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Witness Statement: Tania Ahmadi Kaliji

My Last Arrest

 

34. I was last arrested on January 20, 2010. I was working at Milad Hospital in the morning when around 8 or 9 a.m. I was called to the hospital’s security office (herasat). I went upstairs and I saw two plainclothes men sitting there. They said they had a warrant to search my home. I told them that I was working and could not leave but they insisted. I received permission to leave for a a few hours. They escorted me to a white Kia Pride vehicle which had no markings or signs. A middle-aged driver with gray hair sat inside. We drove to my apartment.

35. The men were very tall, strong, muscular and scary looking. They had stubbles, colorful rings and shirts with closed collars under their suits.

36. As soon as the men entered my apartment, they began breaking all my possessions. It seemed they were intent upon destroying my possessions and not in conducting a search. They combed through the apartment looking for a flyer or some writing indicating the existence of a secret organization supposedly working against the regime. They banged my Sitar on the wall and broke it to pieces. They ripped a couple of my paintings and portraits. They broke all my dishes. They took my books, writings, computer, CDs, films, family pictures and pictures of my friends. They also searched my underwear drawer. Their goal was humiliation. They were so strong that they broke everything by hand. It took them 40-50 minutes to finish. During the entire time, I protested and begged that they at least not break my possessions. They just pushed me out of the way, cursed me and told me to shut up.

37. I lived on the fourth floor. Because it was early in the morning, the building was empty and none of my neighbors could hear what was happening.

38. After the search, they threw me into the vehicle and drove out to the Sattary Highway. While driving on the highway, they put a blindfold on me. I then realized that the arrest was serious.

39. From what I remember, we were in the car for 30-40 minutes. When the car stopped, we entered a building. Someone took my hand and walked me down some stairs. They removed the blindfold and I saw that I was in a room with five or six other people. There was a lady sitting there named Fati who was taking notes.

Interrogation and Torture

 

40. The two men who arrested me started interrogating me. I do not know what the lady wrote because I did not say anything for her to write.

41. I was told that I was arrested after the elections because the authorities had linked me to leftist groups outside the country. This accusation was based on the fact that I have connections with Iranian women’s rights activists in Europe. I prepared and sent reports to them. The interrogators claimed that they knew that I had ties with the Communist Labor Party of Iran.

42. I was not affiliated with any group intent on overthrowing the regime. I sent news of women in Iran facing the death penalty to activists abroad because if I did not, no mainstream media would pick up the story. During the election protests, I continued my news-gathering. I observed events, captured video footage with my mobile phone and sent out reports.

43. During this interrogation, two or three people hit me the entire time. One of them fondled my breasts. The experience was awful. They threatened to rape me. They hit me with electric batons and chains and ripped off pieces of my flesh. They struck me on the back of my head so I went out of consciousness for a period of time.

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Tagged as:

Cyber Journalism, Imprisonment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination, Witness Statements, Witness Statements, Statement