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Witness Statement: Mahmoud Roghani

94. I could hear beating sounds from downstairs. I could even hear the sounds of lashings. Haji Sharif went in and out. I said that I wanted to go to the washroom. I was a bit curious and wanted to see what was happening there. I could hear a lot of moaning. I could hear screams and the sound of cables. He took my hands and took me down the stairs. Someone yelled where he was taking me and he responded. This person was ugly and cruel but because of his religious beliefs, he respected me because I was a Sayyed (descendant of the prophet Mohammad). I saw that there was a lot of noise and chaos. The sound of cables and screams could be heard clearly. I returned and Heybat was no longer there. They had taken him to be executed. I heard a voice from inside the court, saying that his hands had not touched a surgery knife for several years. The voice was familiar. I soon realized that it was Fariborz Baghayee. I had not seen him for five years.

The Death Commission

95. Then my turn came. They asked me to remove my blindfold. I did. There was a large table. Four or five people were sitting around it on chairs. I knew Nayyeri because he was at my first trial. I also recognized Eshraghi because he used to come to prison and I had been told that his name is Eshraghi. Eshraghi had served time in the Shah’s prisons. The prison Chief – Haji Reza – whom we saw everywhere, was also there. I did not recognize the rest.

96. When I sat, Nayyeri asked for my name and personal information. Then he asked whether I was a Muslim. I said yes. Then he asked: “do you believe in the Islamic Republic?” I said yes. He asked: “do you believe in your party?” I said no. After these three questions, they asked me other questions too. Then he asked if I had kids. I said, “yes, two”. Then, he asked whether I had been outside the country? I said that I had not. He asked whether I was in prison during the time of the Shah. I said I was not. He noted all these factors. He asked, “How long is your sentence?” I answered. Then he asked, “Why don’t you pray in prison?” I saw that the situation was getting worse. I said, “Well, you see Haji Agha. Where I live, no one prays and praying alone is a bit difficult.” I then heard that Eshraghi whispered to Nayyeri, “Haji Agha, this is the third case who talks like this”. Nayyeri did not say anything first. Then he told me, “I will send you to a ward where everyone prays. You should commit to bear 10 lashes if you do not do religious obligations”. I said, “that is good, Haji Agha”. They also asked me about the issue of overthrowing. I said I did not believe in it. Nayyeri asked all the questions. Then they got from me a commitment that I would do the religious tasks or else bear lashes.

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Tagged as:

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