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Witness Statement: Mahdis

30. While being tortured, I repeatedly told them that I was only seven years old when my uncle was imprisoned. How was it possible for me to be influenced by him? They said, “How can we know that you are not influenced by the Mojahedin right now?” There was no reasoning with them. Even if I accepted that I was a linked to the Mojahedin, I would have been beaten because I sympathized with them!

Contact with Family

 

31. My family did not know of my whereabouts for ten days. We were not allowed to contact our families. After ten days, the woman who had interrogated me the first time handed me her personal cell phone and told me to call my family and let them know that I was in Evin prison. That woman had treated me respectfully during my interrogation, but I had been disrespectful to her. At Evin prison, there are many people who hold key positions and are not able to leave their jobs. Maybe she was one of them. I called home. My brother picked up the phone. I told him that I was alive, that I was doing ok, and that I was at Evin prison. That’s all I said.

32. My brother immediately started calling everyone telling them where I was. In just ten minutes he received a call from the authorities. The person on the phone said, “What are you doing? Why are you telling the whole world about your sister?” This meant that our home phone was bugged. Before that day, my family had gone to police stations, courthouses and even Evin prison to look for me. On each occasion, they were told that no one with my name was held there! After I told them that I was in Evin, they came there every day to find out when I would be released. During those days, my mother met a woman in front of the prison gate. She told my mother that her daughter had been arrested in Haft-e Tir Square for distributing a political flyer. She said her daughter was arrested seven months ago and was held at Evin, and that she was five months pregnant. Her daughter did not know who the father was.

33. My mom told me that one day they called our house at 5 am and told my family to come to Evin the following day at 5 am with one million tomans. They called for two days. My mom had not understood what this meant but a friend of mine who had been previously imprisoned said that this meant that they wanted to execute a prisoner and were asking for the cost of bullets. If my mom knew this, she would have suffered a heart attack. That is how they harassed my family.

Physiological Pressure after Release

 

34. I was released on bail after twenty days of solitary confinement in Evin. My family took me to Razi hospital and a physician treated the wound on my head from the base. No hair grows from the place of that wound. There is also a wound on my arm from the scissors. I did not give the details of what had happened to me to my mother or my family. She’s a mother and although she did not know what had happened to me, she suffered stomach and intestinal diseases. I had to lie to her to keep her from knowing the truth.

35. After I was released, I was unstable psychologically. I don’t remember much from those days. For one week, I did not know how I could tell others that I was no longer a virgin. So one night I slit my wrist to end my misery. Three days later, I realized that I had been admitted to a mental hospital the night of my attempted suicide. My mother said that she heard a voice calling her in the middle of the night. She came to my room and saw that I had placed newspapers on the ground around me and had slit my wrist. She screamed and took me to a hospital. I don’t remember any of this. I was in the hospital for a month and took pills for a year. Later on, things changed but I didn’t want to get married because I was afraid of telling my family that I was not a virgin. Nobody knew what had happened to me until I was in Turkey. My family only found out about what happened to me when they came to visit me in Turkey.

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Sexual Violence, Imprisonment, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Witness Statements, Witness Statements, Statement