Miscalculation in distribution of leaflets

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


On that when I entered the prison of SAVAK in Mashhad [Aban of 1350 –  October 1971], I was given a shirt and a trousers and transferred to cell no. 10. After I was arrested transferred there, Mr. Akhavi [Hojjat al-Eslam Seyed Ali Khamenei] and a number of our other friends both clerics and non-clerics had also been arrested. Mr. Akhavi was in one of the cells behind my cell. I recognized them primarily by voice, including the late Taher Ahmadzadeh, who was in cell number one, and our dear brother martyr Seyed Abbas Mousavi Quchani. In those days, he had suffered many tortures, so that they said that he could not walk. Of course, when they put me in prison, the intensity of his tortures had decreased for a while and the pressure of interrogations had been removed from him.

In the first or two days of the interrogation, general questions and accusations were raised which I denied. I had no idea what information they had and what they knew, but it was clear that they had some leads that led to me.

The interrogation started with verbal and questions and answers and quietly, but soon it was accompanied by threats and insults. They asked questions and I gave rambling answers. SAVAK first related his interrogation to the same student meetings outside the university. Because one or two of those friends were in the process of distributing leaflets, and due to non-compliance with security and protection matters, both they and I were trapped by SAVAK. That is, when they were arrested, SAVAK had seen or received a report that they were in contact with me, so it came to the conclusion that I would give them leaflets to distribute.

I noticed something in the police station prison, and before that and even after that, it was neither mentioned in the interrogations, nor was anything said about it. In the police station prison, I heard that SAVAK had a double sensitivity towards me, because he saw that a religious student and a cleric entered the university and chose the field of chemistry, and guessed that this person probably chose this field because of the motivation to learn how to prepare bombs or explosives. Therefore, they had become sensitive. I heard this! Maybe it was right! Although I did not find any clues for him in the interrogations.

But another factor that led to my arrest was some friends and colleagues in printing leaflets and pamphlets of the Islamic government, who clumsily distributed them in schools, and SAVAK identified and arrested them. They used to come and go to our house and there was also under surveillance and we didn't know that we were detected.

At any rate, the interrogation began. As I said, first quietly and verbally and then immediately in written form along with threats and insults which I denied them, but this method did not help. The more we went forward, the more detailed the interrogation became. It was clear that they had information that I had to confess to some of them. Several points were important to me in these confessions. First, I should not mention a name that would cause trouble for the owner of the name or increase his trouble. Second, nothing should be mentioned of the copying machine and typewriter; especially if they found out that we printed the pamphlet of the Islamic government with that machine. On the other hand, if SAVAK knew about the existence of such a device, many people might be identified and my job would be difficult. Thirdly, I finally had to confess to something, so what better way to confess to things that SAVAK knows about, that's why I confessed parallel to the accusations that SAVAK attributed to me; of course not to all of them.

Of course, this method went so far that SAVAK felt that they still did not get anything from me and confessed to it. SAVAK was not willing to go under the burden of this interrogation, so pressure on me increased.

They used the last trick on me before torturing. I think it was the night of Qadr. Yes! On the night of the 21st of the holy month of Ramadhan, they took me to their room for interrogation and made me face the wall without warning, so that I could not see anywhere. A few moments later, I realized that Mr. Akhavi was also brought to the same room. Apparently, they wanted to confront us, to see if we have any information that would be useful to them, but fortunately, they did not find anything from this encounter, because neither Mr. Akhavi knew the details of my activities and work, nor did I know what he was doing, where he was going, and who he was in contact with. Of course, we both knew very well that we were on the same path and we were working in the direction of the Islamic Movement and Imam Khomeini; these were generalities that did not suit SAVAK. When the interrogators saw that they could not get the necessary result from that encounter, they started lying.

Dabiri made a double-edged show and lied to Mr. Khoee in front of me quoting from me: “Yes! He has said this quoting from you”. I, who was surprised by this obvious lie that Dabiri attributed to me in front of my eyes, protested fearlessly: "No! I didn't say that!" I repeated this sentence two or three times so that Mr. Akhavi would understand that this statement is a complete lie; Of course, Mr. Akhoee was familiar with SAVAK's tricks. Dabiri and his friends, who thought that I would remain silent out of fear or that I might not notice their lie, when they saw my protest, did not follow their words anymore. A few moments later, Dabiri used another trick and started talking to Mr. Akhavi and threatened that I had something to say and would not say it during the interrogation. Debiri said: "We intend to beat him and we will beat him a lot. We wanted you to say something that would make him come to his senses and speak." he didn't say anything and Dabiri and the interrogators got nothing.

By taking him, they also took me; they took him to the cell and I was taken to the interrogation room. There were two beds in that room and they put me on one and two or three people tied my hands and feet. The interrogator came over me. I was fasting. He told me, "Okay, sir! We are fasting and you are also fasting, let's go and see what happens!" And he started whipping my legs.


Source: Qobadi, Mohammadi, Remembering that period: Memoirs of Hojjat al-Eslam Valmoslemin Seyed Hadi Khamenei, Tehran, Sooreh Mehr, 1399 (2020), pp. 264-268

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