Charity warns teenagers ‘raped’ and ‘beaten’ face Iran death penalty
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A charity has warned two teenage protesters and a man face the death penalty in Iran after being tortured and subject to “rape” and “beatings”.
Amnesty International has raised “deep concerns” about the Islamic Republic’s judicial system and the treatment of three young men detained amid protests that swept the country in recent months.
Mehdi Mohammadifard, 19, Arshia Takdastan, 18, and 31-year-old Javad Rouhi were all arrested in Noshahr, Mazandaran province, following demonstrations that erupted on September 21 in response to the death in police custody five days earlier of Mahsa Amini.
Miss Amimi was 22 when she died after being detained by Iran’s morality police for “improperly” wearing a hijab. Her death sparked global outrage and rare signs of defiance and protest in the streets of Iran against the governing regime.
Amnesty International said Mohammadifard was raped by prison guards after his arrest for taking part in resistance and severely beaten.
The organisation said the teenager suffered anal injuries and rectal bleeding that required treatment in a hospital outside the prison where he was being held, according to The Guardian.
It’s understood Rouhi and Takdastan were also beaten and tortured during their arrests, with Amnesty saying Rouhi was “flogged on the soles of his feet” and had “ice placed on his testicles”.
All three men have been sentenced to death for charges including “corruption on Earth” and “enmity against God”.
None of the men was given access to legal representation and Amnesty International has called for their death sentences to be quashed.
The sentences come after British-Iranian Alireza Akbari was hanged in the country. His death was announced on January 14 by the Iranian regime who accused Akbari of “spying”.
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and north Africa, said the latest death sentences to be handed down “highlighted the sheer cruelty and inhumanity” of the country’s judicial system.
She said: “The fact that Arshia Takdastan, Mehdi Mohammadifard and Javad Rouhi and their anguished relatives live under the shadow of execution while Revolutionary Guards’ agents and prosecution officials reasonably suspected of responsibility or complicity in their sexual abuse and other forms of torture enjoy absolute impunity highlights the sheer cruelty and inhumanity of Iran’s judicial system.
“The Iranian authorities must immediately quash the convictions and death sentences of these young men and drop all charges related to their peaceful participation in protests. They must also order a prompt, transparent and impartial investigation to bring all those reasonably suspected of responsibility for their torture to justice in fair trials.”
Amnesty added the names of those suspecting of being responsible for the treatment of the three men are due to be handed to western authorities.
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