White Torture: The Infamy of Solitary Confinement in Iran with Narges Mohammadi


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September 29, 2021

Narges Mohammadi in conversation with Darius Rejali and Abbas Milani.

Narges Mohammadi is Deputy Director of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC). She was elected as President of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Peace in Iran, a broad coalition against war and for the promotion of human rights. She has campaigned for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran and was awarded the Per Anger Prize by the Swedish government for her human rights work in 2011. In a two volume study, called White Torture, she underscores how solitary confinement is indeed an insidious form of torture. She has interviewed many of Iran’s dissidents who have been subjected to solitary confinement. Based on these conversations, she has also produced a documentary.

Darius Rejali, professor of political science at Reed College, is an internationally recognized expert on government torture and interrogation. Iranian-born, Rejali has spent his career reflecting on violence, specifically, on the causes, consequences, and meaning of modern torture in our world. His award-winning work spans concerns in political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, and critical social theory. He is the author of "Torture and Democracy" (2007), "Torture and Modernity: Self, Society, and State in Modern Iran" (1994), and many related articles. He consults as an expert for international scholarly projects on torture prevention, serves as an adviser to nongovernmental organizations that work on torture-related issues, and has submitted expert testimony for Guantanamo (Al Ginco v. Obama) and Abu Ghraib related cases (Al Shimari v. CACI International). He has been interviewed widely, from Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! to David Frost on Al Jazeera, from the BBC to the Washington Post.

Abbas Milani is the Director of the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies at Stanford University and a research fellow at The Hoover Institution. He taught at Tehran University, Faculty of Law and Political Science until 1986. He has written and translated many books and articles. Most recently, he edited and wrote the introduction for "A Window into Modern Iran: The Ardeshir Zahedi Papers at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives," and "Saadi and Humanism" with Maryam Mirzadeh.

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