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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Iranian dissidents harassed in Turkey

On Thursday night I blogged a story about Iranian dissidents being stalked by email, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. On Friday, the Guardian confirmed the story with this article about Iranians being harassed in Turkey.
In the latest incident, a 24-year-old man who claims he was raped described how he woke up in the early hours of the morning this week to find three men looking through the windows of his ground floor flat. "I was woken by what sounded like someone trying to break in," he told the Guardian. "When I went to the living room, there was a man staring through the window.

"I went to the bedroom window so I could shout for help, but there I discovered two more men. I was terrified. I switched off the lights and piled the sofa behind the living room door. They left after a few minutes, but I couldn't sleep for the rest of the night. The following day I was on the internet when a chat-room message appeared under the name of one of my friends, who has been arrested in Iran. It said, 'you witnessed last night what we are capable of – keep your wits about you and don't think you can do whatever you like'. It wasn't the first such message I had received."

Another alleged rape victim said his hotel room was trashed after an Iranian embassy employee had asked the receptionist for a list of the guests. The 27-year-old man, a former activist for the defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, also said he was pursued on the streets.

"On one occasion, a man grabbed me by the hand as I was walking and said, 'let's go and talk', but I ran away," he said. "Another time, as I was going into my flat, a man put his hand on my shoulder and, looking into my eyes, told me, 'either you are going to shut up or we will shut you up'."

Mariam Sabri, 21, who claims she was raped by an interrogator after being arrested, said her father and her brother were arrested after she spoke out about her ordeal. "They arrested my brother for a second time just a few days ago and broke both his hands," she said. "They told him, 'either you go to Turkey and get her back so we can put her on television to make her confess that she has done this just to seek asylum, or we will take action ourselves'. They also told my father, 'do you think it's difficult for us to put her into a sack and bring her back'."
These people need to get much further away from Iran than Turkey. Much further. You don't even need a visa to enter Turkey from Iran. And Turkey is an Islamist country. I wonder if Argentina would take them.


At 4:57 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Turkey is now an Islamist country increasingly friendly with Iran. Its old role as a "bridge" between East and West is gone.


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