She is one of the thousands of Iranians who were arrested during last year’s "Woman, Life, Freedom" protests and held for an extended period of time in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
In an interview with IranWire, she described the dehumanizing body searches that the protesters were subjected to in Ward 209.
This young woman, who wished not to be named, also recounted the day when the prison was rocked by unrest and set ablaze.
Blindfolded, Insulted and Beaten
Upon entering the ward, she said the officers and guards forced her to repeatedly sit and stand in different positions.
Blindfolded, she was compelled to remove all her clothing and spread her legs – all this in the presence of a large number of officers.
She endured this demeaning treatment without knowing if any male officers were present or if cameras were filming.
In addition, she could hear humiliating comments about her body such as "I wish you were at least attractive; how audacious of you to walk in the streets naked with such shape and appearance," or "Thanks, God, hijab is mandatory; otherwise, men would be petrified when seeing you."
When she complained, the guards started beating her.
According to this young woman, many women arrested in October and November experienced similar humiliating body searches in Ward 209.
Evin Prison on Fire
Fires tore through Evin prison on the night of October 15, killing at least eight people and injuring 61, according to state media, but families of prisoners fear the true toll is much higher.
Videos from that night show people shouting, “Death to the dictator” and “Death to Khamenei,” a reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as shots are fired and flames rise above the facility.
The former inmate who spoke to IranWire recalled that a siren echoed through the cells of Ward 209 during lunch.
Long after the siren had ceased, she and fellow prisoners heard gunshots for an extended period of time.
The worried prisoners banged on the cell doors, but nobody responded. The cells remained shut from 8:00 p.m. until noon the next day, and there was no sign of the prison guards.
The smell of tear gas and the muffled sound of chanting reached Ward 209, prompting the detainees to shout slogans against Khamenei.
The unrest gave rise to hope for the victory of the protest movement, and the younger prisoners began to believe they would soon be released by demonstrators.
The ex-prisoner told IranWire that the majority of those held in Ward 209 during the first weeks of the nationwide protests were not detained during demonstrations but were identified by security cameras and subsequently arrested at their homes.
She said that many detainees defied all the regulations governing Ward 209, insisting on using the phone to contact their boyfriends, refusing to abide by mandatory hijab rules and engaging in disputes with prison guards regarding smoking.