January 31, 2010
The Islamic Republic of Torture, Rape, and MurderBy Amil Imani
Rape in prison is a cruel invasion of a helpless victim. In addition to the physical torment and possible transmission of sexual diseases, rape reduces the victim to subhuman status -- an object for the use of others to be discarded when no longer desired. Most civilized countries sternly guard against rapes and sexual assaults in prison, although with less than complete success. Under the barbaric rule of the mullahcracy in Iran, sexual assaults have become instruments of policy for extracting false confessions, satisfying the boundless sadism and sexual perversions of the jailers, punishing the helpless victim, and leaving him with a sense of dehumanization.
This shockingly repugnant form of violating the human person has regrettably become widespread in the Islamic Republic of Iran's prisons, particularly in dealing with the young men and women arrested for the "crime" of peacefully demonstrating in the streets to demand accountability from the government for a raft of violations it has committed and continues to commit.
For the past 32 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been denying and violating a long-suffering people all of its human rights. They are guilty of beating, torturing, raping, and killing prisoners of conscience -- political, religious, intellectuals, artists, and others.
Women, chronically oppressed and disenfranchised from their basic human and family rights, have been most viciously treated by the Islamic system, its hired plainclothes, and the Basij members. To maintain its suffocating rule, the regime metes out punishments reminiscent of the worst in the annals of human history. Amputation of hands and feet, blinding, hanging, and stoning the victim after the quick formality of a trial in kangaroo courts without legal representation is commonplace under the terror rule of the Islamists.
The Islamic Republic has been violating all norms of international human rights, including very harsh penalties such as beatings for even "victimless crimes" like fornication, public expression, homosexuality, apostasy, and poor hijab (covering of the women).
The Islamic Republic's infamous record is replete with instances of child execution, restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, imprisonment of journalists, discrimination against women in general, and persecution of religious minorities (with a particular systematic program of genocide against the Baha'is and their religion). The regime has ruled over a peaceful people with an iron fist while committing the most heinous crimes against humanity.
After enduring more than three decades of the Islamic regime, the great majority of the Iranian people decided to cast their ballots in the hope of effecting change in the system. The Islamic government, completely accustomed to doing whatever it wishes and ignoring the people, stole the election and declared incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner. The blatant violation of this basic right to vote and choose the official infuriated the long-suffering masses, who poured into the streets by the millions, demanding that their votes be honored. The response of the regime was to beat the demonstrators, arresting many and subjecting a great number to a raft of harsh treatments in prisons.
In a letter addressed to Mr. Rafsanjani in his capacity as head of the Assembly of Experts, Mr. Karroubi, a former speaker of the Majlis (Parliament), demanded an immediate investigation into the reports that a number of detainees had been raped during the illegal incarceration.
Mr. Karroubi wrote, "Some of those arrested [as a result] of the unrest claim that detained girls have been sexually assaulted with ... brutality."
"The young men in detention were also sexually assaulted in such a way that some are now suffering from depression and other physical and psychological problems, and are incapable of even leaving their homes," Karroubi added. "A number of detainees have stated that some female detainees were so severely raped that their genitals were damaged. Others savagely raped young boys so that they suffer from all sorts of depression and serious physical and mental damage."
Human Rights Watch also has documented cases of sexual assault in the Islamic republic prisons on individuals arrested since the fraudulent June 12, 2009 presidential election. In the most recent case, the medical examiner's office confirmed that the injuries suffered in prison by Ebrahim Mehtari, a young activist, resulted from torture and mistreatment consistent with his allegations of sexual abuse. But the Islamic Republic's judiciary authorities refused to conduct further inquiries and instead threatened Mehtari and his family with severe repercussions if they ever open their mouths regarding the sexual abuse.
Mr. Mehtari is living outside of Iran now. After his departure from Iran, the regime's security forces raided his family's house several times and threatened his family members with punishments if their son ever talked about the abuses he has received.
Another young activist, 24-year old Ebrahim Sharifi is a very brave young man who was arrested on June 23, after the fraudulent presidential elections in Iran. He told the Human Rights Watch group that he had been raped in detention while he was handcuffed, blindfolded and his feet were tied, and that he had attempted suicide several times after his release. He said that judiciary officials had refused to accept his complaint and told him that if he spoke out about his case, his family would be in danger.
The third case involves Maryam Sabri, a beautiful 21-year-old girl who was arrested on July 30 during the commemoration of the 40th day after the killing of Neda Agha Sultan -- whose shooting death during a demonstration shocked the entire world. Sabri was arrested after her photo appeared on a website connected to the IRGC, which posted photos of protesters and asked people to identify the people in the pictures so that they could be arrested. Before she was released on August 12, Sabri says, she was raped four times by the jailers.
"On August 9, in a letter published in the Etemad Melli paper, the reformist presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi wrote that some detained individuals stated that some authorities have raped detained women with such force, they have sustained injuries and tears in to their reproductive system."
In another high-profile case, the very pretty 19-year old Taraneh was not shot with a single bullet to her chest, as was the case with Neda Agha Sultan There were no bystanders in the dungeon with a cell phone to capture the prolonged torture, rape, and sodomy of this teenager.
According to reports, as well as testimony on the House floor from the honorable U.S. Congressman McCotter, on June 28, 2009, Taraneh Mousavi, a young Iranian woman, was literally scooped off the streets without any provocation on her part and with no arrest warrant. This young woman was taken to one of the regime's torture chambers, where she was repeatedly brutalized, raped, and sodomized by Ahmadinejad's agents, and with the consent of the "supreme leader," Ali Khamenei.
Near death from repeated beating, raping and sodomizing, the fragile young woman, bleeding profusely from her rectum and womb, was transferred to a hospital in Karaj near Tehran. Eventually, an anonymous person notified Taraneh's family that she had had an "accident" and had been to be taken to the hospital.
The devastated family rushed to the hospital only to find no trace of their beloved daughter. The foot-soldiers of Allah's "divine representative" Ali Khamenei decided to eliminate all traces of their savagery. These vile people decided to remove the dying woman from the hospital before the family's arrival, whereupon they burned her beyond recognition and dumped her charred remains on the side of the road.
Like Neda, another young woman whose chest was ripped by the bullet of a murdering Basij member as she peacefully walked along with a throng of peaceful demonstrators, Taraneh's tragedy gives a glimpse of the true face of Islamic fascism and its brutality. The Taranehs and Nedas of Iran shall remain as eternal testaments to the depravity of the 7th-century primitive system and the horrors it has visited on innocent people. And these young victims of the IRI tyranny are by no means isolated cases. Women are systematically exploited, maltreated, and disenfranchised from their God-given rights.
A regime that subjects its own people to boundless viciousness is showing the world its willingness to commit any crime to intimidate others and to undertake any action that would keep it in power. The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its reign of devastation and death if not immediately disempowered by all people and nations that value universal human rights. It is timely to bring to mind the warning of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The Islamic Republic of Iran is indeed a miscarriage of justice, a cruel repressive rule, and an imminent threat -- not only to Iranians, but to the world at large.