Shahin Naseri, the cellmate of Navid Afkari who had testified in court about the torture of the now executed political prisoner has been handed over to the State Security Force Intelligence, according to Babak Paknia, an attorney involved in Navid Afkari’s legal case.
In a tweet September 22 Babak Paknia said that he intended to represent Shahin Naseri, but he was told that the prisoner had been handed over to the State Security Force Intelligence since September 11, one day before the execution of the wrestling champion Navid Afkari.
Shahin Naseri was abruptly transferred from Shiraz’s Adel Abad Prison. For 10 days, Iranian authorities did not give a reason for the relocation or revealed his status and whereabouts, raising concerns that he is under torture to take back his testimony.
Prior to Babak Pakonia’s remarks, a “reformist” politician who had pursued Navid’s case, had disclosed that he was taken to the Shiraz Police Criminal Investigation Department where prisoners are usually tortured and mistreated before going to prison and where he had witnessed Navid Afkari’s torture.
“It’s been 10 days since his family has not been informed of his whereabouts. It would seem as though he was handed over to the institution that he testified against,” Mehdi Mahmoudian tweeted on September 29 while publishing Naseri’s written testimonies.
Shahin Naseri, who was present at the time Navid was beaten by agents at the Shiraz Police Criminal Investigation Department, has testified in court and made a written testimony of his eyewitness accounts of torture on October 31, 2019. An audio file of his testimony has also been published.
According Naseri, he saw two agents “brutally” beating Navid Afkari, who was on the floor, holding his cuffed hands over his head to prevent the agents from hitting him on the head with iron bars and batons. He also said that the agents were using degrading verbal insults and profanities directed at the wrestling champion.
Shahin Naseri said that the agents were yelling at Navid that “whatever we say is the truth” and telling him “to write down what we say”.
“One of the agents hit Navid on the hand so hard that Navid cried out and fainted,” he was heard saying on the audio file.
According to Naseri, when Navid came back to their cell, he was nursing his hand while “writhing in pain” begging to be taken to the infirmary.
“But he was not taken to the infirmary and was taken for more torture,” Naseri said.
Naseri said when he testified in court, he was threatened by the judge and told he “was interfering in a security case” and that he would be made to regret his testimony.