A female civil rights activist who was arrested in November and spent close to one month in detention has talked about “brutal torture” of her and a labor activist arrested with her.

Sepideh Qolian was at the Haft-Tapeh Sugar Mill in November, where workers were on strike and protesting for their unpaid wages, when security officers attacked and detained her with several labor activists.

At the moment of the arrest they started beating her and a labor leader, Esmail Bakhshi who tried to intervene was severely assaulted. Qolian says that Bakhshi lost consciousness and they were taken to prison where systematic torture began.

On January 7, Bakhshi wrote about their torture on his Instagram page, which led to a public debate in Iran about torture. Top officials began talking about it and parliament members as well as the usually hardline Judiciary promised to investigate.

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