Former political prisoner, documentary film maker Mohamad Nourizad has provided news sites an account of the day he was kidnapped and put under arrest for hours before being released.
Following is a translation of this account as provided to Jaras site:
Before I describe this kidnapping episode, I remember one night in solitary confinement, one of the interrogators with thick accent from Esfahan, whispered in my ear: “You piece of dirt, either you are going to break or we will break you. Even if we have to video tape you and your wife in bed, we will, and we will publish it.”
He continued, “Our red line is the establishment and the Velayat (the Supreme Leadership). You are nothing, you don’t count.
Even if God himself comes down to earth to fight against the System and the Velayat, we will crush him under our feet.”
The Interrogator from Esfahan told me these things the night before Ashura.
At the time, I could hear the sounds of people’s mourning from afar from behind Evin walls.
I replied to the interrogator: “Here is me, my wife and my children. If you are a real men and if you see any trace of being a real man in yourself, then carry on with your plan.”
I continued, “You people, for the sake of preserving the System and the Supreme Leadership, have forsaken God long ago.
You say, if God himself comes down to earth, as though he is not here on earth. God is here and ever present while you decapitate people.”
I can still hear the echo of that interrogator’s voice in my ears, “Even if we have to video tape you and your wife in bed, we will and we will publish it.”
Since then, my home has been raided four or five times, each time by eight or nine or ten men. They took with them whatever they deemed important to them. Or shall I say they stole?
They even took our picture albums and personal and private videos and pictures of my family.
I, with all my devotion to God and the prophet, I swear upon God and the prophet, that the sudden entry of these people into the bedroom of a critic and a film maker, and video taping them, while he is making love to his wife, is nothing unusual for these wild monsters of the Islamic Republic.
In a place that these monsters decapitate just as easily as cutting a cucumber in half, video taping a critic’s private moments is just child’s play for them.
These days, according to the Intelligence Ministry, there is strife between IRGC and the Intelligence Ministry. They constantly “out do each other”.
While I was incarcerated, I was in the hands of both IRGC and the Intelligence Ministry. And after I was released, I wrote about both agencies in the most revealing way possible.
Obviously that makes me the target for constant investigation and surveillance by these two organizations.
They have taken pictures and video-taped me in various locations. I have even caught them three times trying to break into my car.
My sudden and accidental walking up to them and coming face to face with them during their missions, has allowed me to recognize them. Therefore, they constantly change and replace their agents.
But on Thursday, June 14, the page turned. On that day, it was I who was taking pictures and video taping the pursuers. There were eight of them in three Peugot cars.
Five of them were sitting inside the cars and three were on foot in different locations in a neighborhood waiting to ambush me.
I even noticed one of the men lying down on the floor of one of the cars. They expected me to enter the side street in front of them. But, I accidentally entered the side street from behind and saw them.
In previous days, ignoring them, I went about my business. But that day I decided to pursue two of the ones on foot.
One of them fled and disappeared, but I caught the other one in an dead-end alley. He pretended that he hadn’t seen me and pretended to ring a door bell of a house. But he wasn’t a good actor.
With my cell phone I took his picture and video taped him. I then went and took pictures and video taped one of the cars with three men inside, especially the license plate.
What those people were after and what they were doing there that day is their own business. Perhaps for the good of God, they were performing some good deed.
Maybe they were there to take my car or to plant something in my car. It just happens that my car was in a garage being worked on that day.
Or, perhaps they were there waiting for an opportunity to capture and video tape their desired scene.
They know very well that for destroying me, they only have one method left in their possession. What? By ruining my reputation and defaming me. Something that they have repeatedly done to their critics with their desired results. My physical removal or imprisonment is not in their best interest.
That day, after I took pictures and video taped them, I caught a cab. Without any reason I changed cabs later.
While in the cab, I watched the videos and looked at the pictures of the Intelligence Ministry and IRGC’s agents. I forwarded some of them to a trusted person.
In about less than half an hour, we reached a red light at an intersection. All of a sudden, seven or eight angry men, acting like savages, came upon the car and started banging on the roof of the car. They pulled me and the driver out of the cab.
This violent attack is something that didn’t bother me, but, for the cab driver who was a young, tall and muscular man, it was quite frightening.
I was smiling at the angry faces of these brothers. I don’t know why my smiling at them seemed to upset them even more.
I heard one of them tell another one, “Look at how this dishonorable man is smiling.”
Violently, they pulled my briefcase out of my hand and took away my cell phone and, on the order of the team leader, they handcuffed my hands behind my back.
At this time, with a loud voice, I introduced myself to a man sitting in his car witnessing these events with much concern looking at the violence displayed by the attackers as though they were arresting a traitor spy.
I introduced myself: Nourizad.
The team leader, with a very angry face, looked at me and angrily said, “If you open your mouth once more and create a problem, I will break all your teeth.”
They had me sit facing a wall on the side of the street while they interrogated the driver. Soon they realized that the driver has no connections with me.
I told one of the men to at least take some money from my pocket and pay the cab fare which they did.
Other than two of the men, that seemed to be polite, the rest seemed more like illiterate, low life thugs, that, if they didn’t have this job, would probably be thieves and criminals.
They placed me in the back seat of a car with my hands cuffed tightly behind my back. Before we left the scene, the same guy that I had taken pictures of in the dead-end alley, pushed his head through the window and said, “What raised your suspicion about me that caused you to take pictures of me?”
I told him that we have been living alongside of each other for a while now. I don’t know if he understood what I meant. I also told him that he is not a very good actor and that’s is why I suspected him.
The team leader, who seemed to be much more violent than the others and looked like an addict, sat in the front seat and ordered the car to move on.
He lit a cigaret and said, “You think you are so clever? You take pictures of us. You really think you are so clever?”
At this time, as my face was close to the floor of the car I said, “No, what cleverness? Being clever is your job.
You people are so clever that, in bright daylight, in the middle of the city, without a warrant, you kidnap me, and in other places you cut people’s head from ear to ear, and nothing happens.”
The team leader did not like to continue with this sort of conversation and ordered me to end the conversation, so I did. I really felt sorry for these guys, they were not the head honcho.
On the way, the team leader constantly was in contact with “The Big Chief” for instructions. The team leader’s cell phone rang once; it was the big chief.
The team leader seemed to want to flatter him said, “My honorable Haji, for sure Haji, don’t worry.” He then instructed the driver to stop the car.
The big chief asked him if he has his laptop with him? To which, the team leader replied, “No he only has a briefcase and his cell phone with him.” He then said, “That’s right he did take pictures of us.”
They had put my briefcase in the trunk of the car. The team leader got out of the car and retrieved my briefcase.
As he was going through my briefcase, he reported to the big chief, “There are some papers and pens in his briefcase. No he doesn’t have a laptop. Among his papers there is a written statement. Do you want me to read it to you? He continued, “The statements heading is: Mohamad Nourizad’s statement about his illegal arrest.”
This statement had been in my briefcase for the last eight months, and also stored online for future publication.
If I had not returned home by midnight, this statement along with some letters, pictures and videos would have automatically been released, one by one.
Finally after all of their coordination it was decided to take me to a location that they themselves knew it’s location.
It was a building with a heavy iron door. They forcefully blindfolded me. From under my blindfold I saw a few soldiers walking around. Young men who were serving their mandatory military time. They were nice, kind and polite.
One of the soldiers took me into a room and sat me down on a chair. I told the team leader, who seemed to be very happy about capturing me, that my handcuff was too tight. It was hurting my hands and shoulder blades.
I asked if they could at least handcuff my hands in the front. My shoulder blades were really in pain. After he did not pay any attention to my request, I laid down on my side on the floor.
After a while, one of them that seemed to be a nicer guy came and took my arms from behind and handcuffed me in the front, but did not remove my blindfold.
Two hours later, I shouted, I need to go to the bathroom. They took me to the bathroom, handcuffed and blindfolded.
I heard the voice of the team leader telling the soldier, “Leave the bathroom door open.”
I told the soldier to at least remove my handcuffs. He asked them, and they said no. My struggle in the bathroom was useless so I asked the soldier to take me back to the room.
About an hour later, orders came from the big chief that they can remove my handcuffs inside the bathroom. And, about an hour after that, orders came for my handcuffs and blindfold to be removed.
One of the soldiers who was a nice looking, kind young man, until 10:00 PM, often came to the room and asked do you want some tea? Lunch? Water? Tea? Dinner?
Each time I thanked him and said no. I had decided not to eat or drink anything. I had decided to start a dry hunger strike immediately as a sign of protest to my illegal kidnapping.
At 11:00 PM, I shouted, bring me a blanket. Someone replied, “We are bringing it upstairs.” Where could this upstairs be?
One of the kidnappers came into the room and said we are leaving this place. They gave me back my items. My briefcase, cell phone and my money.
Again, I was blindfolded, handcuffed and put inside the back seat of a car lying down. This time, I put my head on the lap of a young man that was sitting there. I felt as though he was my own son. The big iron gates opened and the car moved on.
On the way, the team leader was in constant contact with his associates and friends. “We are coming up there.” Where could this up there be? Was that building in the south part of the city?
I thought to myself that they are taking me to Evin. I told myself to be prepared and ready for this. I was ready.
I imagined myself in IRGC’s Ward 2-A and 240 and in Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209. I knew well the methods that the interrogators use, their way of talking and conduct.
It was close to midnight. They let me out on a dark street and left. I watched them as they were leaving. I memorized the license plate.
I later saw the report by the witness at the intersection at the time of my kidnapping, the same person that I had introduced myself to. It was the same license plate.
Yes, they kidnapped me in the daylight and released me in the middle of the night. I was very lucky to have survived this kidnapping unharmed.
How many men and women they had a burlap sack put over their head, were kidnapped, and their throat was cut from ear to ear, and no trace of them was ever found.
My daughter told me to make an official complain. I said complain about whom? With what evidence? To whom?
Seriously, what an anthem these consecutive questions could be: The law? The Justice system? Civility? Humanity? Respect of citizens? Islam? The Islamic Republic?
June 20, 2012