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Witness Statement: Mahmoud Roghani

Attempt to Commit Suicide

32. I decided to end my life with something sharp. But I could not find anything. They took me three times to restrooms every day. I looked in the garbage bag for something sharp like pieces of glasses, iron and etc. to cut my vein, but I could not find anything. Finally, I broke the cover of my toothbrush which I had paid for from my own pocket. It had a hard cover. I broke it to find a sharp edge. I rubbed it hard on my vein but it was unable to cut my vein. I told myself “how unlucky I am that I am having trouble committing suicide.”

33. On the 10th day, I found a solution. There was a window above the toilet in the restroom. I thought if I could reach to the window and wrap one leg of my underwear around the grip and the other one around my neck; I could successfully put an end to my miserable life. I pondered well about my decision. At around 11 o’clock at night when everybody was asleep and nobody was going to the restroom, I called the guard and asked him to allow me use the restroom. He did.

34. I went to the restroom to try my plan. In a glance, all my life passed before my eyes. I wrapped my underwear around the grip and the other end around my neck. I stopped breathing. When I could not hold my breath anymore, I released myself. I didn’t understand anything after that. I remember seeing ghostly pictures moving around me. I felt terribly thirsty. I could not describe how thirsty I felt. Then I felt somebody was calling Asaf next to me. I was thinking that Asaf was there. I shouted “Asaf, I want water. Give me water. I’m dying. Please give me water.” Then, I felt somebody giving me an injection. I fell unconscious and did not understand anything after that. I was in a strange situation. I was unable to comprehend where I was and what I was doing. There was darkness everywhere.

35. When I regained consciousness, I was calling the name of any person whom I knew in my life to give me water. For instance, two weeks before being arrested, I went to Dr. Bani Tarafi’s clinic. Bani Tarafi spent 20 years in prison during the monarchy system. He was an old member of the Tudeh Party. I went to Ahwaz city to supervise the labor activities in the city. Bani Tarafi was living there. So I stopped by his house to pay him a visit. When I was unconscious, I was calling on Bani Tarafi to give me water. I thought I was still in his clinic. They did not give me water. They gave me an injection to keep me quiet. I was calling my daughter to give me water. It was a horrible situation. I was extremely thirsty.

36. I opened my eyes and noticed a guard was sitting behind a desk. I understood that he was in charge of our ward. I was surprised that I was there. The guard asked, “Well, Sayyed, tell me, why did you attempt to commit suicide?” (My family name is Sayyed, which means descendent of Muhammd, the Prophet.) Like an intoxicated person, I said, “Get lost, and damn you.” I would not dare speak rudely with him when I was in a sound mind. He said, “Well, we’ll meet each other in a while”. Then I saw the person who had come to my home to arrest me. I saw him once earlier when he was lashing me. (During the lashing, I moved my blindfold up a little with my eyebrow and saw him. He was a strong, tall and ugly person. He had a scar on his face. He came closer to me and said “Well, Mr. Roghani, tell us why you attempted to commit suicide.” I said, “I had no other option. You have put me under huge pressure and mistreated me very badly. There was no option left for me. What have I done to face that much pressure?” He said, “Now we’ll find out”. He opened my hands. Then, I found out that my hands and feet had been tied to the bed. I tried to move them, but I could not. They were numb.

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Tagged as:

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