Matthew Trevithick Iran: Imprisonment Described
Published: January 29, 2016
Matthew Trevithick Iran: Imprisonment Described, Matthew Trevithick stepped out of his dorm room in Tehran in December, heading to buy a plane ticket back home to the U.S. Less than an hour later, he found himself in Iran’s most notorious prison.
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Trevithick, 30, described being detained in Evin Prison for 40 days.
“Within an hour of standing on the street, I’m sitting in an interrogation cell in the second floor of a specific building used by the intelligence services in Iran,” he told Cooper.
It all began when three people approached him on the street. He said they asked if he was Matthew, when he replied ‘yes,’ they put him into an unmarked Hyundai Sonata and drove away.
Trevithick, of Hingham, Massachusetts, is one of five U.S. prisoners freed earlier this month, the New York Times reports. Among the freed is Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was convicted, in a close-door trial, of vaguely defined espionage charges in Iran.
Trevithick said the first thing interrogators asked was if he knew Rezaian.
“I said, ‘ of course, the whole world knows Jason Rezaian. Everybody knows that name,’ ” Trevithick recalled. “He said, ‘he’s never leaving and neither are you.’ ”
Trevithick would spend 40 days in the prison, 29 of those, he said, in solitary confinement – “They spend approximately 30 days trying to rip your life apart.”
Trevithick, a researcher who was in Tehran studying Farsi, said he was charged with trying to overthrow the Iranian government and was accused of having access to millions of dollars and weapons caches that had been planted around the country in preparation for a coup.
He spent nearly a month in a small room – about six-by-seven feet with an about 8 to 12 foot high ceiling – with only a carpet covering the concrete floor.
“This is a place of violence and agony and you can feel the agony and the despair, I mean, it’s in the walls,” he said, he also recalled seeing dried blood and smashed tiles on the floor of the interrogation rooms. “Unfortunately, two weeks into my experience, in the cell block – in the cell row – just behind mine, I heard the sounds of a man trying to hang himself.
“I later would share a cell with him and he had been in solitary confinement for 13 months and just simply couldn’t see any way forward. In a weird way, that made sense to me.”
He said the cement walls of his cell contained “painful scratches” to mark how long past prisoners had been there. And in the bathrooms, he said, were “notes written by prisoners, for prisoners.”
“They say things like, ‘nobody will be here forever, you will not be here forever, think of happy times, think of your family,’ ” he recalled. “In a weird way you feel this sense of solidarity with everybody who’s walked these halls before you. And, I should say, the halls are worn – in terms of trying to describe the place.”
Trevithick said he never thought he would be back in the U.S. telling his story.
Until one day when he was “violently” pulled from his cell and taken to the prison’s basement, he said. His captors told him to admit to trying to overthrow the government, when he didn’t, they threw him against a brick wall before rushing him back to his cell.
They told him to gather his belongings,” he said.
“You only collect all your things in Evin if you are leaving or if you’re being relocated,” he explained.
He was led down a hallway to a pair of doors: on the left, the exit and the right, “deeper into prison and God knows what else,” he said.
“Oddly enough, they said turn left.”
Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on