amrabadi. Official agents had promised that they would release Mahsa if he presented himself to them. He did and Mahsa was released. But only for a short while. Still, Masoud was never sentenced for a long prison term but Mahsa was returned to prison.

These events took place in the initial days of the birth of the Green Movement. When Masoud went to prison, his wife became his voice and put efforts to talk about the injustice that was done to her, to him and to others.

She honored all her meetings and met with every official and prisoner who came out for leave to tell them that the response to a drive for freedom is not imprisonment. She did this until she was called back to prison to serve the remaining of her prison term. Today, both husband and wife are in prison, yet separated from each other.

It may be of interest to know that during the parliamentary run-off elections for the Majlis in the city of Arak, this young and passionate man did not go home for 40 days so he could campaign for a Majlis candidate, Rahman Kargosha, who was critical of the regime. Eventually though, the Guardians Council disqualified Kargosha from running for the office.

But Masoud's zeal and youth turned him into a hardworking and perceptive journalist. He turned into the voice of freedom despite all the ups and downs of life that he and those around him experienced. Undoubtedly living this way and dedicating himself to noble causes has created a heavy judiciary dossier against him, which includes three prison terms.

I never thought that his young man born in the year of the 1979 revolution whom I met for the first time in 1999 in Arak would turn into this curious and dedicated man whose quest for truth and justice would bring him much pain.

Masoud and Mahsa found each other in a romantic setup. They say that his first serious awareness of her took place during the memorial ceremony for the great Iranian poet and critic of the Islamic regime Ahmad Shamloo. Their attraction became serious in that meeting and Masoud told his companion then that he was attracted to Mahsa. And as the saying goes, love starts with a spark but turns into a flame.

They tied the knot on Eid Fitr celebrations. Masoud and Mahsa were married while Masoud was on a ten-day leave from his six-month prison term in Arak. So prison seems to be a normal part of their life. And in a broken down place with a dreadful regime of the kind we see, it is as if prison is the right place for them.

On the anniversary of their wedding, I send them my sincere greetings and hope that that they will live side by side for many years in freedom and in love.

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