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Witness Statement: Kourosh Sehati

24. The questions were divided into several parts. The first part involved my past activities. The second one concerned my opinions and beliefs. For example, they’d ask me which political group I was affiliated with and why. These questions had nothing to do with my charges. The third part covered my [sexual] relations with female members of these groups. My interrogators asked me which women I had relations with and why. They concentrated on sexual relations and unfounded charges in an effort to break my psychologically.

25. The objective of the interrogators was to break and shame the detainees. They were aware of all of our activities (because we operated in the open). We were permitted to gather and our activities were all public. We had a publication, we wrote, we had an office, and we went about our business. Moreover, the Ministry of Intelligence had infiltrated our group and had informants. They were monitoring all our activities and were slowly constructing a case against.

26. The interrogations, threats and insults lasted for more than a month. But my interrogators failed to inform me that my arrest warrant (and detention) had been extended for another month. My guess is that it hadn’t. According to the law they are required to let detainees know the reasons for prolonging their detention. This type of illegal treatment continued throughout my detention.

27. Judge Haddad, the head of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, came to see me at Prison 59 in Eshratabad. But he’d come to threaten me instead of talking about my charges. He said, “You have to tape a TV interview asking for forgiveness for your past activities.” The interrogators and the judge had one goal in mind. They wanted to break and ruin us so that we would cease our political activities. They wanted to secure confession letters from us and publish (or broadcast) [our confessions] in case we decided to continue our political activities.

28. They were not able to secure a confession letter out of me. During my interrogations I tried very hard not to provide my interrogators with extra [or unrelated] information, and attempted to answer questions in a manner that would relieve pressure on me. To the extent that our activities were public in nature, I tried only to name individuals who were openly members of our organization or had published articles for us.

29. They didn’t beat me in Prison 59, except for the time they hit me while I was in court. They slapped me around a couple of times, but they didn’t really torture me in the classic sense.

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Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons