‘They Used Our Hijabs to Gag Us’: Systematic Abuse of Iranian Protesters

British news outlet The Guardian released a report on February 6th detailing the systemic abuse many dissidents faced at the hands of Iranian security forces amidst ongoing protests that have rocked the country.

In the report, the Guardian featured the stories of a male protester and two female protesters who suffered torture and sexual violence from Iranian authorities. Their names were changed for their security. The newspaper interviewed 11 protesters, men, and women, who also experienced the same abuse.

They also talked to a nurse who witnessed first-hand the physical and psychological scars dissidents incurred after being raped and beaten by Iranian security forces. She detailed how women who came for treatment were bleeding from their vaginas due to infection, a sign of sexual torture many Iranians have faced.

One of the protesters interviewed by the Guardian, 25-year-old Dorsa, was violently arrested by Iranian authorities along with her sister and two male friends when they drove through a checkpoint while traveling through a city in the province of Gilan in northern Iran.

The group was forced to sign confessions stating that they were protesting before being separated from one another for interrogation. Aside from being beaten and humiliated, Dorsa also suffered sexual abuse when an unknown man rubbed one of his hands all over her bruised body while penetrating her private parts with an unidentified object.

Dorsa received medical attention after her ordeal, where she was found to have been raped by an object that caused an infection. She also suffered from mental trauma after the interrogation.

Another female protester, Sara, also had a similar experience when she told the Guardian how Iranian authorities weaponized rape and torture to quell the ongoing protests that erupted since September last year.

Sara, a woman in her 40s from Iran’s Kurdistan region, was among the first protesters to be arrested during the first wave of protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini. Like many female protesters, she was beaten and sexually assaulted, and said authorities even used their hijabs to gag their mouths.

Male protesters were not spared from sexual violence and torture. 30-year-old Kamyar from Mashhad narrated how Iranian authorities sexually abused him in a police van after being arrested for participating in demonstrations marking 40 days since the Bloody Friday incident that saw Iranian security forces murder dozens of demonstrators in the country’s southeastern region.

Since protests began in Iran last year, the Islamic Republic has intensified its actions against dissidents, subjecting them to gruesome torture, violence, and rape. Various human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have published detailed reports showing the human rights violations committed by the regime against its citizens.

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.