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Witness Statement of Mohammad Shams

Mohammad Shams, a young political opposition supporter, describes his arrest, detention and torture after he participated in demonstrations protesting the June 2009 presidential elections results.


Name: Mohammad Shams

Place of Birth: Tehran, Iran

Date of Birth: 1984 or 1985

Interviewing Organization: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC)

Date of Interview: April 20, 2010

Interviewer: IHRDC Staff


This statement was prepared pursuant to an in person interview with Mohammad Shams. The statement was approved by Mohammad Shams on June 8, 2011.


Witness Statement


1. My name is Mohammad Shams, I am 25 years old, and was born in Tehran. Prior to leaving Iran, I was self-employed in Tehran.

2. Before the recent presidential elections in 2009 I worked at the Mousavi campaign headquarters. During this time, I was arrested once prior to the election and again after the election. During my second detention, I was beaten so severely that I suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. I eventually left Iran for Turkey one month ago, in March 2010.

3. I have a father and mother and one sister and one brother who are younger than me, and we all resided in Iran. My father has owned a supermarket shop in Tehran for twenty-five years. He was also a veteran of the war and previously was a news reporter.

Prior to the Election

4. Prior to the election, officials allowed people to campaign for their desired candidates in a designated time period. I, along with my friends, campaigned for Mousavi at his campaign headquarters above the gas station on Niavaran Street in Tehran. I let the Mousavi campaign headquarters use my car; we painted it and attached a picture of Mousavi to it. We handed out green scarves and bracelets, and Mousavi campaign leaflets to people throughout the night.

5. In that same period of campaigning prior to the election, I was arrested one time. A few of us Mousavi supporters were campaigning on North Pasdaran Street at the crossroads of Shariati and were handing out green scarves to people. There were also Ahmadinejad supporters campaigning on the other side of the street. They were Basiji, wore white shirts and pants, and were equipped with radios. We were smiling when we encountered them but they got in front of us and started calling us "sissy boys." There were a few women who were present in our group and the Ahmadinejad supporters started to argue with and encroach upon these women, therefore, we got into a fight with them.

6. Then they used their radios to contact officials from the police station who arrived in the course of five minutes in green Mercedes Benz cars. The Ahmadinejad supporters portrayed us as the attackers and said we were Mousavi supporters, were savages, and had attacked them. Anyhow, we were taken to the police station.

7. At the police station, the officers welcomed us with a slap. Afterwards, they asked us if we wanted to campaign or if we wanted to create chaos. I said that our campaigning was peaceful but because they (the Basijis) wanted to raise a hand against a woman, I became angry.

8. Eventually at the police station, they told us our families would have to come and give guarantees in order for us to go free. Every one of us got word to our families and, with their guarantees; we were freed that same night.

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