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Iran: Testimonies of torture and rape

The Iranian authorities have been accused by UN experts and the opposition of torturing jailed protesters of the June 12 presidential election results. Mehdi Karoubi, an opposition leader and former Speaker of Iran's parliement, claimed that both male and female detainees have been raped in the Evin and Kahrizak prisons in Tehran, and that political prisoners are being tortured to death.

Rape and torture are not a new phenomenon in Iran's prisons, but the recent events have focused more attention on the prisons of the Islamic Regime. Iranian civil society activists, including Reza Allamehzadeh, a leading film director, have been using citizen media to highlight testimonies about the Iranian tragedy.

A former political prisoner recounts the experience of being imprisoned, tortured and raped in an Iranian prison in the 1980s. She was only 17 years old at the time, and did not know why she had been arrested. More than 84,000 people have watched her testimony on YouTube.

Kahrizak

Thousands of protesters, including some who were injured, were arrested during the July demonstrations and hundreds were sent either to prison or a torture house called Kahrizak.

Here is a testimony from one of the survivors that has been published on several blogs:

They took us with tens of others to Kahrizak camp. At least in that room that I were held there were another 200 people, all were injured beaten by batons. you could hear people crying everywhere….the plaincloth guards came into room…beat whom they could. they did for half an hour…after that they put a flash light in our faces and say if you make a noise with put these batons in your asses….to prevent us dying of hunger, everyday they give us a bag of leftover food.

In this interview, a survivor explains how prisoners at Kahrizak were forced to lick water from the floor.

Ayathollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, has ordered the closure of Kahrizak. MPs have said that 12 officers and judges were prosecuted over the Kahrizak incidents.

Beaten with a cable, no questions asked

Iran's torture houses have been in existence for 30 years, however, and Kharizak is not the only one. Here is another testimony from an Iranian citizen arrested and tortured at Evin prison simply for having been near the site where a demonstration took place.

I had no sense of being part of a demonstration and was just walking normally in the street. Still, I was nabbed and put into a car and left there until about 9 pm. Everyone in the car was blindfolded the whole time, and then we were driven somewhere. Three days later, I figured out that we had been driven to Motahari Street. There we were randomly assigned to an interrogator. My interrogation went on until 1 am, but I was not asked any questions. I was beaten with a cable and with other things without being asked a single question.

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