Surviving Rape in Iran's Prisons
7. My primary interrogator’s name was Arzani. He was a short, pudgy man who was notorious in Esfahan for his ruthless attitude and inhumane interrogation tactics.
8. When I first entered the interrogation room, I noticed a large iron shaft hanging from the ceiling. As my terrified eyes fixed themselves upon the suspicious device, I heard the unmistakable sound of Arzani’s menacing laugh. For a moment, my eyes darted in his direction and he informed me the apparatus was called a “speaking rod.” Unsure of what to make of his statement, I continued to examine the device, intent on determining how my interrogators planned to use it. Without warning, the guards grabbed me by my ankles and hoisted me into the air. Hanging upside down from the speaking rod, I learned of its true nature. In this position, I was subject to vicious beatings by my torturers.
9. While on the speaking rod, my interrogators used a myriad of techniques to extract information from me. They punched me and kicked me, intent on shattering bone with each consecutive blow. When their hands and feet turned numb, they used batons and whips. When they grew too tired to lift their tools, they subjected me to powerful electric shocks. All the while, I hung in place, defenseless to the assault. I suffered several injuries from my time on the speaking rod including a broken nose, several broken ribs and numerous other injuries to my head and my core. The beating was so severe that within my two weeks of interrogation, I attempted to commit suicide. I was at the point mentally where I would rather have died than go back onto the speaking rod.
10. Horrifying as it was, the speaking rod was only one of many kinds of torture to which I was subjected. In Esfahan, my torture was comprehensive, permeating every single moment of my detention.
11. We were not allowed doctors or familial visits in detention in Esfahan. We were given insufficient food. The guards forced us to clean the toilet with our tongues. All the while we were insulted and degraded.
12. After about a week in detention, I was brought to a courtroom where a judge officially informed me of the charges I faced. Due to the fact that I owned the car we used to get to the garden, I was charged with organizing the entire event and held as the principal offender. Each of my friends was released on 10,000,000 Toman bail while I was hurried back to the detention facility. Upon my return, the torture was intensified.