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Witness Statement: Ensafali Hedayat

52. The next set of interrogations addressed the 17 other crimes they had charged me with, including insulting Khamenei, insulting Ayatollah Khomeini, propaganda against the regime, separatism, Pan-Turkism, spying for America, spying for Turkey, spying for the Republic of Azerbaijan, spying on behalf of Radio Farda, contacts and meetings with foreign elements in Turkey, interviews with foreign media, participation in the United Republicans of Iran conference in Germany with the aim of overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran, insulting religious sanctities, attacking the police, inciting people to revolt against the police, carrying a knife, attempts against the national security of Iran and altering Iran’s history.

53. However, for several days my interrogators asked about my relationships with various women, which had nothing to do with the charges against me. They came up with most of the questions and charges (which had nothing to do with the first set of charges against me) during the course of interrogations. They attempted to find a moral point of weakness which they could use against me. It wasn’t an interrogation – it was bargaining. They had searched through all my bank statements. One day during the interrogation the interrogator asked me if I knew Mrs. Mohammadi. I was surprised. They said, “You have accepted 50,000 toman from Mrs. Mohammadi.” I had borrowed the money from my uncle’s wife, Mrs. Mohammadi. I said, “Yes, I know her. She is my uncle’s wife.” The interrogators pressured me. I said, “Mrs. Mohammadi is my uncle’s wife. We are family, and borrowing the money is a personal matter that has nothing to do with my social activities.” But they didn’t listen to me.

54. The next set of questions were about [the charge] of altering the history of Iran, which related to several articles and speeches I had written. In one of my articles I had written that city officials had destroyed the burial sites of those executed during the early years of the revolution, and of grave sites which Baha’is had built (and continue to build) in order to commemorate the execution of their loved ones. Similarly I had included a Radio Farda story which stated that according to scientists and experts, Urumiyih Lake will eventually dry up. Another time I had written an article criticizing the work ethic of government officials in Tabriz. My interrogators wanted to know my motivation for writing these articles and speeches. Each and every news report which I had given to Radio Farda (which is connected to Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe in the Czech Republic) was treated as a separate charge for which I had to answer for.

55. The laws of the Islamic Republic don’t allow the interrogator to ask questions irrelevant to the charges. Questions related to my relations with women and my motivations for writing articles had nothing to do with the list of charges against me. In addition, the law does not allow interrogators to blindfold the accused, force them to face the wall and interrogate them in a threatening fashion. They did all of these things regardless. When I asked what my charges were and why they weren’t asking me questions related to them, the investigators responded that they would discover the main issues related to my charges during the interrogation. In reality, they had no evidence regarding any of my activities. They simply wanted to use the interrogations to fabricate evidence against me and others whom I was in contact with. They wanted to use my confessions to put pressure on me and my colleagues. They wanted to use my confessions to indict and convict tens of others and force them to confess as well. During my interrogations and thereafter (even during the trial), I kept insisting that they first provide evidence for their claims and charges – anything at all, a document, a photography, film, articles, writings – and then proceed with the interrogations. But they paid no attention. When we reached trial, all they had brought to court were four unfounded and unsupported charges.

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Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons, Imprisonment, Travel Restrictions