Iranian women reveal torture, rape in prisons

 One prisoner was tortured so badly that her mother didn’t recognize the body. 

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Al Arabiya news network released a documentary Sunday in which Iranian women revealed how hundreds of women in Iran are being imprisoned and stripped of their basic human rights as punishment for promoting democracy, women’s rights and freedom.

Al Arabiya interviewed some of the women who managed to survive detention in Iran and escape to Canada.

“Our room, six meters (18 feet) long only, accommodated between 33 and 44 people. They gave us two soldiers’ blankets. We would open one blanket and share it among us when we want to sleep,” former prisoner Fereshteh Rahmati said.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said Iran has thousands of female prisoners and that 106 women have been executed over the past seven years. During their detention, dozens of women were subjected to torture and rape, the report said.

“I had a close friend and we used to go to school together for four years. She was very beautiful, smart, affectionate, and an outstanding student. They arrested her, and within a few months we heard that she lost her life under torture,” prisoner Shaheen Sung recounted, saying the torture was so brutal her friend’s mother was unable to identify the body.

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According to the report, Iranian prison officials forcibly marry or rape women prisoners before their execution, believing it will prevent the women from going to heaven if they are killed as virgins. Along with the forced marriage, the government then shows the family a legal marriage contract and demands they pay a dowry.

Several Canadian citizens have been tortured and killed in Iranian prisons, and the Canadian parliament called on Iran to release women wrongfully held in Iranian prisons and to stop its human rights violations.

Canadian legislator David Anderson told Al Arabiya that Iranian prisons lack basic living conditions and said calls by international rights organizations have been repeatedly ignored by the Tehran government.

“Numerous accusations and unfair judgments have been carried out in the name of justice. Female detainees who broke their silence revealed that women prisoners lack basic rights. They are not allowed to communicate with their families, visits are monitored, and the harassment of prisoners is a common practice,” Anderson said.

After years of being stonewalled by Iran after Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured to death in the infamous Evin Prison in 2003, Canada severed diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, citing the Islamic Republic’s horrific human rights record and its support for international terrorism.

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Relations between the two countries reached a new low earlier this year after Iran admitted it shot down a Ukraine Airlines passenger jet, killing all 176 passengers and crew, including 63 Canadians.