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Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

56. I spied once for the Islamic Republic in prison. I wrote a letter to prison authorities and described the story of the doctor in my room. I wrote that he was not a member of the Tudeh Party, had never studied a newspaper in his life, did not know anything about Marxism and had no connection whatsoever with the Tudeh Party. I wrote that he was a prominent radiologist in Tehran and I asked for his release. Then I was summoned again and ordered to pick up my belongings and leave the room.

57. My radiologist cellmate asked if I had any message for him to convey to my family if he got released. I told him to ask my brothers to send me underwear and shirts because it had been a year and a half that I did not have any, and to tell my wife to leave Iran. I did not have any visit with my wife and child during this time. They stayed for two years in Iran to visit me but when they were not given any visits, they left for Germany after the summer school holidays.

58. In the summer of 1983, I was transferred to the hallways of Ward I and kept there for six months blindfolded. I was given a space of about 1:30 meter long and half a meter wide in which to live. I had to wear my blindfold at night time. My torture and interrogation resumed when I was in this hallway. The reason was a report that one of the prisoners in the room had claimed that I still believed in the Tudeh Party and withheld some valuable information from them.

59. It was July or August 1983 when they resumed torturing me. They took me every day for interrogation. I had a new interrogator. The prison authorities believed he was good because he had come from the United States and studied psychologist. I came to know him later. His name was Saieed Emami, the deputy Minister at the Ministry of Intelligence who was later responsible for organizing the chain murders during Khatami reform period in the late 1990s. When he saw that I was not admitting to my charges including spying, he said that he had permission from a religious judge to whip me 25 times every day until I confessed. 25 lashes was nothing but because it was endless, it occupied all your thinking. You keep thinking about when they would call you for the next session. Usually a person breaks after two or three days. I endured it for a month and half. They kept asking who I had contact with. I tried to find a name and say that I was in touch with him, but I could not. I knew if I fabricated a name, they would go after that person. Finding that I lied, they would subject me to 75 lashes.

60. One day, Saieed Emami told me that some people wanted to participate in a round table TV interview and if I wanted to stop sleeping in the hallway, I should participate in the interview. He did not intend to let me go but to place me in a better room. I told him that I was ready to do that provided he wrote what I should say. I said, “I’d like to serve you” but “please tell me what I should say.” He said, “No, you should write it yourself.” I said that I did not have any information to write about. “At least give me the name of one person and I would elaborate the plot and write a scenario to get rid of lashings.”

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, 1988 Prison Massacre, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination