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Witness Statement: Sabah Nasri

17.  I worked on another magazine—a weekly—at Tehran University called “Velat” along with another friend. I had executive roles in this magazine. Our work and activity alarmed the Herasat of the university[1] and they voiced their concerns over to the intelligence office in Sanandaj.

18.  The University’s Herasat Office often reports to the Intelligence Office about student activists who are under surveillance. Since the city of Sanandaj filed a complaint against us for having distributed “Rujameh” in the city, they were extra sensitive to our publication. The majority of the questions in interrogation were about the publication. They even asked what publishing house we used and who owned it and other related questions. It was as if they were trying to forcefully extract something incriminating out of our answers.

19.  Initially the interrogations occurred daily and always separate from one another. The length of the interrogations depended on the questions and usually spanned anywhere from one to five hours. Two interrogators conducted the first round of interrogations and once even three interrogators. But towards the end it was just one person. During the interrogations I was blindfolded and could not see the interrogator. I do not know what the main interrogator’s name was.

20.  One of the interrogators at Sanandaj Intelligence Office, who is also the torturer there, is known as “Hatefi”. Of course this is his pseudonym. I heard this name later when I was in Sanandaj Prison. His name also appears on various websites. Websites claim he killed Ibrahim Lotfollahi, a young man who was tortured to death in the Sanandaj Intelligence office and who reportedly committed suicide. I could see Hatefi’s hand and some of his physical characteristics. He had a faint Turkish accent. Later when I described these characteristics to the guys in prison they agreed it must be Hatefi.

21.  My torture was limited to slaps and punches. Mostly my torture was psychological because my fate was undetermined for 14 months when I did not even know what my charge was! I was transferred to Tehran a few times and returned to Sanandaj again but still did not know what my charge was. I was told I was in the interrogation phase and my case file had not been completed yet. Under Iranian law any defendant is entitled to have the charges against him explained to him within 24 hours of his arrest but this was not how my case file was conducted. They never showed me an arrest warrant. They do not really pay attention to such formalities in Iran.

22.  The night we were transferred to Tehran they brought a letter written on A4 paper and folded in thirds. I was told to sign the letter without reading it.  I was not willing to do that. After many arguments, the guard finally admitted that the letter was an order extending my detention. The intelligence officer himself said nothing to me even though I had insisted on knowing what the letter said. I was even told  it did not matter if I signed the paper or not because ultimately they would take me with them. Finally they showed me the paper and I signed it.

The “Herasat” is a force of guards and morals police in universities.

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Kurds, Torture, Executions