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Witness Statement: Shadi Sadr

Formal Charges


46. After my third day at Evin, the authorities took me to the office of Prosecutor’s representative that is on the first floor of Evin Prison and brought me before an investigator to hear my formal charges. The judge charged me with endangering national security through riots (iqtishash). I told him, well if you had actually let me go to Friday Prayer then I would have rioted and then you could charge me with something real. And they said, well you were planning to riot and that was enough for us. This is how I knew they were planning my arrest for a while—it was not a random, spur of the moment thing.

47. They told me that I was listed as a political leader and under investigation by the Ministry of Intelligence. They told me that since I was capable of leading a mutiny against the Supreme Leader, I needed to be apprehended. The judge told me that had I not left the house that day, they would not have needed to arrest me but since I had, they had no choice but to take me into custody or else risk an overthrow of the Supreme Leader. Apparently my arrest was a pre-emptive measure.

48. After I left the courtroom I saw a familiar face—Sobhani, an investigator with the court. I knew him very well. He was the interrogator of my case in 2006 an also, in the past, I dealt with him in connection to Shiva Nazar Ahari’s case file.6 Sobhani greeted me and asked how I was doing. I told him that obviously I was not doing well since I was arrested for no reason and, as he was aware, the charges against me were untrue. Sobhani told me not to worry and the situation would be straightened out.

49. True to his word, shortly thereafter I was asked to sign a paper confirming that I would pay a 5 million Tomans (approximately US $5,000) financial guarantee. I asked why the amount was so high, but received no answer. One of my family members acted as the financial guarantor. The guards brought me all my belongings that had been taken from me at the start of my stay at Evin—my clothes and other possessions.

50. This all happened on the Monday after I was originally taken into custody. I thought I was being released, I was so joyful. They took me and a woman who had been arrested with me to a small room downstairs. The room looked like an exercise room for prison authorities. I think we were down there for two or three hours. Someone came and opened the door and said please come—to the old woman to release her. A half hour later, they came for me, and said please follow me. But instead of releasing me, they took me back upstairs.

51. I asked what was going on. They told me your interrogation is not done yet. For five minutes I was just stunned and I let them drag me back to my cell. Then – after the five minutes had passed – I got mad, really mad. The rule of Ward 209 is that prisoners are not supposed to make noise but I disregarded this and started screaming. I was punching the walls and cursing. When the warden told me to stop, I said do whatever you want! I don’t care. Everyone else in the ward looked shocked that I had been brought back because this does not normally happen. I felt this was meant to be a form of psychological torture.

6 Until she left Iran, Shadi Sadr served as the lawyer for Shiva Nazar Ahari—a well known women’s rights activist and founder of the human rights monitoring group Committee for Human Rights Reporters (CHRR). Nazar Ahari has been locked up in Ward 209 of Evin prison since December 20, 2009.

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Tagged as:

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