Amnesty condemns Iranian 'rights abuses'

Iran Materials 10 December 2009 10:56 (UTC +04:00)
Human rights in Iran are as poor as at any time over the past 20 years, according to a report from campaign group Amnesty International.
Amnesty condemns Iranian 'rights abuses'

Human rights in Iran are as poor as at any time over the past 20 years, according to a report from campaign group Amnesty International, BBC reported.

The report details "patterns of abuse" by the regime before and after disputed presidential elections in June.

One man quoted in the report said he had been beaten and burned with cigarettes. Another said he was threatened with rape.

Iran has dismissed previous criticism of its human rights record.

Officials have said such criticism is politically motivated.

Thousands of people were arrested and dozens killed in Iran after the disputed election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led to the largest street protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Dozens have been given jail terms, and prosecutors say at least five people have been sentenced to death.

BBC Tehran correspondent, Jon Leyne, who is now in London, says that early in the protests, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accepted some of the allegations of abuse, ordering the closure of the Kahrizak detention centre.

But since then, there has been almost no tolerance of criticism by the authorities, our correspondent says.

Amnesty International cited the account of 26-year-old computing student Ebrahim Mehtari, who said he was accused of "working with Facebook networks" and protesting against the election result.

"They frequently beat me on the face," he was quoted as saying.

"I was burned with cigarettes under my eyes, on the neck, head... They threatened to execute me and they humiliated me."

After five days he signed a false confession and was taken out and left in the street, still bleeding and semi-conscious, Amnesty said.

In August, defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi said some protesters detained after the election had been tortured to death in prison and others had been raped.

Iranian officials denied the rape claims, but admitted that abuses had taken place.

Amnesty also cited the case of a former detainee who said he was held in a container with 75 others for more than eight weeks at a detention centre at Kahrizak.

Amnesty accepted that the Iranian parliament and judiciary had established committees to investigate the post-election unrest and the government's response, but it said the mandate and powers of the bodies were unclear and the parliamentary committee's findings had not been made public.

The group said at least 90 people had been arrested in the past three weeks to forestall further demonstrations.