Rape in Islamic Republic Prisons


VOA Persian interviews Maryam Sabri who was sexually assaulted in Iranian prison.

Now another story from Iran, but this time a different aspect. Please watch a special report. This is a part of an interview carried out by News and Views with one of the people arrested after Iran’s presidential election. Maryam Sabri, 21, who was arrested in an assembly in Behesht-e Zahra [cemetery] and detained for 2 weeks, says she was sexually assaulted in prison. Mehdi Karroubi, one of the candidates who challenged the 2009 presidential election results, was the first person in Iran who formally brought up the rape issue. Please watch a part of this interview.

They took me to a place. My hands were tied. My eyes were tied. They took off my clothes by force. No matter how much I begged, how much I cried, how much I shouted, it was no use at all. It seemed that they did not hear, they did not see my cries, shouts, begging.

And I was sexually assaulted there. At that time, I don’t know how long it was, I cried so much that I really lost my consciousness. I didn’t know what was going on. I could not remember anything, couldn’t think of anything, I was just crying. Then they took me back to my cell again. I was in the cell for I don’t know how long. I didn’t have the time.

Then they took me out again. They did the same thing again. The same method. After I was fully beaten for the second time, they took me there again. But this time the voice was not the previous voice. That was not the voice of the person who tortured me the first time. It was a new voice. I was sexually harassed 4 or 5 times. At that time, they just yelled: “come get your vote! We’re giving you your vote. Be happy!

Why are you crying? Nothing to cry for. We’re just returning your vote. This was what you wanted. Why did you go to streets? You were a loose girl, that’s why you were on streets. So you deserve whatever happens to you.”

The last time they took me to the room– I wonder what it is called, the torture room? — there were two persons. It used to be one, but that time they were two. I could hear two voices who called each other’s names.

After I was beaten, they took off my clothes again. But I showed no reaction this time. I did not resist it. I had nothing to say. Because they would be happier, get more pleasure if I talked. Then one of them told the other one to leave the room. He refused. He called his name and told him to leave. He said you should leave.

When the other one left, he told me: What did you want in streets? Why did you go to streets? As soon as I wanted to answer, he said shut up! Don’t talk! Only listen! And when I stopped talking, he would beat me and say: Why don’t you talk? Talk! Then he removed my blindfold. I saw that man. I can never…his face… I mean my nightmare is his face.