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Twice Arrested and Tortured: Farshad Dastmardi's Harrowing Ordeals in Iran

April 24, 2024
Samaneh Ghadarkhan
4 min read
Farshad Dastmardi, a protester in Dehdasht, was subjected to horrific torture tactics
Farshad Dastmardi, a protester in Dehdasht, was subjected to horrific torture tactics

Farshad Dastmardi, a protester in Dehdasht, was subjected to horrific torture tactics. 

He was suspended from the ceiling in an attempt to coerce a confession to the murder of four individuals during the protests. 

Multiple assailants participated in this act, wielding sticks to beat him until he lost consciousness. 

They would then revive him by dousing him with ice water.

According to his family, an individual named Judge Raisi falsely informed him that Persian-language media had reported his death, effectively threatening him with imminent demise.

As a result of the torture, Dastmardi sustained severe injuries, including a broken wrist and a dislocated left arm from the shoulder.

In addition to the torture, Dastmardi had previously been wounded during the protests, sustaining one pellet to the knee, two pellets to the hip, and being struck with plastic bullets in the face.

Dastmardi, a 32-year-old welder and boxer, lives in Dehdasht city, located in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province.

He has endured two harrowing ordeals of arrest and torture at the hands of security forces.

During the nationwide protests in October 2022, he was detained for four months and 10 days, accused of leading the protests. He faced the death penalty initially but was eventually released on bail.

Subsequently, on the anniversary of the death of Pedram Azarnoosh, another protester, he was detained for six months in October 2023, without his family's knowledge. Once again, he was released on bail.

Throughout his ordeals, Dastmardi faced repeated threats from security agents, as reported by a close relative in an interview with IranWire.

Dastmardi himself recounted the torturous events of his arrest, likening them to scenes from a movie, expressing disbelief that he had survived the brutality inflicted upon him.

Interrogators and torturers consistently reminded him that time had no meaning in their realm, coercing him to either confess to their demands or endure a perpetual cycle of torment until his death.

First Arrest

Dastmardi was first arrested during the protests in October 2022 when security forces raided his sister's house.

According to his relatives, a coalition of security agencies, including the IRGC intelligence, intelligence department, Dehdasht 11 and 12 police stations, and a special unit, participated in the arrest.

They covered his head with a sack and forcefully took him away. The alley leading to his sister's house was heavily guarded, preventing anyone from passing.

Upon arrival at the detention center, a tunnel of officers wielding sticks was formed for him.

Dastmardi described these sticks as being short and made from wood sourced from forest trees. With his hands tied behind his back, he was forced to walk between two rows of officers who struck him with sticks on his head, hands, legs, back, and stomach.

Throughout the torturous interrogations, Dastmardi was blindfolded. At times, multiple men entered his cell, simulating the preparation of weapons as if to shoot him.

However, each time, one of the agents intervened, halting the proceedings, stating they hadn't yet questioned him about that particular issue.

Dastmardi recounted an incident from the protests where a police car overturned while pursuing demonstrators.

Subsequently, at the Dehdasht Intelligence Department, he was beaten and coerced to confess to causing the accident and the resulting injuries.

Despite the pressure, Dastmardi refused to admit guilt.

Following this ordeal, he was transferred to another detention center. During interrogation, he endured hours of hanging by his hands, resulting in a dislocated left shoulder.

At the detention center, he faced further torment, being taken outside and doused with ice water in the cold.

Intelligence agents extracted confessions from 110 detainees, many of whom were students and young teenagers, alleging that Dastmardi had deceived them into participating in protests by promising payment.

Interrogators repeatedly questioned Dastmardi about the source of his work orders and money.

His family was informed during his first arrest that he would be sentenced to death, claiming he confessed to killing four people in the city.

Among the accusations leveled against him for his involvement in the Woman, Life, Freedom protests are "leadership of a criminal group, disruption of security, participation in riots, actions against national security, and collaboration with a hostile government."

During his initial court appearance, a person named Qazi Raisi informed him of false reports from the BBC and IranWire.

Second Arrest

Before the anniversary of Mahsa Amini, Dastmardi received warnings to reveal his whereabouts, but he refused.

He evaded capture by hiding in the homes of friends in villages surrounding Dehdasht for an extended period. However, he was eventually apprehended again in October 2023.

According to a close associate, Dastmardi remained concealed for an extended period, only inserting a SIM card into his phone after a long hiatus.

Upon activating his phone, his location was immediately traced, leading to his arrest for the second time.

During this detention, which lasted six months, he spent two months in solitary confinement.

Following two months in this location, Dastmardi was blindfolded and transported in a van-like vehicle to another undisclosed location, where he was informed he was in Shiraz.

This pattern repeated once more, with another transfer to a third location, this time claimed to be Yasouj.

Ultimately, he was incarcerated in Yasouj Central Prison. Throughout this period, his family remained unaware of his survival.

During his second arrest, Dastmardi faced accusations of inciting people to engage in violence with the intent to disrupt national security. He is now free on bail.



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