Quite honestly, I have spent a long time within my capacity to research and look into allegations that the Islamic Republic of Iran has tortured its adversaries and I have found most to be based on very little concrete evidence.
Infact, IRI wholly relies on Islamic Sharia law which has its own understanding of human rights .Before, you start emptying your chest and yelling about post election abuses, we have to set the basis for understanding.
A Modern State can only be accused of torture if it is used on a routine basis within settings that IT CONTROLS. In other words, if a state within its prison system is found to be employing torture on a daily basis, then we can state that the state authorizes torture. Whereas, in an emergency case or a riot situation, the riot police are given one instruction: make sure the revolt doesn't get out of hand, try to quarantine the revolt and then disperse the revolt or cursh it if it turns violent.
In the post election street abuses that we witnessed, no one with an honest and objective frame of mind can say that each and every action of the riot police, plain clothe guys and basijis was signed off by the state. In the street protests we are witness to two things:
1. a situation which is out of hand and the STATE has NO CONTROL over.
2. riot police during the entire period are seen with battons and NOT DEADLY WEAPONS.
Again, the State cannot forsee what might unfold during an emergency situation where it has no control. Hence, it sends out the riot police knowing fully well that a member of riot task force might need to use force to quell the disturbance and to defend his life. It therefore takes the utmost precaution in a situation like this to minimize the loss of life and injuries. Therefore, the riot police are sent out with only battons.
We have witnessed very recently that the Greek government also sent out its riot police WITH BATTONS only to quell the riots following the economic collapse. We have also witnessed the use of riot police and at times discresionary use of force against protestors during the G20 economic meeting in pittsburg in 2009, during Davos meetings, during World Cup in South Africa, during the "cars on fire" riots in France, during anti- Iraq war protests in London.
Hence, one can state that IRI in a controlled setting has not used torture against its adversaries. When reports and evidence came to support that torture was used in Kahrizak, the Supreme Leader ordered an immediate closure of the facility and perpetrators were held responsible. Three of the perpetrators were sentenced to death for using torture. Their names were not released so as not to jeopardize the lifes of their family members. Also, the perpetrators might have mistakenly thought that in those turbulent times, the "ends justify the means." The State and Judiciary refused to accept these defence arguments and imposed the death sentences which should go through their normal course of judicial process, from the Appellate Court and then to Supreme Court if capital punishment is again imposed by the Appellate courts.
There are often times pictures of bruised prisoners (post release) or lashed prisoners (post release) that are circulated. These are simply punishments for crimes that are very well spelt out. The punishment for XYZ is according to Sharia Law 30 lashes, not more and not less. The punishment is very well defined. If the punishments are not very widely known by the average people, atleast the people have a very clear idea of what is considered a crime.
During the former Shah's regime, punishments were not defined. A thief could be lashed 30 lashes, 50 lashes - it wasn't defined. It was left to the corrections officers in the prison to do as they please. At least, in the IRI, punishments are very well defined and known by the law community.
Now, a good number of people say that they are opposed to Islamic Sharia law. They are opposed to lashing...etc. But, they clearly have no system of punishment that they can propose. You ask them and their quick answer is secular judicial law. But even a secular judicial law does not guarantee that lashings will not be used. In Singapore 15 years ago, a young 20 yr old American was caned 5 times because of shoplifting. So was Singapore's judicial system religious?
Some may argue that they simply want a judicial law system like the one in say Netherlands; no capital punishment and no beatings or lashings, just prison time. But they neglect to add that by following Netherland's system of punishment, they are leaving the victim with absolutely no say. They are infact violating the personal rights of a member of society (in this case the victim) and handing it over to the State. Who is to say this is any good? Why should the father to a sexually molested and murdered 8 yr girl be forced to accept a 10 yr prison sentence that a liberal judge might pass? WHy should he have absolutely no say in the punishment?
The issue of punishment dealt out to criminals cannot possibly be carbon copied from one State to another. The US uses capital punishment. The US has in recent years added torture (waterboarding, secret CIA overseas prisons) to its arsenal, has added psychological torture, deafening music, detention without charges against 16 yr Guantanamo defendants and most recently in the case of an innocent 33 yr Iranian- entrapment and extradition from friendly countries( i.e Georgia- ) whose only "crime was to head over to Georgie to try and obtain spare military parts for IRI. Mind you, these are independant small company guys in Iran, who get a published list of parts that the miltary or the Sepah might need and they as independant contractors try to provide the parts at the lowest cost to beat out other bidders.
Finally, I want you to watch the video below and ask yourself these questions:
Would a person like Jundullah's Adul Malek Rigi who has literally waged war against IRI and who has killed Deputy Sepah Commander General Shushtari (a member of the "inner circle") and over 100 Sepahi members in bombing in Zahedan and Shiraz have NO SIGNS of any facial injury or a crippling when he falls in the hands of a STATE that supposedly uses torture?
The guy was handled by 5 hooded guys that no one would ever want to meet and yet in the airplane and in his confession, looks absolutely normal- no signs of torture whatsoever.
His brother,whom very few of you have heard about, and hence the WESTERN media didn't care about, was allowed to have an interview face to face with AlJazeera. He shows no signs of torture. The STATE did not try to force a confession out of him to silence HUman Rights Groups or the international community because neither cared about the guy. Yet he was allowed to go on TV, give an interview and say his story.
Take a look at the second video, Ms Roxana Saberi was held in Evin prison and in her interviews stated there was no torture. She did say there was psychological pressure and fear of the unknown which is common to all imprisoned humans other than hardened criminals.
Finally the issue of Rape. Again, no concrete evidence. A politician, Mr Karroubi, decided to say he believed rape happened. The argument that "a man within the regime" confessed was enough evidence by juvenile naive individuals to believe that rape was used by the State against protestors. Now, ask yourself, do you really trust a bitter politicians that feels he was cheated? Then ask yourself, if this "man within the regime" is saying so, then that means that for the past 31 years (up to june 2009) there was never a rape in Iranian prisons, otherwise Mr Karroubi wouldn;t express his surprise and outrage (which was based on false hearsay and manipulated rumors). So if a State has not used rape within the first 31 yrs (up to June 2009), and has no past history of doing so, would it pass the muster test if you were the Jury that the State would suddenly adopt such a practice? Would you really believe that, when its all based on hearsay, no concrete evidence and absolutely no past history?
Take a look at video # 3. Does this girl look like a rape victim? She has alone arrived in Turkey, seeking political asylum. Is there not enough doubt to quesiton the motives of this girl? What was her background? Was she fabricating a story to help her asylum application? For the love of God, does she looks and feel like she was a rape victim?
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