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Witness Statement: Sabah Nasri

38.  Initially I had two people interrogating me in Tehran, but then eventually only one person came. One of them was called “doctor.” He was Farzad Kamagar’s[2]interrogator as well and later on when I shared a cell with Farzad in ward 209, Farzad told me that the name of the interrogator was “Reza’”". The third time I went to ward 209, Farzad and I were there together for three months.

39.  Reza’i’s information about the Kurds was pretty extensive and in particular he knew the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.)[3] very well. He was not a Kurd himself and had a faint Arabic accent. I do not know where he was from but they said that he is a Turk. He spoke very slowly and in a measured fashion. He followed old methods of interrogation techniques, namely a harsh approach. A number of other interrogators follow a softer method in dealing with the suspect—they try to bond with the suspect through verbal and psychological techniques so as to get closer to the suspect and extract necessary information from him.

40.  To illustrate, the first type of interrogator, the so-called “Reza’”", would pose a question and if he didn’t get an answer, he would leave and not return for a month or so. Instead, the second interrogator tried to explore the avenue of friendship. When Reza’i was interrogating we were blindfolded and sat facing the wall; but the second interrogator had a soft approach—he allowed the blindfold to be removed and sat face to face with the suspect while questioning and interrogating.

41.  Of course the second interrogator had certain antics too like offering cigarettes and fruit to the suspect in the hopes this would curry favor with the suspect and get him to help him. In terms of appearance, he was well put together and well dressed and tried to appear kind and friendly. He did not have the appearance of a typical interrogator. He said that he is not like the others and thinks that the youth and the bright students in prison should be accorded respect.

42.  Unfortunately, this interrogator was very successful. Later when I spoke with some of the defendants that he interrogated, I realized he was able to persuade them to speak.  He was able to get them to incriminate themselves—then he closed their case files in the harshest manner possible and had very heavy sentences issued against them.

Farzad Kamangar was a Kurdish teacher and activist executed by Iranian authorities on May 9, 2010 for “moharebeh” (literally “waging war against God”) and other offenses that carry a sentence of capital punishment. Kamangar was executed along with four other activists, three of them ethnic Kurds: Shirin Alamhooee, Ali Haidarian and Farhad Vakili. The fifth, Mehdi Islamian, was executed for membership in an armed pro-monarchist group and on charges of endangering national security. Following the executions, human rights groups voiced concerns over the lack of due process accorded the five activists in trial and sentencing, and reports that the activists were brutally tortured in detention.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a Kurdish militant separatist group. Historically the PKK has been very active in Iran’s neighboring country of Turkey. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Iran and many other countries.

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Tagged as:

Kurds, Torture, Executions