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Iranian Armita Abbasi, raped and tortured in prison, awaiting her verdict

Accused of having “Molotov cocktails” and of being “leader of the demonstrations”, Armita Abbasi was tried on Sunday by a court in Karaj, Iran. Arrested a month after the death of Mahsa Amini, she has already spent more than 100 days in prison. Originally published on January 10, 2023, this article was updated for the trial.

Platinum blond hair, blue-green streaks, a piercing in the right eyebrow, another under the lower lip. A modern young woman like there are millions. But Armita Abbasi is not like the others. At 21, this Iranian has become one of the many faces of the blind repression since the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, 2022 in Tehran.

After more than 100 days of detention, his trial, repeatedly postponed, took place on Sunday January 29, in Karaj, Iran. Accused of having “made Molotov cocktails” and of being “leader of the demonstrators”, Armita Abbasi appeared before judge Assef Al-Hosseini, known for his cruelty. According to a story published on the Instagram network by her father, she was represented by Me Shahla Aroji.

For the moment, the date of the verdict remains unknown.

A hunger strike and more than 100 days of detention

On January 2, she began a hunger strike in Katchoï prison in Karaj, in northern Iran, where she has been incarcerated for more than three months. A strong gesture, followed by 14 fellow prisoners, to protest against “the inhuman and unworthy conditions in which they were detained, but also the harassment and torture suffered”, explains Mr. Hirbod Dehghani-Azar, Franco-Iranian lawyer who lists the abuses committed by the security forces of the Islamic Republic.

While the reasons for the imprisonment of these women remain unclear, almost all appear to have been victims of sexual assault. In addition to the desire for male domination, raping virgins or women suspected of being virgins responds to a proven strategy since the 1980s under the era of Ayatollah Khomeini recalls the Gatestone Institute international think tank.

Asked on December 7, 1986 about the massive use of rape in prisons, the Supreme Leader replied: “Yes! Such rapes are essential to prevent these anti-Islamic women from entering paradise. If they are executed as virgins, they will enter heaven. So rape is extremely important to prevent these elements from entering heaven.”

Armita Abbasi hospitalized for a “hemorrhage in the rectum”

To date, of the fifteen prisoners in Katchoï, only the abuse suffered by Armita Abassi has been detailed. According to an investigation published by CNN on November 21, 2022, the young woman in her twenties was arrested after having posted, without hiding her identity, messages deemed “hostile to the regime” on social networks. Arrested a month after the start of the popular protest, the government accused her of being one of the “leader of the riots” and claimed to have found “10 Molotov cocktails” at her home. A statement that promised particularly severe sanctions for the young woman of 20 years.

On October 18, 2022, she was escorted by armed men from prison to Imam Ali Hospital in Karaj, says CNN who was able to corroborate the facts. Armita trembling like a leaf, kept crying.

“When she arrived, (the officers) said she was bleeding from the rectum…due to repeated rapes,” said a member of the medical staff who, obviously very shocked by what he had seen, posted messages on social networks. These men insisted that it be mentioned that the assaults predated his arrest.

By the time Armita Abbasi’s family arrived at the hospital, she had disappeared. According to the official version, she was being treated for “digestive problems”.

Rape, torture, executions with hasty trials… For these crimes to be punished one day by justice, Hirbod Dehghani-Azar and the group of jurists to which he belongs call on the international community to register the Revolutionary Guards on the list of terrorist organizations.

“This would make it possible to freeze their assets and their assets abroad but also to prosecute them by paving the way for the creation of an international jurisdiction competent to judge these crimes against humanity”.

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