Report: Iran’s IRGC and Police Accused of Raping and Sexually Assaulting Protesters

Iran’s security forces used sexual violence to punish peaceful protesters during the 2022 uprising in Iran following the killing of Mahsa Amini, according to a report published by Amnesty International. The report, which refers to the uprising as the “Woman Life Freedom” uprising, detailed the accounts of 45 survivors of sexual violence – 26 men, 12 women, and seven children. Entitled “They violently raped me: Sexual violence weaponized to crush Iran’s “Woman Life Freedom” uprising, the report stated that the Iranian security forces used rape and other sexual violence to torture protesters, including children as young as 12 years old. “Our research exposes how intelligence and security agents in Iran used rape and other sexual violence to torture, punish and inflict lasting physical and psychological damage on protesters, including children as young as 12,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary-General Agnés Callamard. According to Amnesty International, Iranian authorities have not brought any of the security officials up on charges for any of the instances of rape detailed in the report. “Iran’s prosecutors and judges were not only complicit by ignoring or covering up survivors’ complaints of rape, but also used torture-tainted ‘confessions’ to bring spurious charges against survivors and sentence them to imprisonment or death. The report notes that among the Iranian agents to participate in the rape and sexual violence of protesters were individuals from the Islamic Republic’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Intelligence Ministry, and various branches of the police force. Of the 45 cases documented by Amnesty International, sixteen were raped. This figure included seven men, six women, two teenage boys, and a fourteen-year-old girl. The sexual assault survivors documented by Amnesty International described to the organization harrowing accounts of their experiences. “I used to be a fighter in life,” Sahar, one of the survivors of sexual assault told Amnesty International. “Even when the Islamic Republic tried ‎to break me down, I carried on. However, recently, I think about suicide a lot…I am like a person who waits all day for ‎night-time so I can sleep.”