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Witness Statement of Mohammad Shams

18. During the entire time, my eyes and hands were bound and I could not even see my interrogator. The last blow I sustained caused my eyes to go black and I do not know what happened after that. A baton struck me on the skull behind my left ear and knocked me unconscious.

19. I was unaware of how much time passed and I found out later, when my father had told me, that he had no news of me for two to three days.

20. After knocking me unconscious, the authorities brought in a person by the name of Doctor Ramin for my medical treatment who, ironically, was one of my father's friends. He recognized me but did not tell the authorities he knew me. Then, he got in contact with my father and informed him of what had happened.

21. My father came there and was able to get me out of there with money and his friend acting as an intermediary. Then I went to the hospital emergency room.

22. When I opened my eyes, four hours had passed since I had been unconscious. I suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and blood was flowing out of my left ear. My father told me what happened after I was knocked unconscious—such as how Doctor Ramin told him about my situation. I was hospitalized for one week and then my father secretly took me out of the hospital. For a time, I stayed at my friend’s home and did not go to my family's house or their store.

23. On the afternoon of Ashura, December 27, 2009, at the Valiasr crossroad, we were holding a rally when suddenly we were attacked again. We all fled toward Ferdowsi Square. I was on College Bridge when one of the Basijis caught me and, because it was only the two of us; I took revenge on him for every previous beating I endured. I fled for the second time and took shelter at my friend's house.

Leaving Iran

24. After that, a summons and a court letter were sent to my family's home address that ordered me to report to court for the crime of acting against the national security of the nation. My father told me there were authorities waiting outside the door of the house and the store to arrest me. Therefore, he said it would not be in my best interest to stay in Iran.

25. He asked one of his friends from his news reporting days to act as an intermediary and gather information from the passport office. This intermediary was able to determine that I was not prohibited from traveling abroad. Therefore, my father bought me a ticket and one morning I boarded a Caspian airlines flight to Istanbul, Turkey.

26. As a result of the blow I received, I am still not able to sit or lie down in one position for long periods of time. My head hurts and my eyes go black. My memory has become weak and I cannot recall many events. The doctor told me I was extremely lucky that, after my skull fractured and I sustained a cerebral hemorrhage, I started to bleed from my ear.

27. I had a good job and life in Iran and if these difficulties had not happened to me, I would never have left Iran.

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Witness Statements