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These two guys were imprisoned for rebelling against the government, and their fates are not pretty. In prison, they were tortured: whipped, burned with irons, had their fingernails pulled out. It makes getting hit in the nards with a knotted rope sound like a pleasant experience. These guys are the first political prisoners Marji meets. She respects them, but her tendency for hero worship leads her to respect them at the expense of respecting her father.
Unfortunately, their freedom is short-lived: "All the former revolutionaries became the sworn enemies of the republic" (9.35). Mohsen gets drowned in his bathtub when the new regime takes over, and Siamak is targeted too, though he manages to flee. Marjane seems to include their stories to show us that one regime in Iran is no better than the previous one. It's hard out there for a revolutionary.