A man claiming to be a former member of Iran's infamous Basij militia has spoken to Britain's Channel 4 about the violence in the aftermath of last June's presidential election, making some explosive claims about the Basij's role in the abuse that took place as well as the alleged rigging of the election.
The man's name is not given and his face is blurred out in the interview, which means no evidence is provided to verify his claim of being a defecting member of the militia.
As the interviewer, Lindsay Hilsum, wrote on her blog about this issue: "Maybe the most convincing authentification we have is that his story confirms the reports we've had from victims and human rights groups, who say rape has been used all over Iran in the brutal months since the June election. That and his desperation. Rarely have I interviewed someone so distressed."
A few of the key quotes from the purported former militia member:
In truth the orders didn't come after the election. The orders for all that you witnessed came before the election.
For us who were responsible for the ballot boxes the order was this: that Aqa's [Khamenei's] wish is for Ahmadinejad to win.
Any hint of protest was to be firmly supressed. If anything occured, to attack.
"They had some containers ready. They had arrested some youngsters and were asking them their age and were separating them accordingly.
Over 18s went into to one container and the under 18s into the several other containers. The number of children under the age of 18 was greater. They filled three or four containers of some 25 people in each.
I saw all this and passed them on my way into the main courtyard building to see my relative. I greeted him and other friends.
Then we heard noise from the yard. We thought it must be the youngsters making trouble. We went there and saw there was no-one, just the forces. The sound came from the containers.
The sound of screams and pleading and crying. We didn't understand what was going on.
They were pleading: 'We're sorry, please, we regret our actions'. Or screams, or crying. We were confused. I couldn't believe that they would want to do such a thing: to rape."