Report: Iran Security Forces Sexually Assaulted, Killed Teen

Leaked document describes agonizing final moments of Nika Shakarami, 16
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2024 9:40 AM CDT
Report: Iran Security Forces Sexually Assaulted, Killed Teen
A woman rides a bicycle in front of a mural depicting women cutting their hair to show support for Iranian protesters standing up to their leadership over the death of a young woman in police custody, in a tunnel in Paris, France, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

A leaked document tells of the murder of a 16-year-old girl by Iranian security forces, who've long been accused of trying to cover up the crime. Nika Shakarami claimed she was chased by authorities after a protest against the regime on Sept. 20, 2022. Her body was discovered more than a week later. Authorities claimed she'd jumped from a building. But Nika's mother, who identified the body, said her daughter appeared to have been murdered for protesting against the government and its compulsory hijab law. The leaked document, a "highly confidential" summary of a hearing overseen by security forces, describes how agents chased the suspected protest leader, who'd been filmed burning hijabs, before throwing her in an unmarked freezer van, per the BBC.

The team tried to take her to a temporary police camp and a separate detention center, but they were turned away at both, so they set off for Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, a 35-minute drive away, according to the document addressed to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' commander in chief. En route, an agent reported hearing crashing in the back of the van. One of the men "gagged [Nika's] mouth with his socks," while another "sat on her" and "put his hand inside her trousers," according to the document. An agent reported hearing "the baton hitting the accused" before the driver pulled over. By then, Nika was dead, her head bloodied. "Three batons and three Tasers were all used. It is not clear which one of the blows was the fatal one," according to the document.

It names Nika's killers and the commanders who covered up the truth, reports the BBC, which spent months verifying the details and believes the document is authentic. A former Iranian intelligence officer confirmed with authorities that the file came from an official report on anti-government protesters in 2022. Iran International reported on the document back in February, saying it appeared to have been shared after hackers breached the servers of the Iranian judiciary. It lines up with the account of Nika's mother and the death certificate, which noted Nika died of "multiple injuries caused by blows with a hard object." She was killed a few days after another protester, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, died in police custody, and a few days before another 16-year-old girl was beaten to death. (More Iranian protests stories.)

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