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Witness Statement: Mahmoud Roghani

47. I was under huge pressure to give an interview at this time. Finally, I agreed to an interview. I asked what I should write and say at my interview. The interrogators said they would not dictate to me. I should write about my activities myself. I had a cellmate whose name was Ali Police. He had given up in prison and was a tavvab. (Ali Police was a former military person in the Komala Party. He told me that he was arrested with a car loaded with ammunition and weapons.) I think the authorities had put him in my cell to indirectly urge and guide me through my confession writing. I started writing about myself and my activities. I handed my writings to my interrogator. The interrogator looked at them and said he did not need that information. He said he had written some questions in red under my confession. I should answer those questions. One of the questions was “the purpose of sharing information with the Soviet Union?” I said, “I didn’t share any information with the Soviet Union.” My confession papers went back and forth many times like this. Finally, Ali Police told me that “what you are writing here is a story. You must link the incidents and your stories to the Soviet Union and the Russians.” I did not write my confession according to Ali Police’s suggestions. I think they gave me my confession three times with highlighted questions in red. I avoided answering them. Finally, they stopped and I was relieved. I remember that, by then, Kianoori, Amoui and Hajri had given interviews but I heard only Kianoori’s confession. I must admit that I was not tortured as badly as others. I saw how badly they treated Shaltoki. He was taken out every night and beaten severely.

48. The emergency situation continued for two weeks. It was a horrible time. One night I remember they were hitting a woman. She was shouting and screaming. Ali Police, a tavvab, got annoyed and said, “Rascals, does anybody hit women like this?”

Some Memories from Komittee Moshtrak

49. After two weeks, the emergency situation ended and the doors were opened. One day I saw Lajjavardi. He went to Shaltoki’s cell and very politely asked “Do you need anything, Mr. Shaltoki?” Shaltoki like a defeated and crushed person said, “No sir, I don’t.” Then Lajjavardi said, “It seems like you don’t have a pitcher. I’ll tell them to give you a pitcher.” He went away. Two days later Mr. Shaltoki’s interview was broadcast from the prison speakers.

50. I was transferred to cell 28 which was next to Hajjari’s cell. One day a woman was tortured in the torture room. I saw a guard came running out of the torture room. Another guard asked him why he was running. The first one said, “She is bleeding. I’m going to bring cotton.” Meanwhile, a kid was crying there. The guard was telling the kid “Son of bitch. Keep quite. I’ve brought a balloon for you.” But the boy kept crying. I heard him say that “I don’t want a balloon. I want my mummy.”

51. Another time, they lined us up to take a shower. We had 20 minutes every week to take showers. I moved my blindfold up and saw a tall person from a distance. He was Javanshir. When we were lined up for showers, we put our hands on the shoulder of the person ahead of us. I moved up the line and put my hand on his shoulder. When I got to him, I said “it’s me Javad.” He asked how I was and I told him that I was fine. We went to two bathrooms that were next to each other. The wall was not high enough and there was a half meter space between the wall and the ground. We could see each others head and below the knee. Water pipes were going through the bathrooms and there was a hole that pipes were passing through from one room to another. There was a guard across from us. He was monitoring us. I peeked through the cavity between the two bathrooms and started speaking with Javanshir. I saw handcuff marks on his hand. I asked him what the marks were. He asked me if I had seen my own face. I said there was no mirror that I could see. He asked what happened to me and to my teeth. I said that I had tried to hang myself. He said that it was crazy to attempt suicide. I said they put a lot of pressure on me to give an interview and that I could not tolerate the torture anymore. I told him that I thought they would kill us anyhow, so why should I betray myself. He said that I was wrong because they would execute only military officers of the party and political activists would not be executed. I was surprised. I asked myself how he had this information that he expressed with such a confidence!

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, 1988 Prison Massacre, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Free Speech, Right to Protest