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'I Was Shocked To My Very Insides'

Opposition leaders have accused "establishment agents" of raping and abusing postelection detainees.

Opposition leaders have accused "establishment agents" of raping and abusing postelection detainees.

In a blog called "The Notes Of A Physician," a blogger called Ali writes about the accusations that some postelection protesters in Iran were raped while in detention:

Doctor Fazeli, one of the most famous surgeons in Iran, asked me to be his assistant yesterday morning. As his surgeries are always among the most complicated cardiac procedures, and I learn many new things each time, I was glad to accept the offer.

However, it was a much simpler surgery this time -- an anal cyst.

Dr. Fazeli didn't feel like performing the surgery himself, and it was I who slowly removed the cyst. Once I did, I realized that it was inflamed and wrapped it up for the pathology department.

Dr. Fazeli requested that I should personally go to the laboratories and get the results because the patient was a relative of his. It was only then that I realized why he had agreed to perform such a simple surgery.

Reluctantly, I went to the laboratories and got the results back within 40 minutes. Chlamydia is an infection, but this case was so critical that Dr. Fazeli decided to operate, instead of treating it with medication.

I ran with the reports to Dr. Fazeli and told him that it was chlamydia. Without paying much notice, he asked me if I knew why he had asked me to assist him.

“This patient is one of my relatives and he has recently been released from prison,” he said. “Do you know how this infection may have been transferred?”

I was shocked to my very insides.

Dr. Fazeli told me to go and check on the patient while he contacted the health minister, Mr. Baqeri-Lankarani, to tell him everything.

Still in a state of confusion, I asked Dr. Fazeli who else knew about this. Does his family know, I asked?

He said no one but the two of us knew about it.

He asked me to sit in with the patient during a visit with Dr. Jaffari. (Dr. Fazeli always sends his patients to Dr. Jaffari for postsurgery psychotherapy.)

I was there with the patient at 6 p.m. when Dr. Jaffari came in. He asked the patient a couple of questions and got few responses. He then asked me to leave them alone for a little while.

It was half an hour later when the patient came out. He told me that he doesn't remember anything at all about what happened, saying it was the effect of rohypnol (commonly called the date-rape drug).

I was so shocked that I lost it for a moment and the nurse had to bring me some water. I couldn't believe that such things were happening under this Islamic government.

He told me that this act has two aims: creating fear in society and promoting violence.

Consider if you were raped while in prison while your hands were tied, incapable of doing anything at all to stop it. Most people would prefer to die. So either it happened to you and nothing except revenge would matter, or you wouldn’t care anymore.

Remember that violence is the enemy of peaceful movements. The heads of the government make sure that the seeds of violence are planted in society and that everyone is filled with rage against the government in order to get an excuse for welcoming them with bullets.

A more serious case goes on with the victim of abuse. The victim transforms into a depressed and ashamed soul. Rape is the only way to break down those who do not respond to any other torture -- those who are internally strong.

Usually, if such people are not medicated, they proceed toward committing suicide, as they believe they have failed to protect their own honor. This feeling of shame causes them to no longer be a threat to the government.

Proving such a case is extremely difficult as well. The detection of rape is done by medical means that are under the influence of the government. Also, evidence vanishes within a few days. It is almost impossible to detect such an act.

Interestingly, not all doctors agree to participate in medical inspections, police inquiries, and courtroom procedures. The culprit is never proven to be guilty by mere statements of witnesses in the court. There has to be some solid proof.

I called up Dr. Fazeli at once and explained the scenario to him, while insisting for his permission to allow me to publish this argument. He told me to wait in order to save my neck, and my patient's neck as well.

I told Dr. Fazeli of my intentions of sending a letter to the head of parliament, who denies that any sort of physical abuse occurred in the prisons, with the agreement of as many doctors as I could persuade after their checkup of the patient.

Please read the next sentence if you have any relative who has recently been freed from prison.

Please undergo the procedure that I mentioned above, even if he denies any physical abuse, as he might have been given a dose of rohypnol.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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