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Witness Statement: Mohsen Sazegara

12. I also met with one of the deputies that worked for the municipality. He had also been interrogated and tortured in this prison. He explained that his interrogators had hung him upside down and beaten him.

13. The second [prison] is connected to the period during which the PIA was established.

14.The first notable operation conducted by the PIA involved the arrests of several members of the Religious-Nationalist group who were abducted at the residence of Mr. Basteh-Negar, and others who were taken from their homes. Because the PIA did not have its own prisons and facilities it used the Revolutionary Guard’s detention centers. The arrested individuals were transferred to the military base at Eshratabad, located in the center of Tehran, for interrogation. This facility is not an official or registered prison. (Later it was referred to as Prison 59.) [As I mentioned before], this base is located at the end of Shariati Avenue in the center of Tehran. The map for this prison is currently available online.

15. The third case goes back to the construction of wards inside Evin Prison.

16. The arrest and interrogation of the Religious-Nationalists caused quite an outrage. The Majlis appointed a committee to investigate the existence of secret prisons, and the European Union requested access to these prisons in order to meet several high profile detainees. As a result of these protests, the PIA occupied a corner of Evin Prison and constructed a special ward for itself. The PIA and the Revolutionary Guards then transferred their detainees from the military base in Eshratabad to the wards in Evin. The Ministry of Intelligence also administers its own ward in Evin Prison known as Section 209. The ward supervised by the PIA (also known as the Revolutionary Guard ward) is referred to as Section 325.

17. Sections 209 and 325 are prisons within a prison. Both of these wards operate independently and outside the jurisdiction of the State Prisons Organization, and their officials are not accountable to the head of Evin Prison. In fact, the head of Evin Prison cannot enter these wards without permission from [the officials in charge of administering them]. Individuals detained in Section 209 are required to wear grey uniforms that are marked with the Evin logo, but the uniforms in Section 325 are completely different. This section has both a solitary confinement ward and a public ward. The public ward is small and can hold a maximum of twelve individuals. Section 209 contains 90 solitary confinement cells which are arranged in 9 rows each containing ten cells. They close the doors at the opposite ends of one of the corridors and by opening the doors of the cells they create a public ward. Section 325 has an infirmary, which is located in what used to be the women’s ward. Even though Section 209 is located behind Evin Prison’s general infirmary, it has its own special medical facility.

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Tagged as:

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