The Memoirs of Mohammad Reza Hafeznia (9)

Hamid Ghazvini

Memoirs of Hafeznia (9)

Transferring to Tehran
I think it had not passed more than one day when they suddenly stopped interrogating. I had just sat on a chair in the room lonely. I had no news of the fate of Shahir Motlaq (the division commander). I also did not know what was going on outside the room since I was fully guarded. I had already heard from the anti-intelligence agents of Khorasan 77 Division that there were political prison, cells and places for torturing in the division.  I was surprised why they didn't take me there, because it was not a minor measure that they wanted to ignore it easily. I disclosed nobody's address, I did say nothing. About the persons whose names was in the phone book, I said I did not know who they were, you call them. They would say who they are! They were not so stupid to ignore this. All of a sudden, they pulled a bag like a gunnysack over my head and everywhere became dark. Then, they asked me to stand up. I did so. And they handcuffed me from behind and hustled me. 
I did not know where they were taking me. But I guessed they were taking me to a torture center. I had prepared myself. I saw nowhere. Suddenly, the ground gave way in front of me and I fell down. I found out that there were stairs in front of me. I dragged myself very cautiously. They took me like a captive. Suddenly, one of them said, "Go up!" I felt there were stairs and went up. It was like a metal container. I said to myself what kind of torture device this was. Then someone held behind my head and threw me with face on something like a stretcher. I had been handcuffed from behind and my face was on the floor. After a few moments, I heard the sound of a car engine which switched on and found out that I was in a car. The car moved. I didn't know where they were taking me but I was almost sure that they were transferring me to a torture center. When the trip became long, I found out that I was being transferred to outside the garrison. As I was drowned in my thought, the car stopped and they got me off. As the bag had been pulled over my head, I felt that the weather was sunny and we were in an open space. They told me again to go up. I did so and saw that they sat me on a soft chair. I was surprised what was going on. When I sat down, I noticed that two other persons sat down beside me. My hands were locked from behind and I didn't know what the story was.  
After a while, they asked us to fasten our seat belts. They also fastened mine. Oh God, what kind of device this was?! I never thought that they wanted to transfer me to another city. Then, an engine was switched on but I didn't know what it was. I had never traveled by a plane until then. Then it started moving. When the plane took off, they pulled the bag off my head. And I saw that I was up in the sky. Then one of them said, "Do you see below?" I said yes. I thought that they were going to fling me down from the plane. I said what a strange story it was. They I heard that some of them said we were traveling to Tehran. I learnt that they were taking me to Tehran. During our way, they repeatedly interrogated me but did not annoy me. They talked very normally. What happened? How did it happen? … And I repeated the same words. It was a small plane. Apparently, there were four in it, the captain, me and two others. It was a small and private plane. After a few hours, the plane landed in Mehrabad Airport. I had never seen the airport before. My eyes were still open. We got off the plane and they handed me over to the passengers of a car which has stopped there. Those who had accompanied me from Mashhad left there after a short talk.
The new group forced me into the car and wore glasses to my eyes. Two people sat beside me. I was handcuffed. After a few moments, the car moved. I knew Tehran. As we came out of the airport compound, we entered Azadi Square (former Shahyad Square). I thought that they were definitely transferring me to the Joint Anti-Sabotage Committee, SAVAK (Shah's secret police) or the army for more interrogation.
Near Azadi Square, they took the glasses off my eyes. It was sunglasses and there was a layer inside it that I saw nowhere. I could just see a light from the corner of the glasses. It was in a way that if somebody looked at us from outside, he or she thought that an ordinary person had been sitting in the car. They had worn plain clothes. I guessed they had done this in order to avoid any attack. If I had worn the sunglasses, or the bag was over my head, the people got noticed and might attack. So, they used this method so that nobody discovered whether I was a political prisoner or a criminal. After driving into Tehran streets, I saw that we were around Tajrish and Niavaran square. They again forced me to wear the same sunglasses around Niavaran Square. I didn't know where they were taking me. However, I could just see a little around myself form the corner of my eyes. I tried to understand where I was without moving my head or body very much. As far as I understood, we passed several streets and finally reached to a row of fence. After a few minutes, I was taken to an indoor space and then transferred to a room. Then, they opened my eyes. I saw a soldier who was responsible to guard me. I stayed silent to see what would happen in the future.
New round of interrogation and torture
The room looked more like a work or interrogation place. After a few minutes, a captain came to the room and started talking to me. He initially spoke with me softly about religion and religious issues. He tried to continue the interrogation with a soft tone gradually and by remembering some religious debates, verses, and narrations. He stressed what he wanted to say. In the next stages, it became clear that their assumption was still that a fatwa from a religious leader had probably been behind the measure and that a group had hands in it. It was very important for them to recognize this group. They were also worried that the incident might repeat again. Particularly, they had the phone book and asked repeatedly who these were and where they were. My answer was the same. I said I have planned and carried out by myself and it had nothing to do with anyone else. Now if you insist on something else, this is another issue. You can do whatever you want. They didn't believe that I have carried out such big operation.
The interrogator s treated me sometimes toughly and sometimes softly. He brought up verses from the holy Quran and used narrations.  He said you as a Muslim had no right to kill a servant.
When they saw that my answer is the same, they asked what you thought we wanted to do. I said, "I don't know. Do you want to torture me?" They said, "Do we torture?" I said, "I've heard that you do." They asked, "How have you heard?"

Translated by: Mohammad Baqer Khoshnevisan

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