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Witness Statement: Shahram Rafizadeh

25. About forty minutes passed and again one of my coworkers told me that the same person who had come to see me before had summoned me again. I became worried. The young man told me that one of the senior officers had personally come to see me and answer my questions. He added that I should walk outside [to see the officer] and ask him questions, and return after I’m done. I told him to go and said I would visit Amaken’s office the next day. He insisted that I should go with him now, so that I could resolve my legal issues. I insisted that he tell me if I was under arrest or would be arrested so that I could tell my brother and coworkers at the office what needs to be done in my absence. In response he said, “No, no, there is no need for that. It will only take 10 minutes – you can return to work after that.” I said, “Please tell your senior officer to come here.” He said, “No, he can’t. You have to come with me. If you refuse you will definitely be arrested.”

26. As I was leaving the office a man told me to follow him because I was under arrest. I resisted, but he showed me his gun and handcuffs. He took my hand. I realized that I had seen this man somewhere before.

27. Several of my coworkers and friends were standing in front of the newspaper office’s gate. One of them tried to write down the car’s license plate, but one of the officers got out of the car and angrily tore up the piece of paper. He advised my friends that the arrest was legal and there was no need to write down the car’s license plate.

The Secret Prisons


28. From the office they took me to Amaken. I stayed there for a while until they put me in a car (without tinted windows) and returned me to my home so they could search it. They confiscated all my papers and documents, along with my writings, as “evidence of a crime.” During the search I noticed two pocket-sized books titled Code of Criminal Procedure and Iranian Constitution. I asked the agents if I could take them along with me because I thought I’d need them, but they said I would have no need for them since I would be released soon. After they searched my home they returned me to Amaken’s office.

29. In Amaken they forced me to change cars. They sat me in the back of a black car that had curtains. They talked to each other for a while. Then one of them hit me from behind and said, “Put your head down.” Their attitude suddenly changed. They blindfolded me and took me to a different location. I think we entered a courtyard. We passed a corridor on the left side of the courtyard and they took me into a house that appeared to be a detention center. They took my glasses, belt and shoes away. A metal door opened and they threw me in a cell. The cell was very dark. It had a large vent. I stayed there for about two hours. I could hear strange noises but couldn’t tell what they were.

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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