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Surviving Rape in Iran's Prisons

22. Sexual intimidation and sexual discussion was part and parcel of many interrogation sessions. Sometimes they described the rape in graphic detail that made me throw up. For instance, they would tell me how they would rape me. During interrogations, they asked me questions about my sexual relationships with my friends who were girls. For instance, they wanted me to confess to unlawful sexual relationships with my friends. One of my friends was a journalist. They wanted me to confess to having a sexual relationship with her. I spoke with her a while ago after her release following the 2009 post-election demonstrations. She was asked similar kinds of questions when she was detained. They also wanted me to describe the act of sexual intercourse of a friend of mine with his fiancée.

23. After a while - I guess it was after my second strike - a cleric came to meet me. I was blindfolded and handcuffed. He made me sit on a chair for six or seven hours. He talked and ate dried fruit. He explained the kinds of troubles I would face if I did not confess. He discussed American elections and Iranian elections. That night, I found out that my detention had been extended for another two months.

24. I went on strike for a third time. Then, they allowed me to meet with my family. I broke my strike. My family didn’t know where I was. They had gone to different places and inquired about me. No one admitted detaining me.

25. After the sixtieth day, my interrogator put pressure on me to give a video interview. They asked me to talk about the internet and testify that those who use the internet would become corrupt. I did not agree to give a video interview. However, on the eightieth day, the pressure was reduced and after 88 days, I was released on bail. I had been in solitary confinement all that time.

26. The night I was released, I set up a new blog for myself and wrote about what happened to me in prison. Two or three days later, I went to Shirin Ebadi’s office, the Defender of Human Rights Center, and took shelter there. I complained to the Islamic Human Rights Commission and wrote a letter to Khatami, then President, and Ayatollah Shahroodi, the head of judicial system.

27. Therefore, two weeks later on February 13, 2006, I was arrested again. I received a warrant to appear in the Prosecutor’s office in Region 21 of Tehran. There, Mohibi, my interrogator, said that they had warned me not to tell anybody about my prison experience. Then, he wrote my offenses and charged me with the crime of national security, disruption of public opinion, publishing false [information] to disrupt public opinion, denial of the emergence of Mahdi (the Shiite religious messiah), such a crime does not exist in the Penal Code, spreading immorality, unlawful sexual relationships, insulting prophets, and insulting Ayatollah Khomaini and Ayatollah Khāmene’i.

28. Mohibi wanted me to sign my charge sheet. I did not sign. I had two lawyers: Mohammad Siafzadeh and Faridoun Shami. I said that I wanted to meet my lawyer before signing the charge sheet. He said that if I didn’t sign it, I would be arrested. I did not sign and Mohibi ordered my arrest. I was transferred to Evin and held in quarantine. In Evin, they registered me but did not conduct a medical checkup. I was in quarantine for two days. Then I was transferred to Qezal Hessar.

29. After being admitted there, I was transferred to Ward 3. Qezel Hessar had 8 Wards. .My interrogators visited me a number of times in Qezel Hessar and interrogated me. The interrogations were again about my sexual relationships. They wanted to know about my relationship with one woman who was outside Iran. I heard that after her return, she was urged to file a complaint against me for sexual abuse. But she did not.

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Tagged as:

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