Social media gives women a voice in Iran

Female protesters were beaten, raped and intimidated in a post-election crackdown by the Iranian authorities. Silenced by stigma and fear, these women are now using social media to bear witness to the horrorA young woman is speaking to the camera, her face obscured to prevent her being identified. Her voice heavy with emotion, and hands gesturing, she describes the rape and torture she endured at the hands of her guards while imprisoned during the post-election crackdown in Iran. “Death was my first wish,” she says after recounting the physical and sexual assaults that began when she was picked up on her way home from university and thrown into a van. “I wanted it to be over. I wanted to die.”Bruised from her beatings, she was taken to a detention centre where her interrogator told her, before he raped her: “I will do something you will never forget. I’ll make it so you never want to leave your house again, so any time you hear my name, you will tremble.” The young student was ordered to copy a “confession”, which said she was a “rioter” and a terrorist who had endangered national security. “I didn’t even have nail clippers in my purse for them to say I had anything remotely sharp or dangerous,” the woman retorts. “All I had done was give one vote and that was to Mousavi. A vote that was never counted.”

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