Letters to My Torturer: Love, Revolution, and Imprisonment in Iran

Letters to My Torturer: Love, Revolution, and Imprisonment in Iran

by Houshand Asadi

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Overview

Houshang Asadi’s Letters to My Torturer is one of the most harrowing accounts of human suffering to emerge from Iran and is now available for the first time in paperback. Kept in solitary confinement for over two years in one of the most infamous prisons in Tehran, prominent Iranian journalist, Houshang Asadi suffered inhuman degradations and brutal, mindless torture at the hands of a man who introduced himself as ‘Brother Hamid’. A man without whose permission he couldn’t eat, sleep, receive medical care, or go to the toilet. A man who knew no limits when it came to extracting ‘confessions’: suspended from the ceiling, beaten, and forced to bark like a dog, Asadi became a spy for the Russians, for the British – for anyone. Narrowly escaping execution as the government unleashed a bloody pogrom against political prisoners that left thousands dead, he was hauled before a sham court and sentenced to fifteen years. In exile, tormented by nightmares and flashbacks, Asadi’ first attempt at recording his experiences resulted in a heart attack. Here at last he confronts his torturer one last time, speaking for those whose voices will never be heard, and provides a chilling glimpse into the heart of Iran and the practice of state-sponsored justice. In 1983, the journalist, writer, and translator Houshang Asadi was locked in a Tehran prison. Under torture, he said he was a spy. Many of his friends also confessed and were later executed. He was released after six years. Today he lives in Paris with his wife, Nooshabeh Amiri. They write for the high-profile Iranian news website Rooz Online. "Remarkable on any terms, but it is made especially memorable by the chilling irony and heartbreaking naïveté that characterize Mr. Asadi’s tale." Wall Street Journal "With moving stories about fellow prisoners, biting commentary on the religious dictates imposed by his jailers, and meditations on the soul-destroying effect of false confessions and the special cruelty of his ideological, authoritarian interrogators, Asadi’s simple prose attracts even as the facts he reports repel... A horrifying glimpse of the decades-long nightmare still afflicting the people of Iran." Kirkus

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780740317
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
File size: 452 KB

About the Author

In 1983, the journalist, writer, and translator Houshang Asadi was locked in a Tehran prison. Under torture, he said he was a spy. Many of his friends also confessed and were later executed. He was released after six years. Today he lives in Paris with his wife, Nooshabeh Amiri. They write for the Iranian news website Rooz Online.

A journalist, writer, and translator, Houshang Asadi was a member of both the Writers' Association of Iran and the Iranian Journalists' Syndicate, and the co-founder of the Association of Iranian Film Critics and Script Writers. Prior to the Islamic Revolution he served for many years as Deputy Editor at Kayhan, Iran's largest daily newspaper, and was for 12 years the Editor-in-Chief of the country's largest circulation film magazine, Gozaresh. He is the author of several novels, plays, and film scripts, and has translated into Persian important works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and T.S. Eliot. In 1983, following the Iranian government's crackdown on all opposition parties, Asadi was arrested and sent to the infamous Moshtarek prison in Tehran. He was kept in solitary confinement for almost 2 years, during which time he was severely tortured until he falsely confessed to operating as a spy for the British and Russian intelligence agencies. His sentence was death by hanging. In the end this was reduced to 15 years imprisonment. He was freed after serving 6 years and eventually escaped Iran in 2003. He now lives in exile in Paris with his wife, where he co-founded the influential Persian-language news website Rooz Online.

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