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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reports of Prison Rapes of Iranian Dissidents Spark Call for Protests

From a country that is brutally harsh on Gay men, hanging them in public without trials; They thrive on raping men in Prison!

As Iranian students call for demonstrations on Sunday as a sign of solidarity with jailed student leader Majid Tavakoli, the blogosphere is buzzing over another imprisoned figure who has written an incendiary letter exposing the sordid details of sexual assaults against political prisoners and others.

Journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian, serving a five-year prison sentence in Rejaie Shahr prison, wrote a September 2010 letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The letter has just been published on Kaleme, a website close to Mir Hossein Mousavi, the man who challenged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the last elections.

Mahmoudian, a member of the Society for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights, which advocates “democratic interpretations of Islam,” says it is his religious duty to alert Khamenei’s attention to the abuses taking place in prison. Most shockingly, he writes in great detail about men being raped in the prison.

“Throughout the different quarters of Rajaei Shahr prison, sodomy has become a commonplace routine occurrence. And it seems that to lessen the dangers of contamination, prison guards provide health products to inmates.”

Mahmoudian does not use the word condoms, but that is the implication when he discusses “health products.” His letter goes on to say “anyone with a little beauty of the face, but who lacks physical strength in his arms or money in his account to pay extortionists, will be paraded in different rooms, and each quarter has a boss who will make money from this, and after a while can sell him to another.”

According to the account of one political prisoner, a young man was raped seven times during a single night. “In the morning, when he complained about this to the guards, he was transferred to solitary.” Mahmoudian claims prison guards effectively use inmates as “rent boys,” selling them off for as much as $250.

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