Continuing with our guest curators for Refugee Week, today’s post is by Madhi, a Bradford resident and a much valued member of St Cuthbert’s church in Wrose. Thank you to Madhi for sharing his powerful testimony. [w: involves torture]
Good morning! It’s Mahdi with an unbelievable story about my life.
I was only 19 years old and I was planning for my 20th birthday when I was arrested by the police.
I joined the protests in February 2011, Tehran – Iran
Later on, my life has completely changed.
I was sleeping at home, suddenly I heard my mom’s voice, she was screaming.
I got up to see what’s going on? I could only see the plainclothes police raided our house. They came to me, I was still sitting on the bed and shocked. They asked me to repeat my name & date of birth. They pulled a black bag over my head and asked me to follow them. My parents and sisters were still crying.
I was thinking if I could see my family again or not? Was a big question in my mind.
They asked me to get in the car, I couldn’t see anywhere. After two hours driving we approached the destination. I wish we never got there.
I was asked to follow the stairs and go down, I remember there were about 400 stairs. I could feel myself going to hell. They put me in a single cell and they took the bag off. I was alone there for nearly five minutes, I could hear other people are screaming and crying because of their Torture. The cell was so dark and cold. Smelling like a body was left there for a long time.
Someone came to me, perhaps Torturer. He didn’t speak to me but started with beating me. All torturers are agree with an expression which says: If you want your prisoner to answer your questions clearly, beat them first. In short time my nose started bleeding, he asked me to name friends who joined me in the protests and my reasons for joining the protest? If not, we’ll kill you. I stopped answering him but he started beating me again.
I remember first night, I asked for water but they started laughing at me and they told me we send you a glass of Urine. I couldn’t believe where I am. But you know the only things I remember, I asked god to help me, I asked god to see my family again.
Luke 12: 7 – Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
My father was trying to release me with bail condition, I found out later. No one could visit me during the time I was imprisoned. As my father used to work for government, he had a friend who was a Judge. He helped my father to release me with bail condition.
Finally, the day I was waiting for. Before they release me, I was asked to sign many papers, and I had to go to the police station for report every day as I am on bail condition. After being released, I found out, I was in Evin prison. One of the worst Prisons in Iran. I lost 13 kg in 16 days. My family was waiting for me outside the prison, and this is the time which I call HAPPINESS.
I lived with my family for two weeks and then I received a hearing date. A judge who was a friend of my father recommended me to leave Iran, otherwise I could be jailed for 15 or more than 15 years.
I was forced to leave my country just because of my views and opinions.
Psalms 118: 5-6
I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
I wish no one be imprisoned just for their opinions.
Have a great day.” – Mahdi.
We thank Mahdi again for sharing his testimony, and his incredible faith.