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Iran prison guards doling out condoms to criminals to rape opposition activists: Report

Tehran, Sat, 25 Jun 2011 ANI
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Tehran, June 25 (ANI): Prison guards in Iran are giving condoms to criminals and encouraging them to rape young opposition activists locked up with them, it has emerged.

 

Letters written by prisoners and families of imprisoned activists have revealed that prison authorities are intentionally facilitating mass rape and using it as a form of punishment, The Guardian reports.

 

Mehdi Mahmoudian is among those prisoners who have succeeded in smuggling out letters that reveal the extent of rape inside some of the most notorious prisons.

 

"In various cells inside the prison, rape has become a common act and acceptable," he wrote in a letter published on Kaleme.com, the official website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

 

According to Mahmoudian one young prisoner was raped seven times in a single night, the paper said.

 

"In [Rajaeeshahr] prison, those who have pretty faces and are unable to defend themselves or cannot afford to bribe others are forcibly taken to different cells each night [to be raped]," he wrote.

 

Speaking to Jaras, a website run by opposition activists, families of political prisoners have alleged that prison guards are failing to protect them from rape or sexual assault, the paper said.

 

"During exercise periods, the strong ask for sex without any consideration. Criminals are repeatedly seen with condoms in hand, hunting for their victims," a family member told Jaras.

 

"If the inmate is not powerful enough or guards would not take care of him, he will be certainly raped. Prison guards ignore those who are seen with condoms simply because they were given out to them by the guards at first place," the family member added.

 

The family members said prison guards were turning a blind eye to the systematic rape and have ignored complaints made by rape victims.

 

Amnesty International, which has documented rape inside Iran's prisons and interviewed victims for a 2010 report, called on Iran to launch an investigation into the recent allegations. (ANI)

 

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