Judiciary Turns a Blind Eye to Torture and Kidnappings

Majid Sh(30 July 2009) The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran continues to verify reports from Iran chronicling systematic torture and brutal treatment. A Moussavi campaign staff in Mazandaran, Majid Sh., is one of the latest confirmed cases of torture committed by government forces or government-sponsored groups. The accumulation of these crimes and their widespread, planned, and systematic nature, are indications that government actions since the 12 June elections could be raising to the level of crimes against humanity under international law.

Majid Sh. was returning from the Moussavi campaign office in the election district of Ramsar, Mazandaran soon after the elections of 12 June. On his way home he was kidnapped, blindfolded, and taken to a secret location by car. When he asked his captors who they were they called themselves the “foot soldiers of the Twelfth Imam,” a phrase commonly used by the Intelligence Ministry to refer to its agents. He was severely beaten, stripped of his clothes, taken to shower and hanged from the ceiling with his hands tied. His torturers then began to burn his body with a hot iron rod (see pictures). After twenty-four hours he was thrown back into the streets.

Majid Sh. was then taken to a hospital where local dignitaries in the city visited him. Despite the publicity his case has received in the region, there have been no investigations or arrests made to hold those responsible for his kidnapping and tortures accountable.

In other cases, relatives of those killed are given false information and denials and the case of Amir Toufanpour is an example. With the government not prosecuting those responsible and attempting to cover up guilt, families are left with no options for justice.

The Campaign has been aware of Majid Sh.’s experience as well many others’ accounts, and is publishing them as they are fully confirmed and documented. The Campaign stresses the importance of investigating crimes such as these throughout Iran. The proliferation of violence is pointing to systematic and widespread crimes against humanity being committed by the government.