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Witness Statement: Shahrara


III. Trial


12. A year after my arrest, they took me to court. The trial took place inside Evin prison itself. I was blindfolded while in court. The prison guards took me out of my cell and blindfolded me and it took about five to six minutes for us to reach the courtroom. There were about three or four people present inside the courtroom. I could not see them as I was blindfolded. The trial lasted a few minutes. At the court, they merely informed me that I had been sentenced to six and a half years for supporting and being a member of the unlawful Fedaian-e Khalq (Minority) and for distributing literature and pamphlets for the party. They also informed me that my period of imprisonment began from that point on (i.e., the day of my trial) and not from the moment of my arrest. No other words were exchanged between us. I was never given an opportunity to speak or defend myself.

13. After my trial, they transferred me to a ward that had extremely small cells. The living conditions were quite difficult there. Space was very tight and we were forced to take turns in order to sleep. They stuffed fifty prisoners in one of these small rooms. Outside these rooms there was a hallway. On each side of this hallway, there were several cells without windows. They usually brought prisoners who were about to be executed to this hallway and the prisoners would spend their remaining hours inside these cells. Right next to the hallway, they had placed a bed. The guards had imposed harsh rules in the wards, which were very hard for prisoners to abide by. For example, they wanted fifty prisoners to use restrooms and take showers in half an hour in a few rooms. All prisoners were unable to use the restrooms in that short period of time. Sometime, there were old ladies, sick prisoners, and young children among us. As a consequence, the guards would beat the prisoners for not abiding by the rules.


IV. Continued Pressure


14. Pressure and interrogation continued through out my prison term. Political prisoners were alert that they might be called for interrogation at any time. I had the fear that prison authorities might have discovered new information and call me for questioning. Thus, I was living in a constant atmosphere of fear. I had nightmares because of this fear. Whenever they would blindfold me and take me for interrogation, I was afraid they might have discovered new information or have arrested new people who had betrayed me.

15. In addition, every once in a while, they summoned me and ordered me to write reports on events that occurred inside my ward. At the time, all of my ward mates got along with each other very well. They combined their money so that we could all purchase necessities inside prison. They shared whatever they bought with each other. If one of the inmate’s families gave them some clothes, they would make sure to share the clothes with the others. This was the custom among both Leftist and Mojahedin prisoners. In any case, when we refused to answer their questions, they would send us to solitary confinement. I usually refused to answer these questions and was often sent to solitary confinement.

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, 1988 Prison Massacre, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Free Speech, Child Rights