The Guardian reports:
Prison guards in Iran are giving condoms to criminals and encouraging them to systematically rape young opposition activists locked up with them, according to accounts from inside the country’s jail system.
A series of dramatic letters written by prisoners and families of imprisoned activists allege that authorities are intentionally facilitating mass rape and using it as a form of punishment.
Mehdi Mahmoudian, an outspoken member of Iran’s Participation Front, a reformist political party, is among those prisoners who have succeeded in smuggling out letters revealing the extent of rape inside some of the most notorious prisons.
Mahmoudian was arrested in the aftermath of Iran’s 2009 disputed presidential election for speaking to the press about the regime’s suppression of the movement and is currently in Rajaeeshahr prison in Karaj, a city 12 miles (20km) to the west of the capital, Tehran.
“In various cells inside the prison, rape has become a common act and acceptable,” he wrote in a letter published on Kaleme.com, the official website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.