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Witness Statement: Mitra Lager

16. When the clergymen finally got around to asking me questions that were related to my charges, my task became very simple. From the beginning I denied any and all allegations of wrongdoing. The clergymen asked me if I had been present at the protests and I told them that I had not. I concocted a story where security forces had picked me up accidentally because they mistakenly believed that I was a protester.

17. Denying one’s involvement in any wrongdoing was a proven MEK tactic. The MEK believed it had important work to do and that it could not afford to have its supporters sitting in detention facilities across Iran. Consequently, the MEK instructed its members to say whatever the interrogators’ wanted to hear even to repent in order to get out of prison as soon as possible. Of course the leftist groups proudly held onto their dissent during interrogations. When asked if they were anti-Islamic Republic and if they would remain anti-Islamic Republic, they would plainly say that they were and they would. None of those people were released.

Release from Prison

 

18. Eventually, on the same day, my sentence was issued which was one year suspended imprisonment. This meant that I could be freed on bail but if I was arrested again, I would have to be imprisoned for at least a year and then I would be condemned again. I think it took about two weeks for my family to secure proper a document using a big garden as bail, so I could be released.

Aqueduct Group

 

19. During my time in prison, the political climate in my hometown of Jahrom had become significantly more dangerous. In my absence, Hezbollah created a terrorist group called Aqueduct Group. The Group was famous for disseminating an announcement that contained a list of names, including three female names and thirty male names, with a simple message, “Get ready for death.” Residents of Jahrom told horror stories about Aqueduct group killing people by knife in the streets. The atmosphere had deteriorated to a point where a number of my friends told me that I was lucky to have been arrested and imprisoned in Shiraz.

20. During my incarceration, my cousin Hamid was killed by Aqueduct group. They stabbed my cousin and left him for dead. Upon finding him in the street, a contingent of community members took my cousin to the local hospital for treatment. It should be noted that the Aqueduct group was notorious for killing civilians who provided assistance to their victims.

21. Just as the doctors treated my cousin, Hamid, and he was healthy enough to leave the hospital the next day, Aqueduct group attacked the hospital. Armed forces raided each of the hospital’s rooms, attacking and beating the patients, and even shooting one of them to death. When they entered my cousin’s room, they took the serum syringe which was in his hands and push it into my cousin’s eye. Then, they took him with his bed out of the hospital. When the doctors protested against Hezbollah’s actions, the forces said, “You don’t have the right to complain. We are Hezbollah. We are the Army of God.”

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Tagged as:

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