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Witness Statement: Mahmoud Roghani

37. He left and brought our ward’s doctor. The doctor was from Balochistan and his name was Dr. Shahchi. I don’t know whether he was a monarchist or not. He was first sentenced to capital punishment but later his sentence was changed to life imprisonment. He was responsible for the health of the prisoners. Dr. Shahchi came and massaged my arm and helped me stand up. I realized that I had very bad back pain. But I felt very thirsty. I told him to give me water. A guard brought some water but Dr.Shahchi recommended not drinking water because my throat was filled with blood. He said that I should gargle with salt and water and then drink water. When I went to gargle, I found out that my throat had become flat and there were a lot of clotted blood in my larynx. After gargling, I was returned to the hallway. They gave me lunch. Then I realized that it was the next day’s lunch time. I had attempted to commit suicide the night before. I had been unconscious for almost a day. I asked my doctor why I had been unconscious for such a long time. He said that I was given morphine. He stood there while I ate my lunch. It was bean soup. I ate it slowly. Then I smoked a cigarette and fall asleep.

38. After my failed suicide attempt, I felt that I would be relieved from the pressure. I thought that my interrogators might say that I was a crazy person. Under pressure I would commit suicide again. I thought they might leave me alone for sometime. But I was wrong.

39. The next day was Friday. Around 8 o’clock in the morning they came for me. I remember the time and the clock because I was listening to 8 o’clock news on radio. The radio said that they have captured a great many people in connection with espionage. I understood that they would not release me and my Tudeh Party comrades. They had a long term plan for us. I was taken again to the torture room. I could not believe it. They tied me to the bed again. One of them pushed my sock into my mouth and sat on my back. He again reminded me that if I wanted to confess, I was to open and close my fingers. Then they started beating me. When one of them became tired, the next one took his turn. However, in the beginning before they started beating me, they politely asked each other to take the first turn - as if they were eating kabob.

40. After praying and reading some verses from the Quran, one of them took the lead. I felt that the ten days of torture that I have suffered before was insignificant compared to that day’s torture. Believe me, many times during the beating, I held my breath to suffer a heart attack. I happily embraced death. Finally, after many rounds of lashings, they told me to name the ten colonels with whom I was in touch.

41. A colonel had come to my home twice. He wanted to know why the Tudeh Party was supporting the Islamic Republic. I reported his visit to Kianoori and Hajari. Kianoori wanted to meet him in person but the colonel did not want to meet him. I was surprised because I had never spoken about the colonel with my interrogators before. I asked myself whether it was Kianoori or Hajari that betrayed me. I was anxious. I said that I had been in touch with only one colonel. They hit me from morning to noon. My feet were bloody. My body was trembling. Then, they handed me a pen and paper and said to write whatever I knew about that colonel. I wrote that the colonel did not endorse any political view. He wanted to know why we were supporting the Islamic Republic. Apparently, the interrogators knew that I didn’t have any more information about that colonel. They might have compared my confession with that of Kianoori and others. Then they let me go that day.

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Tagged as:

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