by Chris Bodenner

In an open letter to Rafsanjani and his Assembly of Experts, reform candidate Karroubi demands an investigation into the raping of protesters:

Karroubi said, "Some of the detainees of the [post-election] unrest claim that the detained girls have been sexually assaulted with such brutality that they have all sustained intense vaginal tearing. The young men in detention were also sexually assaulted in a manner that some are now suffering from depression and other physical and psychological problems and are incapable of even leaving their homes.”

"The people who informed me about these events hold sensitive positions in the country… these officials told me that the things that happened in the detention centers [are so deplorable] that even if one count is true, it would be a tragedy for the Islamic Republic… and it would whitewash the sins of many dictatorships including that of the deposed shah.”

One of our Persian readers explains why this letter is a "huge deal":

By publicly stating that he knows of many, many young girls and guys who have been brutally raped while in the infamous Kahrizak jail, Karroubi breaks a major taboo and brings shame on the whole system. He challenges the religious figures and any conservative Ayatollahs who are very sensitive to sexual crimes to indirectly hammer Khamenei. More importantly, by writing the letter to Rafsanjani and not the Supreme Leader, he is basically elevating Rafsanjani to a position higher than Khamenei. (After all, Rafsanjani is the head of a council that appoints and can potentially remove him.)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.