Iran’s police are brutalizing those it catches at the protests

The protests in Iran are now in their fourth month, and the government is responding with increasing aggression. It has already executed two protesters, both for murder, condemned another protester to death, and has accused 20 or more protesters of crimes punishable by death.

Recently, the Iran Human Rights Society printed a letter from a high school student who was arrested for attending a protest. The law enforcement agents to whom he refers were probably members of the Ministry of Information (MOIS) intelligence service because they tend to drive Samand brand white cars. However, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps occasionally work with MOIS, with the IRGC seizing people and then delivering them to MOIS for interrogation. Given the known track record of the regime when it comes to those who threaten it, there’s good reason to believe the letter is legitimate.

The following is my translation of the student’s letter:

We were a large crowd, and we were shouting slogans. They threw tear gas, and the crowd dispersed. They had already deployed plainclothes forces inside the alleys so that, when people try to run away, they can attack them in the alleys and arrest them. I, along with a few others, entered an alley and, when we reached the end, some plainclothes shot at us. It was a shotgun, and a few pellets hit my leg so that I fell. Luckily, the others managed to escape, and they could only arrest me.

They immediately beat me and then took me [from the alley] to the sidewalk. A few minutes later, a white car (Samand brand) came, picked me up, and took me away. Inside the car, they kicked and punched me so much that I wished we could get to wherever they were taking me sooner! But I did not know that these blows are a joke compared to what they would do to me!

I was blindfolded and did not know where we were going. After about 15 minutes, we arrived, and they took me into a room holding several others like me. Some of them had lost so much blood that they were unconscious, but the guards did not take care of them. It was clear that they would like them to die without the bother of caring for them.

Some detainees were in such bad condition that I completely forgot the pain of the bullets, punches, and kicks I had received. I wanted to go and knock on the door for someone to come for help. However, one of the detainees stopped me and said that the guards would pull from the room and beat the person who knocked on the door.

The situation was so bad that I do not know how to describe it! But seeing the detainees taking care of each other made me feel so good that it brought tears to my eyes. One detainee, whose toe was crushed by the guard’s boot, began to take care of my foot. I know it is like the stories in the books, but I experienced it firsthand. The guards left us there one day without food and water; no one even came to see if anyone had died.

We were sleeping when the guards removed three detainees. After a few minutes, they came again and took a few others, including me. They took me to an interrogation room and put me on a chair. After a few minutes, a big man came holding some white papers. He told me to write down who ordered me to act, who is guiding me, and the names and addresses of other friends. He added that, if he returned in an hour to find that I hadn’t provided that information, “I will harm you so much that your family won’t be able to identify you!”

I didn’t know what to write. I had gone to the street alone and didn’t even have a nail clipper with me. I wrote that I am not connected with anyone, and I just chanted a few slogans on the street and didn’t even kick the trash can. When the interrogator returned, he looked at the paper and angrily said the worst obscenities about my sister and mother. He left the room, and two people came in. They beat me as much as they could.

After beating me, they put me on the chair again, and the interrogator came back. This time, he threatened that if I did not reveal names, addresses, and where I was I would be beaten to death! I knew that if I wrote what they wanted, I would have to spend several years in prison, so I endured repeated beatings until they got tired. They then took me to a jam-packed cell.

Everyone there had experienced the same thing. Some people, who could not bear the beating, wrote things that would satisfy the interrogator.

By now, I thought the worst was over from the interrogators and that we would be sent to prison until they filed a court case against us. Instead, they kept us for four nights and did not let us sleep. As soon as we fell asleep, they came inside and woke us with obscenities, punches, and kicks. After four days, we were finally transferred to prison. By that time, were had been beaten so humiliatingly that we were happy to go there.

These were hard days, but I never once felt regret that I fought for the freedom of my country, and I will continue to fight even if these torments will repeat again.

Image: Iranian protest. YouTube screen grab.

If you experience technical problems, please write to