Catch by the revolution guard Basidji in Tehran
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Feb 17, 2013 12:32 PM Last Post By: ernestoo
Feb 11, 2013 2:50 AM
Catch by the revolution guard Basidji in TehranIran is an amazing country , the people are extremely hospitable and friendly , the food is delicious , The lanscape from desert to montain to coast . The history is incredible . I highly recommend u to go there .
Bad experience with the Islamic police .
I was in Teheran taking pictures of a random buidling when 2 guys in civil came to me and explained me than there were cops and asked me my passport and to show them my camera .
After 10 minutes waiting and cheking my id there asked me to come with them , So I folowed them to a random building entering a empty room . There asked me to empty my pocket and there searched me . Then about 10 guys were looking at me ,and looked very unfriendly and scarry and some with guns ( more like a terrorist than cops from an western media view) .
Then one guys told me something in Farsi , I didnt understand , he then pushed my head down on the floor and put me the handcuffs and a blindfold while 2 guys where holding me at this time he told me who are u ? .
I answered I m just a tourist taking pictures around . He said no u are not a tourist , i replyed quick nonono i m tourist i swear .
He then told me to shut up on the very unfriendly way .
At this time i was fritghtening to what was gonna to happen to me .
When I started talking there just say no talking and pushed my head so i thought i better do what there want .
There then asked to me stand up and there helped to walk ( I couldnt see because of the blindfold )
There brang me to a van and we drove for 30 minutes to an unknow destination .
I was then locked to a cold room I guessed, It was freezing I was chained to a metal stick and I coudnt see .
After fews hours some guys came to me , there were talking to me in Farsi so I couldnt understand there then started to kick me and asked me ''Who are u ? '' i said the same thing
"I m just a simple backpacker traveling around the world " and there answered " We know than you are SPY from Israel " ( I m from France I have never been to Israel I have nothing to do with it ) and " How do u go to so many country ? How can u afford it ?Your governement pay you for spying we know it " Unbeliavable ...
I couldnt believe it so I started to scream and to say nonono I m just a tourist.
One guy then started to kick my body .After fews minutes I was strangly calm and I explained slowly my story to the only guy who could speak a little english .
He seemed convinced , I asked them if I could call my Embassy , there told me " Here its our home dont speak "
I was then alone again for fews hours . One guy came and took me to another room , he then took off my blindfold , I could only see 2 guys wearing black clothes with there head covered I could only see there eyes .
He then took some pictures of me and my fingerprints and asked me to sign the paper witch I couldnt understand , so I told him no and he told " sign or problem " I tought anyway there ll make me sign this paper by force or not so I better sign it now .
There then put back my blindfold and brang to another room again .
For the next fews hours I was starting becoming crazy and so scared .
After sometimes There unchained me , and brang me to car , in a second I was outside with my big backpack on the street and there were already gone .
I then realised there just released me .
I smoked a cigarette and took a cab to a random hotel .
It was 3 at the morning i was in the middle of nowhere in Teheran suburd I guessed . There kept me for 15 hours .
Once I arrived in the hotel I checked my bag evrything was in mess but everything was there unless there stole me 100 us dollars .
This guys were the Basidji ( Islamic police of the supreme leader , the Mullah )
There were defintly the opposite behaviour of most Iranians people who are very kind nice and generous . There are just a bunch of brainwashed people ....
I dont know if there were seriously thinking than i may be a Spy or if there just wanted to bored someone and show there ( nosense ) Superiourity .
COME to Iran its amazing country , the people are extraordinaire and more tourist come more people talking about the real Iranian ( not the guys we see on the TV burning us flag screaming death to the west ) .
But becarefull taking pictures especially in Teheran and now its becoming more sensitive I guess because of the election coming . If u get catch just play the dam tourist , most of the time its work.
Feb 11, 2013 12:13 PM
1Wow, some story! Sounds kinda scary, but i have to ask, what was this 'random' building? Because if it is a building of political significance, then it is not 'random' at all. Still, sounds really scary and not an experience anyone wants to go through. Did you talk to your embassy? Also maybe at the point when the first two guys came up, you should have tried to get the attention of a regular policeman in uniform, as you really have no idea who these two guys were, they could have been anyone. If they really were the Iranian islamic militia, then at least you should have been there with regular police to mediate things, as things could have been even worse if you were in the hands of some true extremists. If it was me, I would have called my Iranian friends straight away to help clarify things.
I'm sure this story will generate a lot of interest on the forum.
Feb 11, 2013 12:45 PM
2Hi Dear ,
I took a picture of a kind of dodgy ice cream seller shop who looks like really like icecream shop nothing else.
I didnt talk to my embassy. Most of Embassy on Iran are now closing and living the country the french Embassy is on the way to close I guess 2 more months . (Actually are there going to do something , there can do nothing , on the french diplomatic website, there advice to do not take any pictures in all Iran ) But you know diplomatic advice for travellers are always too much .
Well its easy to say but in the past i have been confronted to some difficult situation and when something like that happen to you.
You dont always think its gonna turn so badly , at first I tought it was just a simple checking but then when I realise it was more , it was too late for it ....
Maybe dam maybe too slow maybe normal .
Feb 12, 2013 2:04 PM
3It is not advisable to hand over your passport to strangers in the street, if pressed hand them a copy.
Fake police can be anywhere.
Only present actual passport inside a police station.
Do not follow heavy strangers into cars or random buildings.
The Islamic Police could be real or fake.
What’s not completely clear from Ernest’s description is what was missing (only $100 ?) and what else could have been taken but was not taken (more $ or camera ?).
Feb 12, 2013 3:02 PM
4Well mates ,
I have been travelling for a long time so I use to deal with dodgy police men etc ...
But Iran is very different and I knew there card There didnt lie . The only thing I could do its to run away but as u can imagine there are everywhere , so I had no choice .
And guys Before I got arrested here I have been arrested in Kirghistan China etc.. for similar reason its easy to say than u should only present ur Id in police station but when u confront such hard situation , I swear u dont have choice ....
I m very crazy about photographie so I was asking them so much to do not delete my pictures or take my sd card . ( anyway there deleted most of pics but of course I had a copy in my hard disk ) .
So There just found easy to still 100 dollars I guess because I had fews hundreds dollars with me so I guess its seems one more one less . ( B.....)
Feb 13, 2013 12:10 AM
are you saying you were also ‘arrested’ in Kyrgyzstan and in China and also somewhere else ???
Too crazy man - are you some kind of a magnet for pulling the cops !
Certainly gives a new look to what is police enticement.
Take care man, and be careful with the Turkish police !
Feb 13, 2013 4:21 AM
6Yes but much softer situation in Kyrgyzstan I was arrested by some cops who wanted my money but luckly I could get out with not much hassle and for FREE . But I guess this kind of arrestation are common , I have met fews travellers who had some bad experience with the Kyrgyz Police . In China For taking pictures again , .
I didnt have any problem yet , Yesterday I could take some cops in picture , there didnt seems to care about .
Feb 13, 2013 1:37 PM
7There was a story here on LP a few years ago about a guy who swore he was just taking a picture of landscape with some electricity posts from a train and he got this type of arrest and mistreatment. I think he was detained maybe even for months.
There was one time, also a few years ago, that we were cycling and ended the day in Tafresh, a city a few hundred k SW of Tehran. We had to wait for the hotel room to be made up and were waiting out on the steps. It was a quiet afternoon on the holy day. Later we realized the place across the street was some type of garrison and there was a guard in a corner turret who had been watching us. Then we thought, had I taken a few casual shots while we were waiting there, which is what I often do in Iran, we'd probably have been taken in.
It seems to be a paranoia but I doubt the Israelli agents would be as obvious. But the paranoia is mixed with some brutality.
We have been called in by what I call spy police in Iran. I am always with my 'wife'. I always have a map with our route highlighted. We are always on bikes. I think the total combination is always too great and we are always let go
Of course, it is such an amazing place we will always go back.
Feb 13, 2013 7:30 PM
Feb 14, 2013 8:07 AM
9These stories don't give much hope to nervous first-timers going to Iran! I certainly never encountered anything of the sort, only police asking me my relation to some other tourists as we walked around Yazd. It does seem to come down to where you point your camera, i did take some general street shots, but always discreetly, if you're one of those people that has to take a pic of everything you see, eventually you might snap something you're not supposed to, and thus raise the ire of local police, militia or whoever. The worst thing was taking pics of the murals at the old American embassy, I felt that was something that had to be done, but I got away with it.
I completely agree with old india hand that only ever present your passport in an official building like a police station, and not to random people on the street, no matter who they say they are. The 2008 edition of Iran LP had a story of the author and another traveller looking at a map with a large camera around their neck on a Tehrani street corner at 2am, trying to find their hotel. The militia came up with weapons and wanted to take them away, luckily they didn't go, raised the attention of passer-bys and then the police came. A few hours later it was all sorted, with the police apologising for the over-enthusiasm of the Basidji militia. Good rule of thumb for anyone else caught in the same situation.
Feb 15, 2013 1:34 AM
Feb 15, 2013 12:11 PM
Feb 17, 2013 12:27 PM
Feb 17, 2013 12:32 PM
13and Actually if u have Iranien friend u better not to talk about them because U can put them in trouble for nothing . Dont forget Iran its a magical country but its Iran and there is some guys ( Iranian) who are in Jail just for being suspicious by the governement .
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