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Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

25. I was forty years old. Other prisoners, mostly Mujahidin, were between the age of 15 and 17. I was considered an old man among them. A while later I was told to put my head down to cross the moat. I was taken to a corridor and handed a blanket. I lay down there. There were a lot of noises in the corridor. Constantly prisoners were taken for beating. I was not taken. Whoever passed by me, I asked for a dentist. When they looked at me and saw that I was not a member of Mujahedin, they just insulted me and passed by. Some of them said if I remained alive, I would visit a doctor one day. I was there for two days. When I needed restroom, I was taken out. I asked for and was given water two or three times. But I did not eat for two days.

26. Around 12 o’clock the second night, somebody took my hand and told me to put down my head and lean forward to cross the moat. They put me in a Peykan car and made me sit with two other persons in the back seat. Two guards, one of them armed, sat in front of us. We were told to put our heads down and the car moved down the hills. After a while an iron gate opened and we entered. I did not understand where we were at that moment but I heard someone was wielding something. (Later I understood that it was Komittee Moshtarak near Topkhana Square. Of course, it was not called Komittee Moshtarak anymore because that was a name used during the former regime for this place. Now it was called Towhid Prison or Prison 3001.) I was searched there and they took my watch. I was smoking a pipe. They took my pipe from my pocket. I had a Sampson leather box in which I kept my ID card, driver’s license, graduation certificate and medical practice permit. They seized all this stuff from me.

27. I was sent to a solitary cell in the basement. There was a blanket in the room but nothing else. There was a small iron window about thirty into forty centimeter with small holes through which weak light entered. The walls were made of cement and some slogans from before the revolution were still visible on the wall. I understood that this place was a prison before, too. It was a small room - when I stretched my hands, I could touch both walls and it was about 2 meters and 20 centimeters long. The room had an iron door with a small window which I believe was only for guards to observe us because it did not have a hand-rail through which to give us food. They opened the door when they gave us food.

28. It was the first time I noticed that the guards wore green uniforms there. However, they covered their faces with bags whenever they gave us food so that we could not see their faces. The guard who gave us food said that we should be grateful to them for keeping us alive. The food was rice without meat with a piece of bread on a plastic plate that was not enough. It couldn’t fill me. When I asked for more food, the guard said that I was Mahdour-el dam (i.e. my blood was free and I had no rights whatsoever) and I should be happy to receive that amount of food. Those who were tortured did not have any appetite. They threw their food in the garbage in restroom. Those who were hungry picked up that food and ate it. So in the first three months, my food came from the food thrown in the restroom bin.

29. I started to exercise there because I did not have cigarettes. I could not sleep during the day because detainees screamed under torture. I made myself tired by exercising during the day in order to fall sleep at night. I could not take showers and wash myself for the first six months. They opened the door three times during praying time. I scheduled my exercise to finish right before the praying time. When I was taken to restroom, I took off my shirt and pants and washed them. They noticed that I was wet one day near winter time and thought that I wanted to commit suicide and took me for interrogation. Fortunately, they did not torture me but commanded me to stand for four hours with my hands up. It was a punishment because they believed I was attempting to commit suicide.

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Tagged as:

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