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Witness Statement: Shadi Sadr

10. Then all of a sudden three plainclothes officers headed my way and someone in a car yelled “grab that one.” At first the officers grabbed someone else but then I realized they actually meant to grab me. Initially I was too shocked to protest and just sat down in the car. I heard my friends screaming for them to let me go. Then I came to my senses and realized they had not presented me with a warrant. I jumped out of the car and demanded to see a warrant. The officers refused and barked at me to get back into the car.

11. In the commotion, I tried to give my purse to my friend and the plainclothes men were distracted by this exchange. I took that opportunity – the moment they were distracted – to run away. Unfortunately the empty streets made it difficult to go unnoticed. One of the agents came after me and ripped my headscarf and manteau3 off in the chase. He eventually caught up to me and dragged me back to the officer’s car.

12. After he pushed me into the car, the three plainclothes officers forced my head down so I could not see where we were headed. But their chatter into their walkie-talkies tipped me off—they told someone on the other end of the line that they were headed to the Tracking Office (Daftar-i Paygire).4

Interrogation at the Tracking Office

 

13. I arrived at the Tracking Office at 11:00 a.m.—I was the second person detained that day. By 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. a large crowd of people – other detainees – filled the office. I was blindfolded. I did not recognize any of the names of the other detainees read out loud. However there were two women names that were announced. One of the women that responded had a young sounding voice, and the other had an older voice.

14. I realized that my arresting officers knew I was headed to Friday Prayer and planned to apprehend me en route. I think they tapped my phone and that is how they knew this information. I am convinced that the officers were following my group of friends the whole way until the moment they captured me.

15. At the Tracking Office, the agents took me into another room, separate from the crowd, where they interrogated me in detail for three hours. Two men interrogated me, I do not know their names—I only saw their faces. I remembered one of the men from previous interrogations. He was the one who was responsible for the women’s rights movement case files at the Ministry of Intelligence. He was a tall man and he did not tell me his name.

16. Based on my experiences and those of my women activist friends in interrogation following the elections, it seemed that the team that traditionally interrogated women activists was no longer in charge. The interrogator that used to be in charge of the women’s files and who used to interrogate me on previous occasions was no longer there. I do not know if he went to a different branch, or if he was dismissed. The man at the Tracking Office who I recognized as being part of the previous group of interrogators seemed to have taken over for him. In all subsequent interrogations at Evin prison, my interrogators blindfolded me and made me face the wall—so I could not identify them physically. But from the voices of the people in the room, I could tell these were new interrogators, not the ones I had formerly dealt with in connection to my 2007 arrest.

3Manteau refers to the overcoat that women in Iran wear to observe proper hijab, or Islamic dress.

4The Daftar-i Paygire is an office that houses personnel from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. It is located on Vali Asr Street in Tehran. Following the election dispute of summer 2009, many women’s rights activists have been taken to that office for interrogation.

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Tagged as:

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