Iran: Demonstrators report torture – broken bones and abuse

Research from NDR, WDR and SZ
Broken bones and sexual abuse: demonstrators are systematically tortured in Iran

In January, people in Berlin protest against the Iranian regime and the executions of demonstrators

© Odd Andersen / AFP

Hundreds of people have been arrested since the protests began in Iran. Now media unveiled a report on the systematic torture of the detainees. Those affected report whippings, broken bones and sexual abuse.

According to a media report, demonstrators in Iran have been systematically mentally and physically tortured since the protests began in autumn 2022. He reports that Research network of NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday and is based on consistent statements from more than a dozen victims in Iran and on the statement of a prison guard who fled to Germany.

Those affected report that Iranian security forces have beaten them with clubs or fists during interrogations and arrests, and that some of their bones have even been broken. In detention, she was tortured physically and mentally for days and weeks. They would have had to kneel blindfolded for 24 hours. Other Iranians say they saw people being whipped with water hoses and shocked with electric batons.

In a total of three cases, those affected are said to have been tied to pieces of furniture and sexually abused with rubber truncheons or electric batons. The injuries, some of which were massive, had not been treated for days. Several victims were threatened with the death penalty.

Prisoners tortured in Iran

According to the research association, the former prison guard confirmed the common practice of torture. For more than ten years, he and his colleagues should have tortured prisoners in various detention centers in Iran and should have shown no mercy.

Although information from Iran is difficult to verify in the current situation, the research association was able to compare numerous details with publicly available information and additionally substantiate them with external documents such as medical reports and statements by third parties.

“Mental and physical torture”

A confidential situation report from the Federal Foreign Office (AA) available to the research association confirms “numerous reports of confessions coerced through torture and psychological pressure”. In addition, “mental and physical torture and inhuman treatment during interrogations and in detention” are common among political prisoners. In addition to the existing sanctions, the AA is examining further measures against the Iranian leadership.

Since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish girl Mahsa Amini in September, protests against the government have raged across the country. Amini died after being arrested by the vice squad and activists say she was mistreated. The authorities are cracking down on the demonstrators. Several death sentences have already been carried out and around 14,000 people have been arrested.


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