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Witness Statement: Fariba Davoodi Mohajer

10. The PIA illegally eavesdropped on the telephone conversations of targeted individuals weeks if not months before [the person’s arrest], and monitored the person’s activities and family/private relations. After identifying vulnerabilities in the individual’s personal life, they would (often illegally) arrest the individual and force her to explain her personal activities. When they uncovered moral or behavioral weaknesses they would coerce that individual into meeting their demands. For example, they would request the target to go in front of a camera and admit to political activities or crimes which she had not committed.

11. For example, my interrogators asked me about telephone conversations I had had months prior. They didn’t only ask about the numbers I had dialed but about the content of the conversations that had taken place between me and others. Similarly, my interrogators asked about encounters I had with a group of personal friends and coworkers months ago. Fortunately they couldn’t find anything to take advantage of – otherwise they could have done whatever they wanted to me.

12. The PIA was an effective tool used to defeat the reform movement. It was gradually able to take over non-military agencies and foster a creeping coup d’état that eventually hijacked the presidency and the parliament during Ahmadinejad’s time. Today the PIA has strengthened its grip on the entire country.

Unlawful Arrest

 

13. It was an afternoon day in February 2001 and I was bringing my daughter home from school. I realized that a few patrol vehicles were parked in front of our home. I suspected trouble. I parked my car in the garage and entered the house. I was about to close the door when I realized that some plainclothes men were attempting to enter the house by force. They neither requested permission to enter nor presented an arrest warrant. As soon as I asked them who they were and what they wanted the beatings started. They struck my sides and legs with their guns while others kicked my legs and knees. During the struggle one of my attackers’ hands hit my face and broke a tooth. I don’t think it was intentional, but the accident caused serious damage to my tooth (I was later forced to undergo surgery on the tooth). I don’t remember the exact number of individuals who attacked me, but my guess is that there were seven or eight of them. After a while one of them attempted to drag me out of the house but I resisted. I resisted because I had no idea who they were and what they wanted with me. When I fiercely resisted and stuck my foot out into the doorway [so I they couldn’t drag me out], one of them pressed the door on me so hard that my legs gave out. My ribs hurt badly and I felt as though my kidneys were about to explode. My daughter saw me from upstairs and screamed that they were attacking her mother. My husband, son and relatives (who lived close by) hurried and tried to free me from my kidnapers. In the course of the ensuing skirmish my hijab was pulled off and I ran into the house to cover myself.

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Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons, Imprisonment, Statement