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Witness Statement: Fariborz Baghai

30. I was not tortured in this prison for the first three months but the Constitutional Revolutionaries who fought against the regime after the revolution, the leftist organizations that waged armed struggle against the regime like Fadayian (Minority), Razm-Avaran, the Revolutionary Organization of Tudeh Party, the Communist Party of Iran whose women members had returned from England to Iran, were tortured. The regime tortured them severely to extract information about their friends at large and to destroy their organizational structure as quickly as possible.

Interrogation and Torture

31. My interrogation started in late September 1981. I told them about all my political activities, i.e. I was the head of the international relations of the Tudeh Party and responsible for the student section outside the country and was a member of the Tehran Council. They did not believe me and started beating. They beat me about 50 to 60 lashes every day for three consecutive days and asked about the Tudeh Party political structure and what its purpose was. They respected me a little because I was a university professor. Still, the Tudeh Party was legally active in Iran.

32. During the second round of interrogation that lasted about two or three days, I was charged with spying but overall I was not lashed more than thirty times each day. The reason I was charged with spying was that letter sent by Afghan Students from Bangalore, India. They showed it to me. I told them that if I wanted to spy for Afghanistan, there were many direct ways that I could do that. For instance, I could get in touch directly with the ambassador of Afghanistan in Tehran who was a Communist. My interrogator said that I was smart and knew that the embassy was monitored by the IR intelligence agents and therefore I did not go to the embassy to send the information. I said there were other ways too. For instance, I could get in touch with the head of the party in Germany or Prague and tell them to convey the message to Afghanistan. Finally, if I wanted to contact the Afghan government, why I would get in touch with the supporters of the Afghan Parcham Party in Bangalore and not directly with the members of the Central Committee. If the thank you letter was sent by the central committee of the Parcham Party, you had rights to question me but this letter was written by a supporter of the Parcham Party in Bangalore.

33. I was told at the interrogation sessions that they arrested me for two reasons: because I was a spy and because their revolution had just entered into its third phase. My interrogator said that the first phase of the revolution was to destroy the monarchy; the second phase was to expel the Americans which they did when they occupied the embassy; and the third phase, which they had just entered into, was to destroy all political organizations, particularly, the Tudeh Party which he called um-al fesad i.e. the mother of all corruptions. He said the only party that had the right to remain active was the Islamic Republic Party. My interrogator said that if I cooperated with them, I could surely go back and teach at the university. I told them what I had said four months ago.

34. I had three interrogators, Haji Amin, Haj Mojtaba, and Mahmoud. Haji Amin was the head and struck most of the lashes. He was the head of Komittee Moshtarak. His real name was Ali Fallahyan and became Minister of Intelligence later. There was no ministry of intelligence then. Only the IRGC had an intelligence unit. Haj Amin asked me about my private life, like which Iranian girls I had relationships with and which one I had slept with. He believed that the Communist shared their women and had sexual intercourse with each other’s wives. They knew that my wife was German so they did not ask about her. They were interested in discovering my relationship with Muslim women, not with foreigners whom they believed were all sexually corrupt.

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Tagged as:

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