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Amnesty International: Fears Grow Over Safety of Iran Protesters

NCRI Staff

NCRI - Some of those arrested for participating in Iran protests are being tortured and murdered in custody, according to recently released prisoners and the families of those still held without charges.

At a rally outside Iran’s infamous Evin prison, activist Amir said: “People inside are being tortured, maybe tortured to death.”

A friend of his was released after a week in jail and has now gone into hiding over fears for his family’s safety. The friend, who was badly beaten whilst in custody, told Amir that 400-500 people were forced into rooms with a 120 person capacity, deprived of sleep and food and so much more.

There are additional reports that the alleged suicides of detainees Sina Qanbari, Vahid Heidari, and Ashkan Absavaran are the result of abuse by the Regime authorities, especially as prisoners are deprived of items that they would use to hang themselves.

Amnesty International has called for thorough investigations into at least five reported deaths in custody during the protests, denouncing the “shroud of secrecy and lack of transparency over what happened to these detainees”, especially given the intimidation of relatives of the detainees.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “We have long documented the nightmarish conditions in detention facilities in Iran, including the use of torture. Those suspected of having any responsibility for these deaths should be suspended from their positions and prosecuted in proceedings that respect international fair trial standards and without recourse to the death penalty.”

The Regime is also forcing the detainees to make on-camera statements that they are being well treated.

How many detainees?

Many other protesters at the rally don’t know where their loved ones are being detained, what they have been charged with, or what will happen to them.

Even reports on the number detained are sketchy- thanks to Regime censorship- but the last estimate by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was 8,000.

Most have not yet been charged, despite Iranian law requiring charges be brought within 24 hours of arrest, but they could face charges of opposing the divinely-ordained Iranian Regime, which carries the death penalty.

The Regime has even been pre-emptively arresting students at Tehran University who have not attended the protests, simply because they might join the protests if not arrested.

Extra-judicial killings

One Iranian woman who lives in Europe reported that a member of her family had been shot through the heart whilst peacefully protesting outside an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) office, on December 31. He died in hospital and his body was taken by the IRGC. The IRGC returned his body five days later under the condition that his family would not talk to the media.

Human Rights Watch predicted that the Regime’s crackdown will cause even more problems for the Regime than the protests, because it has drawn attention and condemnation from the US which may soon go global.

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