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They put me in a cell where someone called Adel and others first took off all my clothes, including my underwear, and when faced with my resistance, started beating me and took my glasses and watch. I was left with some old and dirty Kurdish clothes.
After months of arguments and following-up my case in order to have my documents (ie passport) returned so that I could return to Italy, I got no result. (Massoud Rajavi had by this time announced that from nowon nobody would be allowed to leave Iraq toward Europe). Finding an exceptional opportunity in Baghdad, I took myself to the 'Office of Protection of Italy's Interests' in Baghdad and explained the problem to the head of that office. First they contacted Italy (by letter) for confirmation of my identity (as I did not have any documentary evidence), and when this was confirmed they followed the case through the Foreign Ministry of Iraq. In the meantime, Mehdi Abrishamchi, Ebrahim Zakeri and Farid Soleimani came to the 'Office of Protection of Italy's Interests' and asked to speak to me. At first I did refused. Then, on the insistence of the head of the Office, I accepted to speak with them. At first they tried to take me with them with promises and psychological manipulation (showing me undue kindness, etc) I did not accept and said that I would only leave the Office if my documents were returned to me. These meetings, following the same pattern, continued over a week and did not elicit any result. On the other hand, I was getting weaker and weaker having started a hunger strike. The head of the Office contacted the office of the United Nations in Baghdad and asked for help. They accepted to transfer me to Jordan and for the Italian Embassy there to arrange to send me back to Italy. But later, the head of the Office of Protection of Italy's Interests gave in to the pressure exerted by Iraq and the Mojahedin, or he did a deal with them, because he told me 'as the Mojahedin have accepted to send you back to Italy, you have no other choice but to accept this, and since we do not have an Embassy in Iraq we will have to hand you over to the Iraqi authorities'. (The Iraqi Secret Service personnel were there in the Office to take me away, but the head of the Office sent them away.) Under these circumstances I accepted that they [Mojahedin] give me a written guarantee to send me back in a few months (this was signed by Abrishamchi in front of me and given to the head of the Office). They [Mojahedin] proposed that during this time I stay in a hotel which they proposed for security reasons. I didn't think it would be a good idea and we agreed that I stay in one of their bases in Baghdad. But as Mehdi Abrishamchi, Ebrahim Zakeri, Farid Soleimani and I came out of the Office, I was confronted by the Iraqi Security Services together with Mahmoud Ataiee, Hassan Nezam and Jafar (false name). They took me to Ashraf Camp. My complaints were answered by swearing and to intimidate me they used a scarf to blindfold me. In Ashraf Camp, Ebrahim Zakeri and Mahmoud Ataiee tried to talk to me to convince me to return to the Unit I had come from. I said there is nothing more to be said and everything has been talked over in the Italian Interest Office. When they got no result, they left and a man called Hassan Mohassel (Javad) came with the title 'Representative of the Anti-Intelligence Bureau'. He asked me to sign a piece of paper. I took the paper, tore it up and threw it back at him. Following this, Majid Alemzadeh and two more people called Mokhtar and Fereydoun attacked me and tied my hands, blindfolded my eyes and bound my mouth. They placed me under the seat of a landcruiser and took me to a place in the same camp (prison) which nobody knew about. It was run under the guise of a water purification project under the supervision of the Iraqi authorities (near to the old water purification facility of Ashraf Camp). They put me in a cell where someone called Adel and others first took off all my clothes, including my underwear, and when faced with my resistance, started beating me and took my glasses and watch. I was left with some old and dirty Kurdish clothes. After one or two weeks, Mahmoud Ataiee together with Hassan Mohassal came and tried to use 'kindly, emotive questioning' to break my hunger strike. They said that whatever had happened was now finished and that I should come and return to my previous situation. In response, I started eating some washing powder which was there in an attempt to kill myself. This resulted in my stomach bleeding. I was vomiting blood and scratching the floor because of pain, but they refused to take me to a hospital. In this situation, Mahvash Sepheri (Nasrin) together with Mehdi Abrishamchi and Ebrahim Zakeri came and used every possible way to make me surrender. It didn't work. My condition was getting worse but they wouldn't leave me alone. I felt that they wouldn't mind if I died if I didn't surrender to them, so they could say that I had killed myself because Mehdi Abrishamchi was saying "let me put your mind at rest. You know that Massoud [Rajavi] has emphasised that there is no going back to Europe, and forget the Italian Embassy [Office for Protection of Italy's Interests] and what happened there. What you have done up to now (the political disgrace) is worse than killing ten people." At the end, Ebrahim Zakeri emphasised that you could have gone to Iran and got killed and nobody would question that (threat to kill). But since my problem had been exposed outside (to the Office of Protection of Italy's Interests and Italy itself knew about it), it was obvious they couldn't get rid of me or at least they felt the price would be too high because now they had tied me to the bed and connected a serum [injection] to me. When I felt that under no circumstance whatsoever, considering all that had happened, would they let me go, with the intention of finding a way to escape and run away, I decided to accept to come out of prison. I therefore started to accept things little by little and stopped my hunger strike. After that, Mahvash Sepheri brought a message from Rajavi saying that 'I heard the news with great surprise and I ask you please to forget everything and act in a manner that would credit me'. But Mahvash Sepheri asked me to sign a letter to the head of the Office for Protection of Italy's Interests in Baghdad saying that I had changed my mind and do not want to go to Italy. I refused to sign, even though they promised to send me later. I came out after six months, but was not allowed to leave Ashraf Camp. A team, headed by Hossein Esfahani was watching me the whole time. One night, under cover of darkness, I approached a water tanker whose driver was Iraqi (Estekhbarat - Iraqi Security Services) and climbed into the water tank. I knew that this tanker would take water on a daily basis for the Iraqi Security units surrounding the camp. I stayed in the water tank until morning in the hope of running away from the camp. But when they started filling the tank I was forced to lift my head out a little and I was seen. I was arrested and taken back to the same prison, but this time with much greater violence. After this, the so-called court case and the judiciary system started. First the interrogations were carried out by a team headed by Hassan Mohassel in the presence of Ahmad Hanif Nejad. Again, after all the allegations of being a mercenary, they asked me to sign the letter to the Italian Office in Baghdad. I did not sign. After all the efforts of this team, a man called Nader Rafiee Nejad, came under the title of Head of the Judiciary System. From the beginning he started acting like the 'lumpen' [prole] people from the lowest parts of Tehran in a way that they couldn't do themselves. He started swearing and when I would not listen or answer or get angry, Majid Alemzadeh and another man who were behind the door, would come in and beat me up. After a few weeks of this, they announced that I have a court hearing. They took me to a room they called a court (of course always with bound hands and eyes). In there, when they unbound my eyes, I faced these people: a woman called Shahin Hayeri, Head of the Court; another woman called Marzieh, the First Deputy; Mahmoud Ghaemshahr, the Second Deputy; Farshid, the Prosecutor; Majid Alemzadeh, Secretary; and two other people. First, the so-called Prosecutor said things as before such as that I am a mercenary and was attempting to run away etc. He asked me to answer, but I remained silent. When this persistence, together with the worst kind of swearing, continued, I said, you are mercenaries yourselves. I said I didn't want to run away, and pretended I had lost my mind and had got into the water tanker without knowing what I was doing. They announced a recess and then came back (Mahvash Sepheri was behind the scenes) and announced that the verdict is execution. But since Massoud Rajavi opposes that, the verdict would be life imprisonment. They returned me to the same cell. With the intention of escape, I started to act as though I was sorry and after a while asked to be permitted to return to my old job. After about one year, I was released from prison and transferred to a camp called Anzali which is situated near Jalula in Iraq near the Iran-Iraq border where I couldn't easily get to Baghdad and the Italian Interests Office. One night, when there was a 'high alert' practice, I took advantage of the chaotic situation and escaped from my guards. But I was arrested in the security zone outside the camp which was run jointly by the Mojahedin and the Iraqis. My head was split open because of being hit with the butt of their guns and I fell unconscious with the bleeding. The next thing I knew, I was in hospital in an Iraqi military camp. They had stitched my head wound without any anaesthetic, painkillers or even the minimum of sanitary facilities. They returned me to Ashraf Camp with a beating, even though I was fainting and vomiting all the time. They sent me back to the same cell. I was left without any medical attention and I even had to remove my own stitches with great pain and difficulty. The scars are still visible and I suffer continuous headaches and loss of balance. The story of interrogations and court appearances didn't stop. This time I was condemned to execution but told that because Rajavi is against it, unfortunately we cannot execute you and you will be waiting stay of execution until after the victory [when the Islamic Republic of Iran is toppled]. Again, I remained about two years in solitary confinement, but in the worst condition. Projectors [floodlights] were on 24 hours a day and there was a horrifying atmosphere to prevent me from sleeping. One day, in the year 1379 [1998], Batoul Rajaee came and told me that the only way for you to be released is for you to go to Iran. At first I didn't accept and told them that if the regime is going to kill me, you may as well kill me. They said that 'if you are not armed and lead a quiet life, nothing will happen.' I insisted that they send me to an Iraqi prison, but they didn't accept. However, using the Estekhbarat forces (Iraqi Security Services) they took me over the Alavand river together with an Iraqi who spoke good Farsi. On the other side of the river they left me and started shooting at me. The Iranian border patrol forces started shooting at the same point in response. I saved my own life by taking advantage of the darkness and hiding in the bushes. I spent the night in the bushes with the wild pigs and when it became light, I approached a village. From there I made my way to Khoramshahr and contacted my family. With their help and the help of a trafficker I left Iran. The scars from torture, the broken head and surgery which was carried out under my stomach are visible. A brief description of the prison As far as I remember, this place was built in 1990 under the name of a water purification project (this is what was written over it then) and was carried out by an Iraqi Army Engineering unit. To cover the true nature of the mechanisms and facilities, they first placed barbed wire around it and then a huge dyke and after that a high wall. As I was blindfolded when they moved me around inside it, I don't know much about it. But as a general view, they have made about twenty cells inside it with the following specifications. In an area of 10 x 15 [meters] which is surrounded by walls of about 4 meters, they have made a room of 3 x 3 [meters] in concrete with a toilet. Surrounding these cells is empty space. After some time (several months) they would open the cell door now and then so that I could walk in the 10 x 15 area. The light inside the cell and the projectors [floodlights] outside were on all night. The work and the security of the place was carried out by people like Ahmad Hanif Nejad, Davood, Adel, Mahmoud Ataiee, Hassan Mohassel, Nader Rafiee Nejad, Majid Alemian and etc. Generally, the people from the Mojahedin's former polit-bureau or similar. Entry or leaving would only take place between 3 and 4 am. First they would take the victim to another place and then at night they would transfer him or her to this place. You could more than often hear the crying, swearing, beating and shouting etc which would reveal the resistance of the victim and the reaction of the other side. The subject of being sent to Iran About three months after my last escape attempt, Batoul Rajaee (member of the Leadership Council and Head of Personnel) came and said, the only chance you have not to rot in this cell is to accept the offer to go to Iran. We will solve all your problems. I did not accept and said that if I am supposed to be lost like this, I would rather this happen here. Ebrahim Zakeri had threatened me in the past and said that that you could have gone to Iran and what happened to you there would be none of our business. Let me put your mind at ease, the Italians would never follow your case either. Because I felt that they wanted to be rid of me without a trace, I said I would go to Iran as long as it was part of an [military] operation (my aim was to get out and try to run away again). In the end, Mahvash Sepheri (Nasrin) came out and said: "look, you cannot fool us any more. We know you are thinking of running away again. Let me put your mind at rest, this time we will ask the Iraqi Estekhbarat to enter and if you move they will shoot you. Even though you are not worth trusting, if you sign to say that you have gone to Iran, then we are willing to let you participate in a patrol operation to prove yourself. When you come back you will be worth talking to." I accepted. Later, Fazli came as the Representative of the Internal [Iran] Division and briefed me on what subjects were in Tehran for intelligence gathering and the radio and telephone communications, how to get to Abadan with false documents (a driving licence and a work card from a company), with the name of Javad Taghavi (I have these documents). At the end, under the strict security of the Iraqi Estekhbarat and under the command of an Iraqi officer and the Mojahedin security team, including Fazli, Farshid and Hossein Esfahani, we went first to Basra and then to the border city of Fav, then from an Iraqi military camp situated on the river 'Shatt-al-Arab' in a boat with an Iranian Arab (from Khuzestan), who was working for the Iraqis, we were sent to Iran. Up to this point I couldn't run away because of the amount of security. I thought that the smuggler didn't know anything and that he must think I am with the Mojahedin. Before reaching the end of the river, I threw my bag into the water. When I was getting out of the boat, I told the smuggler that I had lost my bag and must go back to pick it up. He was alone and I thought I could easily lose him. At first he said, I will fish it out for you and told the boat to leave. In the end he told me, I know you did that deliberately so you would not have to go to Iran. I have been told that under no circumstances should you reach Iraqi soil. In these circumstances, we came under fire from the Iranian border guards and had to run into the bushes. When I discovered that he knew my situation, I said, OK you are with me and whatever happens to me will happen to you also. I will not leave you unless you take me back to Iraq. I will not go to the Mojahedin or the Iraqis and you will not have a problem. In the end he became anxious and accepted. But he said that since we don't have a boat to return, we have to go and hire a boat in Iran. I said, let's go along the shore to Khoramshahr. But he said it was full of mines and he didn't know the way. In the end we agreed to go to Abadan and hire a boat from someone he knew. But unfortunately he cheated me and ran away. I contacted my brother in Kerman and got the address of one of our family in Abadan. I told him my story and that I had to leave Iran as soon as possible. The family were also afraid that something might happen to me, so they found a smuggler and sent me out. After a month I arrived in Turkey and from there came to Germany. Iran Peyvand Association

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