The Guardian man: The death of an Iranian hostage and a Guardian journalist

The Guardian’s interview with ex-prisoner Shahram Karimi was read out live on Newsnight Saturday 9 October 1979, “arrested in my house, put on a bus and blindfolded. Put into a car with the collar…

The Guardian man: The death of an Iranian hostage and a Guardian journalist

The Guardian’s interview with ex-prisoner Shahram Karimi was read out live on Newsnight

Saturday 9 October 1979, “arrested in my house, put on a bus and blindfolded. Put into a car with the collar cut off. Taken to Evin prison, brought in the dead bodies of my parents and sister. Arrived at the hostage camp. Appear on Panorama. Double suicide sentence.”

“After going to prison, The Guardian interviewed Shahram Karimi, who had been inside for 48 days. [Former Guardian staff writer] Chris Aldridge read out the interview.

“On 7 October Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, who had been a supporter of the embassy’s hostages, summoned them to Tehran as ambassadors of the Islamic revolution.

“At the Savak prison in Tehran, there was not enough food for 30 people.

“They were subjected to eight-hour beatings.

“After three weeks in prison Shahram Karimi was double-bunked. One of the other prisoners was captured and killed.

“Shahram was put on 23-hour bombing runs on buses across the country, where he was often shot or run over by rockets.

“The reporter’s evidence is thought to be crucial to the case against his successor Ali Larijani. His family say that after Shahram came out of prison, he was “harassed, beaten, kidnapped, tortured, detained and repeatedly raped, including during the hostage crisis”.

“Larijani was finally freed by US President Jimmy Carter, who personally brokered his release in 1982.

“He subsequently became one of the most powerful politicians in Iran and has been often described as a ruthless hard-liner.”

Leave a Comment