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Witness Statement: Ali Kantoori

My Arrest

 

13. Before January 2008, I had never been arrested. In January 2008, I was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence held in Qazvin Chobindar, Evin and Ghezel Hessar prisons for five months. I was ultimately released in June 2008.

14. We planned to organize an event on December 7, 2007 but the government started taking action on December 4 against us. It was so important for the government to stop this event that it even made arrests in the courtyard of University of Tehran’s campus. Yasser Pirhayati, Majid Akbarnejad, Peyman Piran and Rouzbeh Safshekan were arrested along with many others. They arrested a number of us because of the event. Saadi Ebrahim Habibi, Behrouz Karimzadeh, and Mehdi Geraei Lou were among those arrested. They were arrested two days before the event was scheduled to take place.

15. On that day(December 4) I was able to escape. I changed my clothes. My friend was waiting for me in his car. I quickly got into his car and we were able to escape. But they arrested me about forty days later in mid January 2008.

16. This was how I was arrested: someone walked over to me in our alley and asked, “Are you Ali?” I said yes. He asked, “Ali Kantoori?” I said, “Yes, that’s me.” I didn’t know anything. He said, “Please get into the car.” He showed me a warrant they had for me, which authorized them to shoot. They had several cars. They put me in a Peugeot 206. Our car was followed by two or three cars, which showed that they had a complete team. They were all in plainclothes, and the cars had regular tags. They took me to Qazvin’s Choubindar Prison.

17. After one day, they transferred me to Ward 209 of Evin prison. First, they gave me my blindfolds. I went into a room and put on prison clothes. They took my picture. Then I put on my blindfold again and I was taken to the medical facility. They took my blood pressure and ran some tests. Then I was sent downstairs – I mean, the guard who was taking me told me that he was taking me downstairs. Someone said, “Who’s Ali Kantoori?” I said that I was. He said, “Come here.” He was an interrogator from the Ministry of Intelligence. He asked if I had participated in the December 4th event. I said yes. I signed and left.

Mistreatment and Torture

 

18. As soon as I came out, and before I was arraigned, four or five people started beating me. I was blindfolded, so I couldn’t tell exactly how many they were. I don’t know how long it lasted. Maybe it took half an hour. My rib was hurt, though it was not broken. Still, it was very painful. I went into my cell.

19. The interrogations started the next day. I was charged with propaganda against the Islamic Republic, conspiracy against the Islamic Republic and acting against national security. But I was also charged with kidnapping, and this became a basis for questioning the activities of student movements.

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Illegal Search and Seizure, Witness Statements