In Iran, Armita Abbasi finally released after more than 100 days in prison
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Armina Abbasi has been released, her father announced on Instagram on Tuesday. The 21-year-old, who was accused of having “made Molotov cocktails” and of being “leader of the demonstrations”, had been arrested a month after the death of Mahsa Amini. She spent more than 100 days in prison, where she was notably raped and tortured.
“Finally, my Armita is freed”. These are the words of the father of Armita Abbasi to announce on Instagram, Tuesday February 7, the release of his daughter – who has spent more than 100 days in prison in Iran. “She’s free”, he also wrote. “We went through a very difficult time, but now I am extremely happy. From the bottom of my heart, I wish this happiness to all the families whose loved ones are imprisoned. Hoping for the freedom of all the protesters.”
In a video posted shortly after, the father – apparently in a mall – can be seen hugging his daughter during their reunion.
At 21, Armita Abbasi has become one of the many faces of the indiscriminate repression since the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, 2022, in Tehran.
Armita Abbasi, the young protester who had been arrested in October 2022 during Iran’s anti-regime uprising and reportedly subjected to sexual abuse, has been released, her father confirmed on Instagram, releasing a video of their first meeting. pic.twitter.com/eTTt3nFbQ3
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) February 7, 2023
After more than 100 days of detention, his trial, repeatedly postponed, took place on Sunday January 29, in Karaj, Iran. Accused of having “made Molotov cocktails” and of being “leader of the demonstrators”, Armita Abbasi appeared before judge Assef Al-Hosseini, known for his cruelty.
Very moved by this magnificent and powerful image!
After almost four months in prison and having been raped and assaulted by the forces of repression, Armita Abassi has just been released this evening. #Iran #MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/H2eIsfrq3e
— Farid Vahid (@FaridVahiid) February 7, 2023
Hunger strike against “harassment and torture suffered”
On January 2, Armita Abbasi began a hunger strike in Katchoï prison in Karaj, in northern Iran, where she had been incarcerated for more than three months. A strong gesture, followed by 14 fellow prisoners, to protest against “the inhuman and unworthy conditions in which they were detained but also the harassment and torture suffered”, explains Ms.e Hirbod Dehghani-Azar, Franco-Iranian lawyer who lists the abuses committed by the security forces of the Islamic Republic.
After seven days of strong mobilization on social networks, in particular under the hashtag #WomanLifeFreedom (#WomenLifeFreedom in English), all gave in to “pressure and threats from prison officials” on them and their families.
Armita Abbasi, Somayyeh Massoumi, Fatemeh Harbi, Ensieh Moussavi, Fatemeh Nazarinejad, Elham Modarresi, Fatemeh Mosleh Heydarzadeh, Niloufar Shakeri, Niloufar Kardouni, Marzieh Qassemi, Shahrzad Derakhshan, Fatemeh Jamalpour, Hamideh Zeraii, Jasmine Haj Mirza Mohammadi and Maedeh Sohrabi were put quarantined in Katchoi prison.
While the reasons for the imprisonment of these women remain unclear, almost all appear to have been victims of sexual assault. In addition to the desire for male domination, raping virgins or women suspected of being so responds to a proven strategy since the 1980s under the era of Ayatollah Khomeini, recalls the Gatestone Institute, an international think tank.
Asked on December 7, 1986 about the massive use of rape in prisons, the Supreme Leader replied: “Yes! Such rapes are essential to prevent these anti-Islamic women from entering paradise. If they are executed as virgins, they will enter heaven. So rape is extremely important to prevent these elements from entering heaven.”
Hospitalized for a “hemorrhage of the rectum”
To date, of the fifteen or so prisoners in Katchoï, only the abuse suffered by Armita Abassi has been detailed. According to an investigation published by CNN on November 21, 2022, the young woman in her twenties was arrested after having posted, without hiding her identity, messages deemed “hostile to the regime” on social networks. Arrested a month after the start of the popular protest, the government accused her of being one of the “leader of the riots” and claimed to have found “10 Molotov cocktails” at her home.
On October 18, 2022, she was escorted by armed men from prison to Imam Ali Hospital in Karaj, says CNN who was able to corroborate the facts. Armita, shaking like a leaf, kept crying.
“When she arrived, (the officers) said she was bleeding from the rectum…due to repeated rapes,” said a member of the medical staff who, obviously very shocked by what he had seen, posted messages on social networks. These men insisted that it be mentioned that the assaults predated his arrest.
By the time Armita Abbasi’s family arrived at the hospital, she had disappeared. According to the official version, she was being treated for “digestive problems”.