I am Ali Sarabi. I was arrested on September 26, 1981. I was a 20-year-old university student and was put under torture in Evin to give information about other Mojahedin supporters.
The following day, I tricked my torturers to go to Karim Khan Street in a deceptive plan to arrest my superior. In an opportune instance, I jumped out of the guards’ car and fled. My feet were wounded by cable blows and torture, and I could not get very far. When I saw the guards coming towards me from the other side of the street and the whole area was surrounded, in order to avoid being captured alive, I went to the top of the nearby pedestrian bridge and threw myself from the top of the bridge into the middle of the street with my head. About a week later, I regained consciousness in Branch 7 of the Evin Interrogation. The torture resumed. Due to the severity of the blow to my head, I had almost lost my memory and was almost half-paralyzed, but the guards did not stop torturing me.
In those days, because of the courageous demonstration of September 27 by the people and the supporters of the Mojahedin in Tehran, the regime arrested a large number of people, most of them students. Brutal torture and mass executions by firing squad were rampant. For almost a month and a half while I was under interrogation, I heard gunshots of firing squad and coup de grâce almost every night. The prisoners, who counted coup de grâce every night and recorded them in their memory, said that the regime executed about 1,500 people on the nights following September 26, 1981.
After about a month and a half of interrogation and torture, I was sent to one of the Evin wards.
In each of the general prison cells of Evin, which were rooms of about 5 x 6 square meters, about 100 to 120 prisoners were accommodated. Packed in the cells as such, we could not sleep and had to rest by turn. Many prisoners had wounds due to torture, or wounded during arrest. They were under tremendous pressure in this situation. Despite the fact that during that period sometimes up to 300 people were shot every night, the number of prisoners was not reduced and new detainees replaced those executed by firing squads.
The court rulings were issued in short few minutes, and even the prison terms issued by the so-called sharia judges bore no credibility. Many prisoners remained in prison despite completing their sentences, and were hanged during the massacre in 1988. Among my close friends and cell mates in Gohardasht, were Parviz Salimi, Mahshid Razaghi, Reza Mohammadian, and Ali Azarash who were hanged despite having a prison sentence or had even completed their sentences.
The main support and encouragement for executioners such as Lajevardi and Davood Rahmani was Khomeini himself, the leader of this inhuman regime. According to Khomeini’s fatwa, they had the order to commit genocide against the Mojahedin who maintained their support to the organization and sentences had no credibility.
In particular, Lajevardi, with his hatred of the Mojahedin, executed some of the prisoners under any pretext.
For example, when Ashraf and Musa were killed, he massacred a large number of prisoners who refused to insult these martyrs. One of the heroes of that time was Akbar Tarighi. Lajevardi had known Akbar since the Shah’s time in prison and had a grudge against him. Akbar, who was in charge of the Mojahedin establishment within prison, always disregarded Lajevardi in the presence of the other prisoners, crushing the pride of this executioner. After the martyrdom of Ashraf and Musa, they took Akbar from our cell to see the bodies of these martyrs. There, Akbar confronted Lajevardi. That night Akbar was not returned to his cell, and after much torture, he was kept under the staircase of the prison, and a few nights later, he was shot dead along with a crowd of heroes who confronted the executioners.
If I want to summarize my imprisonment in one sentence, I would say: torture and crime beyond human imagination on the one hand and superhuman resistance on the other hand. And today we see, as Massoud Rajavi has always said, how those sacrifices and the stream of martyrs’ blood have guaranteed the survival of the Mojahedin and the Liberation Army and paved the way for the liberation of our people and our homeland.
Greetings to the heroes of 1988 and hail to all the martyrs of the path to freedom of Iran.