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Witness Statement: Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir

27. I did not write the expected answers and when I submitted my answer sheet, my interrogator commanded the others to handcuff me from behind. There were 4 of them. I got scared and pleaded with them not to but they did. It was painful but I was not suffering that much even though I pretended I was. My interrogator told me that this was just the beginning, to wait and see if I did not cooperate. Then he pressed me between his arms and I felt my ribs breaking. The handcuffs were also hurting me. I was complaining of the pain and after a few minutes they released me from the horrible handcuffs and pushed me to the wall.

28. And the interrogation started. I was beaten for two weeks. They did not beat me on the face and those body parts which were easily visible. They were beating my back and my head against the wall. When I compare the way I was beaten with other prisoners, I believe they treated me very kindly and gently. Other prisoners were beaten violently. Their heads were beaten against the wall; they were punched in the nose, kicked in the stomach, and lashed with whips made from tires and electric cables. When the detainees were sent back to their cells, blood was streaming down their heads and faces. I was not beaten like that but hearing them being beaten had a dreadful impact on me.

29.Using the restroom was also subject to cooperation. If a prisoner was not cooperating, he was not allowed to use the restroom more than 3 times a day.

30. I noticed in Khatam that the investigators were not familiar with the case at the beginning. They were compiling evidence from your own confession against you. They were making you implicate yourself in a crime. Based on your confession, they were making a case against you. For instance, my investigator did not know anything about me and the reasons I was arrested. He asked general questions. He did not know anything about me, but he was collecting evidence against me everyday from my own testimonies. He was coming up with new questions and new allegations after every interrogation session until he implicated me with some crimes.

31. After a few days, I was told if I cooperate I would be paid $50,000.00 US for each project. They wanted to bribe me. I was offered a good position and a house in Iran. The money had a condition. They wanted me to work for them, to justify their act and to spy for them but meanwhile I could be a critic of the government.

32. I did not accept their offer. After two weeks of torture and mistreatment, Judge Saberi Zafarqandi from Mehrabad Airport Court came to the prison to see my file. The PIA did not have an official document with which to arrest me and just got verbal permission on the phone. Actually, I was held in Khatam without any legal permit until Saberi came there. But when he saw me, he punched me from behind.

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Tagged as:

Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons, Imprisonment