Farideh Goudarzi, a member of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) since the 1979 revolution, revealed that in 1983 when she was heavily pregnant, she was arrested for her political beliefs alongside her husband and brother in Hamedan.
She told Iran Human Rights Monitor that she was taken to prison, tortured, and beaten with a cable, even seeing Iran’s president-elect Ebrahim Raisi in a torture chamber.
She said: “It was a dark room with a bench in the middle and a variety of electric cables for beating prisoners. There were about seven or eight torturers. One of the people who were present during my torture was Ebrahim Raisi, then chief Prosecutor of Hamedan and one of the members of the Death Committee in the 1988 massacre. He was standing there watching me as a pregnant woman to be tortured.”
Raisi, who is most known for his role in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, mostly MEK members, has spent many decades serving the regime in the destruction of dissidents. The most recent example is the crackdown on the 2019 uprising.
Goudarzi said: “Raisi was the prosecutor of the Hamadan province until 1985. During that time, he was directly involved in the arrest, imprisonment, torture, and execution of political prisoners… I have personal knowledge about some of the victims. For example, Mahnaz Sahrakar, a 16 or 17-year-old girl, one of the supporters of the PMOI from Hamedan, was arrested and executed after being raped in prison. Mohammad, another supporter of the PMOI was also arrested in Hamedan. As soon as he was arrested, he was flogged in a torture chamber for several days until he died.”
She explained that just two weeks after her arrest, she gave birth in dire conditions, was subjected to physical and mental torture, and moved to solitary confinement after giving birth.
Goudarzi said: “I was a mother with a newborn baby with several hours of interrogation a day and a lot of physical and mental torture. Sometimes I had to feed my child only with water and sugar for 48 hours. He was very sick. In the silence of the solitary confinement, the only sound I could hear was the cry of my son Iman, which created stress for other prisoners, as well.”
She then noted that when her son was just over a month old, Revolutionary Guards interrogators stormed into her cell while she and the baby were asleep, lifted the baby off the ground, and threw him from a 60 cm height. The baby, quite obviously, began to cry and the guards began stripping him. She screamed at them but was ignored. She said that Raisi was watching this. Then, the next day Raisi was also in court when she was interrogated for six hours straight. Her son cried with hunger, but the guards laughed at him and even hit him
Goudarzi then spoke about the fate of her family members. She said that her husband Behzad Afsahi was hanged in June 1984 following 11 months of torture, while her brother Parviz was executed in the 1988 massacre even though he was already serving a 20-year sentence. Her sister Fariba was also killed in 1988 after being under torture in solitary confinement for three months.
Finally, her son Iman was arrested in 2012 for supporting the MEK and sentenced to five years in prison in 2015. Shortly after, they left Iran.