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The Iran I saw — in 781 days in Evin Prison
The Iran I saw — in 781 days in Evin Prison

On the morning of my appearance before an Iranian Revolutionary Court, where I was convicted on a fabricated charge of espionage, I heard the chant "Death to America!" from the world beyond my prison window. The chant, and the associated stereotype of Islamic Iran, was quite different from what I heard in Section 209, the grim area of Evin Prison where political detainees are beaten, tortured and held without charge. As Americans, my friend and cellmate Shane Bauer and I were denied contact with Iranian inmates during our imprisonment there. Yet time and again, they found the courage to defy that rule and lift our spirits. When I'd sing anguished songs to the emptiness,...

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