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Witness Statement: Mohsen Sazegara

30. The fourth time I was arrested was in June 2003. It was around 11 a.m. and I drinking tea in the kitchen after having just returned home. The door bell rang. My wife peeked from behind the door and saw several people standing there. She told me that she thought they were here to arrest me. She wasn’t wearing a hijab, so she told them to wait. When she opened the door they started a raucous because of the delay. I called them in from inside the kitchen and requested that they produce an arrest warrant. They showed me a paper that included the signature of Judge Mortazavi, the Prosecutor General of Tehran. The arrest warrant called for my arrest, along with the arrests of my eldest son Vahid and Amin Bozorgian, the Chief Editor of the Al-i Iran website. At the bottom of the warrant I saw Judge Mortazavi’s handwriting, which read: “Agreed. Take action.”

31. Just like last time, they inspected the whole house. They looked through my computer files, personal desk, family photo albums, in the refrigerator, behind the refrigerator, our bedroom, and everywhere else. When one of the searching officers looked at my family photos, my wife protested and said that the women in the pictures were not wearing veils. The security officer responded with “There is nothing wrong with an innocent glance.” Then they inspected my CDs and DVDs to see what movies I watched. They took my checkbook and 1200 British pounds in cash. (I had borrowed this money to send for the tuition of my youngest son, who was studying in Scotland.) They took one of my most valued writings about the history of science. This writing was in fact the result of many years of work. I pleaded with the head agent to leave the writing, but he refused and assured me that it would not get lost. Unfortunately, the writing was lost, but they returned my money and computer several months later. The inspectors entered the house at 11:00 am and left the house with me at 6:00 p.m. They also took my son when he had just returned from school around 3 p.m.

32. From the moment they entered our home I told my wife that I am on a hunger strike and instructed her to inform the press of my arrest and hunger strike as soon as they took me away. I demanded my unconditional release, the release of all the students who were arrested along with me, and an apology from the Supreme Leader and the Judiciary to the students and the Iranian people.

33. They took me to Section 325 of Evin. The interrogators asked me questions but I refused to answer them. I told them that their interrogation was illegal, and that I would not respond to their unlawful actions. I finally succumbed because they informed me that my son and the other students would not be released until I answered their questions. They sometimes interrogated me for 10 hours a day. My interrogators accused me of attempting to overthrow the regime and claimed that I wished to become the ‘Lech Walesa of Iran.’ Lech Walesa and the worker’s union [known as Solidarity] were successful in defeating the one party communist government of Poland. [They alleged] that I wanted to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran using the students movement.

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Tagged as:

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