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Society & Culture

"My Daughter Was Beaten with a Bottle of Water to Make Her Confess"

April 30, 2016
Sanne Wass
2 min read
"My Daughter Was Beaten with a Bottle of Water to Make Her Confess"
"My Daughter Was Beaten with a Bottle of Water to Make Her Confess"

"My Daughter Was Beaten with a Bottle of Water to Make Her Confess"


After six months of silence, the mother of Afarin Chitsaz, the Iranian journalist recently sentenced to 10 years in prison on security charges, has spoken out about her daughter's case. She said Chitsaz was beaten by interrogators and forced to make false confessions.

“My daughter was beaten with a bottle of water to make her confess while she was blindfolded,” Chitsaz’s mother, Maryam Azadpour, told BBC Persian on Friday, April 29.

Chitsaz, a columnist for the Rouhani government’s official newspaper Iran, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in early November 2015 along with three other journalists, Ehsan Mazandarani, Saman Safarzaei and Isa Saharkhiz. They were all accused of being members of an “infiltration network” colluding with hostile Western governments.

A month after their arrest, on November 30, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a senior cleric and a hardline member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, claimed the journalists had “confessed” to collaborating with foreign agencies to carry out spying activities in Iran.

Until now, Chitsaz’s family has been silent about her case, which has led to a growing concern about the journalist’s well-being.

Then, on April 26, news emerged that Chitsaz had received a 10-year prison sentence on charges of “gathering and colluding against national security” and “collaborating with foreign governments.”

But according to her mother, the confessions were false and obtained under duress. She said her daughter was beaten so badly she has developed tachycardia – an abnormally rapid heart rate.

“My daughter did not tell us about the beatings until two days ago,” Azadpour said. “She was kept in solitary confinement for six months, and her mental health is not good. She takes two anxiety pills every day." She also said that Chitsaz suffers from kidney problems.

Chitsaz’s mother said she intends to inform the authorities and the judge in charge of the case.

“We stayed silent for six months,” Azadpour said. “No matter what they did to my daughter, we didn’t say anything, and we respected them. But this sentence is unfair, and they had no right to beat my child.”

According to her mother, Chitsaz was transferred from solitary confinement to a normal cell at Evin Prison 17 days ago.

Two of the other journalists, Ehsan Mazandarani and Saman Safarzaei, were sentenced to seven and five years’ imprisonment respectively. A fifth Iranian, Davoud Asadi, who was also arrested in early November, was given a five-year prison sentence. Isa Saharkhiz’s fate is still unclear.


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