The alleged torture of three young Iranian men facing the death penalty has been detailed in an Amnesty International report that has raised serious concerns about the country’s justice system.
One of the men, Mehdi Mohammadifard, was raped by prison guards and severely beaten, the rights group said. Amnesty said it learned that Mohammadifard suffered from anal injuries and rectal bleeding requiring treatment at a hospital outside the prison where he was being held.
The 19-year-old went into hiding after being summoned for questioning by the Revolutionary Guards before his arrest in the early hours of October 2. During his arrest, he was thrown to the ground and suffered a broken nose, Amnesty said.
Mohammadifard was sentenced to death along with 18-year-old Arshia Takdastan and 31-year-old Javad Rouhi amid protests in Noshahr, Mazandaran province, on September 21, which erupted in response to the deaths in police custody of five days before. by Mahsa Amini.
Their convictions on charges such as “corruption on Earth” and “enmity against God” are subject to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Amnesty said it received reports that Rouhi was severely beaten and whipped, including on the soles of his feet and while tied to a pole, and that ice was placed on his testicles. Takdastan were also repeatedly beaten, Amnesty said.
Amnesty said the defendants were denied the right to a lawyer of their choice in a hearing lasting less than an hour. He called for the death sentences to be quashed.
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “The fact that Arshia Takdastan, Mehdi Mohammadifard and Javad Rouhi and their anguished loved ones live in the shadow of execution while Revolutionary Guards agents and prosecution officials are reasonably suspected of having responsibility or complicity in their sexual abuse and other forms of torture enjoy absolute impunity highlights the sheer cruelty and inhumanity of the Iranian 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 the protests. They must also order a prompt, transparent and impartial investigation to bring to justice in fair trials all those reasonably suspected of being responsible for their torture.
The names of those suspected of being responsible for the treatment of the three men must be handed over to Western authorities.