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Jon Stewart’s Iranian journalist friend: Regime uses ‘sick’ homoerotic torture for ‘entertainment’

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 16:18 EDT
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"Stock Photo: Chained Person." on Shutterstock: http://tinyurl.com/c8f4dvc
 
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An Iranian journalist who’s now the subject of comedian Jon Stewart’s upcoming film “Rosewater” told “The Daily Show” host and a crowd gathered by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) last week that he and others have endured “sick” homoerotic torture, apparently for their captors’ mere “entertainment.”

Maziar Bahari was arrested by Iranian authorities shortly after appearing on “The Daily Show” in June 2009. Accused of being a spy, he endured 118 days of interrogation and torture, during which time he was only able to identify the man torturing him by the rosy smell of his cologne.

Bahari wrote a book about the experience, titled Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival, which Stewart bought the rights to. Appearing last Wednesday at a CPJ panel discussion hosted by Stewart, Bahari also screened his documentary “Forced Confessions,” featuring first-hand accounts of the Iranian regime’s torture chambers.

“We should not forget the entertainment value of these things for them,” he said. “These are people who live in dark rooms, they work in dark rooms. They basically spend about 12-13 hours a day in a dark room, beating up people, insulting people, and for them they need some sort of entertainment.”

“Somebody confessing to thinks that sometimes they dream about, like — and I have to thank Omid Memarian, who’s in the film — his interrogator was forcing him to describe a sexual act that never existed, and then asking to talk about the details of it. It’s sick because that guy really was enjoying what Omid was telling him. And it happened in my case, and in many other cases it happened, this same thing.”

In Iran, gay men are punished with public floggings and execution.

This video is from the Committee to Protect Journalists, published May 14, 2013.


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“Stock Photo: Chained Person.” on Shutterstock: http://tinyurl.com/c8f4dvc

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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