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Witness Statement: Shahrara

16. Prison authorities were always looking for an excuse to summon us for interrogation. I remember one time my cellmate was sitting on the toilet in the ward and using it as a chair. We were passing the time by swapping stories and telling jokes. The next day, they summoned both of us and accused us of having “moral” issues. They returned us to the cell and whipped us in front of the others. They always looked for an excuse to beat us.

17. During my detention in Evin, the governor of the prison changed several times. When I was released, Naserian was the governor. Before him, it was Meisam. For a while, Koochaki was responsible. He was not there during my detention; another individual by the name of Fakoor was the governor. Mojtaba Halvai was among the most prominent individuals present during my detention in Evin. Halvai played a very important role in the eventual execution of prisoners.

18. My prison term ended in early 1988. Around that time, they called me for interrogation. neither repented nor denounced my party at the interrogation. I was not released and became a ‘Milikash.’6 I was detained along with other Milikash prisoners from then on.

19. The regime wanted to break us by making us to denounce our political beliefs, to pledge allegiance to regime, to give a video interview, and to criticize our ideology in front of other prisoners. When I refused their conditions, Nasirian told me that I would remain in prison, “as long as my hair turns gray like my teeth.”

V. Preparation for the Massacre

 

20. Months before the massacre of the prisoners, the regime began making preparations for the 1988 massacre. I remember at that time they summoned each of us, one by one, to interrogation via the loudspeakers in the prison. I think the name of the person responsible for these summons was Zamani (which was undoubtedly a pseudonym). He was a representative of the Ministry of Intelligence inside Evin prison. When we arrived in the interrogation room, they provided us with a series of forms. We were required to fill them out. The questions on the form asked questions regarding our personal and political views, such as our view of the regime, international events, Islam, our contacts with various political parties, and whether or not we prayed. The prisoners reacted to these interrogations sessions differently. The position one took was often based on the political party they belonged to (or their personal views). Some refused to answer them at all and called the sessions, ‘inquisitions.’ Others answered the questions.

21. After we filled out the forms, they returned us to our cells. Some of the prisoners had become suspicious and thought something horrible was about to happen. At the time, Leftist and Mojahedin prisoners were kept together. All of the unrepentant prisoners were kept in one ward but in different rooms. (At one point, they transferred us in Section 325, which also included only unrepentant prisoners. They took me from my solitary cell to Section 325. This happened in 1987. After that, they took us back to a room in Section 216. The inquisition was like a retrial.)

6 Also called ‘Azadiha” and refers to those group of prisoners whose prison terns has ended but did not denounce their party and ask for forgiveness.

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Tagged as:

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