Witness name and surname: Withheld
The place about which he is testifying: Karaj and Hashtgerd
Witness status: Arrested, witnessed to firing at people
Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Withheld
There is a Sepah post at Nazarabad Y-junction. On 16 November, I saw that they loaded Sepah and Basij men in buses and set out towards Karaj. They loaded four buses like this. The forces were plainclothes men. A number of them were carrying batons, were in uniforms and were wearing armoured helmets. Some of them, are maddah (reciters of eulogies) in Nazarabad.
Then I came to Gohardasht Y-junction. There was a large crowd under the bridge. I saw some of the Sepahis who live in Nazarabad; they were carrying batons. Some of them carried weapons. Some of them were wearing black helmets and carried black batons, and shields. Some of them were in plain clothes. But they were in a certain type of clothing that could identify them as a part of their forces. It was panther-design. Some of them were in military uniforms. They were in panther-design uniforms like that of the Special Guards. But the ones who were in plain clothes were wearing vests to protect them against blows. They had batons, shields and tear gas. Some of those forces had covered their faces. The same Special Guards who were in uniforms and were carrying batons in their hands were also wearing a cap (balaclava); with that cap they could not be recognized at all. The plainclothes men were in large numbers.
Assault and battery were carried out by batons. They sprayed tear gas. Two of the men carrying batons caught a 28- 30-year-old man and handed him over to a plainclothes man. He was a large man with stubble. He grabbed the collar of that man. He had tear gas. He quickly sprayed the tear gas in the eyes of that man. He started shouting: ‘My eyes are burning; I have gone blind.’ They threw him in a van. There were the Sepahis and the Basijis. When they targeted one person, they would show no mercy to him. They would beat him up. They didn’t care that it was his head and if they hit at it, it would break up. They would throw him in a van. They would fill the van with 10-15 persons and would quickly disappear; another van would replace it. There were two white vans, two police vans and two with private license plates. Its window glass was meshed which is pulled up for prisoners. I saw two men: one’s clothes had become pink, the other’s had become red. I inquired what was that. I was told that those who chant slogans are identified and fired at with paintballs and arrested.
The people who were there said that the snipers fired at passers-by. They didn’t know from where they did the firing. They were very professional. They would just target and shoot. There was too much sound of firing. They had fired assault bullet on the thigh of a young man under the Y-junction bridge. They attacked with batons a number of persons who wanted to pick him up and take him away. They told them not to pick him up. But the people threw stones at them and forced them to run away. Then they took him and put him in a car and drove away. They had fired tear gas and there was a lot of smoke. It was not at all clear whether they were the snipers or what. Suddenly you would see one person fall on the ground. I was frightened. As I saw a person falling, I would think that they might shoot me as well. So, I ran away. I could not stay there for more than 1-2 hours. There were too many security men.
There were 4-5 persons in front of the Governorate at 7 p.m.; I had seen two of them inside the Governorate. They said, shall we start firing at them. One of them replied: ‘First, take the film; identify their faces, then start firing at them.’ I was standing beside them; I took a turn from the Governorate and went to the guilds’ passage in Imam Khomeini Ave. Then they launched their attack and the skirmishes began. They had blocked the road from above Modarres. They threw (tear gas) at a certain point to direct the people to go to that side. On this side the forces were firing tear gas. They attacked the crowd. They were on foot and were carrying batons. They had tear gas and shields. Their plainclothes men were wearing panther-design vests; some of them had helmets on their heads. Their pants were panther-design military pants. I don’t know what uniforms they were wearing, of the Special Guards or what. The faces of Special Guards who were wearing helmets were covered. It was those glass helmets used by the Special Guards. Some of them were like this, some were not. They would hit with batons on the leg, shoulder, head or whatever. People would attack them and the skirmishes would begin. I saw some people had run away; their heads were all bloodied. I don’t know if they were identified or not. They would go straight after some and arrest them; they had arrested many people. The officers didn’t care whether someone was injured or not injured. They would just seize them and take them away. Taking the people to a doctor, a hospital was not an option.
A number of plainclothes men were standing towards the guilds passage on this side, the selfsame Sepahis. They would just grab the people and hand them over to others. All of them were on foot, as it was nearby. There were three four soldiers who would quickly shove the people inside the CID building. Then the police seized me. He hit several punches on my head; I became giddy. They took me inside the CID building which is adjacent to the Governorate. They had arrested too many young men; they had shoved 70-80 of them in the detention center. They had made them sit in the hall with plastic handcuffs on their hands. They had tied their hands and feet. They said that the soldiers would come and take you by bus. I managed to escape. My face had become a bit black and blue.
It was too crowded. The forces had dispersed and they were just arresting; they arrested even the passersby. They had a secret house with a basement in the alleys of Hashtgerd. I did not see it, but I am hundred per sure that they took most of the arrested persons to that house. basically, it is a detention center; it is a place for torture.
On 18 November, I went out close to sunset. People had assembled again in front of Mosalla at 5:00 p.m. People had come out and chanted slogans. Demonstrations in favour of the government were also held. They chanted slogans in support of the government. When people hooted them, they would arrest the people. All of them were in plain clothes. Some of them were from the Governorate; some were from the Education Department, some from the Registration Department, some from the “Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation”. Most of them were in government forces. There were too many security men. They provoked and challenged the people; they would say: ‘Were you not chanting slogans? Go on and chant slogans! We are waiting for you to chant slogans.’ Some of them had come from the Governorate and mingled with the people. They would say: ‘Why have you come here?’ A unit of 200 men had gathered there. They would talk among themselves and say: ‘Tell so and so not to come to us from tomorrow. He will be expelled from the Governorate. All of us must come here to protect the System.’
The protests were very strong on Sunday, and then they became very weak. They suppressed them greatly. In our neighbourhood, they would identify many later on and take them away. My colleagues would say: ‘So and so was taken away from his house after two, three days.’ One of our friends was coming home from his workplace from the side of Ghaleh Hassan Khan; he was shot on the shank of his leg. He said that something was on this side of his leg; it had exploded the other side. The cousin of a friend is in the Sepah. He said that this weapon was imported recently and is horrible. According to him, it is a large pellet and is terrifying; if it strikes on the foot, the foot must be severed.
I know one Sepahi who works for the Telecommunications of Hashtgerd. His brother is is the commander of Sepah of Karaj. But he lives in Nazarabad. A person works for Radio & Television of Karaj. Previously he worked for the Intelligence of Nazarabad. Another one is in the Governorate of Hashtgerd I saw them identifying the people and taking people’s photographs. The political deputy of Hashtgerd is Mohammadi. I saw them among the protestors identifying them. Seyed Hosseini in the Governorate is the judicial head, I believe. I saw them with my own eyes amidst the protestors. Persons who were identifying were in plain clothes, in suits. They would quickly take anyone they identified to a corner, quickly handcuff them and would take them away. I saw a number of them in suits in Hashtged. I had seen them a lot of times in the Governorate. I had seen some of them in Relief Komiteh. The ones I am talking about, they are basically office workers. They work for the Governorate, for the Relief Komiteh, Personal Status Registry, in government institutions; I have seen them often in those places.
I heard Hossein Keshavarz Afshar was killed in Ghaleh Hassan Khan. The bullet had hit his head. His brother committed suicide a few days ago. It was said that he loved his brother very much.