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Witness Statement: Fariba Davoodi Mohajer

14.In response to the ensuing struggle between the plainclothes men who had attacked me and my family members, seven or eight more vehicles arrived at the house in an effort to assist the attackers. Our house was surrounded, and none of our neighbors were allowed to leave their homes. A little later, several plainclothes agents entered our house and began to rummage through our belongings. They violently searched our house from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. They confiscated books, tapes, CDs, family photos and notebooks. Two female agents searched our bedroom because my husband forbid the men from entering.

15. They left the house at 11 p.m. and took me with them. As we were leaving, my husband told me to take care of myself and assured me that he would take care of things. By this he meant that I shouldn’t worry about him; that he would contact international human rights organizations and media outlets. My husband and I had previously reached an understanding regarding [how to handle] these issues.

16. After we exited the house they forced me inside a patrol car. As soon as I entered the car they placed a sack over my head, and one of the agents ordered me to put my head down between my legs. For an hour or more they circled from one street to another so that I would lose track of where we were. Once they were certain that I had lost my bearings, the car stopped.

The Secret Prison

 

17. When we entered the yard two women conducted a body search and left. Then they took me through a narrow hallway threw me in a small cell measuring 1m by 1.5 m. They took off the blindfold I was wearing. A [thick] net covered the prison, allowing a faint light to enter. A male guard requested that I hand over my socks, hair band and hijab. I refused. I told them I didn’t know where I was. The place didn’t look like a prison at all. Then they threw me in another cell, which was as big as a coffin. The cell’s height was similar to mine. It was extremely narrow and had no windows. The guard gave me a red card and told me to slide it underneath the cell door anytime I needed something. He warned me not to call out to a guard or knock on the cell door.

18. Soon thereafter the interrogation began and lasted until the morning. I vividly remember the first threatening words that came out of my interrogator’s mouth. On of them said, “No one knows where this prison is, and none of the other prisoners know where they are. So don’t even try to contact anyone on the outside.” Interrogators didn’t inform me of my charges, but started interrogating me based on my beliefs. I asked for an attorney. One of the interrogators responded with: “You think you are in the U.S.?” I told them that I’m in extreme pain and I want to see a doctor. But they didn’t listen. I insisted that a medical examiner see me before we continued with the interrogations. The interrogators paid no attention to my requests and continued on with the questioning. It wasn’t an interrogation really – it was an inquisition. For example, they asked “do you believe in the Supreme Leadership of Khamenei or not?” Or “Do you believe in democracy or not?” Or they asked, “Do you believe in the Velayat-i Faqih1 or not?” Or they pressed me on whether I followed Montazeri. All of these questions concerned my beliefs and had nothing to do with charges presented in the Iranian penal code. They wanted to know what I believed in and what I didn’t. They asked all of these questions in threatening and terrifying fashion in a very small room.

1 Velayat-i Faqih literally means “Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist.” It is a Shi’a religious doctrine advanced and developed by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, and provides the theoretical underpinning for the theocratic system of government which currently existing in the Islamic Republic.

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Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons, Imprisonment, Statement