Accessibility links

Breaking News


Ali Karrubi displays some of the wounds he says he received when he was tortured while in custody.
Fatemeh Karrubi, a prominent Iranian political activist and wife of opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi, is calling on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to ensure that those responsible for the torture of postelection detainees are brought to justice, after revealing that her son is the victim of such abuse himself.

In an open letter posted today on the Sahamnews website, Karrubi says 37-year-old Ali Karrubi, who was detained on February 11 during rallies marking the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, was beaten and threatened with rape while in custody.

She says her son was detained after he had tried to intervene after security forces and plainclothes agents attacked his father. Ali Karrubi was then taken to Amir al Momenin mosque. She says security forces, after realizing his identity, separated Ali Karrubi from the other detainees and beat him severely.

Fatemeh Karrubi writes in her letter to Khamenei that her son was also threatened with rape “in the house of God." She says Ali Karrubi was later taken away by a special guard unit, which videotaped his further torture. When his release was ordered, she says, the commander became upset and told Ali, “If you'd been here for 24 more hours, I would have delivered your dead body."

Fatemeh Karrubi
Fatemeh Karrubi says the point of her letter is not to highlight the treatment of her son. She said he’s being taken care of and is with his family. She says she wrote the letter in an effort to convince the supreme leader to issue a call for justice for detainees -- especially for the young ones and those less prominent -- before it's too late. She is calling on Khamenei to find a solution before other detainees die at the hands of "these irresponsible people."

At least three postelection detainees are known to have died under torture. Others have said they were physically and psychologically tortured. A number of detainees have said they were raped while in custody.

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi is calling for urgent international help to counter a growing list of rights abuses in the Islamic republic.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
Police officers clash with demonstrators during anti-communist demonstrations in Chisinau on April 7.
Moldova's general-prosecutor says an investigation into postelection protests in Chisinau last spring shows that some special forces fired live ammunition, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Valeriu Zubco said today that an investigation has been launched into an alleged shooting incident that occurred in downtown Chisinau the night following the April 7 protests.

Prosecutors said a special force police officer opened fire on a passing car near the Presidential Office where the protests took place several hours before.

The report that live bullets were used contradicts previous accounts by former Communist Party authorities that no bullets were shot during the protests, which turned violent and left at least two dead.

Former President Vladimir Voronin, of the Communist Party, has long rejected suggestions that the police were allowed to use their guns on protesters.

The mass protests which saw the Presidential Office and the parliament building heavily damaged by angry protesters were followed by the arrest of more than 250 young people, many of whom were detained for several days or weeks and complained of abuse or ill-treatment while arrested.

After the pro-Western Alliance for European Integration won repeat elections on July 29 last year, the general-prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged acts of police abuse.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More