Crude prisons in Iran house protesters
Washington Times / Iason Athanasiadis and Barbara Slavin

Reacting to harsh criticism from within Iran and abroad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday ordered the closure of Kahrizak. The government also released 140 prisoners.

Tehran-based journalist Hanif Mazruaie, in an interview with the Persian service of the BBC, said detainees had told him of being held in a poorly ventilated container in Kahrizak alongside 40 others. Guards who brought detainees there on July 9, the 10th anniversary of 1999 student riots, "stripped them naked, struck them with pressured water and hit them violently with cables," Mr. Mazruaie told the BBC.

Another recent detainee, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals, told The Washington Times that security forces "herded us blindfolded into what I thought was a stadium, where they beat us solidly for three days and threatened to execute us. They said to us that since we havent been registered officially, we dont exist so they could execute us."

Female prisoners emerging from Tehran's jails have complained that male guards beat them, pulled their hair and were in constant physical proximity with them despite Islamic laws that dictate prisoners be separated by sex and dealt with by same-sex guards.

Other prisoners have reported being held in police stations and being exposed to degrading practices such as being forced to lick toilet bowls, according to an unverified report published by a reformist news site called Mauj-e Sabz-e ... >>>

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