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Witness Statement: Reza Azad

21. Unit 7 contained members of the Mojahedin. The worst torture in Evin was said to occur there. There were so many members of the Mojahedin in prison that it was necessary to place them in other units in the prison as well for lack of space in Unit 7.

22. Later in my stay at Evin, Units 11 and 13 opened up in the prison to interrogate student activist.

23. I was interrogated in Unit 11 in 1984. While I was there, I was questioned about the activities of different professors and students.

24. After my first day in the main building of Evin, I was sent to “solitary confinement” in Section 209 of Evin. I say “solitary confinement”, but in truth I was not in there alone. Section 209 was called “solitary confinement” because when it was built during the reign of Shah Reza Pahlavi it was meant to hold only one detainee per cell. But in 1361, the prison was overcrowded and so Section 209 was forced to house more detainees that it had capacity for.

Conditions at Evin

25. Evin was overcrowded because of an overly broad and arbitrary detention policy. As a result of this policy, people were arrested off the street for merely looking suspicious or wearing a moustache.

26. Also, family members of persons who were already detained were targets for arrest. They were frequently apprehended for no reason other than their familial association. For instance, my cellmate’s family members were arrested in order to make him confess.

27. When I was brought to Section 209, the guards placed me in a cell intended for one person but three other persons were already in there. Eventually we became five persons total in the cell.

28. There was one door leading into the cell. The cell was cramped and contained only one water faucet and one glass window that was high up on the wall. The only light in the cell came from that small window. The cell was especially cramped after we became five people. There was little space to move. In order to have enough room in the cell to sleep, one person would be forced to lay their head near the toilet, for lack of other available space. For privacy’s sake, we held a newspaper in front of ourselves while using the toilet.

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Tagged as:

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