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Witness Statement: Shadi Sadr

24. The new team was particularly focused on my alleged activities with political opposition abroad. They asked me where I traveled and about my contacts in other countries.

25. I could not tell whether the new interrogators were assigned solely to women’s issues or not. I felt like maybe the women’s interrogation group no longer existed or that there was no group with the specific mandate to investigate only the women’s movement. My treatment was much worse with this new group than in the past. I started thinking that maybe the rumor that Sepah Pasdaran5 had infiltrated the judicial system was really true. But they held me in Ward 209, not Ward 305 (the Sepah ward) so apparently the agents interrogating me were from the Ministry of Intelligence.

26. Also the different teams of interrogators did not seem to get along at all. They did not share work product and seemed disconnected from one another. Their level of knowledge and skill also ranged widely.

27. At the Tracking Office, I argued with my interrogators a lot—I contested my illegal arrest and debated them on women’s issues. In this and subsequent interrogations that took place in ward 209 of Evin prison, they asked why I was headed to Friday Prayer at the time of my arrest. They asked me my opinion on the outcome of the elections and whether I voted.

28. In the later interrogations, they asked a lot of questions related to the women’s rights movement and particularly about my trips abroad and the conferences I attended. They asked me who I was with, who invited me to speak and who paid for the trips.

29. A lot of questions pertained specifically to my work with Hivos, a Dutch non-governmental organization. When Raahi, the legal advice center I founded, was still in existence, Hivos donated to the group. After I was arrested in March 2007, the revolutionary court and ministry of intelligence closed Raahi down. They created a case file charging this group with acting against national security (although that case did not proceed through the courts). They closed our group’s bank account and no longer allowed Raahi to work with the Hivos group.

30. In all my interrogations there were questions about the Hivos-Raahi relationship. My case file from my 2007 arrest contained allegations relating to the money Hivos gave Raahi. I told my interrogators that my previous case file contained all this information —but they continued to ask the same questions. How was Raahi’s budget decided, how did the money from Hivos get transferred into Raahi’s account, how did I use this money and why did not get a permit for the monetary aid. I told my interrogators that I did not remember all the details—this case file was from three years ago.

5 Sepah Pasdaran, or Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, is a branch of Iran’s military, formed after the 1979 Revolution. They control the Basiji paramilitary forces in Iran which are responsible for much of the violence following the election unrest of June 2009.

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Tagged as:

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