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Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

9. Meanwhile, the Vietnam War had intensified and the student movement had become very active, particularly in West Germany. I witnessed that only the Eastern Europe socialist countries led by the Soviet Union supported the Vietnamese. I grew up in a non-political family because my father worked in the monarchy system. The monarchy regime did not kid with the political opposition. The Vietnam War made me become politically active. I contacted the German Communists and they told me to get in touch with the Tudeh Party. After the defeat of the 28 Mordad Coup d’état, the Tudeh Party had established student unions and confederations abroad. I joined the student union and later became a member of Tudeh Party.

10. I was involved in leading the student unions directly or indirectly from my second term until I graduated from the university. At the end of my studies, I became a member of Tudeh Party. At that time, the Maoists had taken control of the confederations and all my friends had become Maoists. There were not more than 10 Tudeh Party members in all of Europe. Three of them were in Germany and Austria. When I refer to Tudeh Party, I mean those who supported the Soviet Union unlike the Maoists who endorsed the Chinese policy. We were the target of Maoist propaganda and they pushed us into a corner and put us in a difficult situation. To counter their propaganda, we decided to establish the Medical Graduate Students Association in Germany. Meanwhile, the Tudeh Party leadership discovered that SAVAK, the Monarchy System Intelligence Organization, had identified their network in Iran and put some of their members behind bars. This made the party’s leadership focus their attention on Western Europe. Thus, we became the focal point and had to tackle a lot of the responsibilities. We tried hard and recruited many students into our ranks.

11. Around this time, the Afghan Revolution succeeded and many Afghan students were attracted to Soviet Socialism. After that, we founded the Democratic Youth and Students Organization which was a professional association. We advocated for gradual changes and believed that we could make the Iranian government retreat gradually unlike the Maoists who advocated radical political measures to bring change in society.

12. The Iran Revolution led by Khomeini occurred at this time. When Khomeini in Paris said that everybody had freedom in the Islamic Republic, even the communists, as long as they do not betray us, Tudeh Party got some freedom. In January 1979, Tudeh Party emphatically urged all opposition groups to form a united front and support Ayatollah Khomeini and encouraged the party leaders living in exile to return to Iran during or immediately after the revolution. The party leaders’ who were living in Eastern Europe returned to Iran and I did too.

13. I was an obstetrics and gynecology specialist surgeon in Germany and lived with my wife and had a child who was 10 years old then. I sold my property, resigned from my job, and went to Iran. I taught at Shahid Beheshti University as an associate professor and continued my political activities with the party.

14. Considering my commitment and service to the party particularly when all but three had abandoned the Party in Germany, I was appointed as the head of international relations and the point person to coordinate and communicate with Tudeh supporters around the world. Meanwhile, I had some responsibility in Tehran and became a member of the provincial council of Tehran. I was elected as the central committee’s advisor in the first plenum held in Tehran after the revolution.

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Tagged as:

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