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Torture in Iran

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Torture in Iran"

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I think it’s probably conventional wisdom here in the United States that the Iranian government treats people very poorly, so I don’t think anyone will be shocked to learn that Roozbeh Mirebrahimi’s experiences in Iranian prison were pretty awful:

I spent 60 days in solitary confinement, where I was released only three times a day to use a bathroom for two to three minutes under camera surveillance. I was interrogated and tortured for days on end. Security agents blindfolded me and beat me repeatedly, pushing my head into the wall and onto a desk. They asked me questions about my relations with other journalists, particularly women, and with Westerners, and they constantly insulted my family.

This is the sort of thing that the American press, and the American government, rightly and unambiguously call “torture.” The point of pushing someone into a wall is to cause them pain, and use the threat of pain to coerce statements out of them. Torture, in other words. And yet somehow Jay Bybee, John Yoo, Dick Cheney, and the bulk of the conservative movement in the United States doesn’t see it that way when the person doing the slamming into a wall is American. It’s bizarre.

Update

Someone in comments asserted that America doesn’t torture people by beating them or slamming them into walls, “only” through waterboarding. Gotta read those memos more closely — there’s “slaps” and “walling” and so forth all in there.

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