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Witness Statement: Saye Sky

22. At this time, my family learned through school that I was attracted to the same sex but they did not want to accept it because they are extremely religious people. They believed I was suffering from some sort of psychological abnormality and sent me to a psychiatrist, prohibited me from participating in sports classes, and imprisoned me at home.

23. Ultimately, I was forced to leave the school over the incident.

Participation in the Post Election Protests


24. I attended a number of protests in Tehran after the June 12, 2009 presidential elections. I suffered blows to my back, my legs, my feet, my arms and even my neck.

25. On one occasion, around the middle of June, I attended a student rally in front of the University of Tehran in opposition to the recent election results. There were only 400-500 student protesters on that day and we were grossly outnumbered by the Basij who surrounded us on both sides. Our cell phone service had been shut off by the Islamic Republic so we could not contact one another and set up additional protests around the city.

26. The Basij fired tear gas and pepper spray into the crowd and also fired live rounds into the air to get us to disperse. The Basij who fired upon us that day were not Iranians; they were Arabs. They yelled at us in Arabic. It seemed clear the Islamic Republic hired mercenaries from neighboring Arab countries to control the crowds after the disputed elections.

27. The Basij also had attachments to their automobiles that would mow people down as they drove by. These attachments would spin along with their wheels and made a deafening sound as they made contact with the protestors. The attachments would have been illegal for any civilian to have, but the Basij used them openly and with impunity.

28. On that day and throughout the protests, the Basij chased us through the alleys and strangers opened their homes to us for sanctuary. The Basij pounded their fists on the doors ordering the homeowners to let them in. When the homeowners obliged, the Basij rushed into the home, taking the protesters off with them. Otherwise, we waited until the Basij left and then headed back into the streets.

29. In spite of the numerous dangers, we were not deterred. We wanted our rights and we wanted our votes to be counted. This particular protest lasted from 9 PM until 2:30 AM.

30. On another occasion, I saw an officer walk up to a boy, who was no more than 20, put a gun to his head and say, “I’ll kill you, I swear I’ll kill you.” The officer then began counting down, “3 … 2 … 1.” Luckily, before he could fire the boy’s friends came to his rescue and pulled the boy away. Irritated, the officer fired his weapon into the air several times. It was a very frightening moment because I truly believed the officer would have shot the boy had it not been for the boy’s friends.

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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