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Witness Statement: Maryam Sabri



6. I participated in all the demonstrations until I was arrested on July 30, 2009. I can’t recall the dates that I participated in demonstrations but I remember the days.

7. On Monday,[June 15, 2009], we were supposed to start our protest from Enghelab Square and walk to Azadi Square but the plan changed and we started from Imman Hossein Square and went to Azadi Square. On Tuesday and Wednesday, [June 16 and 17], people got together in front of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in Vali Asr Street and Haft-Tir Square. On Thursday, there was a demonstration in the afternoon and we gathered in Haft-Tir Square. On Tuesday there were two demonstrations. One was at Haft-e Tir Square and the second was at Tajrish. The demonstrators walked from Tajrish to Rah-e Ahan Squar at the end of Vali Asr. On Monday people again protested at Karegar Street.

8. We had one purpose in demonstrating and that was to voice our protest against the official announcement of the election result and to publically denounce the government for cheating. The demonstrations were mostly peaceful. We did not want to clash with the security forces, particularly with the plainclothes agents. We chanted but did not use violence. But sometimes the plainclothes agents provoked us into resorting to violence. For instance, our demonstration in front of Voice and Version on Tuesday and Wednesday was in response to Ahmadinejad supporters’ demonstration held the day before. We went to the streets to show our strength, our popularity and that our supporters outnumbered the government’s followers.

9. It was not easy to inform people about the demonstrations during those days. The SMS and mobile phones did not work. We called each other through land lines and used social networks like, Facebook, Yahoo 360, and weblogs that were not filtered during those days. There were many weblogs that activists run and we used them to inform others. Our slogan was that we were media and we could be powerful if we joined our voices together.

10. I usually participated at the demonstrations with four or five of my friends. Two of them were my classmates in Tehran. They are on the run now. The other two were arrested the day I was arrested. I have not heard from them and do not know their whereabouts.

11. The security forces that clashed with the demonstrators were the Special Forces of Tehran’s Police, Basij and the Iran Revolutionary Guard Council (IRGC). All of the above-mentioned forces used violence against civilians and hit the demonstrators without mercy. They hit the boys, girls, young and old. They were all equally vicious.

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Witness Statements, Sexual Violence, Imprisonment