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Witness Statement: Shahram Rafizadeh

46. When I surrendered, they asked me to prepare myself for a confession on TV. At this point all my facial bruises had healed. This was a part of their plan all along: the physical torture continued until the accused surrendered. Once that happened, the investigations, free writings and case file manipulations (which were psychological in nature) began, and continued until the individual [was] ready for a TV confession. At that point there were no signs of physical torture left on his body. There were, of course, some visible signs of abuse. For example, the prisoner appeared sickly and malnourished. He had a thick and untidy hair. When they videotaped me, my weight had dropped from 95 kilograms to 45 kilograms. There was no meat left on my bones and my finger and toe nails were very long.

47. I had strong suspicions that they put drugs in our food. I hallucinated often – I’d see myself in the middle of the road, or in the midst of people who wanted to kill me. My guess is that all of these were induced by the [drugs they put in our] food.

48. My taped confession consisted of me reading over my “free writings,” which had been dictated to me by my interrogators over and over again. They asked me to address [and confess to] six charges in front of the camera during the half an hour [taping]. This event was coordinated and happened in the office of the head of Evin Prison. The videotaping was staged as news. The third shooting, which was in fact the taping of my confession and acceptance of the six charges [brought against me], took place in [Prosecutor] Mortazavi’s office. I had spent the last few days of my detention in Evin Prison and my fears had somewhat subsided. I didn’t want to get in front of the camera – I didn’t want to participate in this dreadful exercise. But my interrogator and Mortazavi verbally threatened me. My interrogator said, “You have three adorable kids. Take care of them.” [Then Mortazavi chimed in and said] “If, God forbid, they have an accident and die, what would happen?” Mortazavi continued: “Be careful not to make any mistakes, or something bad will happen to your family and kids, and you’ll regret your actions for the rest of your life.” I was already down, but this threat completely broke me. I went in front of the camera and acknowledged the six charges within half an hour.

49. I informed Shahroudi, the head of the Judiciary, of these threats. All he said was “Oh my – are my subordinates really involved in these kinds of things?!”

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Tagged as:

Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons, Imprisonment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination