Saturday, October 03, 2009

In Iran, admitting to being a rape victim can be "social suicide"

I had blogged about this in August:

Dissidents are being raped in Iran's Prisons

Now it's being reported by CNN:

2 Iranian dissidents say they were raped in captivity
Editor's Note: Be aware that the following story contains graphic accounts of rapes. CNN does not normally identify alleged rape victims but did so in this dispatch with the permission of the alleged victims.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- Two Iranians who were caught up in the waves of arrests that followed the disputed presidential elections in June have accused their captors of raping them.

By telling his story, Ibrahim Sharifi says, he "committed social suicide so this incident wouldn't happen to others."

An Iranian man and a woman made the allegations in separate interviews with CNN. Both said they fled to Turkey from Iran after claiming to have been threatened by Iranian security services. While CNN does not normally use the names of alleged rape victims, their names are included here with their permission.

CNN could not independently confirm their accounts. But the testimony of one of the alleged rape victims, Ibrahim Sharifi, was revealed last month by a prominent Iranian opposition leader who claimed to have gathered at least four accounts of sexual assault this summer in Iranian prisons. Sharifi's allegations were also included in a report published last week by two Western human rights organizations investigating reports of abuse in Iranian prisons. [...]

In many Muslim countries, it seems like rape victims are treated more like criminals than victims. The reluctance of victims to come forward makes it that much easier for the crimes to be committed.

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