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Witness Statement: Ali Afshari

67. During the time I was reviewing the script for the televised interview they transferred me to larger cell. The psychological pressure on me was intense and I felt terrible. I felt as though I had turned my back against the student movement and the [Iranian] people. I went mad and started banging my head against the wall. I decided to commit suicide, but I had nothing with which to kill myself. I tried to kill myself with the electrical wire in my solitary cell, but I couldn’t reach it. I became withdrawn. I thought to myself: if I wanted to end my life, why not just go ahead and expose [these guys in the process]? Let them kill me. This realization dramatically changed my outlook. My spirits lifted; I changed. I was no longer the same person who obsessed over committing suicide. I was resolute and driven. From that moment on I found myself again and continued my resistance.

68. Then I received a letter from the judge asking if I accepted my confessions. I responded that all of my confessions had been secured under duress and that I did not accept any of them. I indicated to him that if he observed my fingerprint next to my signature it meant that I had accepted the confessions, and if not then it meant that I had rejected them. I let him know that the interview was staged, that it took place pursuant to the orders of my interrogators and that the content [of my confession letter] was dictated by them.

69. One day the head of the Revolutionary Court, Mr. Mobasheri, came to Detention Center 59 in my solitary cell and asked if I accepted my confessions. I was still afraid. I suggested that I didn’t. But when I met with my judge I openly told him everything. Instead of throwing out my confessions, he warned me that I would create difficulties for myself and my condition would worsen, but that the decision was up to me. He refused to accept responsibility and claimed that he wasn’t involved in the interrogation process.

70. My interrogators approached me and the same old question and answer sessions resumed. Before the taping of the interview on April 7, 2001, they had transferred me from Prison 59 to Prison “Jay” (which was located on one of the Defense Ministry’s military bases and is near the runway of Mehrabad airport). The planes’ takeoffs and landings bothered me a lot. I couldn’t sleep. I was kept in this facility for 18 days.

71. After I regained my confidence I informed my judge that I would no longer answer my head interrogators questions. My head interrogator introduced himself as Alavi. After I broke, they removed my blindfold and I was able to see his face. Later I learned that his name is Seraj. These days Seraj occasionally writes for Pars News. He is also currently in charge of the students’ Basij force of the Revolutionary Guards. I did not answer any of Seraj’s questions. I requested another interrogator.

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Secret Prisons