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Witness Statement: Mitra Lager

45. Two or three days after our arrival to Jahrom, my little brother and I were taken to the Fasa facility designed to house political prisoners in that area of Fars province. Upon arriving at the new facility, they took my little brother to the Revolutionary Guard prison where the male prisoners were housed and took me to the local police detention where the female prisoners were housed. The basements of the Revolutionary Guard and the police were close together.

46. The local police force was very kind and respectful towards me. I suspect this was because of the rift that existed between the Revolutionary Guard and the local police forces at the time. The Revolutionary Guard thought the local police were loyal to the Shah and the local police generally didn’t approve of the Revolutionary Guard’s actions. For whatever reason, the local police did their best to make my stay as comfortable as possible. They were extremely upset about the fact that we were prisoners. “You guys are innocent children,” they said. Some of my female relatives were imprisoned in the same place. In another section of the facility, there were thieves and murderers. The local police protected us very well. They even prepared a small section for me and the other female prisoners. The officers would go out during the day and bring us food so we could fix lunch for ourselves. It almost felt like a home. Our families could visit us whenever they pleased.

47. I was housed in the local police prison for about five or six months. One time at the end of summer of 1982, I was called to court. The court was a short distance from the police prison and two officers escorted me there. I was not blindfolded or shackled by the officers and I walked a good distance behind them, so onlookers would not suspect that I was their prisoner.

48. The court was small and very simple, including some chairs on which three men sat: a judge, an interrogator and a guard. The judge who I think was a clergy made a number of general requests of me at my trial. For example, he asked me to defend the statements I made during my written interrogation at Jahrom. When the judge asked me whether I repented, I told him yes I did. I told him that the moment the MEK picked up arms; I lost all interest in their cause and refused to associate myself with them. My trial was finished but I was not informed of my sentence and I was returned to prison.

49. One hour after returning to my cell, I was told to collect my belongings because I was being transferred to the Revolutionary Guard prison. Since the Revolutionary Guard prison did not have a female ward, I knew that I was being sent to solitary confinement. It was strange for us!

50. They transferred me to the solitary confinement in the Revolutionary Guard prison. After a while, a girl that I knew from the MEK was brought to my cell. She had been condemned to death but she had repented. They brought this poor girl from a prison in Shiraz to try and trick me into saying something incriminating about my activities.

51. The court was unable to build a case solid enough to hold me and I was released. The Revolutionary Guard couldn’t find any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part or my brother’s part. In essence they imprisoned a 17 year old girl for a year and a 15 year old boy for a year and a half without any evidence or due process. There was never a warrant or charge in either of our cases.

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Tagged as:

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