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Witness Statement: Tania Ahmadi Kaliji

53.When they arrested me, I had 43,000 tomans (roughly USD $43) but when they released me, I only had 5,000 tomans (roughly USD $5) left in my purse. With this sum, I finally managed to get a taxi. My bloody face and appearance must have seemed very strange to the driver. With much difficulty, I was able to get my apartment. I called a friend and asked for her to stay with me. The next day, I went to the hospital to get stitches for my injuries.

The Last Summons and Leaving Iran


54. On February 8, 2010, which was 20 days after my last arrest, I got an official summons. At the time, my father was in Rajaee Shahr hospital undergoing heart surgery. The summons ordered that I report to the Sepahbod Gharani Branch on February 17, 2010. I was surprised because Sepahband Gharani is not for political prisoners but rather a division specifically for murders. I do not know why I was told to report directly to that prison division. Maybe it was because they were running out of space for political prisoners.

55. I was scared that when I was passed out during my last detention I had forcibly confessed to participating in armed protest. The penalty for this would be death. So, I left the country. Despite my terrible physical condition, I traveled by land and crossed the border into Turkey.

56. Seven days before my appointment, I went to the Passport Office to fix my travel papers. According to Iranian law, a person can ignore a summons three times. If after the third notice you do not show up, the regime can place a travel ban on you. Therefore, I was able to leave before the due date of the summons. On February 10, 2010, I left the country with my passport through Orumiyeh.

57. My brother told me there was no point in staying in Iran given my situation. I wanted to go to court but when I found out that a couple of other people in the movement had left the country, I realized that the situation was dire.

58. After I arrived in Turkey, I hid in the city of Van for twenty days. Then I traveled west and introduced myself to the United Nations Office in the city of Nevsehir and changed the SIM card on my phone in Turkey. My idea when I left Iran was to return soon. But, after three days, the authorities arrested my aunt Maria Rashidi and asked her to tell me to give myself up. They asked my aunt to deliver me to Iran. They had my phone number in Turkey and two or three days after they arrested her they called me and said that, if I was wise, I would deliver myself to the Iranian authorities before my passport expired. They also said that they could easily come after me in Turkey.

59. The authorities continue to harass my family in Iran. My brother has been arrested three times. Every five or six days, they call my family. They even contacted my uncles Akbar Rashidi and Kianoosh Rashidi who are reporters for Voice of America in Germany. They told my uncles to force me to return to Iran. They said they would not do anything to me and that they only wanted me to identify myself and appear for questioning. They also contacted me a couple of times and threatened me. They still bother members of my family.

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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