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Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

91. Eshraghi asked the first question and said, “Did you pray?” I said, “I did”. He said that I must say my Shahadateyn, declaration of my belief in Farsi that there is no God but God and Mohammad is his messenger. He inquired if I knew what Shahdateyn was. I said I did. Then he said to put my hand over my heart (this practice is not in Islam. They have seen it in American movies). I put my hand on the left side of chest. He said to repeat this sentence before the religious judge. I did.

92. Then Nayyeri asked me a few questions. He said, “How many weapons did you have?” I said that I did not have any. When I entered Tehran on July 8, 1979, six months had passed since the revolution. His second question was what my opinion was of the Baha’i? I answered that I did not understand how the Baha’i could make the claims that every thousand years one prophet would come. How did they found out these thousand years? He asked one other things and I answered. Then Nayyeri asked the head of our ward if he had any questions. He said that he did not. They took me back to the same cell.

93. A day or two after that, I was taken out of the cell. This time, they mentioned the name of “Court” for the first time. I sat. Around noon, I heard the call for praying. I called the guard and said that I had to pray before it gets late and I had to go to the restroom to take ablution. He guided me to a restroom. I washed my face and was about to pray when door opened. I heard voice of Nayyeri and Eshraqhi, so I started reading my praying loudly.

94. After that the guard came and told me to stand in a corner. I went and stood there when I heard Haj Mojtaba Halvai’s voice. He asked how I was. I told him that I served you and asked if deserved that kind of treatment.

95. What was my service to him? Halvai was addicted to opium. When I was in the health clinic in prison, he used to come to me for morphine when he did not smoke opium under work pressure. This was the service I had done to him. He was one of the main recipients of my morphine injection in prison.

96. Halvai take me to a side. I stood in a line that most of Tudeh Party members were standing in. After entering a room, I introduced myself a Muslim. I was handed a few medical books. I was comforted because it implied that they would not kill me.

Execution stops

97. In 1988, they announced those who had been sentenced to imprisonment would be released but those who had been sentenced to execution but the date of the execution was not set, would be kept in prison. I had been sentenced to execution but the date was not set. I was not released.

98. In February 1989, my execution changed to life imprisonment. Khomeini had ordered before his death that the prisoners, who had been tried, should be released. According to this decree, I should have been released but was not. Instead I was sentenced to life imprisonment.

99. Kianoori, Partovi, Amoui and one other person who was an architect and worked as Kianoori’s driver did not have any kind of sentences. So we were kept in prison. Partovi was pardoned in 1990. Kianoori and his wife were kept under house arrest monitored by the Ministry of Intelligence. Only Amoui and I were kept in prison. The two of us lived in a ward made for 800 prisoners.

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Tagged as:

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