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Witness Statement: Saye Sky

14. After we entered the police station, an officer separated the boys from the girls and ordered the girls into an interrogation room. As we entered the room, he stood across the table from us, took off his coat and sat down.

15. My friend, who was very upset with the officer, turned to him and yelled, “What have we done? Why are you doing this to us?” The officer replied, “If you say one more word, I will do something that will make you sorry that you ever opened your mouth!” I collected my thoughts and calmly asked, “Excuse me officer, what seems to be the problem?” The officer turned to me and asked, “How old are you?” I told him, “18.” He asked, “And how old do you think I am?” I told him, “I don’t know how old you are.” “Are you 50?” my friend interrupted. The officer glared at her and said, “I’ll make sure you get a few days of solitary for that comment.” My other friend turned to him and stated, “Well, you must be 40.” He told her, “You will avoid solitary, but you will probably still need to go somewhere where you can drink some cold water”. Finally, I turned to the officer and posited, “Well how about 25 or 30?” He turned to me and smiled, “It seems like you understand my language.”

16. At that point, the officer ordered us to take off our sunglasses. Once we removed our sunglasses, he looked at each of us in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable; as if he was using our presence there for his gratification, sexual or otherwise. He said a number of things that increased my feeling of discomfort. For example, on one occasion he turned to one of my friends and asked where she colored her hair because it was very pretty. On another occasion, he turned to my other friend and told her that the skin of her neck was very soft and seemed to be pure. I did not know what we had done to deserve such harassment. I did not know what the officer wanted with us or how we would ultimately escape that situation. I was scared for myself and my friends.

17. The entire time we were being interrogated, we could hear the other officers swearing at the boys and beating them just outside the interrogation room. These sounds served to increase the fear and anxiety we felt inside of the interrogation room. I have no doubt that the boys were deliberately placed within earshot to create that fear and anxiety. It was a very effective technique.

18. Ultimately, the officer let us go but only after he took my telephone number and instructed me to call him. I believe he thought I would be willing to have sex with him in exchange for letting us go.

Last Days as a Student

 

19. In mid-2007, I was forced to leave university after 1.5 years of attendance. My girlfriend and I had made the mistake of kissing one another in one of the university’s hallways. One of our fellow classmates saw us kissing and reported the action to the school officials.

20. The school officials sought us out and put a great deal of pressure on us to determine what happened. At first we told them nothing happened and that they were simply mistaken. They informed us they had a witness who saw “two girls kissing in the hallway” and that we were the primary suspects. They interrogated the two of us for several hours, abusing us both verbally and mentally. Ultimately, I told the interrogators that the informant may have seen me calming my friend down because she was upset about something but there was never any kissing involved.

21. At no point in this process did I feel comfortable simply telling school officials that I was, in fact, a lesbian. If you want to survive in Iran you need to play certain cards close to your chest; homosexualityis one of them. This is due to the legal repercussions not only of being a homosexual, but of being found to have assisted homosexual acts by not reporting them to the proper authorities.

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Tagged as:

LGBT, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Illegal Search and Seizure, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination