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Witness Statement: Mahmoud Roghani

26.A few days passed. They increased the pressure on me. They wanted me to write more and more. Finally, I ran out of topics. Then, they took me to a room and insulted me. One of them said, “Mother…! What you have written are defenses for your party’s activities.” I said, “In fact, no, they were my defenses for the activities I have done to support the Islamic Republic.” My interrogator said, “You have written that you tried to break the labor protest. We don’t want that. Forget that rubbish. Tell us about the plan for overthrowing the government.” Then he said, “You were responsible at the labor branch. Tell us what your plan was to bring the laborerss to the street to demonstrate against us.” I said, “I swear that we didn’t have such a plan. I had harsh arguments with the laborers for not working harder. We stood against labor to serve you!”

27.During interrogation, “blindfold and slapping” was constant and very troubling. The blindfold pressed my eyes hard and it was very painful when they slapped it. I could not understand which direction the slap was coming from. When they were slapping me with all their might, it seemed like thousands of splendid stars were falling from my eyes. Signs of mistreatment were visible in my eyes years after release from prison.

28.Then my interrogator said “Mehdi Kyhan has repented and wants to give an interview. Likewise, Asaf and Hajari. Why don’t you give an interview?” I said, “I don’t know what to say in the interview?” He said, “You must write and say what the nature of your relationship with the Soviet Union was. You have enough information about this as you were the contact person between the two sides.” I said, “Honestly, I’ve never met a Russian so far and don’t know what they look like.” He got angry and insulted me using very offensive words and finally said, “You are playing with me, son of a bitch.” I said, “Believe me; I’ve not passed by the Soviet Union Embassy yet. I occasionally went to the Iran-Russian cultural house to watch movies during the monarchy system.” But they kept their pressure on me.

29. They hit me very badly alleging I was a Russian spy and pressed me to give a video interview. I was thinking if I, who was a cadre of the Party, break and interview, it would cause others to break and finally the leadership would break. Thus, I decided to resist and not to agree to an interview. When they pressed me for an interview, I kept saying that “What have I done to say at my interview? An interview is for anti-government elements. I’m a member of the Tudeh Party who supported you and fought against all other leftist groups. I fought for you with my family. Now you want me to come and confess I was wrong. No, I won’t do that.”

30. Finally I reached my limit. I could not bear it any more. My feet were bloody. When they lashed me, blood streamed from my feet. They treated my feet in the interrogation room and hit me again. They were breaking me. When they treated my feet, I was thinking that they would let me go but when they resumed the hitting, I was crazy. Ten days passed like this. I understood they would not let me go unless I confessed and gave an interview.

31. Nonetheless, I believed that they would kill a person who gives an interview because they could not let others know how they got the interview. Also I didn’t want to break the spirit of other party members. So I decided to commit suicide.

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Tagged as:

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