The Memoirs of Mohammad Reza Hafeznia (11)

Hamid Ghazvini


Memoirs of Hafeznia (11)

Then the interrogators brought the pamphlet of "The Land of Islam" which I had written in Teacher Training University upon the request of some students, asking questions about it.
Some issues had been brought up in the pamphlet which were new at that time. I had brought up a series of solutions in the pamphlet about which the interrogator asked several questions: "Have you written these works by yourself?" – "Yes" –"It doesn't seem that you are capable of writing such things."
I said, "Anyhow, this is just like the operation that doesn't seem to be carried out by me." We talked a little about it, and apparently after one week of mental and sometimes physical harassment and threats, they convinced to some extent that the operation had been carried out by me and no one else had been involved in it.  
Finally, they started treating warmly with me a little and after several days, I was allowed to sleep a little. During interrogation, they pointed to a number of issues according to which I found out to some extent what was happening in the country. For example, they said, "you have mentioned a person as Imam while we have no more than twelve Imams in the religion of Shia. Why do you say Imam Khomeini! Who is Imam Khomeini? He is not Imam!  What the hell is this that you have made?"
The second issue was about Rex Cinema in the southern city of Abadan. It was there that I found out what had happened in the cinema. They said, “Religious people like you do not have mercy on the people and burnt several hundred people.”  
I did not know at all what the case of Abadan’s Rex Cinema was. But I understood from their words that something wrong had happened and they wanted to attribute it to religious people and revolutionaries. (On August 19, 1978, the Cinema Rex in Abadan, Iran, was set ablaze by the SAVAK agents, killing some 400 individuals.)
Eventually, after detailed interrogations, they apparently convinced that nobody had been involved in the operation, so they let me sleep for a few hours.  It was interesting that at the end of the day, they used the weapon of pity, saying constantly, “Take pity on your family, brother or at least take pity on yourself.”
I think they also pointed to the issue that Brigadier General Shahir Motlaq had survived and pardoned you. They might have other aim but on the whole, they treated me rather softly at the final stages of their work.

Pressures diminished
After several days of interrogation, they transferred me to another part of the same complex. Since I was blindfolded, I didn’t know where I was being transferred. I had no information of the interrogation place.
They transferred me to a solitary confinement the space of which looked more like the room of the officer on duty. So I guessed that I had been taken to the room of the officer on duty. The environment looked normal and they had opened my eyes. There was nothing inside the confinement except a canvas-made rug. After a few hours, I was brought some food. Since, it was the holy month of Ramadhan, I said I’d like to fast.
Of course, I couldn’t recognize day and night previously and was in a closed area, but this became possible in the new place. Therefore, I informed them of my decision and determined to do it. I was given sahahri the same night and ate it.
When I was there, an officer came at the door of the cell, shouting at me, “What was your aim from doing this?” I felt that he did not say it from the bottom of his heart. For example, he first intimidated me, then said very quietly, “Don’t you want some water or tea?” It seemed that he liked me somehow. He was a commissioned officer on duty. He was good to me and watched me somewhat.
I didn’t know how many days I was there that suddenly I was told to leave.

Return to Mashahd garrison
They returned me back again to Mehrabad Airport and sent to Mashahd with the same airplane. When we reached Mashhad, they took me to Khorasan’s 77 Division and imprisoned me again. I was uniformed and didn’t know what would happen to me. Also I couldn’t ask any question.
I was in the solitary confinement for some two months. It was a very small place that I think the space of which was not more than one in two meters. The cell had been located in the prison of the officer on duty in other words prison in prison! The entrance door of the prison had always been locked and a soldier was guarding. I guessed that the story was still continuing and it was not as easy as I thought. It had just been started. So, I tried to find out what their plan was.
Sometimes, a few people came in and talked about something and apparently expected me to show reaction but I did say nothing. One time, I asked them to give me a holy book of Qur’an and they did so. So, the most important thing I did for one month is to read the holy Qur’an.
It was rumor among the soldiers that this prisoner always read the holy Qur’an. During this time, I read it completely and memorized two parts of it. 

 

Translated by: Mohammad Baqer Khoshnevisan



 
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