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Iranian Detainees Allege Torture In Open Letter To Clerics


A female inmate peers from behind a wall in the female section of Evin prison. (file photo)

A female inmate peers from behind a wall in the female section of Evin prison. (file photo)

A group of detainees in Iranian prisons has addressed an open letter to the country's top clerics alleging that they and their families have been tortured, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

The detainees, who are considered to be political prisoners by human rights groups, were arrested in the crackdown that followed Iran's disputed presidential election in June. They are being held at Tehran's Evin prison.

In the letter, the inmates ask for an investigation into the "physical, sexual, and psychological torture that has been inflicted on prisoners and their family members."

The letter was published on April 20 on opposition websites including aljaras.com and kaleme.com. The letter says some prisoners had been "threatened with sexual abuse by a baton" and some were "forced by their interrogators to take 10 pills a day as a result of which they now suffer from mental disorders."

The letter adds that the judges had warned prisoners that "if they entered the court with a lawyer they would receive heavy sentences."

Germany-based political analyst Hassan Shariatmadari, the son of the late Grand Ayatollah Kazem Shariatmadari, told Radio Farda that the rule of law has never been established in Iran.

"Unfortunately, 100 years after [Iran's] 'Constitutional Revolution,' Iranians still turn to religious authorities in seeking justice," Shariatmadari said.

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