With greetings and high esteem, I wish you divine grace. By presenting the following account through this means of expression, I’m taking the liberty to inform you the manner of arrest, interrogation, and other issues concerning my file:
On 88/3/27 (6/17/09), while I the undersigned was resting at my daughter’s house, security forces around 1am ominously surrounded the entire neighborhood and broke into the entrance of our building, going into my daughter’s apartment with their shoes on without any warrant [for arrest]. The security forces were vulgar and rude with my daughter, son-in-law, and wife. They arrested me and brought me first to Row 209 before transferring me to Row 320 at Evin Prison.
I spent 138 days, which is four and a half months, in solitary confinement. The interrogators from the start began with beatings, blows, punching, and kicking. Initially there were seven interrogators, but after one or two months four of them didn’t come anymore, and only two or three remained to interrogate me until the final stages of the case.
Throughout the interrogation period, I passed out fifteen times during and after the sessions. The interrogations came with intense physical and psychological pressure, and I’m taking the liberty to describe some part of [that experience] as follows:
- Psychological pressure. For example, every day threatening to execute and kill me; because of my collaboration with Hashemi Rafsanjani I deserved to die. They would always bring me glad tidings of death. In other instances, the interrogators threatened to rape me. Or threatened to send me off to the horrid mass rows where the bad people stay and apparently, according to what is said, where the interrogators rape newly admitted detainees.
- Threatening to arrest my wife, daughter, and son-in-law in order to probe into the abovementioned so-called case for my arrest and imprisonment. One day, I heard the crying and wailing of a woman from a few cells down during interrogation. My interrogator informed me that, “This is your daughter Zainab who’s being tortured.” Upon hearing this news, I felt as if the world collapsed on my head. Because my daughter has an infant child. For about one month I was mentally and psychologically distressed. Because if they threatened to rape and do other horrible things to me, then what would they do to a young girl? I was also worried that my daughter’s child would have to live without a mother. After one month, they let me call home and I realized that my interrogator had lied and my daughter had not been arrested.
- My interrogator’s insistence, with his own special technique of abuse and beating, that I confess to having affairs with all the ladies who were in contact with me during the election, such as Mrs. X who regarding the search for genuine documents was in contact with me, or other ladies such as Fatemeh and Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani….
- Exploring personal and private issues along with bullying and torture. They sometimes said that, “This so and so female reporter who has been arrested confessed that she had an affair with you.” And in this way they would psychologically torture me.
- The interrogators announced that if on the day of the trial I don’t read the declaration of guilt as dictated by them, “One lady in the public court hearing will stand up and proclaim that you had an affair with her and such!” In this way they forced me, for the sake of my family’s reputation, to read their version of declaration of guilt in court, and immediately that trial had been prepared against me and Mehdi Hashemi was broadcast on television. We later heard that the Supreme Leader did not agree with Sound and Vision (state media) to broadcast the trials.
- The aforementioned text (declaration of guilt) containing many errors such as exaggerations and false statements against other people. We found out that the Supreme Leader in his Eid-e-Fitr address announced that confessing against others in court [without any grounds] is unlawful and ineffective. When in fact these confessions against others occurred at the interrogators’ insistence. At least in my case these issues are completely true.
- The interrogators’ insistence to write affidavits against other people. In this way, they wanted affidavits against other people and when I wasn’t writing they would hit me. I would write and they would still hit me, “You wrote but you didn’t write everything!” And they would play with my nerves and mind.
- The interrogators guarding me as I stand by the wall for many hours. Beatings and slapping, hitting me on the neck, kicking and punching my stomach and other parts of my body in such a way that I on two occasions bled and for many days the bleeding continued. In those days, no matter how much I insisted that they bring me to a doctor for treatment, they with the excuse Row 240 has no doctor (at that time Row 240 had no doctor or clinic, and they would bring the ill to Row 209) put off the medical treatment.
- The interrogators wrote up a story and on their terms I must confess to opportunism as a fuel against Hashemi and myself, and they were demanding me to do this with torture. One of the interrogators many times strangled me until I passed out, kicking and hitting to torture me.
- Plunging my head in the toilet, in this way sexually and psychologically torturing me.
- Forbidding me to have a lawyer and other legal rights at the primary stages of the trial and the rehearing, and their interferences in the declarations and the answers which I wrote to the court. Because at the time of my verdict I was still imprisoned at Row 240. I was accused of immoral character because my lawyer Mr. Alizadeh-Tabatabaei also had immoral character! And they called him sexually perverted and refused to accept any power of attorney in my case from him or any other lawyer.
- Preventing any qualified of financial charges against me and Mehdi Hashemi made by the first court, the rehearing, and the unfair sentencing.
- Conducting a psychological war against me and sending different people by the door of my cell and asking me, “Who is your interrogator?” The plan was to make me scared of the violent and ruthless interrogator, and that’s a long story.
- Insulting and humiliating me in front of my fellow inmates and friends who were in the other cells, insulting and humiliating them in front of me. Breaking and crushing the character and dignity of the others as well as mine.
- Insulting, humiliating, and impugning my wife and daughters which really disturbed me. This issue has a long explanation which cannot fit in this letter.
- Hitting me in front of others and hitting others in front of me.
- Throwing lewd and filthy curses at me which are unwarranted to my background and character. For six years I was one of the commanders during the Iran-Iraq War and the holy defense, and head of the IRGC headquarters of Tehran province (10th District). I also served about six years as governor of Varamin. For seven years I was director general for political affairs at the President’s Office during the Hashemi and Khatami administrations. For a time I was also political advisor to a presidential body. Without any justification, the interrogators behaved very absurdly and foolishly towards my background and character.
- Keeping me for a long time in solitary confinement for 138 days at Row 240 and at the second phase keeping me for another 100 days on some other charge. Over an eight-month period I was in 240, and four and half months of it in solitary confinement.
- Humiliating me in front of my children and wife: “If you knew what a rotten father and husband you have, you wouldn’t spend one day with him!” Any way to sow conflict and cynicism in any family is wicked and inhuman.
- Impugning and lying about my family in saying, “We want to free you but they did an interview with the BBC and don’t let us free you.” When in fact my family has never ever talked with domestic media, let alone the foreign media or the BBC.
- Psychologically torturing me by bringing me to the other cells and the cells of those being interrogated, such as Seyed Alireza Beheshti (the son of Shahid Beheshti), Alviri, Abu Talebi, Hedayat Allah Aghaei, Mohammad Reza Nourbakhsh, etc. All this inflicted intense mental and psychological pressure.
- The interrogators as a group would humiliate me by shaving off my beard and keeping my mustache on, laughing and comparing my look to foreign actors.
- Threatening my family when they visited me, interrupting our conversations and threatening to arrest, etc.
- Repeatedly disconnecting the phone during my conversations with my family, causing much psychological torture to me and my family.
- Using foul language too embarrassing for me to describe.
- Declaring that Hashemi is the second Montazeri and that I am Seyed Mehdi Hashemi, and that I should be executed.
- Accusing me of seeking to overthrow the regime and being anti-Revolutionary, whereas I, more than all of these interrogators combined, have a history of fighting at the frontlines of war and the holy defense, as well as being part of the revolutionary scene. Yet they consider themselves as despicable inheritors of the Revolution and being in step with it, while considering me and others as outsiders and anti-Revolutionary.
- They were stubborn forces. They threatened to kill me even if the court does not [formally] sentence me to death! I assert that my family and I have no security because of them, and they averred that if one I day I’m set free, “We will destroy you!” Because in their opinion, I am the corrupted on earth.
- Even though the story of my interrogations is sad, and all of it cannot be told on this one occasion, I can say that in the face of their pressures they swore to God and the Prophet before me. Yet much to my amazement, they were ridiculing the holy figures and did not have any qualms about their insolence.
- The next important point is that they would make me confess [to false stories] every day and these confessions were done in several stages along with beating and abuse. I had to confess in writing and on camera.
- Their insults against my family are very regretful: because Mr. Hashemi’s wife invited my wife and daughters to travel to Mashhad for the 15th of Shaaban, the interrogators taunted that Hashemi’s son had some sinister intentions for my family!
- Throughout my entire stay in 240, in my four and half month solitary confinement, they forbade me to see a doctor despite the fact that I have heart disease and in the past been receiving medical care. I passed out fifteen times during and after the interrogations.
In especially proving my claims in order to reach the truth, I can make my case against the interrogators public and receive help from other people who have also endured suffering. I could introduce these victims so that the faces of these interrogators are revealed. I believe that no one has suffered from so much pressure as much as I have, since they were hostile to Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani and placed me under intense pressure and torture because of my contact with him.
Regarding allegations [against me], I have a proposal. Realize [and achieve] some professionalism.
For alleged [financial] fraud I have been sentenced to ten years in prison, and this verdict lacks official merit. No financial authority has confirmed [that I’m guilty]—unless [those responsible] have pressured and threatened some people to confess. Any confession you receive made under such force and torture is worthless!
I humbly request you to form a non-political court and executing Article 18 for my case and for other indicted people linked to my case. I hope that it will be successful, and that my case would be examined within a legal and lawful environment. Not within a political environment abound with prejudices.
At the time of writing, it has been days since I have left CCU (critical care unit) and my medical treatment hasn’t ended. Sometimes I pass out from nightmares!
The doctors are worried about my psychological situation. Please order that I be released provided that I’ve reached full recovery—because the environment in prison is very tense and stressful for me.
Meanwhile, my medical records from my recent time at CCU and the hospital, and my time under doctor supervision, as well as my lawyer’s defense statement written for appeal which has not yet been examined, are enclosed for your appraisal.