Iran admits to conducting a virginity test on Atena Farghadani

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Justice for Iran (JFI), 11 March 2015: Islamic Republic of Iran’s authorities have admitted to subjecting Atena Farghadani to a virginity test while in captivity of the Iran’s Evin prison in their reply to the annual Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Iran.

Farghadani is an Iranian activist and cartoonist who was arrested, in August 2014, for her illustrations on Facebook and her socio-political activism, however, additional charges were brought against her as she came under state scrutiny in the subsequent months. In June 2015, she was sentenced to 12 years and six months of imprisonment by Judge Salavati.

In October 9, 2015 JFI first reported about the Atena’s virginity test and now despite months of controversy the Iranian authorities have finally admitted that the “prison authorities carried out tests to respond to allegations of sexual assault against her on some websites,” the UN report says.

In October 9, 2015 JFI first reported about the Atena’s virginity test and now despite months of controversy the Iranian authorities have finally admitted that the “prison authorities carried out tests to respond to allegations of sexual assault against her on some websites,” the UN report says. 

The UN report also mentions JFI’s finding that while in prison, she was subject to torture, sexual harassment and degrading detention conditions. Justice for Iran documented these violations after Atena was released on bail in November 2014. JFI spoke to Atena and reported other violations of human rights including arrest without a warrant, denying access to health care services and legal aid while being held in Evin prison. Other violations occurred after she was freed from prison. She was prevented from continuing her university studies, threatened via phone and illegally summoned to appear in court by phone calls which were made to her home.

On 28 December 2014, she published an in camera testimony on YouTube, describing how she was subjected to an aggressive strip search and beaten for smuggling used paper cups to her cell, which led to a subsequent warrant from the Tehran’s Revolutionary Court on 10 January 2015. While there, she was rearrested, beaten by security agents and sent to Gharchak prison in Varamin.

As a result of civil society organization submissions to the United Nations; in 16 January 2015, UN called upon the Iranian government to release information concerning the legal grounds for Farghadani’s arrest, detention and treatment in captivity as well as the question of free speech in Iran.

 

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