Christian Martyr in Iran
Bahman Aghai Diba PhD International Law
The old man had a calm face. He kept smiling mildly
and looked around with appreciation. I had not met him before and this was
the first time (and the last time) that he was walking with
"us". I mean with our group of prisoners in the notorious Evin
prison of Iran. It was one of good days that the prison administer had let
our group to work as construction workers in a remote section of the
prison. The old man that was walking with us that day was "Ke-shish
(Christian Clergy ) Dibaji".
|Dr. Bahman Aghai Diba
He was a Christian
priest and his crime was changing his religion from Islam
to Christianity. Dibaji had not only changed his religion, but as a
clergy, he had tried to invite others to his religion. He had worked in
places like north and west of Iran and even he had made travels to
Afghanistan for preaching.
He was not one of my cellmates, and I noticed him because he was walking
as person who was very satisfied and content. He was telling things slowly
to himself that I could not understand at first. Later I came to know that
he was reciting Christian
hymns in Farsi and English. I asked him "why are you so joyful?"
He said I am praying to God that has made this beautiful day possible for
me. Look around you isn't it beautiful? The flowers, the sight of
mountains and the huge trees are around us, and I am in the company of
nice people. I am thankful to God.
Of course, I did not care about his Christianity, as I did not care about
However, in the middle of terrible conditions that existed there, and our
lives were under the control of the Assdollah Lajevardi, the Bucher of
Evin and his blood thirsty assistant (Karbelai, the administrative head of
Evin who was called "Pishva" like Fuehrer) it was interesting
for me that a person can have such a spirit. I felt that his feelings were
respectful and he was spreading a positive wave.
Lajevardi Butcher of Evin
That day I had my only serious quarrel with another fellow prisoner. The
fellow prisoner was pretending that he was very Islamic and this new guy (Dibaji)
was Najes (religiously unclean). I knew the protesting prisoner very well.
He was a person that his personal life was only the story of drinking
alcoholic beverages, cheating his wife and so on. I was famous among the
prisoners as a calm person, but that day I attacked the prisoner who
pretended to be very Islamic and I told him that if he did not shut up, I
would report all of his past actions to the prison authorities. He was so
shocked from my reaction and we never talked with each other for several
Dibaji and I were both under heavy sentences and we waiting for a court
that we knew it would not be fair. He was accused of "Ertedad",
or changing religion from Islam
to something else. The sentence for such a "crime", as far as
men were concerned, was execution. As for the women, according to the
religious rulings, the concerned female should be kept in prison and
tortured five times a day, on the daily prayer times, until such time that
she gives up her new religion and returns to Islam.
Dibaji was released from prison after a while, but it did not take much
time that they found his body in the forests near Tehran. He was clearly
tortured and murdered.
I think he was one of the first persons that were killed according to the
program of the Serial Murders orchestrated by the Iranian intelligence