Human Rights record of Ebrahim Raisi: Eyewitness Accounts, Batoul Majani
My name is Batoul Majani. I am a former political prisoner and spent seven years in prison. I was arrested four times. On July 27, 1988, I was arrested for the last time. The Iranian regime has imprisoned and executed seven members of my family in the 1980s.
My uncle died under torture in February 1981. Another relative of mine, Ahmad Ahmadi, was executed in the summer of 1981. Five other members of my family were executed in 1988. my brother Abdolrasul Majani was one of them.
I was arrested on July 27, 1988, at my home. Three or four Revolutionary Guards came to the house and summoned me under the pretext of having some questions. In the street, they blindfolded me, as they had refused to do that in front of my parents at home. I saw they had a list of names. I later found out that their list consisted of the names of released prisoners, and they were looking for them one by one. They completed the list and took all of us to the prison.
We were in that prison for two weeks, in which we were interrogated and tortured. One morning, when they were taking me for interrogation, I saw my brother, Abdulrasul Majani, in the prison yard in a prisoner uniform. That was the last time I saw him, and later, I found out that he was executed in that prison.
After two weeks of interrogation, they took me to Evin prison. I was taken to solitary confinement, which they called the “resting wards.” After two weeks, they took me to court. I was not aware of what was happening in Evin prison. When they called us to the court; first they blindfolded us. When I went to the corridor, I saw many prisoners lined up. I realized we were in a large corridor, and there were many men and women in the corridor. The female inmates were on one side, and the male prisoners were on the other side. I was shocked and wondered what was happening there. I covertly asked a prisoner, “why is it here too crowdy?” she said, “here is the special court where the death commission is stationed. They bring every prisoner here, and from here, they take many prisoners to the gallows.”
She was surprised and asked me, where have you been that you did not know what was happening here. I told her they had just brought me back here. I asked her about my cousin, Farah Aghayan, who was in the women’s ward in the “closed-door” cells. I asked her: “Do you have any information about Farah? She said: “Yes, I know her. They were 35 very resistant women in a closed-door cell. They were among the first to come to this court, and they were all executed.”
I then realized what was happening, and it made me very upset. I was confused. They called my name, and I entered the courtroom. I saw four or five individuals behind a desk. They started asking me questions. As they asked me questions and I responded, one of them started shouting, “she is with the MEK. She lies, and she should be executed.” later found out that this person was Ebrahim Raisi, who wanted to execute all prisoners. I still remember Raisi’s voice, yelling, and saying that this is the fourth time she has been arrested and should be executed.
After a few minutes, they took me out of that room. Those who went to this so-called court were later taken to a corridor, at the end of which were a bunch of old cells. When I entered one of those cells, I saw it was dirty. These cells were abandoned. But on the walls, I saw writings of those who were taken to the gallows. They had written when they had entered the cell and when they were taken for the execution.
Since we were blindfolded, we tried to see the faces of the regime officials. I saw Raisi and Hossainali Nayerri there. Before that time I was arrested twice and sentenced to imprisonment. Nayeri was the Sharia judge who sentenced me to prison. But that day I saw Raisi. Once I was released from jail, I found out that the person who was shouting at me was Raisi. Raisi and Pourmohammadi were in the death commission during the 1988 massacre.
I was in that cell for five months. When I returned to the ward, I saw that 90% of those I knew were already sentenced to prison were all executed.
My brother was rearrested and executed in 1988. He was in prison from 1981 to 1986 and was released once his prison term was finished. He was arrested again in June 1988. Since his last arrest, he was in prison only for one month and was not even sentenced. He was executed without any legal procedure.
One of my friends was Zahra Kiayie, who was 17 years old at the time of her arrest. She endured brutal tortures. She was tortured as much that once I saw blood coming from her legs, and the prison officials were forced to operate her leg. She refused to participate in an interview to condemned the MEK. They had told her that if she does not condemn the MEK, she would be executed, but if she condemnes the MEK, she would be released. She refused to condemn the MEK, and they executed her. She was in prison for three years without being sentenced. After three years, she was sentenced to 15 years in jail, but they hanged her during the 1988 massacre.
Farah Aghayan, my cousin, was a very active university student at Tehran University. She was arrested in 1982. She was later sentenced to 15 years in prison. She always resisted the guards and firmly defended her identity as a MEK supporter and supported the MEK. Finally, in 1988, Raisi and Pourmohammadi sentenced her to execution, and she was executed. Her brother, Ami Aghayan, despite being sentenced to three years in prison, was executed in Semnan province. Their father, a dignified teacher in Shahrud, when heard his children were executed, suffered a heart attack and died. Their mother also lost her sanity.
Zahra Nazemi, one of my relatives, was executed during the 1988 massacre. She was arrested for the second time. She had spent three years in prison before being rearrested. She had tried to join the MEK in Iraq and was arrested. They had sentenced her to 5 years in jail, and she was in Semnan province’s prison.
In Semnan prison, there were 40 prisoners. Despite having prison terms, thirty-seven of them were executed. Only three of them remained.
Another example is Gholamreza Mohammadi, who was my mother’s cousin. He was in Gohardasht prison. He was transferred from Mashhad prison to Tehran, and despite being under pressure, he and his comrades bravely defended their identity and the MEK. I have heard that they resisted to the point that guards were afraid to open their cells. They were the first to be executed in Gohardasht prison.
As a survivor of this massacre and on behalf of many families of victims inside Iran, I ask you all to participate in the Iranian Resistance’s justice-seeking Movement. We want justice for all of these martyrs. We should raise this issue in all international stances to hopefully hold these criminals to account in an international court.