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Witness Statement: Reza Azad

69. When I was taken to one of the rooms on the third floor I was surprised by the quiet atmosphere. Unlike in the rest of Evin prison, where the sounds of screams and the cable whip hitting prisoners was a constant, here there was calm silence.

70. There was a mullah and a secretary sitting down in the room I was brought to. They told me to remove my blindfold and then they read my charge sheet. I knew that these charges were completely fabricated. But instead of getting angry, I stayed calm. My friends in prison had advised me that in order to stay alive, I should not lose my temper when hearing the charges against me. I heeded their advice. Instead of yelling and shouting when I heard the false accusations against me, I calmly told the judge that none of the charges were true and asked him to let me explain myself.

71. The judge was a middle aged, dark colored clegry man. He told me that he knew I had bad friends at university and for that reason I would have to stay at Evin for a while to be “trained”. Then he sentenced me to one year in prison.

72. Later, my friend told me that if my file contained information that I was deeply involved in leftist politics, the authorities would have kept me longer in prison in order to continue interrogating me and gain further information.

73. Since I had a relatively light sentence, I was allowed to call a family member about once a month. The prisoners at Evin that were serving lighter sentences relative to the rest of the prison population could ask the guards for a telephone call of a couple minutes. After my sentencing, I took the opportunity and called my father to let him know I was alive.

Imprisonment at Evin

74. After my sentencing, I officially began serving my prison term at Evin. Fortunately for me, I was credited the time I had spent in detention before trial. In this respect the enforcement of my sentence differed than other prisoners who were not credited the time they spent in detention, even if they had been detained for two years prior to trial and sentencing. Since my sentence ran from the time I was detained, not convicted, I actually had less than a year left to serve once I was sentenced.

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Tagged as:

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