Posts Tagged ‘Political Prisoners’

Human Rights,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI,Political Prisoners

political prisoners in Iran

Regime Official Claims There Are No Political Prisoners in Iran

political prisoners in Iran

Some of the publicly known political prisoners, now serving in Iranian regime prisons.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for the regime’s judiciary, denied that Iran had any political prisoners in custody in a recent televised interview. This is despite the thousands of political protesters, journalists, religious minorities, and human rights activists who are currently imprisoned in Iran for their political or religious beliefs.

Esmaili’s denial followed a question concerning the recent stabbing death of a political prisoner in Tehran’s Fashafuyeh Prison at the hands of two violent criminals. Esmaili was asked why political prisoners are not separated from ordinary criminals. His response was that “we don’t have any political prisoners.”

“Those who sometimes claim (to be political prisoners) are those who have committed crimes against security,” Esmaili added.

The judiciary spokesman also mentioned MEK members who have been imprisoned for their resistance activities, saying that they were working against “the system and the revolution” and therefore did not qualify as political prisoners.

Human Rights Watch Report

According to a 2018 Human Rights Watch report on Iran, there are about one thousand political prisoners currently incarcerated in the country. The list of prisoners includes those affiliated with political groups, as well as journalists and religious minorities such as Bahais, Dervishes, and recent converts to Christianity. The correct number is of course much higher than this.

Regime Official Admit The Arrest of 4,600 Young Iranians During 2018 Nationwide Uprising

Recent Deaths of Political Prisoners

Two recent deaths have brought attention to the plight of political prisoners under the Iranian regime. Both occurred under suspicious circumstances.

Amnesty International recently reported the suspicious death of Benyamin Alboghbiesh. The 28-year old Ahwazi Arab was arrested in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran, on May 26th. On June 26th, his family was informed by a man they believe to be affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards that he had died in detention. Authorities have still not returned his body for burial.

“Benyamin Alboghbiesh was a healthy young adult when he was arrested. His alarming death just over a month later raises serious concerns about his treatment and conditions of detention, including the possible use of torture. The Iranian authorities must immediately order an effective and impartial investigation into his death, including an independent autopsy,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

Prior to this, another political prisoner died under suspicious circumstances in Fashafuyeh Prison.

21-year-old Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was stabbed to death in his cell by two prisoners on June 10th. His cellmate wrote a letter saying that he believed that Shir Mohammad Ali was killed on the orders of prison guards in exchange for privileges. The MEK covered this story and provided details of the letter from Shir Mohammad Ali’s cellmate last month.

The Iranian regime has used violent criminals to murder political prisoners in the past.

Shir Mohammad Ali was imprisoned for blasphemy,” “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic,” “insulting the leader,” and “spreading propaganda” against the regime.” These are all considered security violations, which the regime does not consider political crimes. These charges are typical of those faced by other political prisoners in Iran.

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MEK supporters rally in Canada

MEK Releases List of Political Prisoners in Regime Custody and Calls on UN to Investigate

MEK supporters rally in Canada

Supporters of MEK stage a rally in Ottawa Canada, asking for the human rights organizations to intervene and put pressure on the Iranian dictatorship to free all political prisoners.

On Friday, April 19, Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Minister for Intelligence, boasted of the Iranian regime’s progress in quashing dissent and silencing the Iranian opposition. He claimed that the regime’s intelligence agency (MOIS) and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) had “dealt with” 116 resistance cells belonging to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

In a statement, the MEK responded by asserting that the regime has arrested many more MEK members than the regime has claimed. It called on the regime to publish the names of all those arrested last year. The MEK published the names of 28 members currently in regime custody. It also called on the international community to take steps to secure their release.

The Iranian opposition’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi called on the UN to establish an international delegation that could enter Iran and visit the 28 named prisoners. From there, they could work to secure the prisoners’ release.

2018 Was a Year of Protests

2018 was a landmark year for the Iranian opposition and the MEK. It began with a nationwide uprising, in which public protests spread to all 31 of Iran’s provinces and every major town and city.

Protestors were demonstrating against the Iranian regime’s economic mismanagement and corruption. They chanted slogans like “down  with the dictator”, “Down with the Supreme Leader” and “Khamenei, shame on you!”

The regime arrested thousands in the wake of the protests. At least 14 protestors died in regime custody after being subjected to torture and inhumane conditions.

The Names of the Brave Iranian Political Prisoners

These are the names of the brave protestors currently languishing in regime custody.

  1. Farshad Etemadifar, 24, Gachsaran, June 2018
  2. Omid Javid Nasab, 20, Gachsaran, June 2018
  3. Farshad, 21, Gachsaran, June 2018
  4. Farshid Baharan, 21, Yasouj, Khordad 2018
  5. Mehrzad Baharan, 27, Yasouj, June 2018
  6. Amir Ramin Fard, 38, Tabriz, June 2018
  7. Shahyad Ghanavati, 32, Ahvaz, September 2018
  8. Afshin Barzegar Jamshidi, 29, September 2018
  9. Majid Mahmoudian, 37, Tabriz, September 2018
  10. Mohammad Reza Hasan Maleki, 33, Semnan, October 2018
  11. Zarir Hadipour, 56, Kohdasht, October 2018
  12. Farhang Khorshidi, 41, Kohdasht, October 2018
  13. Alireza Barzegar, 40, Karaj, October 2018
  14. Pouriya Vahidian, Tehran, November 2018
  15. Manoochehr Farhadi, 50, Isfahan, February 2019
  16. Seyyed Mehdi Vafaie, 35, Tehran, February 2019
  17. Hossein Noori Derakhshan, 36, Tehran, February 2019
  18. Hamid Kashani, Ghaemshahr, February 2019
  19. Vahid Bani Ameriyan, 26, Tehran, March 2019
  20. Pooya Ghobadi, 26, Tehran, March 2019
  21. Sina Zahiri, 36, Tehran, March 2019
  22. Mohsen Farid, 44, Tehran, March 2019
  23. And 24. Parsa Sedighi Hamedani, 22, with her sister, Urmia, March 2019

25. Ebrahim Khalil Sedighi Hamedani, Urmia, 60, March 2019

26. Afshin Shahsavari, 27, Tehran, March 2019

27.Abbas Shahbazi, 41, Ahvaz, March 2019

28. Najah Anvar Hamidi, 60, Ahvaz, March 2019

 

Staff writer

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Gohardasht,Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Haft-Tappeh,Iran,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Political Prisoners

Political Prisoner's letter of support to the Iran protesters in Ahvaz and Shush

Political Prisoners Write Letter of Support for Striking Workers in Ahvez and Shush

Political Prisoner's letter of support to the Iran protesters in Ahvaz and Shush

The political prisoners held in Gohardasht prison, write an open letter in support of the protests in Ahvaz and Shush (SouthWest Iran)

On Wednesday, the workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugar Factory entered the 17th consecutive day of strikes, and the Ahvez Steel Factory workers entered their 12th consecutive day of strikes. The striking workers have drawn widespread domestic and international support as the protests have gained momentum.

In a show of support, political prisoners in Gohardasht prison wrote an open letter declaring their solidarity with the striking workers who are protesting for their rights.

The prisoners wrote: “The glorious resistance and persistence of the hardworking workers of Haft Tapeh sugar mill and Ahvaz steel factory is the echo of enraged shouts of the workers and oppressed people who are fed up from the plundering and tyranny of a regime that is engulfed in corruption and thievery.”

The Haft Tapeh factory workers and Ahvez steel workers are both striking in protest of unpaid wages and poor working conditions. Unfortunately, this situation is not unique. Similar protests are taking place across Iran and have been for months. The MEK and its resistance units are working to organize and lead workers’ protests across all trades and professions.

Haft Tapeh is the largest sugar cane factory in Iran. Thousands of workers depend on the factory as their main source of income. In 2015, the factory was privatized in a controversial deal, and now the company is close to bankruptcy. Many workers have not been paid in months, and the new owners are discussing plans to reduce the workforce. Factory workers blame the problems at Haft Tappeh on local national government officials’ misman and dishonesty.

The political prisoners continued in their letter: “The people [of Iran] who have been witness to the plundering of their possessions and labor on a daily basis, and whose wealth and assets are being spent on warmongering and suppressing their protests are now fully aware of who the real enemy is.”

The Iranian regime has attempted to blame the economic crisis facing the country on U.S. sanctions. The nationwide uprisings began last December, though, long before U.S. sanctions were re-imposed, and protesters have been clear from the beginning that Iran’s problems lie with the ruling regime and its warmongering and corruption. The anti-regime protests have repeatedly called attention to the billions of dollars spent on wars in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Meanwhile, the Iranian people carry banners at home proclaiming, “Workers of Haft Tappeh are hungry!”

The letter concluded with a call for other communities in Iran to join the striking workers. The prisoners wrote: “While stressing our support for the noble workers of Haft Tapeh and Ahvaz Steel, we the political prisoners of Gohardasht hail their commitment and call on all other suppressed communities to unite with them. We believe that the only solution against the tyranny is uprisings and protests. The national unity of all walks of life and suppressed communities will eventually defeat the tyrants.”

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Repression in Iran against Iran Protesters

Iran Human Rights Monitor Reveals the Horrifying Extent of the Mullahs’ Human Rights Abuses

Repression in Iran against Iran Protesters

Photo credit to Iran-HRM.com: Iranian regime’s security forces arrest a young protester.

The Iran Human Rights Monitor has released a report on the widespread torture and cruel treatment of those in custody in Iran for political reasons. The organization compiled reports from prisoners and their families, painting a picture of rampant human rights abuses and ill-treatment.

Arbitrary Arrests

The clerical regime rounds up and detains members of the political opposition before protests begin. The regime targets known political opponents and arrests them ahead of protests in an attempt to limit the public turnout.

Iran Human Rights Monitor reported members of the political opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), were being arrested in Yazd, Bushehr, and Gonaveh.

Those arrested were taken to premises used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) and aggressively interrogated. The regime pressured the prisoners to make a false confession to a fabricated claim. They then told the prisoners the only way they could ensure their release was by making a public statement against the MEK.

Identifying Political Opponents

The regime has adopted a number of measures to identify its political opponents. The mullahs use plainclothes agents to identify leaders at protests.

Once identified, the agents follow the protestors to a secluded area, then attack them with tasers and abduct them using a motorcycle or vehicle.

In other instances, plainclothes agents recorded the protests and used the footage to later identify ringleaders. In some cases, there have been reports of government agents using the footage from public security cameras to identify members of the Iranian resistance.

One protester recounts, “they attacked and detained me and took me for interrogation. They showed me various videos which indicated that I had participated in the demonstrations. The videos were recorded via security cameras in the square.”

A Violent Regime

The reports documented in Iran Human Rights Monitor consistently describe beatings and mistreatment by regime agents.

One prisoner in Arak remembers how plainclothes agents bundled him into the trunk of a car and took him to a deserted area. Once away from the city, the agents beat him with PVC pipes. The beatings and interrogations lasted nine days.

Another protester, who was held in Shahin Shahr Prison during the December and January uprisings, remembers prisoners being “beaten constantly with batons and sticks”. “They made a human tunnel through which the detainees had to pass. The agents on either side of the tunnel beat the detainees with batons and shoved them to each other”, he said.

Another prisoner recalled being flogged and beaten so badly, he passed out a number of times. In Isfahan’s Dastgerd Prison, one 20-year-old prisoner was beaten so extensively he began having seizures. An eyewitness described how agents ignored the young man and accused him of faking it.

Many of the beatings took place against prisoners without a formal charge.

Iran Human Rights Monitor has sufficient evidence to conclude that many of the political prisoners were taken to Rajaie Shahr Prison’s Section 8. The Ministry of Intelligence runs Section 8. Its staff do not answer to the Iranian Prison Organisation, only to the clerical regime.

In Evin Prison, reports emerged of detainees being subject to electric shocks. Many were also flogged and hung by their hands. The constant threat of execution was also a recurring theme.

One prisoner remembers how agents repeatedly told him “we’re taking you for execution”. Others were urinated on, threatened with rape, or had their beards cut as a gesture of humiliation.

A male prisoner was told that if he did not reveal who he was in communication with and where he was sending videos of the protests, his detainer would “have 20 people rape him and take pictures of it”.

A female prisoner held in Section 209 told Iran Human Rights Monitor that her detainer told her, “I will burn you with an iron and pull out your nails. I will beat your children in front of you and then kill you.”

Section 209

A large number of those arrested during the December 2017 and January 2018 protests ended up in Section 209. Here they lived under the constant belief that they were to be hanged. Even those who had no criminal charges and had not confessed to any wrongdoing were held here.

Those that were not taken here, were often moved around. Some prisoners recall being moved every two to three days.

The United Nations Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council cannot allow Hassan Rouhani’s regime to get away with these atrocities. The Iranian people need the help of the international community.

Edmund Burke once said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. The UN Security Council cannot afford to do anything. If it does, the mullahs have won and evil has triumphed.

Staff Writer

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