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Witness Statement: Maryam Sabri

18. On another occasion, I saw security forces beat individuals in groups and secret police using knives and razors in the crowds. I think it was Thursday when this incident happened in Vanak Street. We were at Vali Asr and going towards Park Way. The security forces and Basij attacked us at Vanak Square and beat everyone who came their way. One of them had a knife. I saw him pull a pocket knife from his belt and run towards the demonstrators. I was very scared for my life and ran. I didn’t stop to see what he did with his knife.

19. I also saw the security forces shoot into the crowd in Azadi Square on a Monday. A young person died as a result of this shooting. He was shot in the back of the head. The shot was fired from the roof top of the Basij building. He was exactly in front of the Basij building in Azadi Street.

20. Also I heard shootings on a Thursday at Vali Asr. The demonstrators usually gathered at Vali Asr or Haft-e Tir on Thursdays. I was further up the street when the shooting began from further down towards the end of the line around two or three streets south of the place where I was. Everyone started to run. We were trying to find a hole to hide in. Later I heard that two people were wounded there that day. I think the plainclothes agents shot directly at demonstrators while the security forces that had uniforms shot in the air or used pellet bullets. I got hit by a pellet bullet. Half of my leg was bruised and hurt a lot for a while.

Arrest

 

21. On Thursday, the 40th day of Neda’s death, I was chanting slogans at Behsht-e Zahra.1 Our slogans were “Our Neda is not dead but the government had died”, “dictator resign,” “Ahmadi have shame, let go of the people.” We had flowers in our hands that day and chanted “Military brother! End the brother killing.” We handed flowers to security guards. We threw petals in their direction. The guards did not have any interaction with the demonstrators. They were merely observers.

22. However, at around 5:00 and 5:15PM some guys shouted “run.” When I turned, I saw that there were loads of Basij and Sepah behind us. There were around a hundred. I started running in the [cemetery’s] sections, and after I was hit a few times while running, I fell to the ground in one of the sections. [By] the time I got up there were plainclothes men all around me. They started beating me with batons and kicking me. Then they took me away. There were five of them and they were all men.

23. They transported me to a white van that had no other signs. After a while, they blindfolded and handcuffed me in the van. I heard the footsteps of newcomers while I was sitting in the van. After a few minutes, the van moved. They asked a few questions such as my name and wrote them down in the van. Many other people were arrested with me including a girl, whom I didn’t know and don’t know where she is now, a friend of mine whom I said in the van that I didn’t know her. There were about five detainees in the van I was placed in. In addition, there were many other cars around that were loaded with detainees. I personally counted 7-8 cars loaded with demonstrators. The reason for our arrests was participation in the demonstration. The government labeled us as rioters.

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Witness Statements, Sexual Violence, Imprisonment