Casualties

The Government of Islamic Rapists is now admitting 69 deaths and 4000 detentions – still far below the realistic figures. Meticulous documentation of actual cases by human rights activists continues.

Mehdi Karroubi ‘s claims, in a letter to Hashemi Rafsanjani subsequently posted on his (Karroubi’s) website, of extensive torture and rape of both female and male detainees, have been flatly denied by the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, “after an investigation”. (See here also.)Shouting painted protestor - 4-Aug-09

In Iran the issue of rape is so shameful that it cannot be spoken about, a fact relied upon to a considerable extent by the perpetrators. It therefore behoves us, who write outside Iran, to make an almighty stink about all such cases, so that the issue is “exploited by the foreign media” exactly as the regime fears.

“The main aim of the letter is to denigrate Islam, [and] the revolution, and is mainly targeted at foreign circles and media,” managing director Hossein Shariatmadari [of hardline newspaper Kayhan] wrote in an editorial.

I’m afraid it is all up anyway with Islam, owing to the efforts precisely of its Islamists. When this regime falls, owing to the lack of any non-military reason for its existence, the Persian people will turn away in droves from Islam. Mullahs are extremely unpopular and religious observance is already at an all-time low. It is widely predicted that the mosques will be empty in a few years. In any case, there is no  basis in Islam for any concept of human rights, a fact made searingly obvious by the present events.

Complaints

However, the notorious prison of Kahrizak in the south of Tehran was shut down last month by order of Chief Donkey and five warders were charged with abuses. Iran’s prosecutor general Qorbanali Dori-Najafabadi acknowledged earlier that “”painful incidents”” had taken place and encouraged people to come forward with complaints. Tehran police authorities acknowledge 433 complaints received about police behaviour.

It’s not clear what counts as police in modern Iran. Which of the innumerable Islamic militias constitutes a police force, operating with the consent and confidence of the public? It’s quite clear what a complainant is, though. A mischief-maker, trouble-maker and spy, in league with foreign agencies, working out of embassies and paid for by the BBC. Shoot them too!

Virgins go to Paradise

It is as well to have a second source for the allegation of pre-execution rape of underage girls, for which I last week cited a CIA infiltrator of the Revolutionary Guard. Now a Basij guard, himself imprisoned (for releasing two teenagers) and subsequently released, has described in some detail what goes on:

The guard became a well-regarded member of the force. His superiors were so impressed with him that they gave him the “honour” of temporarily marrying young girls prior to their executions. The girls are forced into marriage with a prison guard, and then raped on their wedding night before being killed the next morning … The girls always fight back when their marriage is to be “consummated”, so sometimes the guards put sleeping pills into the girls’ food. When the rapes were over, the guard would hear the girls crying and screaming. He remembered one girl who clawed her own face and neck, resulting in deep scratches all over. Though the non-consensual weddings are considered legal, the guard admitted that the girls were more afraid of their wedding nights than of their pending deaths. “By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die.”

Is it necessarily the case that to be a Moslem is to have no idea of right and wrong? Obviously mere moral instinct cannot compete with the official Islamic ideology that surrounds ordinary participants in the drama of good and evil:

Since the age of personal responsibility in Iran is 13 for boys and 9 for girls, surely many of those sentenced to death are virgins … Though Islam does not prohibit the execution of virgins, it does teach that virgins go to Paradise after death. Many Islamic clerics, not satisfied with merely cutting short the lives of young girls, also wanted to ensure that the girls would suffer an eternity in hell. Therefore, Iran made it illegal to execute virgins, but created a legal loophole by ordering guards to “marry” and rape their prisoners. Authorities in many other Islamic countries also order their guards to systematically rape female prisoners.

Much of this is vertiginously remote from the ordinarily compassionate scope of people raised in an invisibly Christian civilisation where to believe in some religion or not is a free choice based on personal inspiration. So do the Iranian Basiji and Lebanese hizbollahis currently working hard at their rape schedules in Evin and other prisons follow benign examples set by their law and esteemed leaders?

In Sharia law, certain crimes are punishable by death … In Iran, the crimes of homosexuality,Gagging fornication, armed robbery, kidnapping [and] drug trafficking are among those deemed capital offences. Often fornication charges are levelled even when the accused is raped. The victim is rarely able to “prove” her innocence due to a lack of due process and the fact that the testimony of females is worth one half that of a man’s … According to Amnesty International, the Ayatollah, who followed strict Sharia law, had twenty thousand girls and women executed in the first three years of his rule.

The government wages war against its own people

There is reportedly a shift in mood in Iran from despondency to a renewed sense of optimism. The regime ensured that the opening match on August 7th of the eagerly followed football season was played to an empty stadium, rather than risk “a show of green”. The war is increasingly between the terroristic government and its own people ─ all of them. (Those who voted for Ahmadinejad are not subject to any discrimination now nor are likely to be at any time in the future.)

The situation has escalated in two months to that familiar in all tyrannies in the world, Burma for instance, currently in the news, Zimbabwe, North Korea. It is well-charted territory. As I counselled a few weeks ago, no one should seek confrontation based on bullets; the bullets are on one side, the hearts and minds on the other. This is Gandhi country. Spontaneity, with a minimum of organisation, is the key. Leaders can be arrested, organisations folded up. The emphasis should be on peaceful manifestations of moral feeling, as opportunities arise. Jokes, stories and songs are more effective than kidnap and torture. Concerts, poetry readings, underground press. V-signs and green ribbons.

Scientific attempts to sample public opinion are especially powerful ─ surveys, petitions. The internet brings even an alternative election within reach. The regime appears to be itself shocked by how radically hostile to it is the Iranian people. Mousavi apparently thinks he can sustain a political party. Let him bring it on if so, though such visibility is always vulnerable.

Use the theocracy against itself: let there be an Islamic resistance to tyranny. Stick the rape-mongers on the moral low ground. Any human rights work is especially valuable and constructive, though often dangerous. Right now, I don’t know whether I’d rather be a human rights worker in Iran or Chechnya, where their bodies are being discovered daily in car boots.

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