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Politics

“You Don't Know How to Protest”: A Torturer Taunts Citizens on Instagram

September 25, 2022
1 min read
Abbas Esmail Beigi, accused of torturing demonstrators after the 2009 pro-democracy protests, tried to mock those taking to the streets on Instagram
Abbas Esmail Beigi, accused of torturing demonstrators after the 2009 pro-democracy protests, tried to mock those taking to the streets on Instagram

A well-known regime loyalist widely accused of torturing protesters in 2009 has mocked protests across Iran and the public outcry over the death of Mahsa Amini.

"You don't know how to protest,” Abbas Esmail Beigi, head of the Persepolis Football Club's fan association, posted on Instagram. “You can’t overthrow the system. All you know how to do is mess up our internet every time.”

“You Don't Know How to Protest”: A Torturer Taunts Citizens on Instagram

In 2009 and 2010, pro-democracy protesters who were held at Kahrizak Detention Center identified Abbas Esmail Beigi as being one of their jailers. They accused him of torture, assault and the rape of detained boys and girls. It was rumored that he “punished” protesters on the request of former Persepolis chairman Habib Kashani.

Esmail Beigi never denied the allegations, and some said he enjoyed and even benefited from the reputation he gained as a terrifying figure with a bloody past.

Esmail Beigi has also expressed disgust at the 2009 Green Movement in documentaries for state TV, accusing them of trying to "destabilise" Iran. A former soldier in Iran’s extraterritorial operations in Syria, he has described himself as a "defender of the shrine,” a term Iran’s Quds Force uses to recruit Shias in Afghanistan to fight in Syria.

In August , Abbas Esmail Beigi was banned from entering football stadia in Iran due to his violent behavior, including being violent toward former players. He has been the head of the Persepolis FC Fans Association since the mid-2000s.

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