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Witness Statement: Mitra Lager

Life after Second Release

 

52. Upon being released from prison, my brother and I returned to Tehran to live with our family which included our parents and four other children. My mother worked tirelessly to get my educational document from our hometown. I had fallen behind in school by 1-2 years and when I was eventually let back into school I only attended for a short period of time in Tehran.

53. Sometime after I was released from prison, I married a young man from my hometown. Although my husband was not in favor of the Islamic Republic, he did not take part in any political activities and we got along well. Due to issues with his job, my husband and I had to return to Jahrom. I knew that the Aqueduct group had been disbanded and that I had already been acquitted, so we went back to Jahrom.

54. I lived in Jahrom with my husband for quite some time. Like any young couple, we had issues with money but with time we were able to resolve most of our issues and we simply got on living our lives. About one year after getting married, in April 1985, I gave birth to my son. My life became focused entirely on him and my husband. I did my best to forget about my tumultuous past and started a new life with my family in Jahrom.

Third Arrest

 

55. About a year and a half after my son was born, I was alone at home with him when I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door to find a number of guards standing on my doorstep. The guards told me they had orders to bring me in to answer a few questions. I could not understand what kind of questions these men could have for me. I had not been in contact with the MEK for years. I told the men that they did not have the right to come to my home and take me like this. I told them that I had a son and a husband and that I had done nothing to deserve such treatment. They insisted that I come with them. I asked them let me bring my son as well. They said No! Don’t bring your child. Their response made me nervous because if I were truly going to answer just a few questions, they would have undoubtedly let me bring my son with me. The fact that they wanted me to leave my son at home told me that they had no plans of letting me return home for quite some time.

56. I left my son at a neighbor’s house. I told my neighbor to leave my son with his father when he came home. I also asked my neighbor to tell my husband that the authorities had taken me for interrogation.

57. Upon arriving at the Revolutionary Guard’s basement, my escorts placed a bag over my head. I had dressed full Islamic clothing including a scarf, a black long sleeve shirt and Chador3 I wore a red blouse under my long sleeve shirt. The blouse’s sleeve was slightly visible when I brought my hands out from my Chador. In the interrogation room, the first thing the interrogator asked was, “Why have you come to your interrogation dressed in stylish clothing like this? Don’t you have respect for Islam? Don’t you have respect for God?” From that point forward, I was shocked and wondered, why they are asking these kinds of questions if this was a political interrogation.

3 “Chador” is the traditional covering for the hair and neck that is worn by Muslim women.

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Tagged as:

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