Home | English | Publications | Witness Testimony | Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

85. Nayyeri opened the conversation. He said that it was my court. His first question was whether I was a Muslim. I was very frustrated and said that I was Shiite. I forgot to say I was a Muslim and directly jumped and said that I was a Shiite. Then he asked if I accepted the Tudeh Party. I said I did not. Then he mockingly asked whether I believed in Marxism. I said “no.” He asked whether I was praying. I knew that the head of the prison had given my report to him. I said, “I live in a room with a Marxist and a Bahai who are both considered “dirty”, so I cannot pray there but when I was in the Villa and had my own room, I prayed regularly.” I thought if I said I did pray, they would accuse me of lying. I said, I was not praying. I thought I had given them very strong argument for not praying.

86. But Eshrahgi said, “You have wrong information. You must understand that you have to pray when you hear the praying call even when you live in space.” I noticed that Eshrahgi and Nayyeri murmured with each other for a while. Then Eshraghi said, “We will send you to a place where you have the space to pray.” My court lasted 10 minutes. I was completely perplexed when I heard Halvai telling me to put on my blindfold and leave the room.

87. I was taken to the fresh air room in 209 which I described earlier (a 4 by 4 meters room that light was coming through its ceiling). I saw that seven or eight leaders of the Tudeh Party were there. I saw Mahmoud Roghani there too. We had not seen each other for seven years. I saw Dr. Hussain Joodat, who thought they would release us because the war was over, Bahram Danesh and some other people whose names I can no longer recall. One of the men asked me about a spot on his skin and whether it was a tumor, not knowing how close he was to execution. Everybody but Bahram Danesh believed that they were brought there to be released. Based on the information I had from the armed robbers, I knew they were wrong. I did not want to disappoint and tell them that it was their last moments, however.

88. There I found out they were taken to court before. Some of them had gone two times to court like Bahram Danesh. They were asked the same questions that I was asked but they had told that they were Marxist. At that point, I tapped Roghani and said, “These ones are done. They have sent them out three times and each time they have emphasized they are not Muslims. Later I found out that a person, who declares he is not a Muslim, must repeat his answers three times (with sometimes in between each questioning) before he can be executed as an apostate. If he repeats his answer for the third times, the religious judge can sentence him to capital punishment. After about 30 to 45 minutes, someone came and called Roghani and I. They separated us from the others. Later I heard that they were all executed.

89. Roghani and I were taken to a cell in Section 209. When I entered, Roghani gave me a hug. I told Roghani that we must pray if we wished to survive. Roghani said that he did not know how to pray. I said I take the lead and he should follow me. I though him how to take ablutions. I warned Roghani that they had an intention by placing us in this room. We promised them to pray, they are monitoring us. So we must deliver to our promise. I told him that we place a paper outside our door the next morning. I wanted to imply that I wanted to pray. Mahmoud was laughing at me.

Third Trial

90. After two days, Roghani was taken out of the cell. He went out and did not return. The next day, September 2, 1988, I was called again. I passed by the stairs which were full of prisoners again. I met the same people. Nayyeri was the head of the court. Eshraghi and Haj Naser were sitting across from me. Halvai was behind me.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 »
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Tagged as:

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