This young Iranian woman was reportedly arrested by security agents wearing ‘Joker’ masks over her activism.
While in custody, she was allegedly subjected to a humiliating and lengthy body search that involved wardens making her go to the bathroom in front of them.
Shakiba Hoshyar – a 22-year-old mechanical engineering student at Razi University, in Kermanshah Province, in western Iran – was reportedly arrested during protests in the city of Kermanshah on 2nd October last year (2022).
She was just blocks away from her university in a taxi when she was ambushed by Iranian security forces wearing Joker masks, according to independent media outlet IranWire.
IranWire said that it had spoken to a person who was aware of her ordeal. The source is being kept anonymous to avoid reprisals.
Shakiba, described in reports as an activist, was arrested during the first week of the protests in the city while in a taxi with one of her friends.
The car was reportedly ambushed by the mask-wearing security agents, with one agent reportedly pulling her out of the vehicle by her hair.
The driver was also reportedly beaten up despite having nothing to do with the agents’ main target, Shakiba.
People reportedly tried to intervene, but Shakiba was thrown into an unmarked car and taken away.
She was kept in solitary confinement for a week in filthy conditions and with little access to any health services, still according to IranWire.
She was then reportedly transferred to a detention centre, where female agents with the Kermanshah Intelligence Department made her strip before invasively searching her.
IranWire’s anonymous source reportedly said: “They forced her to take off her clothes, even her underwear.
“The female agent who was there forced her to sit facing the wall without underwear and to go to the bathroom.
“They claimed that it was part of the process of handing over the female detainees so that they do not take anything with them into the detention centre.
“But this is actually a way of humiliating the detained women, because the next day when Shakiba was taken to the prosecutor’s office to meet with the investigator, they put a person in the car with her who had opium in his pocket, but the officers did not even search him properly and this person even took his opium with him into the prosecutor’s office.”
Shakiba was then thrown in solitary confinement for a week. She has reportedly since been released, after signing a forced confession recorded on video.
IranWire said that vaginal and anal inspections of detained women are common methods used by the Iranian regime to abuse political and ideological prisoners.
Nine female political prisoners recently went on a hunger strike to protest the vaginal searches imposed on detained women.
These ‘inspections’ have reportedly increased since the death of Mahsa Amini and the subsequent protests across the country.
Iranian forces have been cracking down on waves of civil disorder following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, from Saqqez, Kurdistan Province.
She was on a visit to Tehran when she was arrested by morality police, accused of violating hijab rules on 13th September 2022.
She was allegedly beaten while in custody and spent the following days in a coma in the hospital before succumbing in the ICU on 16th September.
The clinic where she was treated said in a now-deleted social media post that she had been admitted brain-dead.
Alleged medical scans of her skull leaked by hackers showed that she had suffered bone fractures, haemorrhages, and brain oedema.
Independent Iranian media have claimed that Mahsa’s medical records showing a history of heart disease that officials gave as the cause of death were faked by the Iranian government.
The ongoing protests in Iran have killed at least 516 people, according to independent estimates.
It is also understood that at least 20,000 people have been arrested.