I am in prison now but happy

If you want to know how I am doing…

Editor: The letter is addressed to Rza Talebi from Urmia. Talebi is a political refugee.

Oh, Rza!

My dear Rza, I have no idea where you are right now. Maybe in Turkey, maybe in another country. But I know that you are thinking about Azerbaijan, tending the embers of your memories.

If you want to know how I am doing, I am very well, Rza…You know why? Because democracy prisoners are happier than those who are “free” in exile. You know what I remembered recently? It probably sounds strange today, but years ago, detainees wanted to be convicted in their mother language [as opposed to in Russian, under Soviet rule. – Ed]. They wanted to be sentenced in their mother tongues. Now I am living their dream. Maybe yours as well, Rza. I am in prison now but I am happy. Maybe you won’t believe me; many would not. But I am truly happy: because I was sentenced in my mother language, Rza.

The digression of our long talks was Nevid Musmir’s song:

Marağanın üzümü

Qoyun, deyim sözümü…


They don’t let us talk. But at least now they are shutting us up in our own language. I don’t know if it that is good or bad – but I wish you “democracy prison” in the South [“Southern Azerbaijan”, officially North Iran – Ed.]. Rza, I recently heard that Khadija Ismayil has been imprisoned. I don’t know how to respond to this news; I can’t find the words. After all, what can you say at such a moment?

Rza, you know why I am surprised? Before our men loved, fought, protected women. But now our men are afraid of women.

I know this letter is extremely emotional. But I also know that being emotional and have the capacity to feel is happiness:

Təbriz üstü marağa

Telin gəlməz darağa

Yar məni mehman edə

Bircə içim arağa…


As you can see I am doing well.

Say hello to everyone from me.

If the night is too dark, the wordless morning is very close, Rza!

Your Friend,

Seymur Hezi

Kurdakhani Detention Center



“The grapes of Maragheh; Let me say my word…”

–       approx. trans. (Nəvid MÜSMİR – Burdan Uzaq Marağa)


“The Maragheh above Tabriz; Your thick hairs won’t be combed; I will be your guest my love; But first let me drink.”

– approx. trans. (Nəvid MÜSMİR – Burdan Uzaq Marağa)

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