Home | English | Publications | Reports | Surviving Rape in Iran's Prisons

Surviving Rape in Iran's Prisons

International reported the rape of a girl in a solitary cell by Sepah members in 1982. Amnesty reported that “she was forced to undress and submit to oral and anal sex. She was virgin.” 10

Beginning in 1985, United Nations Special Representatives to Iran issued regular reports documenting allegations of sexual violence and rape in prisons. In a 1987 report, the Special Representative noted that six sympathizers of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran testified about experiencing and witnessing many forms of torture, including sexual abuse, in Iranian prisons.11 One woman, Mina Vatani, reported that she witnessed seventy persons being executed in Evin prison in early 1982, and that the victims included pregnant women and women who had been raped before being executed.12 The Special Representative also reported that three of the witnesses were examined by Dr. Claudine Jeannet of Geneva in 1986. Dr. Jeannet certified that as a result of being raped, a woman named Azame had many “serious infections that required the removal of her appendix and uterus and an operation on her left ovary.” 13

The Special Representative also reported that three of the witnesses were examined by Dr. Claudine Jeannet of Geneva in 1986. Dr. Jeannet certified that as a result of being raped, a woman named Azame had many “serious infections that required the removal of her appendix and uterus and an operation on her left ovary.” 12

In his 1988 and 1989 reports, the Special Representative reported witness testimony that prison authorities had raped prisoners.14 In 1988, the Representative held informal hearings at which sixteen former prisoners testified about their knowledge and experiences of prison conditions and torture, including rape. Seven were Bahá'ís and nine “described themselves as sympathizers of the Mojahedin organization.” 15 One witness testified that a woman in her sixties was raped and executed; another stated that she witnessed revolutionary guards raping girls.16 There were also reports of threats of sexual abuse made to female prisoners and female relatives of male prisoners.17 The 1989 report described the testimony of Shahrzad Alavi Shahidi who reported that a female prisoner became mad after suffering torture and rape. The authorities did not provide physical or psychological care, and she committed suicide in prison.18

Witnesses also told the Special Representative that government authorities had given families of several executed female political prisoners certificate of marriages of their executed relatives. The certificates allegedly indicated that the prisoners had been raped before execution.19 Many have similarly reported that virgin girls sentenced to execution were forced into temporary marriages with prison guards because the guards believed young girls executed while virgins would go to heaven.20 Once married, the guards

[10] Amnesty International, Newsletter, Apr. 1985, vol. XV, No. 4, available at http://www.iranrights.org/english/document-105-316.php. Over the years since, former prisoners have spoken of rape in prison. See, e.g., PARVIN PAIDAR, WOMEN AND THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY IRAN 347 (1995); Nasrin Parvaz, Zireh Boteh Lala Abasi, [Under the Magnolia Bush] Chapter 10, at 1 (2002), available at http://www.nasrinparvaz.com/Book/10.htm; Reza Allamehzadeh, Video Interview of Nina Aghdam, Are, Halem Khoba . . . [Yes, I’m fine . . .], available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vTM3MyzcsM&NR=1.
[11] U.N. Econ. & Soc. Council [ECOSOC], Commission on Human Rights, Report on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Special Representative of the Commission, Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, ¶ 50, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1987/23 (Jan. 28, 1987) [hereinafter Galindo Pohl Report 1987].
[12] Id. ¶ 47(a).
[13] Id. ¶ 51(a).
[14] ECOSOC, Commission on Human Rights, Report on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Special Representative of the Commission, Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, ¶ 9, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1988/24 (Jan. 25, 1988), [hereinafter Galindo Pohl Report 1988]; U.N. General Assembly, Report of the Economic and Social Council, Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Note by the Secretary-General, ¶78, U.N. Doc. A/44/620 (Nov. 2, 1989), [hereinafter Secretary-General Note 1989].
[15] U.N. General Assembly, Report of the Economic and Social Council, Situation of human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Note by the Secretary-General, ¶¶ 12-16, U.N. Doc. A/43/705 (Oct. 13, 1988), [hereinafter Secretary-General Note 1988].
[16] Id. ¶¶14 and 16.
[17] Id. ¶34
[18] Secretary-General Note 1989, supra note 13, ¶ 34.
[19] Id. ¶ 27.
[20] Temporary marriage in Iran (siqih or nikah-i munqati’) is a legal contract between a man (married or not) and an unmarried woman. At the time of marriage, the woman must be an unmarried virgin, divorced or widowed. In the contract, both parties agree on the time period for the relationship and the bride gift (mihriyyih) to be paid to the woman. A man can marry as many women as he wants through temporary marriage. A woman cannot be involved in more than one temporary marriage at once, and cannot enter into a new temporary marriage before completing a waiting period mandated by law. See Ahkam-i Siqih [Laws of Temporary Marriage] under Ahkam-i Nikah [Laws of Marriage], RISALIHYIH IMAM KHOMEINI, available at http://takteb.ir/articles/45-islam/298-ahkam.html.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 »
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Tagged as:

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