New Details About The Kermanshah Raid
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has obtained information regarding recent arrests of 17 men in Kermanshah from eyewitnesses.
Since its foundation in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran police forces routinely raid Iranian citizens’ private celebrations and gatherings, arresting them for their preferred lifestyle inside their private domain. But published news of the Kermanshah raid provides sobering insight into the organized nature of this particular raid. In the case of the Kermanshah arrests, security forces, not the police, raided the gathering. The published report also indicates that the group had been under “several months of monitoring and surveillance by the IRGC security forces.”
The eyewitness reports provide details about the gathering and the participants. “There were 75 guests in the party. A banquette hall had been rented therefore the owner had given permission to an all-men party to take place there.”
Describing the raid, the report adds, “about 60 to 70 IRGC and Basij forces entered the hall, around 12:15 am., after dinner was served. The agents had Kalashnikovs, pepper sprays, cables and Tasers. They started beating everyone, using swear words:’You’re not men, you’re a bunch of women. You’ve gathered here to rape each other. The government will never accept you. Faggot asses! (Korreh-khar’ha’ye Hamjensbaz)”
The report describes a disturbing scene of the raid. “The men were beaten harshly. Their cellphones and cameras were confiscated. When a young man refused to give up his cellphone, the agents attacked him and beat him mercilessly. A total of 17 Guests who wore colorful clothes or looked like Ahl-e-Haq [members of this group have distinct-looking mustaches] were taken to the local police station. The rest of the guests were kept in the hall, and they were forced to eat the cake and they were insulted while they were forced to eat the cake. After that, the remaining guests were forced to sign a pledge (they weren’t allowed to read the content), and were released.”
Details about the treatment of detainees at an unknown detention center to which they were taken are provided in the report. “Seventeen of the men who were singled out based on their appearances and religious beliefs were transferred to a police station and then shortly thereafter were taken to an unknown detention center. They were blindfolded at all times. They were stripped down to their briefs/underwear. They were photographed naked from several angles. Then they were given prison grey-suites, a uniform for those who’re going to be hanged. The detainees’ clothes and other belongings were placed in bags plastic bags. They were interrogated repeatedly.”
“At the detention center, the men were taken to a very small space, a little larger than a phone booth, blindfolded, and they were asked to pull up their blindfold a little. The place was ‘very, very dark.’ They were repeatedly beaten and accused of being homosexuals and Satan-worshippers,” the report adds.
The detainees were eventually all released by October 14. “As of Monday, October 14, all 17 detained men have been released, after posting large bails. On Friday, October 11, 12 of the detainees were released one by one. Of the five men remaining in detention, three of them were released on Saturday, October 12, and the remaining 2 men were released on Sunday, October 13. The detainees were originally told their court date will be October 11 but later they were advised that it has been cancelled, telling them that they will be notified of their court date.”
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls on the Iranian Judiciary to immediately stop persecution and prosecution of all individuals who attended the party and to respect their right to privacy as guaranteed under the Iranian and international law.