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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

become a collaborator, telling her that she "could help the state."" 243

Three or four days before they released Sadr, they put her, blindfolded, in a room where she could hear the screams and moans of others being beaten. From the voices, she estimated she was in a room with about 15-20 persons and from their answers, it seemed they had all been rounded up with her on the day of Friday Prayer. The room shook with the loud sounds of weapons, batons, and whips hitting flesh. It sounded like bullets in her head. She pulled her chador over her face so no one could see her trembling. After forcing Sadr to listen to the beatings for almost an hour, her interrogators took her to a separate room for interrogation." 244

A few days later, Sadr's possessions were returned to her in preparation of her release but she did not believe that she was being released until it actually happened, due to the psychological tricks the first time. Any time her door opened at Evin, she was worried they were coming to retrieve her for interrogation." 245

After Tania Ahmadi Kaliji, a 28-year-old women's rights activist and green movement supporter, was taken into custody in August 2009, authorities placed her in solitary confinement in a small room for three days and subjected her to repeated interrogations lasting seven to eight hours each. Ahmadi Kaliji reported that she was interrogated by the same interrogators who had questioned her after one of her first arrests in Zanjan in 2008. " 246

The interrogators demanded the names of her contacts outside Iran and the names of people who organized protests "that threatened national security." They particularly sought the names of other women activists who had participated in the protests. They also wanted to know the whereabouts of several women's rights activists, including Shirin Ebadi, Parvin Ardalan and Jinus Sobhani." 247

Ahmadi Kaliji guessed from the questioning, and the information they had, that the interrogators had monitored her email and telephone communications. They told her that neither she nor her family would be safe if she did not cooperate. The authorities released Ahmadi Kaliji after three days because according to her "they only wanted me for interrogations" and "they did not have an evident crime against me." After she was released, she received threatening phone calls and text messages that caused here to fear for her life." 248

Despite the threats, Ahmadi Kaliji did not leave Tehran. Five months after her release, two plain clothes agents showed up at the hospital where she worked. They took Ahmadi Kaliji to an undisclosed location and interrogated her. A number of men held her down, asked her questions while hitting her with chains and pressing electric batons into her flesh. They alleged that she had ties to leftist groups outside the country and that she was helping plot the overthrow of the Iranian regime. They literally ripped pieces of her flesh out-months later, her body still carried the marks of her torture. She had severe bleeding in her left ear, which damaged her hearing.

[243] See Video File: German TV Interview With Shadi Sadr P2, Oct. 20, 2009, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6dupa7ljVE. Shahnaz Gholami, a long-time women's rights and Azeri rights activist, who left Iran before the election, also reports that during her time in prison, the pressure to collaborate was intense. IHRDC Interview with Shahnaz Gholami (April 27, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[244] Id.
[245] IHRDC Interview with Shadi Sadr (June 13, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[246] IHRDC Interview with Tania Ahmadi Kaliji (April 19, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[247] Id.
[248] Id.

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Tagged as:

Sexual Violence, Gender Rights, Death Penalty, Political Killings, Executions, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Travel Restrictions, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Protests, Free Association, Child Rights, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination