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Witness Statement: Fariba Davoodi Mohajer

23. Some torture methods were relied upon on a daily basis. For example, when they took me to the interrogation room they played a recording that repeated the following sentence over and over: “Woe to the forgotten captive.” This recording was extremely troubling and lasted for hours. [During this time] no one came to check up on me and see how I was doing. I was truly a forgotten captive. They had, in a very deliberate manner, created an extremely suffocating psychological environment. Another method used was the repetition of a single sentence by the interrogator. For instance, one my interrogators would start with “The truth shall set you free” every time he entered the room. He repeated this Arabic phrase over and over again – which caused great anxiety within me. Yet another method was to leave me unattended [for hours] and expose me to the tortured voices of other prisoners. Many times they left me in the interrogation room for hours while they forced prisoners in the next room to beg and plead until they gave up and would say things like “I’ll say whatever you want me to.”

24. Interrogations also involved accusations and insults. They accused my nine-year old daughter with indecent acts. When I protested and mentioned that my daughter was a child, they insulted and scorned me and said that I knew nothing about my daughter. The used words like “fraud,” “stupid” and “dumb.” My head interrogator was a soldier and was particularly fond of lengthy interrogations. When he arrived he would take off his prosthetic leg, place it on the chair behind me and begin asking questions. He would curse and yell at me. When he got tired he would leave and another interrogator would come and continue the questioning.

25. In addition to this, my interrogators would often scream at me during evening sessions and force me to confess to crimes with heavy sentences. For example, they alleged that I had conspired against the regime and that I should confess and reveal the nature of my covert acts. They ordered me to confess to my role as a liaison between the student movement, the Religious-Nationalists2 and Ayatollah Montazeri. They wanted me to admit to receiving money from Montazeri and transferring the funds to Sahaji so that he could use the money finance the student movement. They also requested that I reveal the amount I had received from foreign governments and the method I used to disburse the funds amongst reformists newspapers. The third issue they wanted me to confess to involved a film regarding the Chain Murders. They wanted me to confess to my role in distributing the film in an effort to strike a blow against the regime. The said that I had no choice but to go in front of a television camera and apologize for my past actions and admit to Montazeri’s role in directing the student movement. I believe the reason for my arrest was to link the student movement to Ayatollah Montazeri and provide a basis for suppressing the former.

2 The Religious-Nationalists, or Melli-Mazhabis (as they are known in Iran), are a group of politically active individuals affiliated with the reformist movement.

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Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons, Imprisonment, Statement