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Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

79. The smugglers and robbers enjoyed more freedom than political prisoners in Amouzishgah. They did most of the labor jobs in the prison like gardening, cleaning, cooking and etc. They were physically strong and it was difficult to keep them idle in prison. They lived like the guards and behaved like them in prison. They did not have their own opinions and did what they were told to do. It was hard to imagine they would establish an emotional connection with the political prisoners but I did.

Beginning of the Execution

80. One day in August 1988, when I was entering the restroom, one of them came to me and said, “Every day some people in a helicopter land in Evin. They call the prisoners and ask them three questions: Are you a Muslim? Do you pray? Do you accept the Islamic Republic? If the answer to one of them is negative, the person would be killed!”

81. I returned to my room and told my roommates, Dr. Danesh and Dr. Sivo-shamsian. Dr. Danish reacted very badly and said that everybody should make up his own mind. Dr. Sivo-shamsian (whom the clerics considered dirtier because he was a Bahai than both me and Dr. Danish who were Marxists) said that he did not believe they would kill him because he was not an “inmate apostate,” he was a “national apostate.” An “inmate apostate” is a person who grew up in an Islamic family but does not accept it; while a “national apostate is a person who grew up in a non- Islamic family, for instance the family practice Christianity or Baha’i. I practiced Islam for a while but since joining these two persons in the room, I had abandoned it because I did not believe in it.

Second Trial

82. On August 28, 1988, Dr. Danesh was summoned. He did not return. On August 30, I was summoned. I was transferred to 209. I was blindfolded but I could see on the way that all the stairs were full of prisoners waiting in line. I could hear uproar in the hallway. I guess around 200 to 300 persons were in the hallway.

83. After two or three hours, the head of Evin Security called Haj Mojtaba Halvai (he was not the same Halvai-e who interrogated me in Kommittee Moshtarak) called me and took me to a room. The moment I entered the room he told me to remove my blindfold. I did. The court room was one of the rooms in Ward 209. There was a table about 2 or 3 meters in size and four chairs in the room. I recognized Nayyeri, I also noted Eshraghi (though I did not know his name until later), and the administrator who had interrogated me, Hajj Nasser. He was the head of section 5 and had been in charge of interrogating all Tudeh [members] and other leftists.

84. Nayyeri the head of the Court was in the middle; Eshraghi was on his left and Haj Naser, the warden of Evin, was on the other side. There was one other person whom I did not know. Halvai kept security in the room.

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Tagged as:

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