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In my cell, I would distract myself from the fear, hunger, torture and verbal abuse by reading the graffiti scratched on the wall by previous prisoners.
One said: “Don’t panic, your suffering is not greater than Almighty Allah,” while another read: “I am innocent and will be hanged soon.” A despairing father wrote simply and heartbreakingly: “My dear son, when you grow up you will come here like your father – this is the fate of all Ahwazis.” Sleep deprivation is a common form of psychological torture that is used against political prisoners, which I was also subjected to; along with being prevented from washing myself.
Among other forms of physical torture, I was tied to a metal bed frame by the wrists and ankles and savagely whipped.
If I resisted or cursed the guards, they would prolong and intensify the torture.
My cell was dank and narrow, measuring 2.5 metres by 1.5 metres.
"On one occasion, a guard brought a recorder into my cell and played a recording of women screaming in agony, saying to me: “That’s your sister; we’re 'pleasuring’ her because she’s a bitch like you, you Arab moron.” " Day and night I could hear the screaming and weeping of fellow prisoners – men, women and children – who were incarcerated and tortured there.
It was the norm for guards to inflict casual cruelty, such as forbidding prisoners access to a toilet so that they were forced to urinate in the cell, which stank to a nausea-inducing extent in the heat.
Other leaders have boasted that, unlike the West, Iran has no racial discrimination.
I know different; having been a victim of the regime’s anti-Arab racism.
Another time, the guards handcuffed my hands behind my back and hanged me from a ceiling fan.