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Esmail Bakhshi: Security forces tortured me to the brink of death

Esmail Bakhshi, worker at Haft Tapeh sugarcane factory
Esmail Bakhshi, worker at Haft Tapeh sugarcane factory

Reported by PMOI/MEK


Iran, Jan. 2019 - Esmail Bakhshi, one of the spokespersons for the protesting workers of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro Industrial Company in the Khuzestan province, described the horrible conditions of his incarceration in an open letter published on his Instagram page, addressed to Mahmoud Alavi, the head of the notorious Ministry of Intelligence & Security (MOIS).

According to Bakhshi, during the first days of his incarceration, he was tortured to the brink of death without any reason and was beaten so violently that he couldn’t move for 72 hours.

Esmail Bakhshi was arrested on November 18, 2018, by MOIS during the peaceful labor protests of the workers of Iran’s largest sugarcane factory. The workers of Haft Tapeh were protesting against months-overdue wages and problems caused by the privatization of the company.

In his letter, Bakhshi describes that while beating him, his torturers also insulted him and attacked him with profanity. Weeks after his release, Bakhshi is still suffering from the regular anxiety attacks and has to consume nerve-control medicine.

Bakhshi also states that security forces had tapped his home’s phone and had told him that they all the conversations he had with his family.

Bakhshi is now facing bogus charges such as “disrupting the public order,” “assembly and plotting against national security,” and “participation in forming a group with the aim of damaging security.” The Iranian regime has opened a criminal file against him in 12th branch of the Prosecutor General's Office in Ahwaz.

In his letter to Intelligence Minister Mahmood Alavi, Esmail Bakhshi wrote:

During the 25 days that I was unjustly imprisoned by the Intelligence Ministry, I subdued different tortures, and I still haven’t been able to get over them and need to consume nerve-control medication.

In the first days, I was tortured to the brink of death and punched and kicked without a word or any specific reason. I couldn’t move in my cell for 72 hours and they had beaten me so badly that even sleep was painful from the severity of the pain.

Even though nearly two months have passed since those days, the pain of my broken ribs, kidneys, left ear and testicles still remain. Interestingly, the torturers called themselves “unknown soldiers of Imam Zaman” but they constantly insulted me and Ms. [Sepideh] Ghelyan with sexual profanity and they also beat her.

But worse than the physical torture was the mental torture… Even though I consume nerve-control medication, I still suffer from anxiety attacks.

For my family and I, even worse than the mental and physical torture is the tapping of our telephone conversations by your intelligence apparatus. My interrogator told me, “We know everything about you. We even know how many times your wife argued with you because of your struggles.” I asked them how do you know? They said, “We’ve been listening to your conversations for a long time.”

This enraged me. Is listening to the most private conversations of people justified from a moral, human rights and Islamic perspective? By what permission should your security apparatus listen to the conversations of me and my wife?