"They used to wake me up in the middle of the night, give me food and say they want to execute me. They would also take me to the execution spot," Hossein Shahravi, an Iranian rock climber who was arrested during the ongoing national uprising, told his family.
The athlete said he was tortured into so-called confessions for things he never did, a relative told IranWire.
Late on October 26 in Tehran, Hossein was returning home with a colleague when plainclothes officers on motorcycles passed their car. The officers pulled the vehicle over and brutally arrested the two men.
The authorities released the colleague the next morning but transferred Shahravi to a Basij paramilitary base where he was insulted and beaten by militiamen.
Shahravi was then taken to Great Tehran Prison, where he was also subjected to psychological and physical torture.
"My body was very strong, but not anymore. The other inmates’ condition is much worse. I don't want you to come and see me," IranWire’s source quoted Shahravi as telling the family.
The detainee was being interrogated at the time and was not allowed to receive visits. He was told that his parents suffered strokes to torture him mentally.
The source said that being at the prison’s torture room called the "death room" was his worst experience. His cellmates have said that his hands and legs were shaking for hours after returning from that room.
"When I opened my eyes, I was in a white room. Everything was white, and a voice said, 'My child, you are dead. Why do you think you have died? What sin have you committed?'”
“I shouted, ‘No, I am still alive.’ I was afraid, I kept screaming until I passed out again."
He was being tortured to force him to sign a pre-written “confession” in which he would admit being a protest leader and being in contact with Israel and foreign media.
"Help me, they want to kill me. They said they would kill me. Help me for God’s sake," he said in a phone call to his family six days after his arrest.
Shahravi was transferred to Tehran’s Evin prison in November, where he was allowed to meet with his family every other Thursday.
A court has charged him with "assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting national security" and " disruption of public order." He was brought back to Great Tehran Prison after the court hearing.
His family's efforts to get him released on bail have been unsuccessful.
According to IranWire’s source, Shahravi is now suffering from partial amnesia due to the torture he went through and the drugs he was forced to take. He spends his days thinking about his nightmares of execution and the “death chamber.”