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Witness Statement: Ali Kantoori

27. One of the worst things was when they beat my friends in front of me. They beat the persons with whom I had worked side-by-side, without expecting anything in return. People alongside whom I had fought for what I believed. People who I respected. That was the worst thing. They would put me next to one of my friends, and they would beat him. I was not blindfolded; I could see. I would ask, “Why have you brought me here?” They would say, “He is not talking.” The thing that bothered me the most was psychological pressure, not physical beatings. Even now, talking to you, I feel pain in my head.

28. Beatings, long interrogations, humiliation of prisoners, harassing families when they come to visit, solitary confinement and blindfolds: these are among the difficulties one faces in prison.

29. During those twenty five days, I was interrogated and then returned to my cell in solitary confinement. When I was under a lot of pressure in Ward 209, they got my signature for the accusations. In other words, they got an “okay” from me. But since the Ministry of Intelligence does not have judicial powers, confessions have to be made in a court.

30. After twenty five days, I was taken to a two-person cell [in early March 2008]. They didn’t tell me why they took me out of solitary confinement, but when I came out they told me that they had let me out due to their kindness. After that I was transferred to another solitary cell but there were two persons in the cell. I was there for two months. Two times my cellmates changed during that time.

Transfer to Ghezel Hesar

 

31. I was transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison two or three days before Nowruz. After arrival, I was quarantined for two days. After the quarantine, I went to Andarzgah2 number 3, hall 5. There were twenty eight rooms there, each about 6 meters square. There were about ten people in each room.

32. The interrogations did not change and continued as before there. I went through three harsh interrogations there. They were pressuring me so I would accept the charges. That would enable them to justify the sentence they were going to give me. Therefore, I strongly resisted accepting the charges. The interrogator’s pre-condition was that I accept their accusations. He said that if I accepted the charges, I would be able to join my family for Nowruz and if not, I would be sent somewhere where I’d learn a lesson. At that time, I did not know what they wanted to do with me. Nonetheless, I strongly rejected all the charges they brought against me.

2 Literally translated, Andarzgah means “a place for guidance.” It is a name given to some prison wards in Iran.

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