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Witness Statement: Kourosh Sehati

14.I retained a lawyer before my trial. The judge refused to allow my lawyer full access to my file, even though the file merely put forth my charges.

15. Four months later I was released from Evin Prison on bail. Despite the illegal treatment I received in prison, I decided against filing charges against my interrogators because I had no confidence that the Islamic Republic would prosecute my case in a just manner. I did, however, describe the manner in which they treated me in newsletters circulated by the United Students Front and Farsi language media outlets outside the country.

My Second Arrest

 

16. My days of freedom did not last long. I was arrested again on March 4, 2001 by the Intelligence Protection Organization and sent to prison. I spent about 7 or 8 months in solitary confinement inside a secret detention facility.

17. During Khatami’s presidency an intelligence rift occurred between the Ministry of Intelligence and intelligence agencies under the supervision of Khamenei such as the Intelligence Protection Organization of the Revolutionary Guards, the Intelligence Protection Organization of the Office of the Supreme Leader, and the Judiciary. Khamenei used intelligence agencies that were directly under his control to silence the civil society and student movement. According to the law, the Ministry of Intelligence (under the supervision of the Judiciary) is tasked with the responsibility of investigating national security charges. But because the rift between the conservatives and the reformists had deepened inside Iran’s intelligence agencies, the Intelligence Protection Organization of the Revolutionary Guards took on the responsibility of interrogating us and detained us in a secret facility under its control.

18. The reason for our arrest was a celebration to commemorate Dr. Mossadiq at Tehran University. I was headed towards Laleh Park from Enqelab Square with two of my friends. One side of the street was empty and directly in front of it was a blocked off street. All of a sudden I realized that 10 to 12 strong plainclothes agents had attacked us from behind, bound are hands and feet and threw us inside a car. They kidnapped us in plain sight. From there they took us to a detention facility that was close to the Towhid (a former detention facility run by the joint committee against sabotage, which was owned by the Intelligence Protection of the Law Enforcement Forces and was located in Tupkhaneh Square). The cells in the detention facility were dark and dingy. Pursuant to the law, they were not allowed to hold us there for more than 24 hours, but they detained us for 4 days. They briefly informed me that I had been charged with starting an illegal demonstration.

19. After four days, they took us to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. We waited for a while until they came for us. I asked them to contact my family to at least let them know that I had been arrested, but they refused to comply. Judge Haddad said, “Since your case file is security-related, we will announce that you are alive and healthy but will not tell anyone where you are. We will take you where no one can find you.”

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Tagged as:

Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons