Iran Rights Group Seeks More Information On Interrogator ‘Raouf’
Former political prisoners have alleged that they were tortured by a Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) interrogator known as ‘Raouf’ after he was featured in Twitter posts by Mahdieh Golroo, a former political prisoner and feminist activist, on Tuesday [December 8]. Golroo published a photo on Twitter of the interrogator, who had trotured her, sitting in the front row at a meeting of university students with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on November 3, 2015.
According to Golroo, Raouf interrogated activists at Ward A2 in Evin Prison, Tehran, run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and at various IRGC offices and safe houses. Following Golroo’s tweets, the government news agency IRNA removed a photo showing Raouf in the presence of Khamenei.
Golroo – who revealed on Twitter that she has filed a lawsuit against Raouf in Sweden, where she lives, after he made recent threats to her by telephone – said her posts had drawn a wide response.
“Several others have sent me messages after the picture was published to say he was known to them but under other names,” she wrote. “Some of his victims are still in prison. I have filed a lawsuit with [evidence of] name, phone [recordings?] and photos for his recent threats in Sweden. The outcome doesn’t matter. Exposing interrogators and those who destroy many people’s lives is a duty with no expectation of a result.”
Mohsen Maheimany, a former student activist now living in Ireland, wrote in a tweet that he had seen Raouf in 2009 arrest a member of the central council of a student society of which he was the secretary “in a brutal manner.” Maheimany alleged he was intimidated by Raouf when he went to the prosecutor’s office to follow up on his friend's arrest.
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) has quoted a former political prisoner, who was not named for his own safety, alleging Raouf was responsible for his torture during interrogation: “He slapped me so hard twice that my nose bled after I returned to my cell. He kicked me with his shoe and cracked a bone. He had a leather belt that he always used to beat me. With no reason and like a madman he would sometimes go on beating for ten minutes and swore obscenities at me and my family.”
Another former political prisoner who had been detained by the IRGC at Ward 2A in Evin Prison told HRANA that he had been tortured to force him to make a televised confession that Raouf had written. “Raouf was the main manager of the project to extract confessions from me under torture,” claimed the former prisoner, also un-named.
Another victim, a human rights activist, told HRANA that the man in picture posted by Golroo had intimidated his family while he had been under arrest and had told his wife’s family to make their daughter divorce him: “He was present at [my trial] by the Revolutionary Court at all stages and repeatedly threatened me and my compatriots with new charges. I still remember his horrible face. I still remember how he harassed my wife.”
HRANA has called for others to come forward with information about about Raouf.