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Middle East

Opposition supporters suffered torture and rape after Iranian elections, says Amnesty

Distressing accounts of torture, rape and brutal violence meted out to opposition supporters, before during and after the disputed June presidential elections in Iran, are detailed in a damning report from Amnesty International.

The organisation says that human rights violations in the country are as bad as at any time in the last 20 years. And it adds that the authorities are now "entrenching" the repressive methods used to intimidate protesters during the election period. One detainee interviewed by Amnesty said he had been held along with 75 others for over eight weeks in a container with just one small air duct at the Kahrizak detention centre. More than 100 people were transferred there after protests on 10 July.

"I was told by the interrogator that they had my son in custody and would rape him if I didn't confess," the man said. "I lost control and started screaming. I was beaten by a baton until I fainted and was taken back to the container. All night long we could hear the screams of other detainees."

Ebrahim Mehtari, a 26-year-old student, said he was accused of "working with Facebook networks". He endured beatings, mock executions, and rape. Finally, bleeding and semi-conscious, he signed a confesssion.

Maryam Sabri, a 21-year-old student, was arrested for marking the death of Neda Agha Soltan, whose shooting by security forces was filmed and seen around the world. Ms Sabri was raped four times by "animal-like" prison guards during her 12 days in custody. She has now fled the country.

The report calls for UN-monitored investigations. "The onus is on the Supreme Leader and the government to open a new page," it says. "Such violations should never be repeated."