Sunday, October 17, 2021

Brutal Torture of Saeed Malekpour in Sepah’s 2-Alef Detention Center

Saeed Malekpour is a prisoner who was detained on September 2008 by Sepah’s Cyber Squad (Gerdab), and since has been in detention for interrogation in Evin Prison since his arrest.

Mr. Malekpour was born in May of 1975, and graduated with a degree in Metallurgy from Sharif Industrial University before working at the Iran Khodro Company, the Razi Research Center, and as an inspector for Garma Felez Company.  Last year, Mr. Malekpour was accepted to Victoria University in Canada to work on his master’s degree.  Mr. Malekpour was detained in September 2008 upon his return to Iran.  Since 2005, Mr. Malekpour has been designing web sites in Canada.

This prisoner was detained in connection with a case known as “Mozlin 2”(Decivers 2) , which is related to Internet crimes.  Last year, the news of their arrest was reported by a group  identifying themselves as affiliates Of Sepah (Islamic Republic Guardian Corps or IRGC).  The content of the report dealt with people who had been charged in connection with an Internet Immorality network.

Two more arrests were made by this group, one was after the election unrest where they claimed to have rooted out some of the leading cyber attackers and several web designers and webmasters of opposition websites were arrested

A similar arrest was again done in March 20010 by a wide arrest of Human right activist claiming that they were part of a group to “shake the foundation” of Islamic republic  and that they were part of the “Cybernetic war Network of United States”

The letter below was written by Saeed Malekpour 5 month ago. He has been in Evin prison for the past 25 month :

My name is Saeed Malekpour. I was arrested on October 4th, 2008, around Vanak Square by
some plainclothes agents who did not present an arrest warrant or any [proof of] identification.
The arrest actually looked like a kidnapping. I was handcuffed, blindfolded and placed at the
back of a Sedan. A heavy-set agent leaned his weight on me by pressing his elbow on my neck,
and forcing my head down throughout the ride. They brought me to an undisclosed location
[outside the prison] which they called the “tech office.” A few agents greeted me with some
beatings and foul language. While I was still handcuffed and blindfolded, they forced me to sign
some forms, but I was not able to read the contents. As a result of the physical assault, my neck
ached for several days and my face was swollen from all the punches, slaps, and kicks. That
very night, I was transferred to ward 2-A of Evin prison. I was placed in a solitary cell whose
dimensions were 2m X 1.7m. I could only leave my cell twice a day at specified times for a break
of fresh air. However, whenever I left the cell, I had to be blindfolded. I could only remove the
blindfold in my cell.

I spent a total of 320 days (from October 4, 2008 to August 16, 2009) in solitary confinement
without any access to books, newspapers, or any contact with the outside world. In the
cell, there was only a prayer stone, copy of the Qur’an, a water bottle, three blankets. Until
December 21, 2009, I spent 124 days in the general ward 2-A. I was never granted weekly visits
with my family throughout my entire detention. During the 444 days of detention in ward 2-
A, I was allowed a few restricted visits with my family—with an IRGC officer listening in. Agents
were always present during the visits. They never permitted me to make weekly calls. Prison
staff and interrogators listened in on any call I was able to make. Anytime I talked to my family

about my case, the line would get disconnected. During the 444 days I spent in ward 2-A, I
always felt that I was under constant threat, so I never felt safe.

On December 21, 2009, I was transferred once again to solitary confinement, this time in ward
240 of Evin prison. I spent another 48 days (until February 8, 2010) in solitude and without
any access the outside world. Since February 8th, I have been detained in the general wards
of Evin, first in ward 7 and then in ward 350. So far, I spent 12 months of the total 17 months
of detention in solitary confinement, and could not see a lawyer even once. During this time,
especially in the first months, I was subject to various forms of physical and psychological
torture by the “IRGC Cyber Counterattack” team. Some of the torture was performed in the
presence of Mr. Mousavi, the chief inspector of [my] case. A large part of my confession came
out of pressure, physical and psychological torture, threats to me and my family, and false
promises of immediate release upon giving a false confession on the interrogators’ terms.

I must add that the confession in front of the chief inspector was forced out in the presence
of interrogators. To prevent me from informing him that my confession was received under
[intense] pressure, the interrogators threatened to intensify the torture. Sometimes they
threatened that they would arrest my wife and torture her in front of me. In the first few
months following my arrest, I would be interrogated at various hours, day and night. The
interrogations also came with severe beatings. The tortures were carried out either in the “tech
office” outside the prison or in the interrogation room in ward 2-A.

Most of the time, a group would carry out the tortures. While I remained blindfolded and
handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables and batons, would cuff and punch me
with their fists. At times, they would flog my head and neck. All this abuse was to push me
to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to [confess] on camera
to their scenarios. Sometimes, they utilized awfully painful electrical shock that would
temporarily paralyze me. Once in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me naked while I
was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water.

On one of those very days, as a result of being kicked, punched, and lashed with cables on my
head and face, my face became extremely swollen. I passed out several times, but each time
they splashed water on my face to wake me up and then continue the torture. That night, they
returned me to my cell. Later that night, I realized my ear was bleeding. I banged on the door of
my cell, but nobody came. The next day, while half of my body was paralyzed, and I could not
move, they took me to Evin prison’s clinic. After seeing my condition, the doctor stressed that I
be transferred to a hospital. However, I was taken back to my cell instead, and left on my own
until 9:00pm. Three guards eventually transferred me to Baghiatollah hospital. On our way to
the hospital, the guards told me I was not allowed to give my real name, and instructed me to
use the alias Mohammad Saeedi. They threatened to torture me if I did not follow their orders.

Before I was able to be examined by the doctor, one of the guards met with the doctor on duty
in the emergency room. I entered a few minutes later. Without performing any examinations,
radiography, or tests, the doctor just said that my problem was “stress related”. He wrote his
diagnosis on the medical report and prescribed a few medications. When I asked him to at least
wash my ear, the doctor said it was not necessary. I returned to the detention center with the
blood clot remaining in my ear. For 20 days, the left side of my body was paralyzed, and I had

little control over my left arm and leg muscles. I also had difficulty walking.

On January 24, 2009, after being subject to severe beatings, one of the interrogators
threatened to pull out my tooth with a pair of tongs. One of my teeth broke, and my jaw was
displaced after he kicked my face. However, the physical tortures were nothing compared to
the psychological tortures. I had to endure lengthy solitary confinement time (totaling to more
than one year) without any phone calls or the possibility of seeing my loved ones, as well as
constant threats to kill me. They always threatened to arrest and torture my wife and family if
I did not cooperate. They also gave me false news of my wife’s arrest. My mental health was
severely threatened. I had virtually no access to any books or journals in the solitary cells. I
could not speak to any human being for days.

Restrictions and psychological pressures on me and my family intensified—so much that after
my father’s passing on March 16, 2009, and despite the fact that the officials were aware of his
death, I did not know for approximately 40 days. When I had a five minute (tapped) phone call
with home, I learned of my father’s death.

Masoud, one of the interrogators, burst into laughter and made fun of me when he saw
me crying about the news of my father’s death. Despite my pleas, they did not permit me
to attend my father’s memorial service. In addition to the psychological tortures, the IRGC
interrogation team illegally—contrary to religious values—withdrew some funds from my
credit card account. They also have my Paypal account, and I am not sure what they did with it.

Another example of psychological torture involved forcing me to do some role play before
the camera as dictated by the Revolutionary Guards interrogators. Although the interrogation
team had promised me these films would never be broadcasted on TV, they would be shown
to regime officials to receive a larger budget for the “Gerdaab” project. However, I found out
later that state television aired those films numerous times during the seventh day funeral
service for my father. This caused severe emotional pain for my family. My mother suffered
from a heart attack after seeing my picture and me making false confessions on television.
Some of those forced false confessions were so ridiculous that they could not even be possible.

For example, they asked me to confess to purchasing software from the UK and then posting
them on my website for sale. I was forced to add that whenever somebody visited my website,
the software would be (without his/her knowledge) installed on their computer and would take
control of their webcam, even when their webcam is turned off. Although I told them that what
they were suggesting was impossible from a technological point of view, they responded that I
should not fret about [such technicalities].

I was promised, with the chief inspector assigned to the case present, that if I participate in
their false televised confession, they would release me conditionally or on bail until the court
date. They also promised that I would receive the maximum leniency in the prosecution case,
getting a maximum of two years in prison. They repeated these promises so many times, and
reneged when these filming sessions finished.

Based on the above information, I have been subject to various forms of psychological and
physical torture in violation of sections 1-9, 14-17 and article 1 of the “Torture Ban Act.”
[The act] was passed by the Majlis (Parliament) in 2004. According to article 4 of the act, the

confessions I made are not admissible, and I made the majority of the confessions to mitigate
the pressure on my family and friends.

After 17 months of “temporary” detention, I am still [in a state of] limbo. I have not been
allowed to meet with my lawyer. Given the size of the case, and the nature of the accusations
against me, I need a computer expert trusted by the judiciary [to prove those false and forced
confessions wrong] and access to my lawyer. I also need a place equipped with technical
facilities (such as Internet) to prepare my defense. Therefore, I would like to ask that my
request regarding release on bail or bond be granted, and that I will be provided with the
suggested facilities.

Saeed Malekpour

March 13, 2010

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