Iranian protesters sentenced to death were tortured, says Amnesty report

Two teenagers and a 31-year-old man were subjected to torture including rape and beatings and denied a fair trial, says group

The three men were sentenced in connection with protests in response to the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

The alleged torture of three young Iranian men facing the death penalty has been detailed in a report by Amnesty International that raises deep concerns about the country’s judicial system.

One of the men, Mehdi Mohammadifard, was raped by prison guards and severely beaten, the rights group said. Amnesty said it had learned that Mohammadifard suffered anal injuries and rectal bleeding that required treatment in a hospital outside the prison where he was being held.

The 19-year-old went into hiding after being summoned for questioning by the Revolutionary Guards before his arrest in the early hours of 2 October. During his arrest he was thrown to the floor and suffered a broken nose, Amnesty said.

Mohammadifard was sentenced to death along with 18-year-old Arshia Takdastan and 31-year-old Javad Rouhi in connection with protests in Noshahr, in Mazandaran province, on 21 September that broke out in response to the death in police custody five days previously of Mahsa Amini.

Their convictions on charges including “corruption on Earth” and “enmity against God” are subject to appeal at the supreme court.

Amnesty said it had obtained information that Rouhi was subjected to severe beatings and floggings, including on the soles of his feet and while being tied to a pole, and that ice had been placed on his testicles. Takdastan has also been repeatedly subjected to beatings, Amnesty said.

Amnesty said the accused were denied the right to a lawyer of their choice at a hearing lasting less than an hour. It has called for the death sentences to be quashed.

Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “The fact that Arshia Takdastan, Mehdi Mohammadifard and Javad Rouhi and their anguished relatives live under the shadow of execution while Revolutionary Guards’ agents and prosecution officials reasonably suspected of responsibility or complicity in their sexual abuse and other forms of torture enjoy absolute impunity highlights the sheer cruelty and inhumanity of Iran’s judicial system.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately quash the convictions and death sentences of these young men and drop all charges related to their peaceful participation in protests. They must also order a prompt, transparent, and impartial investigation to bring all those reasonably suspected of responsibility for their torture to justice in fair trials.”

The names of those suspected of being responsible for the treatment of the three men are due to be handed to western authorities.