The Islamic Republic of Iran often is accused of engaging in barbaric medieval practices, such as amputating the hands of thieves. Not content with that, the Iranian government now has brought back a hideous, pre-medieval custom: the violating of virgins before executing them.
The Jerusalem Post has published a shocking story in which a member of the paramilitary Basij militia speaks of his activities in suppressing the recent opposition protests. He also details his raping young Iranian girls before their executions at the behest of his superiors.
As the Post reports:
He said he had been a highly regarded member of the force, and had so "impressed my superiors" that, at 18, "I was given the 'honor' to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death."
In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a "wedding" ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard - essentially raped by her "husband."
"I regret that, even though the marriages were legal," he said.
Why the regret, if the marriages were "legal?"
"Because," he went on, "I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their 'wedding' night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die.
"I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over," he said. "I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her finger nails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her." [emphasis added]
The Basiji's story distressingly brings to mind a story the Roman author Tacitus relates about Tiberius (reigned AD 14–37), the second Roman emperor, and the first to be known for his cruelty and inhumanity:
"It was next decided to punish the remaining children of Sejanus, though the fury of the populace was subsiding, and people generally had been appeased by the previous executions. Accordingly they were carried off to prison, the boy, aware of his impending doom, and the little girl, who was so unconscious that she continually asked what was her offence, and whither she was being dragged, saying that she would do so no more, and a childish chastisement was enough for her correction. Historians of the time tell us that, as there was no precedent for the capital punishment of a virgin, she was violated by the executioner, with the rope on her neck. Then they were strangled and their bodies, mere children as they were, were flung down the Gemoniae. [emphasis added]"
Nearly 2,000 years later, the regime of Supreme leader Ali Khamenei shows itself no less cruel and inhumane than the most notorious tyrants of the past.