Oct 20, 2016

West Balochistan: Prisoner Recounts Horror of Surviving Torture in Iranian Prisons

Photo Courtesy of Raffaelle@flickr

While the Iranian government is currently being courted by Western governments following the conclusion of the ‘Nuclear Deal’ and the lifting of sanctions, the regime continues to kill and torture its own citizens – in particular members of minority groups falsely imprisoned all over the country. Ajab Gol Nour Zehi, a Baluch and resident of Iranshahr, West Balochistan, recounts the horrors he suffered at the hands of government forces while imprisoned, including beatings with rifle butts, stabbing on the soles of feet, burnings of sensitive body parts, and stapling of ears. Generally, the torture these prisoners face is committed by members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), intelligence officers or members of the government militia group Basiji, and, in most cases, is perpetrated to obtain false confessions from the illegally detained. 


Below is an article published by Iran Focus:

While Western governments negotiate trade deals with Iran, Iranian prisoners have spoken out about the abuse and torture they have suffered under the regime, from members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), intelligence officers and members of the government militia group Basiji.

Ajab Gol Nour Zehi, a Baluch prisoner, and resident of Iranshahr in the Sistan and Baluchistan province revealed the medieval practices carried out on prisoners by government agents.

Gol Nour Zehi said: “They ruthlessly subjected me to beating with cables on the head and face and back such that after nearly one and half years the signs of the flogging with cables can be seen on my body.”

The officers strung him up every day for the first 20 days of his imprisonment and beat him for hours.

He said: “The beatings with rifle butts resulted in fracture of tibia in my legs and created a hole in it to an extent that a finger can be placed inside it. The traces of fractures are still present in my legs... They brutally stabbed me on the soles of my feet and left side of the abdomen, near the bladder, and severely wounded me such that the signs of the wounds on my body are still present and obvious… One of the tortures they used was to staple my ears. They stapled my both ears that caused bleeding from both ears and blood would run down my shoulders towards my chest. I could not do anything except moaning and screaming.”

This torture is generally used to force false confessions from prisoners.

Gol Nour Zehi said: “They would torture me to force me [to] take the responsibility for a murder which I did not know anything about...  When I did not confess, they transferred me from the intelligence office in Iranshahr to the intelligence office in Zahedan where I was beaten and tortured again on the same wounds by judiciary agents and their head Mollashahi.”

He said: “When they got no results from all these tortures, they took my clothes off and while I was completely naked they started mocking me. They burned sensitive parts of my body in 21 areas with lighters such that a lot of pus still comes out of the wounds. I lost consciousness under the tortures several times and each time they would bring an ambulance to bring me back to consciousness and then the torturers would start to torture me again.”

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American scholar, wrote in a piece for FrontPage: “The victims are speaking out now about their heinous treatment in an attempt to gain the attention of UN officials. They are willing to display the permanent scars scattered all over their bodies, lifelong reminders of the horrors they faced, and indisputable evidence of the torture that they endured. Beyond the inhumane acts already described, women are also frequently raped in prison. Although torture is rampant throughout Iran's prison system, Evin prison is known to be one of the most nefarious and notorious.”

Amnesty International reports that the ill-treatment of detainees including torture was common in Iran. In the report, they recount punishments of blinding, amputations and floggings.

Rafizadeh wrote: “If they truly defend social justice and individual rights, the Iranian regime’s advocates and defenders in the West, human rights organizations, and dominant liberal media outlets need to initiate a full investigation on the use of torture in the Islamic Republic...Otherwise, they are being complicit in these crimes committed by Iranian leaders.”