Shirin Alam Hooli (DOB: June 3, 1981) was born in the village of Gheshlagh near the city of Maku in Iran. She was arrested in May 2008 by the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran. She spent the first 25 days of her imprisonment in an unknown location under brutal physical and psychological torture. She was later transferred to ward 209 of Evin prison where she was held in solitary confinement for six months and subjected to brutal torture. Afterwards, she was transferred to the women’s ward in Evin prison. On December 19, 2009, she was sentenced to two years imprisonment for illegally exiting Iran and sentenced to death for the charge of “Moharebeh” (enemy of God) for her alleged involvement in the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) group. Her trial took place in branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, under judge Salavati. Her lawyer was informed of the decision on January 3, 2010 and has appealed it, however, there has been no judgment yet from the Appeals Court. In her first letter, Alam Hooli wrote on the brutal physical and psychological torture she was subjected to during her interrogation. As a result of the torture, Alam Hooli is currently suffering from numerous health problems, which she points out in this letter.
In her last letter, Alam Hooli stated that the interrogators tried very hard to break her hunger strike. She wrote how the interrogators tried to force a televised confession and subjected her to additional interrogations to force her to deny her Kurdish ethnicity.
I am entering my third year of imprisonment, three years under the worst conditions behind bars in Evin prison. I spent the first two years of my imprisonment without a lawyer and in pre-trial custody. All my inquiries about my case went unanswered until I was unjustly sentenced to death.
Why have I been imprisoned and why am I going to be executed? For what crime? Is it because I am Kurdish? If that’s the case then I must say I was born a Kurd and my language is Kurdish; the language that I use to communicate with my family, friends, and community. It is also the language I grew up with. However, I am not allowed to speak my language or read it. I am not allowed to go to school and study my own language and I am not allowed to write it. They are telling me to deny my Kurdish identity, but if I do, that means I have to deny who I am.
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