On Sunday 2nd May 2010, @nchevre said:
#iranelection How I was arrested on the 22nd of Bahman (Courageous Purity Part I)
I dedicate this translation to all the brave women of Iran who have been beaten, tortured, violated and raped by the brutal Islamic Republic of Iran, just because they dared participate in a demonstration or speak their mind. I demand that those responsible at the United Nations read this translation and ask themselves “How dare they elect Iran to the Women’s Rights Commission by acclamation?” This is just one of many hundred such stories… Shame on the United Nations! Shame on them!
How I was arrested on the 22nd of Bahman (Courageous Purity Part I)
I had no news from my good friend “Courageous Purity” and in order to not take any risks I hadn’t even called her on her cell, lest it create even more problems for her, particularly as we communicated often via email. When visiting Iran during the New Year holidays, I finally had the opportunity to see my family and to inquire about my dear friend Courageous Purity. No one was at her house, so I assumed that they must be traveling. In any event, after the New Year holidays, I left Iran without any news of her, until yesterday when I received an email from her that read:
On the 22nd of Bahman like all other times, we decided to go to the demonstrations with our friends. We planned to meet at 10am on the south side of the 2nd square at Ariashahr. When we arrived at our destination at 10am we realized that even though Ariashahr was looking more like a military post, people were still congregating on the sides of the streets, waiting for Mr. Karroubi to arrive. With time, more and more people arrived. As the crowd increased, you began to hear slogans. People were chanting “death to the dictator” and “we support you Karroubi” and many other slogans that I no longer recall (it was 80 days ago).
I suddenly heard bullets being fired. We were surrounded by tear gas and some people’s clothing was smeared with colored paint. We were standing perplexed by the color on people’s clothing when the coup government thugs attacked us. As we began running away, we bumped into each other. My clothes were tainted with paint as my body brushed against someone else’s that had paint on it.
While we were fleeing, I noticed that the coup government thugs had zoomed in on me. It became clear to me that they were going to arrest me. Though I began to run with all my might, it didn’t take very long for them to surround me. As I stood facing them, one of the coup government thugs lashed out at me from behind with something that felt like a hose. The impact was so strong that I fell to the ground face down. I tried to scramble to my feet, when one of the thugs who was wearing boots put his foot on my neck, forced me back down and said “Don’t move an inch!”
Another thug tied my hands to my back. My body was still aching from the pain of the previous lashing when they pushed me face down into the floor of a van with blue curtains. I expected to see female police officers in the van, but was greeted instead by two very rude male officers, who approached us and called us every name in the book while they blind folded us.
I am not sure how many were in the van when it started moving. I was on the floor blindfolded, but I felt the van move. I’m not sure how long it was moving or where we were going to, but it felt as though we were in the van for a good 15 minutes. As soon as we arrived at the headquarters of the regime thugs, they began insulting us and calling us names again. They tossed us out of the car. I felt as though I was in a dark and enclosed area, because the voices were echoing.
They picked us up from the floor and spoke to us as though we were prostitutes. One of them said “We have to sleep with one of them every night?” I was petrified. I had been afraid from the moment they arrested me, but hearing these words was something else all together. Another one who seemed older said “Let’s undress all of them.” while the others laughed at us.
Another thug said “They have to increase our quota. This is not enough girls for us.” The thugs continued to humiliate us. We were very tired and thirst and hunger was beginning to set in too. Then they said “We’ll come back for you tonight.”
I’m not sure how many we were, but I could hear other girls weeping quietly. It was towards the end of the night when they came back for us. It was cold. We weren’t sure where we were and we didn’t even dare to get up or move. Suddenly we heard the frightful voices of the thugs. They began picking us up from the floor one by one and taking us to another room. They started with one girl. They told her to get up. She began screaming and protesting as they lifted her. It was obvious that she didn’t want to go with them. I could hear the sound of a slap, punch and kick, mixed with the girl’s cries and swearing by the thugs. We were engulfed with fear as we knew that one of us was going to be next.
As it turned out, I was the next in line. I began to scream. I yelled “I won’t come!” but they dragged me out while insulting, slapping and kicking me around to what looked like a room in the same area. They untied my hands and asked me to remove my clothes. I was crying and I was scared. I said “I won’t take them off.” I pleaded with them and asked “Don’t you have sisters?” when one of them slapped me hard in the ear and said “Don’t compare yourself to my sister you whore!”
I was paralyzed with fear. He said,”Take off your clothes”. I was really scared. I removed my clothes. He said “Why are you just standing there? Take the rest off too.” (my undergarments) I pleaded “These undergarments are all that are left of the honor of a girl, if I take these two items off too, I will be insulting your honor as well.” They started insulting me again and someone smacked me on my bottom and screamed “Hurry up, continue.” I said “I won’t take any thing else off. I know that you have enough honor and dignity that you too don’t want me to take off these last two items of clothing.” One of the thugs attacked me like an animal, he beat me and tore off my undergarments. Now I was completely naked…
I think there were four of them. They were eying me now that I was stark naked. One of them lifted me and put me on a desk, so that with utmost brazenness, they could all take a better look at me. He said “Haji, this one’s mine tonight okay?” I heard the one I believe was referred to as Haji reply “We haven’t stripped the rest of them yet. Wait, you might end up with a better one!” But the first man replied “I already checked them all out. This one’s the good one of the bunch.” Then the Haji said “Okay then take her.” As he began to lift me and take me out of the room, the Haji asked “Wait, would you prefer to stay?”
I felt a sliver of hope and said “Please Haji. Yes. I beg you. For the love of god save me. I’ll do what ever you say.” He said “Get her a chair so she can sit.” I sat on the chair. He said “I want you to answer every question I’m about to ask you correctly. I know your name already and I know where you work. I want you to tell me the names of your accomplices. I want you to tell me who you take your orders from. Are you one of Mousavi’s gang or are you a Karroubi follower? Which one of your coworkers is anti regime?” He asked me these questions and many more that I no longer remember….
I said “How am I to supposed to write the answers to so many questions when I’m blind folded?” He asked that they remove my blindfolds. I saw the Haji. He was approximately 50 years old and had a light colored, thin beard. There were three other very young boys with him. I’m guessing that they were around 17 or 18 years old. It dawned on me then, that it was these young men who had wanted to spend the night with me.
My head was aching. I kept thinking, what is the Islamic Republic promoting amongst the young Basijis? Sex? Casual intercourse? I was reminded of Imam Khomeini’s saying “Basij is the school of love”. Is Basij the school of love, or the school for love making? Or maybe it’s the school for learning how to have sex.
In the end, I wrote down everything the Haji asked me to and confessed to everything he wanted. Even if he had asked me to write that the bombing of the 7th of Tir was my doing I would have done it, though the truth is I was only 9 years old when it happened. When I finally wrote down everything he had asked me to, he told me I could get dressed and once I was dressed I was taken to another room (from the look of the walls, I felt as though I was in a mosque. When they opened the door to the room, I saw another girl in the room. They threw me in and I began talking to her when we heard the screams and pleas of the other girls outside who were being taken to see the Haji.
We slept in the same room that night. In the early hours of the next day, they came for us, handcuffed us, blindfolded us, put us in a car and took us to a destination that I think took about ten minutes to get to. When we arrived, we realized that we were at Evin prison.
I’m exhausted. I was just released from Evin. In my next email, I will tell you about my 80 day imprisonment at Evin.
Translation by Negar Irani