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Witness Statement: Shahram Rafizadeh

6. The PIA worked on a project-to-project basis. The goals and composition of each project is predetermined. Each project included three phases: identification [of targets], investigation and propaganda. In these projects cases were initiated based on trumped up charges and ended when the arbitrary objectives [of the PIA] were satisfied. Arrest warrants were illegally issued after the actual arrests. The objective of the “students project” was to secure television confessions from Ali Afshari and the victims of the University [of Tehran] dormitory. The objective of the “cinema project” was to secure confessions from Siamak Pourzand. [The objective of the census case (launched in 2002) was to go after Abbas Abdi and Hossein Ghazian. And last but not least, the goal of the “bloggers and journalists” project was to silence the demands of the reformists.

7. The PIA had lots of resources at its disposal and took advantage of these resources in cunning fashion. The PIA had its own judges, such as judges Haddad and Saber Zafarqandi (the judge of the Special Court at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran). They had their own prosecutors such as Mortazavi, the General Prosecutor of Tehran. They had their own secret detention facilities such as Prison 59 and Towhid. They also had their own individuals inside the Law Enforcement Forces and Revolutionary Guards who acted as “officers of the court” and were entrusted with the authority to arrest anyone they wished. And finally, they had their own experienced intellectuals and theoreticians – Shariatmadari, the Chief Editor of the newspaper Kayhan, and Hassan Shayanafr – who provided direction to the organization and were responsible for drafting the interrogators’ questions. These individuals used their own methods to fabricate case files, torture [their victims] and secure arbitrary confessions out of their detainees. They then used these confessions to promote their own agenda and crush the reform movement.

8. The division of labor within the PIA was based on the subject at issue and was well-calculated to compensate for the weaknesses of individual members of the group. If one group did all the work, it could expose and subject itself to scrutiny. In addition, this division of labor allowed the PIA to use the most beneficial and appropriate channel depending on the specific case at issue. The PIA relied on different resources for different objectives – a strategy which insulated it from exposure. For example, when it came to acting against students, workers and trade guilds (which were often used by political activists), [the PIA] relied on the Revolutionary Guards. They used the Law Enforcement Forces under the supervision of the Amaken office in order to go after journalists, intellectuals, writers and artists.

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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