Op-Ed: The Islamic Torture Republic
Amil ImaniThe writer is an Iranian-American writer, poet, satirist, novelist, essayist,...
Two dissidents were hanged in Iran last week and death sentences have been announced against several political activists who protested the fraudulent June election results. More will be going on trial in an attempt to frighten opposition supporters and discourage future demonstrations.
These brave young people undergo the vilest of torture in Iranian prisons. Those who are not sentenced to death often suffer as cruelly. Civilized countries attempt to guard against sexual assaults in prison. Under the barbaric mullah’s regime, instances of sexual assault and beatings have become instruments of policy for extracting false confessions, satisfying the sadism and perversions of the jailers, punishing the helpless victim, and leaving him with a sense of dehumanization.
Rape in prison is a cruel invasion of a helpless victim. In addition to the physical torment, it reduces the victim to subhuman status -- an object to be discarded after use.
This violation is widespread in the Islamic Republic of Iran's prisons, now particularly in dealing with the young men and women arrested for the "crime" of peacefully demonstrating in the streets to demand accountability from the government for a raft of violations it has committed and continues to commit.
For the past 32 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been denying a long-suffering people all of its human rights. They are guilty of beating, torturing, raping, and killing prisoners of conscience -- political, religious, intellectuals, artists, and others. Harsh penalties such as beatings are given for even "victimless crimes" like public expression, homosexuality, apostasy, and poor hijab (covering of the women).
Women, chronically oppressed and disenfranchised from their basic human and family rights, have been most viciously treated by the Islamic system, its hired plainclothes, and the Basij members. The regime metes out punishments reminiscent of the worst in the annals of human history. Amputation of hands and feet, blinding, hanging, and stoning the victim after a quick trial in kangaroo courts without legal representation are commonplace.
The Islamic Republic's infamous record is replete with instances of child execution, restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, imprisonment of journalists, and persecution of religious minorities (with a systematic program of genocide against the Baha'is and their religion). The regime has ruled over a peaceful people with an
The Islamic Republic's infamous record is replete with instances of child execution.
iron fist while committing the most heinous crimes against humanity.
After more than three decades of this regime, the majority of the Iranian people decided to cast their ballots in the hope of effecting change in the system. The Islamic government, accustomed to doing whatever it wishes and ignoring the people, stole the election and declared incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner. The long-suffering masses poured into the streets by the millions, demanding that their votes be honored. The response of the regime was to beat the demonstrators, arresting many and subjecting a great number to the raft of harsh treatments in prisons described above.
In a letter addressed to Mr. Rafsanjani in his capacity as head of the Assembly of Experts, Mr. Karroubi, a former speaker of the Majlis (Parliament), demanded an immediate investigation into the reports that detainees had been raped during incarceration.
Mr. Karroubi wrote, "Some of those arrested [as a result] of the unrest claim that detained girls have been sexually assaulted with ... brutality."
"The young men in detention were also sexually assaulted in such a way that some are now suffering from depression and other physical and psychological problems, and are incapable of even leaving their homes," Karroubi added.
Human Rights Watch also has documented cases of sexual assault in the Islamic republic prisons on individuals arrested since the fraudulent June 12, 2009 presidential election. In the most recent case, the medical examiner's office confirmed that the injuries suffered in prison by Ebrahim Mehtari, a young activist, resulted from torture and mistreatment consistent with his allegations of sexual abuse. But the Islamic Republic's judiciary authorities refused to investigate further.
Mr. Mehtari is living outside of Iran now. After his departure from Iran, the regime's security forces raided his family's house several times and threatened his family members with punishments if their son ever talked about the abuses he underwent.
Another young activist, 24-year old Ebrahim Sharifi was arrested on June 23, after the presidential elections. He told the Human Rights Watch group that he had been raped in detention while he was handcuffed, blindfolded and his feet were tied, and that he had attempted suicide several times after his release. He said that judiciary officials had refused to accept his complaint and told him that if he spoke out about his case, his family would be in danger.
The third case involves Maryam Sabri, a beautiful 21-year-old girl who was arrested on July 30 during the commemoration of the 40th day after the killing of Neda Agha Sultan -- whose shooting death during a demonstration shocked the entire world. Sabri was arrested after her photo appeared on a website connected to the IRGC, which asked people to identify the people in demonstration pictures they posted so that they could be arrested. Released on August 12, Sabri says she was raped four times by the jailers.
Pretty 19-year old Taraneh was not shot with a single bullet to her chest, as was Neda Agha Sultan. There were no bystanders in the dungeon with a cell phone to capture the torture of this teenager.
According to reports, as well as testimony on the House floor from the honorable U.S. Congressman McCotter, on
There were no bystanders in the dungeon with a cell phone to capture the torture of this teenager.
June 28, 2009, Taraneh Mousavi, a young Iranian woman, was literally scooped off the streets without any provocation on her part and with no arrest warrant. This young woman was taken to one of the regime's torture chambers, where she was repeatedly raped, tortured and brutalized by Ahmadinejad's agents, with the consent of the "supreme leader," Ali Khamenei.
Near death, the fragile young woman, bleeding profusely, was transferred to a hospital in Karaj near Tehran. Eventually, an anonymous person notified Taraneh's family that she had had an "accident" and had been to be taken to the hospital.
The family rushed to the hospital only to find no trace of their beloved daughter. The “foot-soldiers of Allah” decided to eliminate all traces of their savagery. They removed the dying young woman from the hospital before the family's arrival, burned her beyond recognition and dumped her charred remains on the side of the road.
Like Neda, the young woman whose chest was ripped by the bullet of a murdering Basij member as she walked with a throng of peaceful demonstrators, Taraneh's tragedy gives a glimpse of the true face of Islamic fascism and its brutality. The Taranehs and Nedas of Iran shall remain as eternal testaments to the depravity of the 7th-century primitive system and the horrors it has visited on innocent people. And these young victims of the IRI tyranny are by no means isolated cases.
A regime that subjects its own people to boundless viciousness is showing the world its willingness to commit any crime to intimidate others and to undertake any action that would keep it in power. The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its reign of devastation and death if not immediately disempowered by all people and nations that value universal human rights.
It is timely to bring to mind the warning of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The Islamic Republic of Iran is indeed a miscarriage of justice to Iranians and an imminent threat -- not only to Iranians, but to the world at large.