Oct 3 2009
More Iranian dissidents report being raped and tortured in Iranian prisons.
Twenty-four-year-old Ibrahim Sharifi is a university student from Tehran who campaigned actively on the Internet for opposition presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi in the run-up to the controversial June 12 vote. When incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared winner, Sharifi joined the throngs of angry protesters in the streets who accused the government of rigging the election.
On June 22, Sharifi said, he was kidnapped, handcuffed, blindfolded and stuffed into a car by three unknown men while he was walking home from language lessons at the Italian Embassy. He said they drove him to an unknown location, where he was stripped to his underwear. There, he said, he endured several days of beatings and mock executions alongside other male prisoners, all the time tightly blindfolded.
“They took us and they put a noose around my neck in a way that I was forced to stand on my tiptoes, unable to breathe,” Sharifi said. “There was the stink of piss and blood. It smelled terrible,” Sharifi recalled. “I was beaten so much I didn’t have any energy left to cry.”
On the fourth day of his detention, during one of these mock executions, Sharifi said he finally snapped.”I said, if you want to kill us, go ahead. Why do you play such games with us? And the response was a kick in my stomach that made me fall.”
Sharifi said his captors kicked him repeatedly in the stomach until he started vomiting blood. He showed a pink scar on his belly from a previous car accident that he said was torn open by the blows.
“Then the guy told someone else, ‘Take him and get him pregnant,'” Sharifi said, his voice cracking with emotion. “They tied my hands to the wall and tied my legs, and then did that thing to me. While doing it, he was telling me, “You, who cannot even defend your you-know-what, you wanted to conduct a revolution?”
Sharifi said he blacked out during the rape and woke up later, handcuffed to a hospital bed. A day later, he said, his captors dumped him, blindfolded, on the side of a highway.
Twenty-one-year-old Maryam Sabri spoke to CNN by telephone and said she was interrogated several times after being detained. The sexual assault began during the third interrogation, she said. “He said, ‘OK, you wanted your vote back? Now I’m going to give back your vote.” It was then that I was raped. Raped four times,” she said. “My hands were tied and my eyes were blindfolded,” she said. “He threw me on the ground while pressing my throat with one hand, and both my legs were under the weight of his legs so I couldn’t move at all.” CNN