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Witness Statement of Ali Mahin Torabi

11. I called my father and asked him to come and visit me. I told him that they have asked for 7 million Tomans in order to change my charge to “manslaughter.” My father almost lost it and said, “Never in my life have I succumbed to bribing! They want to test you. You are not guilty, and I will get a lawyer for you to see to your acquittal. If I pay this money, it would mean that you had committed this murder.” My father did not pay this money. But my co-accused, Millad, did. He told me that after we get transferred to the Correctional Facilities, his family will pay the 7 million Toman and that the deal was done. My co-accused and I had been transferred to the Investigation Bureau together, but he was released shortly after we were transferred to the Correctional Facilities. Their maltreatment of me began when we were transferred to the Investigation Bureau. At the Investigation Bureau, they wrote that according to eyewitnesses, I stabbed the victim three times.

12. When Lt. Sharifi did not get the money from me, he said, “No problem. Maybe you did not have the means, but I want to help you. We will take you to the crime location. You and I will reconstruct the scene here in my office tonight and rehearse it, so that tomorrow in front of the judge and the prosecutor, and the media and public observers, you can re-enact it.” He then gave me a pen to use instead of the knife and said, “Show me what you did that day.” I tried to explain to him, but he would not accept it. In any event, we rehearsed the incident once at the Investigation Bureau according to the wishes of Lt. Sharifi.

13. The next day, in the presence of the judge, we went to the crime location. There were people and special guards, and they filmed the re-enactment. The judge asked the kids if they had seen me stabbing Mazdak Khodadadian, the victim! Only certain kids, who benefited from such tales, said that I had inflicted three stab wounds. The re-enactment was done near the end of my detention, i.e., on day 27, at the Investigation Bureau

14. At Branch 33 of the Public Court designated for youth crimes, presided over by Justice Loghman Kiapasha, every time I wanted to speak, the judge said that I had a lawyer and that when necessary my lawyer could speak on my behalf. Every time my lawyer wanted to speak, the judge said that it was not yet time for him to speak, and at that stage what mattered were the views of the Investigation Bureau. The judge told my lawyer, “After I render my decision, you can write up your statement of defense and put it in the file.”

Transfer to the Correctional Facilities

15. After 28 days of detention at the Investigation Bureau in Hesarak, Karaj, on 4 March 2003, I was transferred to the correctional facility in Shahr-e Ziba in Tehran. Justice Kiapasha made a ruling that upon my arrival at the correctional facility I should be sent to solitary confinement for a month so I would forget what I believed to be true. I spent the first month in solitary confinement. Conditions at the correctional facility were good and we were treated well. I was the editor of an internal monthly journal.

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Child Rights, Executions