The following is a translation of Esmail Bakhshi challenge to the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Minister to a debate. The translation was posted on the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union’s Telegram channel.
Inviting Hojjat-ul-Islam Alavi, the Minister of Intelligence of the Islamic republic of Iran, to a live debate on national TV
During the 25 days I was unjustly held in detention by your Ministry of Intelligence I was inflicted with pains and sufferings I am still grappling with, as a result of which I have had to resort to and seek relief in psychotropic drugs. Throughout this time I have been plagued by two questions, to which you alone are chiefly answerable. And it is my, as well as the whole honorable people of Iran’s, right to know the answers to them.
First: during the first few days of detention I was tortured to the brink of death without hearing a single reason or even being spoken to a single word. The torrent of the kicks and punches was so harsh that afterwards, in my solitary cell, I could not even move a limb. The pain was also too much to let me get a wink of sleep. And now, almost two months after, I still feel pain in my broken ribs, kidneys, left ear and testicles. The torturers, lo and behold, called themselves “The Unknown Soldiers of the Hidden Imam of the Age”, but they showered both me and Ms. Sepide Gholyaan, also being bashed, with a whole slew of the most obscene swearwords.
The most painful part of the whole ordeal was the psychological tortures. I wonder what your torturers did to me to reduce me to a timid mouse with trembling hands! I, who felt to be the proudest person on earth, was reduced to a humiliated character, a totally different person, to the extent that I am sometimes in the throes of intense psychological attacks, despite all the medication I use to stop them.
Therefore, I ask you, as both the country’s Minister of Intelligence and a spiritual man, a clergyman: How do you explain the torturing of a detainee from a moral, human-rights and, especially, Islamic perspective? Is it justified? If “yes”, to what degree?
The second problem that that bugs me, Mr. Alavi, is much more significant to me and my family than the physical and psychological tortures is the tapping of my phone and eavesdropping on my and my family’s conversations by your intelligence services. I was told by my interrogator, ‘We know everything about you. We even know how many times your wife has argued with you about your struggles.’ When I asked, ‘How do you know?’, he replied, “Your phone was tapped for a long time’. This exasperated me even during the unbearable interrogation I had been subjected to. Now, my and my family’s question for you, as both the country’s Minister of Intelligence and a spiritual man, a clergyman, is: “Is eavesdropping on the people’s most private conversations justified from a moral, human-rights and, especially, Islamic perspective? Who has given your intelligence services the right to eavesdrop on my private conversations with my beloved wife?’
I, therefore, invite you, Mr. Alavi, to a live debate on national TV in order to hear your answers to the above questions.
Jan. 4, 2019