Please find below the translation of the letter Farzad Kamangar wrote from prison, explaining the torture and abuse he has undergone in the past 19 months. You can find the origional letter in Farsi at http://www.f-kamangar.hra-iran.org/page6.html
A Letter From Farzad Kamangar, a Political Prisoner In Rajaieeshahr Prison
I Farzad Kamangar also known as “Siyamand” am a teacher in the city of Kamyaran with 12 years of experience. A year before my arrest I was teaching at “ Honarestane Karoudanesh.” I was also a member of the Kurdish branch of the teachers union in Kamyaran. Before the union was outlawed I was in charge of public relations. I was also a member of the writers association for the newspaper “Mahnameye Farhangi Amuzeshi Royan” which was also eventually banned from publication. I was also board member of “Zist Mehyali” Association in Kamyaran. Starting from the year 2005 I worked as a journalist as well became a member of the Human Rights Activists in Iran.
In July of 2006 I came to Tehran to follow upon my brother’s medical treatments. My brother is a Kurdish political activist. Upon my arrival in Tehran I was arrested and taken to an unknown place, it was a very small, dark basement. The cells in this place were empty, there were no blankets or rugs or sheets.
They took me to a room and as they were interviewing me they asked me about my ethnicity. When I told them that I was of the Kurdish Ethnicity they lashed my entire body. They also lashed me because of the Kurdish music which I had saved on my mobile phone.
They would tie my hands, make me sit on a chair and put pressure on the sensitive areas of my body. They would also strip me naked and threaten me with rape by various objects such as wood.
My left leg was injured badly during this time. Also due to the beatings I received on my head as well as electric shock I would lose consciousness. I have lost control of my body and shake uncontrollably for no reason. They would chain my feet together and give me electric shocks on sensitive parts of my body which was extrmeley painful.
Later on I was transferred to Section 209 of the Evin Prison. From the moment I entered the Evin Prison they blindfolded me and took me to a small room where they beat me by punching and kicking me.
The next day I was taken to the city of Sanandaj. From the moment I entered the Sanandaj Prison I was insulted and beaten brutally. They tied me to a chair and left me there from 7 am until the next day, I was not even allowed to go to the washroom and I had no choice but to wet myself. After numerous beatings and torture sessions once again I was transferred to Section 209 of the Evin Prison. I was interrogated and tortured in one of the rooms on the first level of the prison.
On August 27th 2006 as a result of the effect of torture they were forced to take me to the physician in the prison, and the physician made notes of marks of torture and lashing on my back, neck, head thighs and feet.
In August and September I was in the solitary cell number 43. Due to the fact that the torture and beatings were unbearable I was forced to go on a 33 day hunger strike. Because they started harassing and summoning my family to court, as well to free myself from torture I tried to commit suicide by throwing myself off a flight of stairs.
Also for one month I was imprisoned in an extremely small and smelly cell on the first floor of the prison (cell number 113). During this time I was not allowed visitations or even phone calls to my family. Further I was not allowed to get any fresh air for those three (3) months.
After three (3) months I was taken to cell #10 where other prisoners were also present and I was there for two (2) months. At this time I was still not allowed to visit with my family or lawyer.
In the month of October I was transferred from the Evin Prison to the Intelligence Ministry Prison in Kermanshah, even though I had still not been charged or found guilty of any crime. This was a small dark prison where brutal torture and murder of political prisoners have taken place.
They took off all my clothes and after beating me gave me a set of dirty clothes to wear and took me to my cell. It was a small “secret” cell where no one would be able to hear my cries. The cell was 1.65cm/50cm. It had two light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. This cell had previously been a washroom and it was extremely smelly and cold. There was only a dirty blanket in the room. During sleep my head would bang against the wall because the cell was so small.
In order to breathe I was forced to put my head down by the crack between the door and the floor and try to breathe. Also at all odd hours they would bang against my door loudly to prevent me from sleeping. Two days after my arrival they took me to the interrogation room and without asking me any questions started beating me. Then they took me back to my cell. They would turn on the radio loudly in order to prevent me from sleeping or even thinking. In 24 hours I was allowed to use the washroom twice, and once a month I was allowed to take a short shower.
Types of Torture I was Subjected to:
1. The Football Game: This was a nick name they used for this type of torture. They would strip me naked, four (4) or five (5) interrogators would surround me and pass me to each other by punching and kicking me. They would swear at me when I fell down and continue their beatings.
2. The interrogators would force me to stand on one foot for hours while holding my arms above my head and if I got tired they would start beating me again. Because they knew that my left leg had been hurt as a result of torture they would put more pressure on my left leg. They would play Quran tapes very loudly so that nobody could hear my cries.
3. During interrogations they would beat me around the face by punching and slapping me.
4. There was a torture room in the basement of the jail, but its entrance was hidden by black garbage bags filled with dry bread crumbs. There was also another torture room where they would take me at night, they would tie my arms and legs to a bed and lash me, particularly under my feet, my lower and upper leg as well as my back. This would cause me severe pain and I would be unable to walk for days.
5. It was winter and the weather was very cold. They would put me in a particularly cold room which was supposedly an interrogation room and would leave me there all day in the cold, without being interrogated.
6. In the city of Kermanshah they would use electric shock on the sensitive parts of my body.
7. I was not allowed to use a toothbrush or a toothpaste. They would give me old and smelly left over food which was not edible.
To further increase the pressure on me they did not allow me any visitations, and they also arrested the girl that I loved. They would also create problems for my brothers and arrest them. I suffered from a dangerous skin disease as a result of being kept in a dirty cell with dirty clothes and blankets, but I was not allowed to see a doctor.
I was forced to go on a 12 day hunger strike to protest the brutal torture I was subjected to. During the last 15 days of imprisonment they changed my cell and took me to an even dirtier and smellier cell with no heat. I was insulted, sworn at, and beaten on a daily basis and even lost consciousness on one occasion as a result of the beatings.
One night they took me to the torture cell in the basement, stripped off my clothes and threatened me with rape. In order to free myself from this torture I had to bang my head against the wall a number of times. They also tried to force me to confess to crimes such as indecency and having illicit relationships with women.
I could hear the cries and the screams of others from other cells, and there were occasions where inmates would commit suicide.
On March 19th 2006 I was transferred to Section 209 of the Evin Prison in Tehran. Although I was in ward 121 of the prison which was a common ward, I was still not allowed any visitations.
I was still under great emotional and psychological pressure because of the constant arrest of my family members as well as not being allowed to contact them.
My file was finally transferred to Branch 30 the Revolutionary Court in May of 2006 Interrogators would threaten me and tell me they would do their best to have me executed or incarcerated for a long period of time. They also stated that if I was to be found not guilty, they would “deal with me outside of the courtroom.”
They hated me very much because of my Kurdish Ethnicity, my Journalism and human rights work. They would also not stop torturing me.
The Revolutionary Court in Tehran stated that it did not have jurisdiction over my case and my file was transferred to the city of Sanandaj. As support for me increased by individual and Human Rights Organizations the interrogators got more vicious and the pressure on me increased. In August of 2006 I was transferred to the Sanandaj Prison, a place which has become a great nightmare for me, a place that I can never forget for as long as I live. Although no new charges had been brought against me, they started interrogating and torturing me from the moment of my arrival.
The Sanandaj Prison has one main corridor and five smaller corridors. They kept on switching my cell on a regular basis. One day the prison Warden along with a number of other guards started beating me for no reason, they took me out of my cell and started beating me along the 18 stairs which led to the basement, and to the interrogation rooms. They hit me on the head from behind very hard which caused me to fall down, then they started dragging me down the 18 stairs. I do not know how they managed to drag me down 18 stairs. When I gained consciousness and opened my eyes I could feel great pain in my head, face and sides.
When they saw that I had gained consciousness they started beating me again. After beating me for about an hour they again dragged me up the 18 stairs and threw me in a very small cell in the second corridor. Then two guards started beating me again until I lost consciousness. When I gained consciousness again I could hear the sound of the afternoon prayers. My face and clothes were covered with blood. My face was swollen, my entire body was black and blue from the beatings. I did not have the strength to move. After a few hours they threw me in a shower so that I could clean myself and my clothes.
They forced me to put on my wet clothes. That night I was in a very bad physical state, at 12:00 am one of the Intelligence Ministry Officials saw my physical state and were forced to take me to a medical facility outside of the prison. Because of the damage done to my teeth and jaw I was unable to eat for a few days. At night they would open the window of my cell so that I would suffer further from the cold. They would also not give me any blankets and I would be forced to wrap the dirty carpet around me for warmth.
I was not allowed visitations, telephone calls or fresh air time. I was also beaten on numerous occasions in the interrogation rooms in the basement. To protest my situation I was forced to go on a five (5) day hunger strike. They would bang my head against the basement walls and from the basement until I reached my cell they would continuously beat me.
No new charges were brought against me in Sanandaj or Kermanshah.
A famous torture called “the chicken kabab” was used by the prison Warden whenever he conducted the torture sessions. He would tie my arms and legs throw me on the floor and whip me.
The cries and whimpers of other prisoners could also be heard, many of whom were women. At night they would open the window, wet my clothes in the basement bathroom after the torture and interrogation and would throw me in my cell with wet clothes. I was also in solitary confinement for about two (2) months in the city of Sanandaj. The Sanandaj Court also stated that they had no jurisdiction over my file and transferred me back to Tehran.
Total of more than 8 months in solitary confinement along with physical and psychological torture, has left a very negative effect on my mental health and nerves.
After one night of solitary confinement in Section 209 of the Evin Prison, I was transferred to Section 7, where there is great use of illicit drugs by inmates.
On November 18th 2007 I was transferred to the Rajaishahr Prison which is an extremely dangerous prison where individuals found guilty of murder, kidnapping, weapons related crimes are imprisoned.
23 November 2007 Rajai Shahr Prison