MEK Iran: For Iranian Political Prisoners Silence Is Not Just Wrong, it is a Crime.
Iran’s prison and judicial system are fraught with injustice and cruelty. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), Sohail Arabi, an Iranian political prisoner, was arrested in 2013 by Revolutionary Guards and has now finished serving his original sentence. However, he, along with many other political prisoners, is being forced to remain in prison as the regime’s Judiciary extends his sentence.
Prolonging the prison sentences
After serving seven years in the heinous conditions of Iranian prisons, he is being falsely convicted under a generalized charge of “disturbing national security.” In a letter written from prison, Arabi exposed how the regime’s officials extrajudicially prolong the prison sentences of those who dare to reveal the ill-treatment prisoners are subjected to.
“It is astonishing that they [officials] plunder people’s belongings, destroy our country, and are ruthless, but gain more wealth and security daily. Instead, they call those protesting tyranny and corruption ‘security convicts’ and perform all types of tortures on them and kill them in prisons, like they killed Satar [Beheshti], Alireza [Shir Mohammad-Ali], and Vahid. Yet, nothing happens,” the letter read.
Silence is crime
Arabi affirmed his conviction to continue exposing the truth behind the Iranian prison system: “Silence is not just wrong now. It is a crime.”
The people of Iran have been speaking out against the regime’s human rights violations since the earliest days, with brave dissidents losing their lives for the cause. Their demands for regime-change were voiced by the 1,500 martyrs of the nationwide Iran protests in 2019. In the 1988 massacre, over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), were executed by the regime who feared the growing support for a free Iran. Ebrahim Raisi, known as the “hanging judge” was one of the main perpetrators of the massacre and is the current Judiciary Chief in Iran.
International community inactive
The international community has remained inactive and at times altogether silent over the human rights violations committed by the Iranian regime. The EU recently created a new global sanctions policy against human rights violators; however, they have yet to take any action to honor these principles.
It is certain that the regime will continue to commit human rights abuses in order to oppress the Iranian people and grow in power. Without firm action and accountability, the regime has been enabled to use extreme and deadly tactics without fear of the repercussions.
EU should use its new global sanctions
In the case of the recent hanging of Navid Afkari, Iran’s national wrestling champion who attended the 2018 protests for regime-change, the EU’s “condemnations”, “concerns” and “outcries” were not enough to stop the regime.
The EU should use its new global sanctions to impose sanctions on the Iranian regime’s officials in order to stop emboldening them to commit more crimes against humanity. The regime leaders consistently enjoy impunity due to decades of international inaction and the time has come for more than simply expressing concern.
Executions and human rights violations should not be allowed to become commonplace in an Iranian prison. The UN should listen to the outcries of prisoners, such as Arabi, and organize an independent fact-finding mission to investigate Iran’s prisons.