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Witness Statement: Matin Yar

My Second Stint in Detention

 

13. The second time around, my torturers diversified their techniques. Sometimes, they stripped me naked and exposed me to uncomfortable positions. In these humiliating positions they degraded me, insulted my mother and whipped me sadistically. I was hung from the ceiling, soaked in icy water and exposed to the elements. At one point, I began to pray aloud to God to help me. Arzani overheard my prayer and scoffed, “I am your God now.” He was right; I was completely at his mercy.

14. On three or four different occasions, I was subjected to mock executions at Esfahan. The first time, several guards came into my cell and told me they had received my sentence and that I was to be executed. They marched me to the basement of the detention facility. Once in the basement, they asked if I had any last words for my family and whether I wished to revise my will. Following these pleasantries, the guards lined me up against a wall and cocked their rifles. Finally they fired. The guards walked up to my body and told me I was dead. They said that any sensation of life I felt was purely a psychological illusion attributable to the massive blood loss I suffered. Soon thereafter they picked me up and escorted me back to my room.

15. Within three weeks, the authorities broke my spirit and I agreed to sign whatever papers they put in front of me. After my dehumanizing experiences, I hoped that a confession would put an end to my suffering. I confessed to “Lewat” (engaging in homosexual activities) and to being homosexual.

My Day in Court

 

16. After three weeks in Esfahan, I was taken once again to court; here I saw the judge for a second time. This time, the judge was quite kind and nurturing. He told me that I looked very young and that he wanted to help me but could only do so if I confessed to my crimes in court. Crying, I told him that I was not a bad person and I could not help the fact that I was homosexual. I told him that I had a right to live and pleaded with him to help me with my charges. Upon hearing my pleas his tone changed entirely. He compared me to a sodomite, called me a curse on society and ordered me out of his courtroom.

My Experience in Prison

 

17. From the courtroom, I was taken to a prison facility known as Dastgerd. Before Dastgerd would accept me, however, the prison required a full medical examination. Due to the severity of my injuries from the preceding weeks of torture, Dastgerd did not want to admit me until I had been treated for my wounds. After several hours of negotiation, the Esfahan police convinced the Dastgerd prison authorities to admit me and I was brought into the grounds.

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Tagged as:

Sexual Violence, LGBT, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment