A Year Later: Suppression Continues in Iran
In commemoration of the one year anniversary of the ongoing human rights crisis in Iran, IHRDC issues this short report on the suppression of dissent in the days, weeks and months following the election, including short biographies of eighteen Iranian leaders responsible for the suppression of dissent in violation of Iranian and international law.
Last July, on the symbolically important 40th day of mourning for the murdered Neda Agha-Soltan, Maryam Sabri was arrested in Tehran. The 21-year-old girl had been chanting slogans with other peaceful protestors when she and her friends were attacked by dozens of plainclothes Revolutionary Guardsmen and Basij irregulars.
Maryam, an employee at a boating company, was blindfolded, handcuffed and taken by van with five or six others to an unknown detention center. There, she was left by herself in a dark closet-like cell, where she had just enough room to sit with her legs stretched out.
Maryam was periodically interrogated and beaten by ski-mask-wearing guards. The first three times she was interrogated, she faced cursing and beatings, but she refused to cooperate fully with the interrogators.
During the fourth interrogation session, Maryam was raped.
She was raped again during the next session, but by a different interrogator. The third time she was raped, she refused to scream or beg.
The fourth time Maryam was raped, her interrogator took off her blindfold so she could see his face.
On August 14, more than two weeks after her abduction, Maryam’s captors dropped her off around dusk near a park. She was instructed to infiltrate and inform on other demonstrators, and later received threatening phone calls urging her to cooperate. Unwilling to endure any more trauma at the hands of her own government, she fled over the border to Turkey.
Maryam’s experience is one of dozens recounted in Iran Human Rights documentation Center’s report on the Iranian regime’s human rights violations following the June 12, 2009 presidential election. The report, “Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran,” was published in February. However, even now, a year after the disputed election, the Islamic Republic’s suppression of dissent continues unabated.
The fundamental human rights of Iranians – to freedoms of expression and association, and to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention as well as torture - continue to be violated with impunity. At least 10 Iranians have been executed for political reasons, countless remain in prison, and hundreds have been forced to flee the country out of fear for their lives and/or indefinite detention, interrogation and torture.
The responsibility for this brutal crackdown begins at the top of the Iranian regime and flows down through the ranks of the police, the Revolutionary Guards, the Basij, the prison system and the Judiciary. While it is impossible at this point to identify all those responsible, the list includes the following leaders:
In commemoration of the one year anniversary of this ongoing human rights crisis, IHRDC issues this short report on the suppression of dissent in the days, weeks and months following the election, including short biographies of eighteen Iranian leaders responsible for the suppression of dissent in violation of Iranian and international law.