Saeed Jazee, the Iranian juvenile who was released from prison after he was pardoned by the victims family, was interviewed by US sponsered Radio Farda . Saeed was sentenced to death by Iranian Judiciary 5 years ago at the age of 16. Saeed is a sculpturer. His arist sensitivity clearly shows through his words. Here are some of the excerpts of the interview:
Until recently you didn’t know you would be freed, how did you pass those moments?
– It was very difficult. Only being away from family is hard enough, not to mention that abuses by the prison guards.
How afraid were you of the death penalty?
– Life is dear to everyone. We were all afraid of the (execution) verdict. There are so many facing the execution pole and their only prayer to God is another chance.
you were freed after how long?
– 5 years and 3 months.
How did you feel after saw the outside world?
– I feel like I have risen from death. Think of only seeing walls and doors for 5 years, no flowers, no trees…. Not even 5 years, imagine how difficult it would be for only 6 months and then suddenly being faced with a whole new scene (outside).
Where was the first place you went to after freedom?
-Best and most comfortable place is home. In prison every night before sleep I thought of my home and I was thinking of things I did there and the place I slept.
Where are you planning to go tomorrow?
-I am intending to stay home for one week, until I rid myself of the prison odor and smell like home.
Prison has a special odor?
-Yes, it has a bad odor. I hope its smell never reaches anyone’s body.
Would you like to continue school and go to university?
– No I am beyond studying.
But you are now only 21 years old.
– In prison things happen that a 21 year older than 50. They pressure you so much that if I say that in the past 5 years I have aged 40 years, I have not lied.
What kinds of pressures?
– For 5 years I saw my family behind glasses. When you see your loved ones through glass you become complexed.
What do you mean by complexed?
– I mean they put you in such pressures that you would want to hit yourself or commit suicide.
Do you know that according to international laws, execution of those who have committed a crime before the age of 18 is forbidden but it is happening in Iran ?
– While in prison they executed my cellmate of 2 years, he was as young as I was. He was such a child that you would feel pity for him, but they so easily put the noose around his neck and pulled the chair from under him.
Did you observe it?
– No I didn’t see it. They often mentally tortured us. For example in the juvenile ward they would announce that they would execute one of us the next day, but they wouldn’t say whom and all those youth with death sentence would start trembling. That is what happened to that kid.They announced they were going to hang one of us. Before the Morning Prayer they told him that he had a court hearing, but they didn’t tell him that they had his execution order. At security they chained his hands and feet and took him to the solitary….