Ali Hematian or ‘Raouf’ is a cruel interrogator who has personally tortured Iranian political and civil rights activists on behalf of the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Department.

The Iranian regime has a notorious record in all human rights aspects. In Iran, authorities have established dozens of security bodies to spread suffocation in society. They have also promoted the intelligence organization to a ministry with a defined annual budget. However, the ayatollahs were not satisfied with a ministry and expanded the Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) activities to the intelligence field as well.

In this respect, they formed an intelligence department in the IRGC structure, led by Hossein Taeb. Taeb is in Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s inner circle. He has been involved in the regime’s 41 years of suppression and gross violations of human rights. His department consists of the most brutal interrogators and torturers who do whatever they can to extract what they want from inmates.

For many years, the elements of the regime’s intelligence apparatuses were considered shadowy individuals. However, today, thanks to social media and the free flow of information, these criminals can no longer commit their crimes with impunity. Recently, several released prisoners identified Ali Hematian, a cruel interrogator of the IRGC intelligence department, and shared their harrowing experience when this man tortured them.

According to these former prisoners’ accounts published in cyberspace, interrogator Hematian used different nicknames, mostly ‘Raouf,’ to conceal his real name. Due to his loyalty to Khamenei, he was permitted to sit in the first row during the Supreme Leader’s speech.

Eyewitnesses say that the IRGC intelligence department controls Detention Center No. 2 (A) in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. Authorities hold and torture many political and civil rights activists there. Raouf serves the regime in this center.

Ali Hematian (Raouf), the Main Interrogator at Detention Center No. 2 (A)

It seems that Detention Center No. 2 (A) is Raouf’s front bureau. However, he had tortured several prisoners or their family members in other places such as the IRGC offices across Tehran, according to released prisoners. Furthermore, Raouf has personally interrogated political and human rights activists Arash Sadeghi, Golrokh Iraei, Atena Daemi, and many others.

One former political prisoner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, shared his experience with the Human Rights News Agency. “During my interrogation, Raouf slapped me so hard that my nose bled twice after returning to my cell. Once, he hit me with his shoe’s heel, causing one of my bones to crack. Raouf had a leather belt and always started hitting me with it. Without reason and such mad people, he continued hitting me for ten minutes with his belt. Then he insulted me with obscene language,” the former prisoner narrated.

Ali Hematian (Raouf) Directs TV Programs of Forced Confessions

Another former prisoner, who was held in Evin Prison Detention Center No. 2 (A) for six months, revealed that Raouf played a pivotal role in forcing him to make televised confessions. “During my interrogation period, after several days of torture, insult, and humiliation, interrogators took me to a room for extracting forced confessions. Raouf was writing notes and giving them to the film crew. Raouf was the actual director for forced confessions’ projects in all steps while two teams from Ofogh TV Channel and News Program 20:30 from Channel Three of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Organization (IRIB) were filming,” the former prisoner added.

Criticism From Inside Iran’s Government Over Broadcasting of Forced Confessions

Harassment of Prisoners’ Families by Ali Hematian (Raouf)

Another human rights activist who served his sentence in Evin Prison says that he will never forget Raouf’s face. “Throughout my detention and interrogation period, he harassed my family. He had told my wife’s family, tell your daughter to divorce her husband. He was in the Revolutionary Court during all my court’s procedures. He had time and again threatened my friends and me with opening new cases against us. I still remember his ugly face. I still remember how he harassed my wife,” the activist said.

Meanwhile, a social media activist and former student activist confirmed the role of Raouf in his interrogation period. “They summoned activists in Sabounchi Street; Niayesh Highway, next to Ouj [filmmaking] institution [affiliated to the IRGC]; and a safe house in Afsariyeh Highway,” this activist posted on his page.

“Several of his victims are still in prison. I recently received his threats and registered a complaint against him in Sweden with his name, phone number, and photos. The outcome does not matter. The revelation of interrogators and those who have destroyed many lives is an obligation without gazing at the outcome,” he added.

Summary of Repression and Human Rights Violations in Iran – November 2020