Exclusive: Intelligence Agents Forced Abadan Girl To Drop Rape Charge
Intelligence Ministry agents have pressured a young woman in Abadan to retract accusations of rape and violence, a source close to the woman told Iran International on Friday. The woman and her family were told not to allow “hostile media” to “exploit the situation.” Later, state television showed her "confessions".
A video clip showing the victim being beaten, posted on Thursday to social media by journalist Dariush Memar, has been shared hundreds of times. The video – said to have been recorded the day before in Abadan – showed a security guard of Abadan Refinery putting his foot on the woman’s chest and touching her breast while two women, reportedly relatives of the alleged rapist, held and struck her brutally.
Sources told Iran International that the incident happened when the young woman went to the home of her former boss to tell his family that he had raped her and that she was pregnant. The man had reportedly been a high-ranking manager of Abadan Refinery who had been sacked for financial corruption.
On Thursday, the judiciary and police officials said all those involved in the incident had been arrested. The same day, however, state-run television aired footage of the woman’s “confessions,” in which she said she was not pregnant by the man whose family beat her. She made no mention of rape and said she was unaware of what “foreign-based [Persian-language] media” reported about the incident.
Rah-e Dana, a hardliners’ website, has published other parts of the “confessions,” as well as a statement from a man reported to be the woman’s father who claimed his daughter was on medication for a mental condition and not in control of her actions.
Dariush Memar, the journalist who posted the video of the beating on social media, in another Twitter post on Friday said the young woman who has come to be known on social media as the ‘Girl from Abadan’ was taken to the house of her alleged rapist a few hours after the incident and forced there to make the so-called “confessions” after disguising her bruises with make-up.
According to Memar, “security forces” pressured the young woman to say she had not been mentally stable at the time of the incident, not reveal anything about the rape, and drop charges against the state and security forces-approved guard.
Iranian judiciary, police and security bodies often attempt to silence victims of sexual abuse and rape, commonly giving the grounds that they “paint the Islamic society of Iran in a bad light.”