Rapists in Iran
The Guardian / Mahmood Delkhasteh

Sexual assault against men and women is being systematically used in Iran in an attempt to stifle opposition...

...Why, despite its public exposure, does this regime continue to use rape and the threat of rape as weapons against its opponents, women and men alike? The question has to be understood within its cultural context. The regime knows that killing an opponent will make a martyr of her or him, and may even encourage others to join the struggle. Rape, however, can have devastating effects not only on an individual but on political morale as well. The regime believes that society believes that no one can become a hero for being raped. Within this context it is easier to risk one's life for what one believes in, but difficult to join a protest knowing one might be raped. Also, even this regime finds it difficult to hide the murders of its opponents, but it can often neutralise a dissenter with rape, as most victims are too traumatised and ashamed to make this public.

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