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Witness Statement: Mohsen Sazegara

6. The PIA had an advertising commission and employed its own interrogators. It also had the capacity to eavesdrop on private telephone conversations pursuant to orders from the Supreme Leader. Judge Mortazavi, the head of Branch 1024 of the Prosecutor’s Office and later the Prosecutor General of Teharn, was the public face of the PIA. Judge Zafarqandi who headed Branch 8 of the Revolutionary Courts and Judge Hassan Zareh-Dehnavi (also known as Judge Haddad) who was responsible for Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Courts where many journalists and bloggers were put on trial, were other judges who worked for the PIA.

7. Individuals who cooperated with the PIA were eventually all promoted for their activities.

8. The PIA was primarily responsible for leading the fight against the reform movement. It was largely successful in its efforts. It can be said that the PIA was essentially a tool of repression successfully used by Mr. Khamenei to defeat the reform movement.

The Relationship Between the PIA and Secret Prisons

 

9. I’m going to talk about two particular secret prisons and several [hidden] wards inside Evin Prison that are essentially prisons with a prison. These prisons are closely tied to the formation of the PIA, and I will elaborate on each case.

10. The first was a prison in which Karbaschi, the [former] mayor of Tehran, and his deputies were held. This prison was allegedly supervised by Mr. Sardar-Naqdi, the former Commander of the Law Enforcement Forces.

11. I later found out that many mayors and their deputies were sent to this secret prison. I had a friend from high school who worked for Tehran’s municipal government. He was also targeted by Sardar-Naqdi. I ran into him after he was released from prison. He told me that they had taken him to an underground location run by the intelligence service of the Law Enforcement Forces. The facility was close to Youth Square, which is behind Shariati Avenue. (At that time the Youth Palace was located here, but it is now occupied by the Martyr Mofatteh Cultural Center.) He also told me that [his captors] wanted him to review the municipality’s voluminous financial records within a short period in order to uncover embezzlement [allegedly] committed by the mayor and his staff.

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Tagged as:

Secret Prisons, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Illegal Search and Seizure