An Iranian-born Afghan prisoner, arrested at the age of 16, wrote a letter to expose the brutal tortures that were imposed on him in an Iranian prison.
Amir Nourzehi was arrested in 2014 on the charges of robbery and sentenced to 10 years in prison according to the confessions taken under beating and mayhem. His 17-year-old cousin, who is a juvenile offender, has been sentenced to death in the same case on charges of possession of drugs, an issue that, in addition to a violation of the right to life, is a violation of the rights of the child.
He said that he was tortured at Zahedan, southeastern Iran; the agents arrested his friend’s wife and threatened to assault her, and eventually made them confessed crimes they didn’t commit. Nourzehi was a shoemaker and waxed pedestrians’ footwear in the streets of Zahedan. He and his cousin lived in a rented home before being arrested by security guards in the same place.
“One day, we were sitting at home with one of our friends, Aref Baluch, when all of a sudden the security agents raided our home, handcuffed us and took us to the police station headed by Colonel Molla Shahi. They then stripped us naked and tied our hands from behind and hanged us up the ceiling with chains. They then started to whip us with cable and told us to accept the responsibility for the bank robbery,” he writes.
According to his letter, they didn’t accepted anything until the authorities brought Aref Baluch’s wife with her three months old child and removed her veil and started insulting them with abusive and vulgar words and threatened them to assault her if you they don’t accept to sign the confessions. Despite signing the papers, they denied the charges in front of the prosecutor and insisted on their innocence, but nothing helped.
“In the file, they wrote our age older than the real age, and because of this they did not transfer us to the children’s ward but instead they handed us over to the juvenile ward (Ward 2). After a month, we were again taken to the intelligence office and were tortured again and new charges were brought against us including possession of a kilo of narcotics ,” Nourzehi writes in the letter.
They were told the drugs were found in their home, were showed a gun and were told that they must accept the responsibility for the drugs and the gun.
“Aref Baluch’s wife was released from prison after 8 months and Aref Baluch was released after two years and nine months imprisonment. My cousin and I, because we were Afghans and we had no one, we were sentenced to 12 years in prison for bank robbery and 10 years in prison and execution respectively for possessing drugs,” he says.
They were also ordered by the court to return the money, 14 million Toman, apparently stolen from the bank whose officials are now fugitives due to fraud. They had no access to a lawyer and had not been notified of a lawsuit.