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Witness Statement: Reza Azad

Reza Azad describes the brutal mistreatment and torture he suffered as a political prisoner in Iran from 1982 to 1987.


Name: Reza Azad

Father's Name: Khosrow

Place of Birth: Tehran, Iran

Date of Birth: 1958

Occupation: ICT Specialist

Interviewing Organization: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC)

Date of Interview: May, 2009

Interviewer: IHRDC Staff


This statement was prepared pursuant to an in person interview with Mr. Reza Azad. The statement consists of 129 paragraphs and 22 pages. The interview was conducted in May, 2009. The statement was approved by Reza Azad on August 26, 2010.


Witness Statement


1. My name is Reza Azad and I am 51 years old. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic. I was imprisoned twice in Iran.

2. I was first arrested for my political activities with the Organization of the Iranian People’s Fedai Guerillas (Fedaian-e Khalq), although I was no longer an active member at the time. I was arrested a second time after I tried to illegally cross the Iranian border.

3. I have many physical and psychological difficulties stemming from the torture I endured while in prison in those years.

Political Activity at University

4. I started my studies at Shiraz Pahlavi University, which later became Shiraz University after the fall of the Shah, in the year 1977. I was a student at Shiraz University when the Cultural Revolution began.1

5. During my years at university, I was deeply involved in student activism against the Islamic Republic.

6. When the universities closed in 1359, I left Shiraz and went to live in Tehran. I began to work as a teacher in two very poor neighborhoods in the south of Tehran. I worked in this job for two years.

First Arrest

7. The first time I was arrested was on 27 Mehr 1361 (19 October 1982). A group of persons that I later came to realize belonged to the Islamic Revolutionary Komiteh2 warrant. The agents did not even allow me the opportunity to change my clothing or put on shoes.

1The Iranian Cultural Revolution was a period following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran when the government attempted to purge academic institutions of Western and non-Islamic influences to bring it in line with Shia Islam. The Cultural Revolution began in 1980 (1359) and resulted in the closure of universities for three years from the summer of 1980 until 1983 (1359-1361).

2Komiteh is a Revolutionary Committee, and can sometimes refer to the officers themselves. Komitehs were Islamic groups organized around mosques in communities throughout Iran. From the year 1978, Komitehs carried out governmental, as well as police and internal security duties. They gradually extended their authority over many areas of Iran and sometimes clashed with parallel power structures like the Revolutionary Guards.

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, 1988 Prison Massacre, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Free Association