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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Karroubi presents evidence of Iran 'jail rape'
With allegations of sexual assault in prisons brought to the fore in Iran, authorities meet with Mehdi Karroubi, the figure who broached the taboo subject, to look into the claims.
Rapporteur of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Kazem Jalali, who heads a Parliament committee tasked with probing into the death and detention of those arrested in the post-election frenzy, said the board met with the leading opposition figure on Monday for examination of evidence provided on alleged 'jail rape.'
The three-hour meeting took place after Karroubi wrote a letter to the influential Head of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, on July 29, claiming that jailers brutally 'raped' post-vote protesters in Iran's detention centers.
The publication of the letter caused an uproar inside and outside Iran, with many clerics saying that if true, the issue would be a catastrophe for the Islamic Republic.
Jalali told Mehr News Agency that six lawmakers -- including himself, Omidvar Rezaei, Ali Motahhari, Mehdi Sanaie, Parviz Sorouri and Farhad Tajari -- met Karroubi in his office on Monday where he talked about four alleged victims of jailhouse rape at the hands of security personnel.
According to Jalali, the two-time former Majlis speaker will introduce the alleged victims to the probe committee for further investigation.
Karroubi, however, said that while these four victims are ready to testify before Parliament, they do not feel safe to do so.
The head of the Majlis probe committee said it would be scheduled that the four alleged victims speak up about their torment in front of the board.
He added that the committee is also set to hold a meeting on the issue with Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and the country's newly-appointed Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.
Alongside the meeting with the probe committee, Karroubi's party Etemad-e-Melli (National Trust) published a report on its website which made public remarks by an inmate who had allegedly been subject to sexual abuse.
The victim says defeated candidate Karroubi helped him get through difficult times after his dreadful experience and get rid of suicidal thoughts.
The victim adds that he had met with a representative of the former general prosecutor who after listening to his account expressed his sympathy to him, saying ""alas"" in reaction to the situation.
After the meeting between the Majlis committee and Karroubi, a lawmaker on Tuesday asserted that the claims are ""baseless.""
""After a meeting with Karroubi yesterday and based on our thorough and complete investigation ... we believe the claims are baseless,"" Farhad Tajari, a Member of Parliament, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
(Source: Press TV)