Another Iranian Political Prisoner Victim of Regime’s Inhumane Prison Conditions
Political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared’s health is deteriorating, according to reports from inside Iran’s Semnan prison. Prison officials are refusing to send Monfared to the hospital for medical treatment, as ordered by the regime’s intelligence ministry, in order to put more pressure on her. For the past 11 months, Monfared has been suffering from liver disease. The prison doctor advised her to eat only food designed for people with liver disease because of her condition. The regime’s officials, on the other hand, have prevented her from getting the food she needs.
As a result, she has spent the majority of her life eating bread and cheese. Her requests for food from the prison shop have been turned down, worsening her condition as her liver has become critically ill. Despite her family’s repeated requests, officials have refused to transfer her to the Evin prison. Monfared was deported to Semnan prison on March 10, 2021.
The regime’s judiciary has not responded to the follow-ups, and none of the judiciary’s institutions has taken responsibility for her expulsion or provided any reasonable explanation.
Mrs. Monfared is currently serving a 13-year sentence. She has been denied the bare minimum of prisoner rights, including those guaranteed by the regime’s law, on numerous occasions over the years. This is because the regime has repeatedly denied the existence of any political detainees, referring to them instead as security detainees.
Monfared was arrested for the first time on December 31, 2009, following the 2009 Tehran protests. This was due to her efforts to expose the regime’s crimes in the 1980 and 1988 massacres, as well as to seek justice for the regime’s political prisoners who were executed, all while supporting the people’s ongoing protests.
The regime accused her of communicating with members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and meeting with them at the time. At the time of her arrest, MEK members were stationed in Iraq’s Camp Ashraf.
Monfared was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, which was led by notorious judge Abolghasem Salavati, who was responsible for a number of death sentences.
Over the years, the regime has executed four of her siblings. In the 1980s, two of her brothers were executed at a young age on charges of MEK membership and ties. Another younger brother and sister were executed in the summer of 1988 as part of a massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. According to the regime’s judiciary, her younger brother’s crime was selling Mojahed publications. Monfared spent her childhood being forced to visit relatives in the regime’s prisons and cemeteries.
In October 2016, she took the bold step of filing an official complaint with the Prosecutor General of Tehran regarding the executions of her brother and sister. She had stated repeatedly that she would never give up her fight to hold this regime accountable for its crimes and human rights violations, as well as to seek justice for the political prisoners who had died.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of Iran’s National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has repeatedly stressed the importance of an international delegation visiting the clerical regime’s prisons and meeting with prisoners, particularly political prisoners. Mrs. Rajavi requested that the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women investigate Maryam Akbari’s and Golrokh Ebrahimi Eraei’s health.