In Iran, since the protests began in autumn 2022, demonstrators have been systematically mentally and physically tortured in detention. Those affected report being beaten with clubs or fists during arrest or interrogation - sometimes also that their bones were broken.
The research association NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung reports on the brutal methods used by the Iranian security forces, basing it on consistent statements from more than a dozen victims in Iran and reports from a prison guard who fled to Germany. In detention, she was tortured physically and mentally for days and weeks. They would have had to kneel blindfolded for 24 hours. Other Iranians say they saw people being whipped with water hoses and shocked with electric batons.
In a total of three cases, those affected are said to have been tied to pieces of furniture and sexually abused with rubber truncheons or electric batons. The injuries, some of which were massive, had not been treated for days. Several victims were threatened with the death penalty. According to the research association, the former prison guard confirmed the common practice of torture. For more than ten years, he and his colleagues should have tortured prisoners in various detention centers in Iran and should have shown no mercy.
Although information from Iran is difficult to verify in the current situation, the research association was able to compare numerous details with publicly available information and additionally substantiate them with external documents such as medical reports and statements by third parties.
A confidential situation report from the Federal Foreign Office (AA) available to the research association confirms "numerous reports of confessions coerced through torture and psychological pressure". In addition, "mental and physical torture and inhuman treatment during interrogations and in detention" are common among political prisoners. In addition to the existing sanctions, the AA is examining further measures against the Iranian leadership.
Since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish girl Mahsa Amini in September, protests against the government have raged across the country. Amini died after being arrested by the vice squad and activists say she was mistreated. The authorities are cracking down on the demonstrators. Several death sentences have already been carried out and around 14,000 people have been arrested.