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Witness Statement: Shadi Sadr

67. I asked him—what exactly can I do when I get out of prison? Can I write for example in Etemad Melli about topics relating to women? My interrogator said—no, anything you do is illegal. Even if you write in Kayhan8 you will still be writing the West’s ideas. You are tainted by them.

68. He then said – how come you don’t write about violence against women in countries like Germany and USA? I said—I am and expert on Iranian women’s issues. Those countries have their own experts.

69. At this point I realized that he was just telling me what I should write, it was not about what limits I had. He said that if I planned on leaving the country, I should check with them first to get permission.

70. I then asked if I was being freed. He told me that he was giving the case file over to the judge and that he would no longer be dealing with it. This team of interrogators did not interrogate me again.

Final Interrogation


71. Towards the end of my time at Evin, about three or four days until my release, my guard came to me and said let’s go to interrogation. I saw she was taking me down to the lower level. I asked— why are you taking me down here? Didn’t you tell me we were going to interrogation? She said yes, and then I answered but there are no interrogation rooms down here. She said do not say anything, just follow me. I went down there and saw a bunch of young male prisoners standing there in the hallway. When I arrived, the authorities said ‘let’s go’. They put all of us in a van. They blindfolded me and sat me in the front next to the driver. They put the men in the back.

72. They drove us to a building that looked like a school. I do not think we left the Evin Prison premises. The building had a long hallway, with classrooms along both sides and benches pushed up against the wall of the hallway.

73. The guards took me to the last bench, all the way down the hall. I remember that two agents passed near me and said ‘who is this? I think they could not identify me easily because I was blindfolded and had a chador on. Also, I think I was the only woman there so I probably stuck out in the crowd. One of the agents said ‘that is Shadi Sadr’ in a low voice.

74. After 10-15 minutes passed, I heard the sounds of men being whipped. It sounded like there were 15-20 men in the room, and they were being whipped with sticks and punched and kicked.

75. I heard the interrogators beating these men and simultaneously asking questions. I realized from the content of the questions that these people were all rounded up on the day of Friday Prayer, just like I was. The interrogators cursed at them a lot. After ten minutes of this, I could no longer make out what was happening—it all just sounded like loud noise and painful bullets going on in my head.

8 A conservative, hardliner newspaper in Iran that often functions as informal mouthpiece for Iranian government.

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Tagged as:

Statement, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination