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Prison Abuse Reported in Iran

Prison Abuse Reported in Iran

Today both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times carried stories on the prison abuse going on in Iran.  The New York Times reported:

Some prisoners say they watched fellow detainees being beaten to death by guards in overcrowded, stinking holding pens. Others say they had their fingernails ripped off or were forced to lick filthy toilet bowls. The accounts of prison abuse in Iran’s postelection crackdown — relayed by relatives and on opposition Web sites — have set off growing outrage among Iranians, including some prominent conservatives.

Independent human rights organizations believe that over 1,000 people have been arrested and nearly 100 killed after the June 12 presidential election upset.  Among those killed is Mohsen Ruholamini, the son of a top adviser to the conservative presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai, who died in prison after a severe beating.  His death has angered many in the conservative camp.  A conservative lawmaker Hamid-Reza Katouzian, in a sign of growing opposition to the president from among parliamentarians who once supported him, stated, “Mohsen Ruholamini was killed because his crime was opposition to Ahmadinejad.”  Another lawmaker, Ali Motahhari, called for media coverage of interrogation methods used on detainees who were arrested in post-election unrest.

In order to placate its critics, the regime did release 140 prisoners arrested during arrests and closed down the Kahrizak detention center for having poor human rights conditions.  Ayotollah Khamenei personally announced the decision to close the detention center, criticizing the treatment of prisoners held there.

Picture from the Wall Street Journal.



Sahar Zubairy

Sahar Zubairy recently graduated from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas- Austin with Masters in Global Policy Studies. She graduated from Texas A&M University with Phi Beta Kappa honors in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In Summer 2008, she was the Southwest Asia/Gulf Intern at the Henry L. Stimson Center, where she researched Iran and the Persian Gulf. She was also a member of a research team that helped develop a website investigating the possible effects of closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf by Iran.