Imagine for a moment that the son or daughter of a Presidential or Prime Ministerial candidate in the US or Britain had been taken away by plainclothes security forces and kept in an unknown locations for days. Imagine that he or she had been beaten and threatened with rape. Think of the headlines and furour.
Consider that this is what allegedly occurred in Tehran last Thursday. According to the son of Mehdi Karoubi, Hossein, his younger brother Ali was detained when Karroubi's entourage was confronted by security forces. Fatemeh Karroubi, Ali's mother, has written an open letter to the Supreme Leader, detailing the claimed torture and rape threats, which allegedly took place in a mosque. Ali Karroubi’s wife, Nafiseh Panahi, has said that her husband suffered a broken arm and fractured skull.
The response of the regime? Tehran’s Prosecutor General, Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi stated that there was no warrant for the arrest of Ali Karrroubi and that he concluded, from his enquiries of the police, intelligence agencies and Revolutionary Guards, that such a person was never detained. He added that Ali Karroubi shoulld prove his allegation by stating why he was detained and where. (Fatemeh Karroubi had already stated in her letter that the location of the alleged detention and abuse was Amir-al-Momenin Mosque in Tehran. It should also be noted that it is normally the arresting party who puts forth a reason for detention, not the suspect.)
With the Prosecutor’s denial of any such detention, let's work through the scenarios:
1. Ali Karroubi was never touched by anyone and the entire story is a fabrication. In that case, his brother Hossein, his mother, his wife, and he should be arrested immediately: the first three for lying and Ali for posing in a photo with the alleged bruises. (Many people have been arrested and handed harsh sentences for allegedly causing far less damage to the Islamic Republic’s reputation than alleging torture and threat to rape in a mosque.)
2. Someone other than the Iranian authorities kidnapped and tortured Ali Karroubi. Hossein Karroubi says that Ali Karroubi was snatched in the Sadeghiyeh area, just north of Azadi Square where the official 22 Bahman event was taking place. There is also footage of Mehdi Karroubi being attacked by tear gas in that area.
In this case, the Tehran Prosecutor General is admitting that the regime, despite massing security forces last Thursday, was unable to prevent the kidnapping of the son of a senior revolutionary .
3. Ali Karroubi was snatched by authorities, tortured, and threatened with rape in a mosque, but they lied to the Tehran Prosecutor, who is so gullible that he publicly repeated that lie without checking out the facts. Where does this leave the credibility of post-election prosecutions and court sentences, including capital punishment?
4. Ali Karroubi was snatched by the authorities, tortured, and threatened with rape in a mosque. The Prosecutor General is aware of this but is lying. If a high-ranking official is attempting such a fabrication, what credibility does Iran's Judiciary have?