October 25th by hanging in Iran seven years after she killed a man that she
claimed had attempted to rape her. Before she was killed, Reyhaney wrote a very emotional letter to her
mother, asking that her organs be donated to those who need them. See
the full text of the letter after the cut…
The full text of the letter was translated by the National Council of Resistance
Dear Sholeh, today I learned that it is now my turn to face Qisas (the
Iranian regime’s law of retribution). I am hurt as to why you did not let me
know yourself that I have reached the last page of the book of my life.
Don’t you think that I should know? You know how ashamed I am that you are
sad. Why did you not take the chance for me to kiss your hand and that of
The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night it was I that
should have been killed. My body would have been thrown in some corner of
the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the
coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I
had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we
don’t have their wealth and their power. Then you would have continued your
life suffering and ashamed, and a few years later you would have died of
this suffering and that would have been that.
However, with that cursed blow the story changed. My body was not thrown
aside, but into the grave of Evin Prison and its solitary wards, and now the
grave-like prison of Shahr-e Ray. But give in to the fate and don’t
complain. You know better that death is not the end of life.
You taught me that one comes to this world to gain an experience and learn
a lesson and with each birth a responsibility is put on one’s shoulder. I
learned that sometimes one has to fight. I do remember when you told me that
the carriage man protested the man who was flogging me, but the flogger hit
the lash on his head and face that ultimately led to his death. You told me
that for creating a value one should persevere even if one dies.
You taught us that as we go to school one should be a lady in face of the
quarrels and complaints. Do you remember how much you underlined the way we
behave? Your experience was incorrect. When this incident happened, my
teachings did not help me. Being presented in court made me appear as a
cold-blooded murderer and a ruthless criminal. I shed no tears. I did not
beg. I did not cry my head off since I trusted the law.
But I was charged with being indifferent in face of a crime. You see, I
didn’t even kill the mosquitoes and I threw away the cockroaches by taking
them by their antennas. Now I have become a premeditated murderer. My
treatment of the animals was interpreted as being inclined to be a boy and
the judge didn’t even trouble himself to look at the fact that at the time
of the incident I had long and polished nails.
How optimistic was he who expected justice from the judges! He never
questioned the fact that my hands are not coarse like those of a
sportswoman, especially a boxer. And this country that you planted its love
in me never wanted me and no one supported me when under the blows of the
interrogator I was crying out and I was hearing the most vulgar terms. When
I shed the last sign of beauty from myself by shaving my hair I was
rewarded: 11 days in solitary.
Dear Sholeh, don’t cry for what you are hearing. On the first day that in
the police office an old unmarried agent hurt me for my nails I understood
that beauty is not looked for in this era. The beauty of looks, beauty of
thoughts and wishes, a beautiful handwriting, beauty of the eyes and vision,
and even beauty of a nice voice.
My dear mother, my ideology has changed and you are not responsible for it.
My words are unending and I gave it all to someone so that when I am
executed without your presence and knowledge, it would be given to you. I
left you much handwritten material as my heritage.
However, before my death I want something from you, that you have to
provide for me with all your might and in any way that you can. In fact this
is the only thing I want from this world, this country and you. I know you
need time for this. Therefore, I am telling you part of my will sooner.
Please don’t cry and listen. I want you to go to the court and tell them my
request. I cannot write such a letter from inside the prison that would be
approved by the head of prison; so once again you have to suffer because of
me. It is the only thing that if even you beg for it I would not become
upset although I have told you many times not to beg to save me from being
My kind mother, dear Sholeh, the one more dear to me than my life, I don’t
want to rot under the soil. I don’t want my eye or my young heart to turn
into dust. Beg so that it is arranged that as soon as I am hanged my heart,
kidney, eye, bones and anything that can be transplanted be taken away from
my body and given to someone who needs them as a gift. I don’t want the
recipient know my name, buy me a bouquet, or even pray for me. I am telling
you from the bottom of my heart that I don’t want to have a grave for you to
come and mourn there and suffer. I don’t want you to wear black clothing for
me. Do your best to forget my difficult days. Give me to the wind to take
The world did not love us. It did not want my fate. And now I am giving in
to it and embrace the death. Because in the court of God I will charge the
inspectors, I will charge inspector Shamlou, I will charge judge, and the
judges of country’s Supreme Court that beat me up when I was awake and did
not refrain from harassing me. In the court of the creator I will charge Dr.
Farvandi, I will charge Qassem Shabani and all those that out of ignorance
or with their lies wronged me and trampled on my rights and didn’t pay heed
to the fact that sometimes what appears as reality is different from it.
Dear soft-hearted Sholeh, in the other world it is you and me who are the
accusers and others who are the accused. Let’s see what God wants. I wanted
to embrace you until I die. I love you.