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Witness Statement: Reza Azad

8. The agents did not reveal their identities, where they were from, or why they had come for me. Then they told me that my arrest warrant has been issued by Evin and took me to Evin.

9. The agents did not explain why I was being arrested and sent to Evin. However, from the questions the agents asked me, I gathered what the motivations were for the arrest. It seemed that they were investigating cases of students who might pose a threat to the Islamic Regime.

10. The information that these agents had only covered the years I was in university in Shiraz. From the questions the agents were asking me, I realized that I had been identified t by one of my fellow students at Shiraz University.

11. Fortunately, since the source of their information appeared to be limited to only my university years, the agents seemed unaware of my political activism in Tehran. Had they known of my political activities in Tehran since the closure of the universities, I would certainly have been in even deeper trouble.

12. Later when I arrived at Evin, I heard that one of my classmates at university who had been arrested was the source of the information the authorities had about me. After his arrest, he was subjected to torture during interrogation. During this brutal questioning my classmate revealed my name to his torturers.

First Stop: Komiteh

13. The first place I was taken after my arrest was the local Komiteh, or Revolutionary Committee.3 There I was tortured many times and witnessed the torture of others. I realized that torture there would have no limits, and that the deaths of prisoners would not be questioned.

14. I was kept blindfolded in all the common areas, but not in the cell. The prison guards blindfolded all political prisoners – they prevented us from seeing anything outside our cells by making us close our eyes and keep our heads down. The cells in that place were so small that there was hardly room to move. We were never brought out of our cells except to interrogate us.

3See footnote 4 supra. Komiteh is a Revolutionary Committee, and can sometimes refer to the officers themselves. Komitehs were Islamic groups organized around mosques in communities throughout Iran. From the year 1978, Komitehs carried out governmental, as well as police and internal security duties. They gradually extended their authority over many areas of Iran and sometimes clashed with parallel power structures like the Revolutionary Guards.

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Tagged as:

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