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Awaiting my execution: A letter from Iran

By Louisa Anderson London,

 

Saman Naseem. Credit: Amnesty International

Saman Naseem, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, was only 17 when he was arrested, and his ‘confession’ followed an extended period of torture. He was sentenced to death after an unfair trial for allegedly taking part in armed activities against the state.

BREAKING: Saman Naseem’s execution did not go ahead as originally scheduled on Thursday 19 February. But Saman remains at risk so please keep the pressure on the Iranian government to halt the execution and grant him a judicial review by tweeting @khamenei_ir

Saman describes what happened to him:  

Torture started as soon as I entered the cell. The cell itself had been designed with the sole aim of inflicting psychological torture: it was just two metres long and 50 cm wide, with a toilet. I could only lie down in it horizontally. There was a camera over my head which recorded all my movements, even when I was using the toilet.

That was the start of 97 days of torture and suffering. During those first days, the level of torture was so high that I was left unable to walk. My entire body was black and blue. They hung me from my hands and feet for hours. I was blindfolded the whole time. I could not see the interrogators and torturers.

They used all kinds of inhumane and illegal methods to try and extract confessions from me. They repeatedly told me that they had arrested members of my family including my father, my mother, and my brother.

They told me that they would bury me with a digger. They told me that they would kill me right there and would cover my grave with cement.

When I wanted to sleep at night, they would not let me rest. They would make noises in different ways, including by constantly banging on the door. I was between madness and consciousness. All 97 days passed like this. I was 17 years old.

I was not allowed any contact with my family during this time. In an utterly inhumane act, they filmed my interrogations, when I was hanging between life and death, under pressure and the risk of torture. I can say now that those interviews are absolute lies and I deny their content. Later, a news report was released on state TV that implied I had been freed and had gone home. I was actually being sentenced to death, based on a ‘confession’ that had been pre-written.

My trial was a show… I was not given any opportunity to defend myself. The judge threatened to beat me a number of times and my lawyers were removed under pressure… I could be executed at any moment.

Saman could be executed as early as 19 February 2015 for crimes allegedly committed when he was 17 years old. He was sentenced to death after an unfair trial.

Help us save Saman by tweeting the Supreme Leader of Iran @khamenei_ir urging him to stop the execution, which is unlawful under international law, given Saman’s age when he was arrested.

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