Excerpt from article by Sabina Amidi, special to the Jerusalem Post:
In a shocking and unprecedented interview, directly exposing the inhumanity of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's religious regime in Iran, a serving member of the paramilitary Basiji militia has told this reporter of his role in suppressing opposition street protests in recent weeks.
He has also detailed aspects of his earlier service in the force, including his enforced participation in the rape of young Iranian girls prior to their execution.
The interview took place by telephone, and on condition of anonymity. It was arranged by a reliable source whose identity can also not be revealed.
Founded by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 as a "people's militia," the volunteer Basiji force is subordinate to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intensely loyal to Khomeini's successor, Khamenei.
Explaining how he had come to join the volunteer Basiji forces, he said his mother had taken him to them.
When he was 16, "my mother took me to a Basiji station and begged them to take me under their wing because I had no one and nothing foreseeable in my future. My father was martyred during the war in Iraq and she did not want me to get hooked on drugs and become a street thug. I had no choice," he said.
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."
Words cannot express the horror, anger and sadness I felt as I read these words. I cried as I felt for all those wasted lives, the Iranian girls, sentenced to death, but forcibly "married" to make sure they are not virgins before they are executed, in order to make sure they go to Hell according to the Muslim mythology. If a female dies a virgin, according to the Koran, she goes straight to Paradise, no matter the circumstances of her death. But this way, having lain with a man and now being divorced, she is soiled...and will go to Hell for her crime.
I cried for that young man at age 16, being forced into a brutal military regime to be a child-soldier. I cried for his widowed mother, because of her belief-system, doing what she thought was right for her son. All those wasted lives...
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful...