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Witness Statement: Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir

My Charges

 

33. I was charged for the first time there. They wanted to charge me with some offenses there. They wanted to justify my arrest retrospectively. After charging me with several crimes, such as acting against national security, I was asked if I accepted the charges. I told them I did not. I noticed the charge sheet did not have a date. They wanted to backdate the charge sheet and show that all things had been conducted legally. I protested and said I was not signing it. Judge Saberi Zafarqandi hit me on the back of the head and told me to sign and date the charge sheet for the day I was arrested. But I did not do that and left it blank. Saberi Zafarqandi had a close relationship with Judge Hasan Zareh Dehnavi.

34. Saberi Zafarqandi wanted to hand my case over to Qazi Haddad but Qazi Haddad refused to take my case. He said Saberi should legally decline from taking my case because he was the judge who had charged me with some offenses. Then I was taken to the Revolutionary Court, to Judge Haddad’s room at branch number 26. He said he was not aware of my arrest. Haddad told me that there was a legal problem with my case and I should go back to Khatam because Judge Saberi should sign the case over and express that his court is not qualified to consider it. I was taken to Khatam and after 3 days I was taken to Evin prison per Judge Haddad’s order. A day later, they took me to Haddad’s branch but this time I faced an interrogator from the PIA, who is a member of the IRGC. He said that he personally had recommended that I should not be badly mistreated in Khatam. He tried to say at first that they did not know anything about my arrest but the conversation between us showed me that the Police Intelligence Service detention was a cover and they were behind everything. Actually, I was taken to Khatam prison because I had already been kept for five months in Prison 59, which belongs to the IRGC, and 3 months in Towhid. I knew all the techniques used there for extracting confession so I was sent to a worse place this time.

35. Prison 59 was an old prison administered by the IRGC, specifically by the IRGC’s Intelligence Protection office. Prison 59 was originally made for military prisoners but the conservatives were using it to extract information from political dissidents. When the Parallel Intelligence Agency was established, Prison 59 was used by them.

36. In early 2000, the PIA arrested Azatullah Sahabi and Ali Afshari of the Melli- Mazhabi coalition. Then three colleagues of mine, Koroush Sehati, Hamid Reza Mobayyen, and Saeid Kashiloo, were arrested from the United Students Front. In late 2000, near Norooz, the PIA targeted national religious leaders, also a part of the Melli-Mazhabi coalition. Then they attacked the University’s dorms and we were arrested. The PIA targeted two very important dissident groups, students and political activists, and established many secret prisons. Reformists tried to expose the existence of the secret prisons. Finally Majlis, which was controlled by the reformists, established a commission under the auspices of Mr. Ali Akbar Musavi-Khu’ini to investigate the existence of secret prisons. The commission found that many illegal prisons were operating in Tehran. One of these prisons was Towhid, which was closed down at that time. The IRGC moved its prisoners from Prison 59 to a block in Evin. The State Prison Organization did not have the authority to monitor this block in Evin prison. For instance, three or four years ago (in 2002 or 2003) IRGC did not grant permission to Abbas Ali Alizadah, the General Prosecutor of Tehran who had a mandate from the Judiciary to visit all the prisons in Tehran, to visit this block of Evin prison which was controlled by the IRGC.

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Tagged as:

Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons, Imprisonment