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Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

69. I remained in that room alone on the second floor. Those whose interrogation had ended were transferred to Evin. There were a couple of other prisoners who were kept in Komittee Moshtarak. I do not know why they kept me there. I think they wanted to release me but did not know how. I was practicing Islam. They took me to a different room to show me the bad things the Tudeh Party had committed in order to make me denounce the Party. I was not Communist anymore. Why? I saw that the Islamic Republic was implementing our theories. They did not look at your talent and what you could do or could contribute. They drew a line and asked whether you were with them or not. I told them that I was willing to cooperate with them but I would not become a member, so they could not tolerate me. I noticed that they were doing what we would have done if we were in power. There was no space for the color gray in their opinion. Either it was black or white. It was a Marxist way of thinking, particularly when Leninism is added.

Transfer to Evin

70. After a year, I was transferred to Evin where I was kept in solitary confinement. I can say that only for a short while, about three months, I lived with members of the secret organization. I was in solitary confinement for five years from 1981 to 1986.

71. In November 1984, I was transferred From Komittee Moshtarak to Ward 209 of Evin that was administered by the Intelligence Ministry. At this time, the Majlis approved that the Intelligence Protection Office of the Iran Revolutionary Guard would be changed to the Ministry of Intelligence so that the head of the office could participate in the ministerial meetings. In Ward 209, I saw sun light for the first time since I had been arrested. They took me to a room about 4 by 4 meters with an iron ceiling to take fresh air.

72. In Ward 209, I was interrogated by a person called Haj Naser. He was head of Ward V and meanwhile, responsible to interrogate the leftists and the Tudeh Party members. They gave me my charge sheet. I think it was in the month of Muharram but do not remember whether it was 1985 or 1986. Seventeen charges were brought against me namely being politically active during my studies, campaigning against the Shah’s regime, joining the Tudeh Party, serving the Soviet Union, and returning to Iran with the intention of overthrowing the Islamic government. Therefore, the prosecutor had asked for the maximum penalty. At the end of my charge sheet, it was written that I had only one purpose when I entered Iran and that was to infiltrate the administration and to overthrow the government. When I read my charge sheet, I got excited because they had not implicated me in espionage. I decided to plead guilty to all charges.

First Trial

73. I was finally put on trial. It was one or two days after I received my charge sheet. My trial took place in Evin and the presiding judge was Hossein-ali Nayyeri whom I came to know later. I was blindfolded when I entered the room. Then I heard two persons were speaking softly with each other. Then Nayyeri said, “Are you Fariborz Baghai, son of Hosseinali? You are accused of having political activities during the Shah’s time. Are these correct?” I said, “Yes, it was.” He said, “Did you participate in confederation demonstration and anti-Vietnam war?” I said, “Yes.” He asked, “Did you participate in all demonstration against the Shah regime outside the country?” I confirmed again. I heard him again speaking softly with another person. Then I was told that I could remove my blindfold. It was the first time I was hearing this sentence. When I removed my blindfold, I saw that Nayyeri and a guard were in the room. The man who spoke softly with him was not there anymore. Nayyeri read all my charges and asked whether I wanted to overthrow the government. I said, “Yes.” I was hoping that he would give me the maximum penalty and let me go. I did not expect any rational behavior from them. After reading my charge sheet, he was surprised to see that I pleaded guilty to all my charges. I returned to my cell after a while.

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Tagged as:

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