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Witness Statement: Kourosh Sehati

Kourosh Sehati is a human rights activist and former member of several student groups in Iran. He was expelled from university because of his political activities and helped organize the July 1999 student protests. In this witness statement, Sehati describes his numerous arrests between 2000 and 2004, and his experiences in illegal detention facilities.


Full Name: Kourosh Sehati

Date of Birth: 1978

Place of Birth: Tehran, Iran

Occupation: Former Agricultural Engineering Student at Varamin University and Member of the United Students Front

Interviewing Organization: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC)

Date of Interview: October 26, 2008

Interviewer: Neda Shahidyazdani

Witnesses: None


This statement was prepared pursuant to an in-person interview with Mr. Kourosh Sehati. The statement consists of 40 paragraphs and 10 pages. The interview was conducted on October 26, 2008. The statement was approved by Mr. Sehati on December 28, 2008.


Witness Statement


1. My name is Kourosh Sehati. I was born in 1978 in the city of Tehran. I have been living in the United States as a political refugee for the past three years. Before that I was an agricultural engineering student at Varamin University. I was expelled from the Varamin University due to my political activities in connection with the United Students Front (which I helped found), and especially my role in the student uprisings on July 9, 1999.

2. I was arrested and detained several times by the Islamic Republic. I was detained for short periods of time following several run-ins [with the police], and several times due to my political activities.

3. I was first arrested on December 7, 1998 by the intelligence officers of the Law Enforcement Forces because I participated in a gathering commemorating Students Day at Tehran University. I was detained for one day.

4. The second time I was arrested on June 19, 1999 by the Amaken office of the Law Enforcement Forces next to the Hosseiniyihyyih Ershad. I was detained for one day. My friends and I had gone to the Hosseiniyihyyih Ershad to commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Shariati.1 A scuffle broke out between the students and Ansar-i Hizbullah. The Law Enforcement Forces arrived and Ansar-i Hizbullah delivered us to them. The Amaken forces then took us to a secret detention facility next to the main Law Enforcement Forces building, which was located on Motaharri Street. They blindfolded us and kept us there for several hours. I didn’t have an ID card on me and they didn’t know who I was. I used a fake name when I introduced myself. A little while later I was released along with 4 others.

5. Amaken does not have the right to arrest and detain political activists, but during those years this agency was engaged in illegal activities. My guess is that we were some of the first individuals to have been detained at this secret prison. After us, they took several writers (who were members of the writer’s guild), such as Mohammad Ali Safari, to this prison and interrogated them.

6. The events of July 9, 1999 occurred 20 days after [my latest arrest]. The United Students Front played a very important role in the planning and staging of the July 9th student demonstrations. Because I was a member of the United Student Front’s central committee I was heavily involved and active in these demonstrations. I gave interviews to radio stations and media outlets regarding the students’ demands and their circumstances. I was also responsible for taking food to the students at the university dormitory and collecting money on their behalf.


1 Dr. Ali Shariati was an Iranian sociologist and intellectual. He is regarded as one of the most influential Iranian thinkers of the 20th century, and one of the most important ideologues of the Iranian Revolution.

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Tagged as:

Cyber Journalism, Secret Prisons