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Iran's First Vice-President Says Unaware of Environmentalist's Torture Allegations

Niloufar Bayani, an environmentalist serving a 10-year sentence on charges of collaboration with the United States says she has endured brutal psychological and physical tortures in the hands of her interrogators. FILE PHOTO

First Vice-President of Iran on Wednesday said he was unaware of revelations about the torture an environmentalist in prison has suffered in the hands of her interrogators, but he said he will discuss it at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Es'haq Jahangiri made the comment in response to a reporter's question at the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

When asked about Niloufar Bayani's disclosure of the brutal psychological and physical torture she has been subjected to by her interrogators, Jahangiri said if necessary, the administration will also appoint people to discuss the matter with the Chief Justice.

Iran's Judiciary is dominated by hardliners and the administration and the judiciary are often at odds on a wide range of issues.

Bayani, a former representative of the UN Environment Program in Iran, has been in detention since her arrest in February 2018. The Court of Appeals has upheld the 10-year prison term for her by a Revolutionary Court on charges of acting against national security and collaboration with the United States.

In letters smuggled out of prison Niloufar Bayani, one of the eight environmentalists whose sentences were upheld by Iran's Court of Appeals on Tuesday, has spoken in detail about the tortures she has endured.

According to BBC Persian which has come into possession of letters and documents that Bayani has managed to send out of prison, she petitioned high officials of the country, including the Chief Justice and even the Supreme Leader himself, but that only made her torturers who often threatened her with rape, bolder.

Bayani's revelation of her circumstances has caused public outcry in Iran and among Iranian expatriates. Social media users have widely condemned the regime and its judiciary system for allowing such tortures to take place in its prisons.

They have also condemned the First Vice-President and other officials of the administration for being unaware or pretending to be unaware and uninformed about matters of importance to the public, including Bayani's allegations of torture and threats of sexual assault.