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Witness Statement: Shadi Sadr

59. I asked what he meant by this—I was so confused about what exactly he was trying to accuse me of. The interrogator told me—don’t you get it? He told me that when I go to other countries – regardless if Muslim or not – and lecture about women’s rights in Iran, those countries get the idea that Iran has a problem with its legal system and this creates instability among the domestic population and incites people to action.

60. The interrogator told me that this was a major project of the United States in the Middle East. I was genuinely shocked by this allegation. Sensing my surprise, the interrogator turned to me and said—what Ms. Sadr, you did not know about this?

61. I said no I have never heard of this. He said yes, America has had a project like this for years. This is the project to get rid of Islam in society—and one of the focal points was changing the law in respect to women under Islam.

62. Then the questions reverted back to Raahi and Hivos. I clarified that Hivos’ money was not from the American government but the interrogator told me that I was wrong, that he had specific information that indicated it was and was intended for overthrowing governments. He believed it was part of the MEPI project. He thought Hivos and my organization had received part of the 75 million budget of the MEPI project. I explained that these groups were started prior to MEPI even coming into existence, prior to the US Congress approving the money but he would not accept this. This went on for half an hour.

63. I asked him if he knew what the money for Hivos was from the American government (banned sources) from the beginning, why didn’t they stop our work right then and there? Why did they wait 6 years to now bring this up and accuse me of overthrow?

64. He paused at this point. He could not really say anything. He turned to me and said you know what—I cannot believe that you were not aware that this was an American project. You must have known the conferences you attended were held on behalf of America. You must have known that you were acting as an agent of America intending to overthrow the Iranian government.

65. The interrogator told me that there were many women in Iran who were more educated than me but no one pays attention to them but all tribunes are facing my direction and that is because I say things that the westerners like. He said that I won international prizes, not based on merit, but because I complied with whatever Western powers wanted to hear. He told me I was a tool of foreign powers and that they only awarded me prizes so that I would spy for them.

66. Then he said—listen, even if you are telling the truth that you are unaware that you are conducting these activities on behalf of the Americans, well now you do know. You know because I have informed you, so there can be no doubt about that. So I will let you go right now but just be aware that if you continue your activities, you will be in trouble with us because you know you are spying.

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Tagged as:

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