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Witness Statement: Mohsen Sazegara

My Arrests and Interrogations in Prison


23. I was imprisoned for the first time in 1984, for one night. The second time was in 1986, during which I stayed in prison for 75 days. In 1986 I had just resigned from my positions as deputy minister of heavy industries and chairman of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (which was one of the largest industrial bodies in Iran).

24. I was charged with being an accessory in the explosion which occurred at the offices of the Prime Minister and resulted in the assassinations of President Raja’i and Prime Minister Bahonar. Due to my position as the political deputy of the Prime Minister, I and a group of other personnel who were close associates of Raja’i were indicted by Asadollah Lajevardi, the revolutionary prosecutor. Our interrogators accused us of conspiring to seize power. There is a lot to say about Lajevardi’s desire to settle the political score by having us executed, [but I won’t get into that now.].

25. Eventually our case file was closed pursuant to Ayatollah Khomeini’s orders and we were released.

26. The third time I was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in 2003. I was released after five days. I went on a hunger strike as soon as I was arrested. The guards and interrogators treated me with respect. They were aware of my heart condition and the surgery I had had recently. I refused to take my medication, but they kept insisting that I take them.

27. The Ministry of Intelligence arrested me in March. It was around 9 a.m. and I was leaving my house along with a friend. I realized that a vehicle was following us. When we reached Dr. Chamran Avenue the [passengers] in the car signaled us to stop. Someone got out of the car and approached us. He produced my arrest warrant and ordered me to return home.

28. We started walking back home. When we got there I noticed that several other cars were also parked there. Four or five plainclothes men entered and searched my home for four to five hours. They took my personal computer, books, CDs manuscripts, check book, papers and notes, and other [personal] items.

29. They took me to Section 209 of Evin Prison. The interrogations were not violent. My eyes were not covered with a blindfold in the interrogation room. I informed my interrogators that I would not answer any of their questions, and that I was on a hunger strike. I was released five days later. About two month later they returned my belongings. Nothing was missing.

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Tagged as:

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