Remembrances, …, is a poetic window into life inside Iran’s notorious Evin prison, by Ala Khaki, an Iranian-American poet. He was betrayed by a friend for being the author of some of the resistance poetry that used to be distributed underground in universities in Iran. The poems in the book chronicle his time as a political prisoner from arrest in 1976 by the Shah’s feared Secret Police, the SAVAK, subsequent tortures and conviction by a military tribunal, to release in 1977 after fourteen months of captivity.
“I was in an interrogation/torture room in a basement of Evin Prison, my second session within 24 hours of my arrest, eyes blindfolded, mouth full of blood from beatings. I had denied any involvement in opposition activities, refused to sign a prepared confession, or give up any names of any supposed cohorts. The door opened and some people walked in. I recognized Ali’s voice saying, “it’s him”. It was like a ton of crushed ice hit me. Karimi, my interrogator/torturer, sure that this would break my will to resist, slapped me triumphantly and yelled “we know everything you’ve done, you son of bitch, so stop lying to us.” Months later, a newcomer to Evin informed me that Ali was released less than a week after being arrested. ” From the introduction to Remembrances