Commonalities and Differences in Methods and Patterns of Torture and Ill-treatment of Political Prisoners in Iran and Why Torturing?!
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This thesis aims to explore how political prisoners are treated in the places of detention and prisons in Iran. In doing so, it targets to specifically find answers to three main questions: 1) What are those common methods and patterns of torture/ill-treatment that are applied to all categories of political prisoners, indifferently? 2) What are those methods and patterns of torture/ill-treatment that might be applied only to specific groups of political prisoners, differently /discriminately? and finally, 3) What are the reasons behind torturing? This research has been conducted through a review of the available secondary information (desk review), followed by a series of qualitative, in-depth and analytical interviews with former political prisoners from Iran. The theoretical framework for the thesis is established through a review of relevant legal international and domestic tools as well as some key definitions and related concepts. The main findings suggest that almost all political prisoners are subject to blunt force trauma, in conjunction with a series of psychological tortures, harassments and abuses. It is also suggested that political prisoners belonging to ethnic and non-ruling religious populations are vulnerable to some forms of tortures that target their ethnic or religious backgrounds or orientations. There are also some other determining factors that might be involved in making differences in treatment of political prisoners. Moreover, there are a wide range of goals, subgoals or objectives behind application of torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners that are pursued by Iranian authorities. However, the main goal is to crush down activists and activism in general and so deter or reduce risks and possible harms to the ruling system.