Witness Name and Surname: Withheld
Witness’s Sex: Male
Place testified about: Karaj
Witness’s condition: Injured, arrested, witness to firing at people, wounded
Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Withheld
It was 6:30 PM. I was in front of the Bashgah Enghelab gas station in Baghestan and saw a very long queue. I noticed that the roads were blocked and there was a traffic jam. Security men were all over. It was chaotic. I went to the 1st Roundabout of Gowhardasht and saw that it was too crowded. I walked from Rastakhiz Boulevard up to the 1st Roundabout and saw that it was not the place to stay, people were protesting. I was there for one hour. So much tear gas had been fired that it burned our eyes.
The plainclothesmen in black clothes and black motorbikes were from the Basij. It was a terrible atmosphere. The forces had war equipment and were fully equipped. The Special Guards had black motorbikes and black vehicles covered by black iron mesh; they all wore black helmets and chemical masks to shield them from tear gas. They were all taller than 185 centimetres. They were Special Guards. Their clothes were completely black, they had vests and handcuffs, elastic waist belts, and plastic handcuffs. They carried batons, tear gas, and war weapons like urban Barettas and Uzis. Some of them carried Kalashnikovs. Some wore Khaki uniforms, but they did not carry war weapons.
(The black-uniform men) fired several shots. Now I don’t know whether it was practice shooting or not. They fired it to create terror and intimidation. When the Internet was connected at 3-4 AM, we learned that they had fired assault bullets and had killed people. Some of them wouldn’t even talk. They shot to kill; it didn’t matter at all to them where they hit you. They would kick with boots; they hit people on the head with batons; they broke heads and hands. They dragged people to the ground; clothes would be torn, and the skin lacerated. I even saw them beating people with the shields they carried in their hands. All of them (who were beaten up) were not protesters. Even when you fled from the security men, you would naturally bump into pedestrians or store shutters, walls, or trees, suffering injuries. There were a lot of young men who were subjected to attacks. They were on those black vans which are covered by black iron mesh. Some of them carried those plastic handcuffs; they would tie your hands on your back and throw you in the vehicles. Suddenly four-five of them, ten of them, would descend on one person to drag them away.
(When the security agents saw those who were wounded) they would show no reaction; they would beat them up harder and haul them away as if they had caught the prey and were beating it to weaken it so they could move it out. The faces of the security men were by no means identifiable. They had both visors and gas masks. There was an ambulance, but I did not see it transferring someone (to the hospital). If a person was injured and transferred to an ambulance or a hospital, there was no escape for him; he was in deep trouble.
It was 6 PM, sunset. I went to the street again in Bazargani Avenue in front of Brezent Street as it was too crowded. They had put blocks on footpaths to prevent comings and goings. I walked on foot up to 45-metri Street and arrived there about 6:30. It was overcrowded on 45-metri Street (of Golshahr). The entire 45-metri Street beginning at Karaj Highway was jam-packed all along the way. The security men did not allow the people to be united; they would create a distance between them. The security agents in black uniforms, who put logos on their uniforms, were from the police. The ones in muddy clothes were clearly from the Basij and the IRGC; they usually do not put any logos on their uniforms in case of riots. They were fully equipped and armed with khaki uniforms, boots, motor trailers, helmets with visors, and gas masks. It had been planned to hide their names so they would have no problems later on. Several plainclothesmen were in the crowd; they were distinct. They identified people and arrested them. They themselves participated in the destruction; when banks were set on fire, it was said that they (the security men) had done it themselves.
When I arrived at Boulevard Houshyar from Ghazvin Road, it was 7:30 PM. I was walking on the footpath to get further below. A bank was set on fire there. When I arrived there, it was a riot run amok. One could hear shooting. People said that ordinary people were being shot at and hauled away. The corpses were removed by the authorities themselves, it was said. The sound of shooting could be heard all over the city but I did not see the shooting myself. However, the blood was everywhere. I saw the blood myself at Houshyar Boulevard. We had no weapons other than sticks and stones to defend ourselves against the security men. Some people had prepared Molotov cocktails and threw them at the officers to keep them at bay. The officers hit back at us with whatever they got hold of, even the same stones we threw at them to keep them at bay. They hit anyone and everyone: men, women, and children.
Old and young made no difference to them. I saw many wounded people; broken hands, heads, torn clothes, faces, and heads lacerated. People helped each other spontaneously and removed the injured from the scene quickly. Those who became sick would be seized and arrested. The black-uniformed security agents had the most training and hit people more than others. Ambulances were everywhere. We know that the injured were transferred to the ambulance, but the officers were in the ambulance too. Those who were caught and moved to the ambulance were in critical condition.
The officers would launch counterattacks and raid the crowd. In one of the counterattacks I was fleeing, a tall, big officer in a black uniform kicked my leg with his boot, and I fell to the ground; a part of my thigh came in contact with a piece of fire and my pants and leg burned. My leg had a severe burn; the marks are still there. I stayed at home for treatment and did not go to hospital out of fear. The officers were in the hospital; anyone who went to hospital was arrested.