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Witness Statement: Reza Azad

63. At that time, in Evin, there were only three dialysis machines in the infirmary. Many prisoners had developed serious kidney infections because of brutal lashings and beatings but there were only three machines in all of Evin to treat them. If it was important for a particular prisoner to stay alive then the guards would perform dialysis on him three times. If the dialysis did not work however then they would simply send that prisoner to solitary confinement to die. When kidneys are not working properly, the infection could eventually develop into a sepsis and spread to the brain.

64. Later I saw the Kurdish man in another cell. He had recovered after receiving dialysis three times in the infirmary.

65. To avoid this fate, I followed the advice of my friends and did not drink water before I was sent to be tortured. I experienced a severe sense of thirst. My thirst reached a point that even if I was told that I would die if I drank water, I would still feel like taking a drink. However if you drink water, your feet turn red and start to swell. Since the feet are so swollen, it is difficult to wear shoes, even plastic sandals, because your feet will not fit into them. But, nonetheless, you would be forced to walk by the guards, even if barefoot.

Trial at Evin

66. The sign that your interrogation and torture had ended was that your interrogator gave you a form, or he filled it out himself and asked you for information about your family – father, mother, brother – and asked if anyone could post bail for you. This procedure was the sign that a detainee was going to court. Those who were scheduled for court assembled in a room for release and awaited trial.

67. Sometimes, the authorities summoned detainees to go to the Central Office for notification of sentences. The Central Office had three stories. The top floor housed the courts. The middle level was very large with many small rooms. This floor contained the torture place and the holding cell for the Mojahedin. The first floor was the place of entry and exit for the prison. Prisoners came there to complete the necessary paper work for release.

68. From what I saw (even with the blindfold) the third floor – in contrast to the rest of the prison -- was extremely quiet, clean and decorated beautifully. The third floor was split up into different sections. The floor had small court rooms where the sentence for a detainee’s “crimes” was read out. Section One was primarily Ayatollah Gilani’s territory. , Lajevardi was the general prosecutor. Lajevardi would bring a hundred people or so forward and denounce them all as mohareb and sentence them to execution by hanging or death by firing squad.

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, 1988 Prison Massacre, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Free Association