The 321st Night of Memory – 2

Truthful Torturers!

Compiled by: Oral History Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2021-02-23


Note: The 321st Night of Memory was held online on the Aparat website on February 21, 2021. In this program, "Mohammad Reza Ali Hosseini" and "Davood Asadi Khameneh" shared their memories. In this program, which was dedicated to the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Davood Salehi was present as the host.

      The second guest of the Night of Memory was Davood Asadi Khamenei, one of the fighters of the years before the revolution. Born in 1948 in Tehran, he began his speech as follows: During the second Pahlavi era, there were two parties, the People and the New Iran, both of which operated under the direct supervision of the Pahlavi regime. However, in 1974, the regime could not tolerate these two parties, and in March of that year, it established the Rastakhiz Party and forced many government employees to join it. Anyone who did not join the party would have different problems; although I worked for a non-profit organization, I had to join the Rastakhiz Party, but because I did not, I had problems.

      He stated: "The problems that were created for me, little by little, became so much that I decided to leave the country with some of my friends." We first went to Germany and because we could not stay, we went to Sweden, and since we had contacts in Hamburg with the Union of Islamic Associations of Iranian Students in Europe and the United States, we were able to start the Stockholm Islamic Association of Sweden. At that time, due to racist thinking in Germany, foreigners quickly found their compatriots and formed groups, but in Sweden, a foreigner could hardly find a compatriot; however, the number of members has grown significantly over the past year and a half since the association was founded. After a while, I felt that it was not necessary to stay there, and maybe if I was inside the country, I would be able to pursue my goals better."

       Asadi continued: "I have been working with IBM computers since 1970. When I returned to Iran, I was hired at the Red Crescent Computer Center. Since there were a few number of computers in Iran at that time, only a few departments and organizations shared their systems with other institutions that needed computers. One of these organizations was the Program and Budget Organization, and the place where I worked was the organization's computer center."

       In 1976, the government decided to change the basis of the calendar from Solar Hijri to imperial. Since it was customary for each organization to print its own calendar for the following year at the end of each year; I also designed a calendar with twelve pages and put a verse from the Quran in each page according to the events of that month. For example, for March, which was the anniversary of the founding of the Rastakhiz Party, I had included the famous verse of Hezbollah's victory[1]; at the beginning of the calendar, I had written the year 1977 AH (instead of 2535 imperial calendar). The Program and Budget Organization had many users, one of which was the imperial ministry. In March, I published a large number of these calendars and put them in the gate of all organizations, and this calendar even went to the imperial ministry.

       The narrator said: "In addition to these activities, I had activities such as printing leaflets, cultural works and participating in meetings, which SAVAK finally came to me in 1976." After my arrest, my interrogation process lasted about six months, and I was eventually sentenced to twelve years in prison. The day they came to arrest me, I was sitting at my desk and the clerk told me someone wanted o see me in the manager's room.

      When I entered, the manager left the room and someone took my hands, and the other showed me his Uzi gun and asked me to go with them for some questions and answers. They did not even agree to my request to arrange the table and said we would be back in a quarter. They drove me to the SAVAK Joint Anti-Sabotage Committee. For a while, they put me in the hallway and covered my head by my shirt. Then they took me to Dr. Hosseini's room. Dr. Hosseini had his last fourth elementary degree, but he had a doctorate in torture! He had all the tools of torture in his special room and told the interrogator to apply this torture first, flog him so much and ... and then the arrested person would be taken to the interrogation room."

      Asadi continued his speech as follows: "Dr. Hosseini was not there that day and the interrogator himself started kicking me in the foot with an electric cable. After a while, I was taken to solitary confinement and slept through the night. They came to me again in the morning. The same thing happened again. This time Dr. Hosseini came. When Hosseini saw me, he started arguing with the interrogator, because he had not kicked me orderly! He used to give the dirtiest insults to the interrogator about why he kicked my foot in an irregular way. The interrogator also repeatedly apologized. In the middle of this struggle, sometimes a whip hits my foot. After being tortured in Hosseini's room, they took me to another room and put an interrogation sheet in front of me and told me to write whatever I could. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers named Manouchehri entered the room and asked me what my foot number was. I replied:" 45". He said: "Let us make you a foot here so that it becomes 65! They were honest people in this regard because the foot they made for me really swelled and grew."

      The narrator also stated: "I was in solitary confinement for about three weeks and then I was transferred to a public cell. The public cells consisted of a room of 15-14 meters, in which ten, twenty, thirty people were imprisoned in this closed room, depending on the circumstances. When my interrogations were over, I was sent to Qasr Prison. In 1976, because of the peak of arrests and detentions, the capacity of Qasr Prison was full. So they emptied a cell among the ordinary prisoners and took us there. After that, we were sent to Prison No. 3, which was the smallest political prison. One or two months later, representatives of international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross arrived in Iran. This year, internal pressures and its repercussions on other countries caused many international forums to protest against the King. These people went into political prisons and talked to some prisoners, and eventually the world pressured the King to release these prisoners. At the same time, people who had just returned from interrogation and were still being tortured were taken to Ghezel Hesar Prison, which was not widely known as a political prison. Finally, a few months before the revolution, I was released along with 560 other political prisoners."

      The narrator added: "The number of religious fighters against the King's[2] regime was less than non-religious fighters, but the regime was much more afraid of religious people. Asadi then referred to the Mojahedin Khalq Organization and said: "At first, this organization was formed by a group of young believers, but the King's regime arrested the leaders of this organization and sentenced them all to death except Massoud Rajavi." The regime tried to tarnish their image by using the trick of introducing religious fighters as Islamic Marxists."

 


[1] It refers to verse 56 of Surah Ma'idah:" Whosoever takes Allah for a guide, His Messenger, and the believers the party of Allah is the victor.(Retrieved from: http://www.parsquran.com/data/show.php?sura=5&ayat=%DB%B5%DB%B6&user=far&lang=eng&tran=1)

[2] Mohammadreza Pahlavi

 


 
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