Press Release: IHRDC Publishes Report On Rape In Iranian Prisons

June 10, 2011

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – In commemoration of the second anniversary of the post-election violence and crack-down on dissent orchestrated by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) today published a report on the use of rape as a method of torture by Iranian prison authorities. The report, Surviving Rape in Iran’s Prisons, may be found here  The Persian version will be available next week.

Allegations of rape and sexual violence of political prisoners began to emerge after the Islamic Republic of Iran was established in 1979 and have continued, to varying degrees, to the present. However, not surprisingly, there is no reliable estimate of the number of prisoners raped in the Islamic Republic’s prisons. The reasons are simple:  few rape victims are willing to speak about their experiences due to (1) government pressure and acquiescence, and (2) social stigma. Iranian authorities have and continue to acquiesce to rapes of prisoners by guards and interrogators who use rape to crush detainees’ spirit, inflict humiliation, discourage their dissent, force them to confess to crimes, and ultimately to intimidate them and others – all in violation of international human rights and Iranian law.

This report documents the ordeals of five former prisoners – two women and three men. They span the almost 30 years of the Islamic Republic’s existence. Four witnesses were raped; one was threatened with rape and saw rape victims. All were traumatized and some considered suicide.




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