The Iranian Resistance calls for urgent action to save the lives of political prisoners in Iran, and dispatch of an international fact-finding mission to visit prisons in Iran and meet with political prisoners, particularly the women political prisoners
Lives of women political prisoners in danger in Iranian prisons
August saw the Iranian regime’s ramping up of pressure and increasing threats posed to political prisoners, including women political prisoners, in prisons across the country. There was a wave of issuing heavy verdicts for participants in anti-government protests and for protesters against the mandatory Hijab. The regime’s Judiciary also widely summoned and arrested civil activists and even charity workers.
By issuing death sentences and long prison terms for Iran protesters and by trying to take revenge from their families and survivors, the clerical regime attempted to terrorize the people of Iran and fend off the eruption of protests.
To this end, the regime has been trying end the lives of political prisoners in detention by hiring dangerous criminals and by depriving them of medical treatment. In this way, the regime thinks that it could evade accountability for executing them. In this way, the lives of women political prisoners are in danger.
In addition, the clerical regime continued to execute Iranian citizens, including two women who were hanged in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city. The executed women had spent long years of their lives in prison and on the death row.
Executions of two women in the Central Prison of Mashhad
A 32-year-old woman by the name of Mehri was hanged at dawn on August 2, 2020, in the Central Prison of Mashhad, after serving six years in prison on the death row.
More than two weeks later, Fereshteh Heydari Ebrahimpour, who had served 11 years on the death row, was hanged in this prison on August 18.
The two executions brought to 107, the total number of women executed during the tenure of the mullahs’ president, Hassan Rouhani.
Lives of political prisoners in danger in Qarchak Prison
There were a number of reports during the month of August revealing the clerical regime’s conspiracies to murder political prisoners detained in the all-women Qarchak Prison of Varamin.
Zahra Safaei and her daughter, Parastoo Mo’ini, along with another political prisoner, Forough Taghipour, have been targeted by dangerous criminals hired by the Intelligence Ministry and the warden of Qarchak Prison. The hired inmates are supposed to incite fights and murder the prisoners.
A reliable report on August 31, 2020, indicated that Mehdi Mohammadi, the warden of Qarchak Prison, and his deputy, a woman by the name of Mirzaii, have hired dangerous common criminals to incite fights and attack political prisoners Zahra Safaei, Parastoo Mo’ini, and Forough Taghipour, and brutalize or kill them during the fight.
The two inmates who attacked Ms. Safaei are dangerous criminals accused of robbery and drug trafficking. They are Zeinab Ghanbarnejad, 44 from Tehran, and Nargess Amir Ali, 42 from Tehran. They were sent to the room where these political prisoners are detained on August 26, 2020.
The next day on August 27, 2020, they attacked Zahra Safaei and hit her in the head and face, and only stopped when other prisoners mediated and stopped them.
Zahra Safaei has complained to the authorities of Qarchak Prison, saying: “We do not have any security here. We do not feel secure at nights in the room and not even when we intend to go to the bathrooms complex.”
Zahra Safaei was threatened on June 3, 2020 by several inmates hired by the Ministry of Intelligence. They threatened to attack and kill Ms. Safaei.
Killing political prisoners at the hands of dangerous criminals is a known method of the clerical regime. After sending the two dangerous criminals into their room, the lives of women political prisoners Zahra Safaei, Parastoo Mo’ini and Forough Taghipour are in danger.
Intolerable pressures on women political prisoners in Evin Prison
The lives of women political prisoners are also in danger in Evin Prison.
Political prisoner Fatemeh Mosanna lost her consciousness on August 19, in the women’s ward of Evin. She was transferred out to Tehran’s Taleghani Hospital where her limbs were cuffed to the bed throughout her stay. She was deprived of visiting her relatives while in hospital.
Fatemeh Mosanna is suspected of having contracted the coronavirus. She was transferred back to Evin Prison on August 26, 2020, on the orders of Amin Vaziri, the Prosecutor’s special assistant for political prisoners’ affairs, despite disagreement of her doctor. He opposed her return because her test results were not ready yet and her treatment was incomplete.
Ms. Mosanna is presently being detained in the quarantine cell despite her critical health condition. She is suffering from GI problems including diarrhea and vomiting, and she cannot eat anything.
Fatemeh Mosanna is sentenced to 15 years in prison because she held a memorial ceremony for deceased her father-in-law who was a member of the opposition PMOI/MEK.
Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh started an unlimited hunger strike on August 11, 2020 in Evin Prison. She is dire health conditions and has lost 7 kilograms of weight. Her hunger strike is in protest to the authorities refusing to respond to the demands of political prisoners and their requests to go on leave during the pandemic.
On August 17, agents of the intelligent services broke into the residence of Nasrin Sotoudeh and apprehended her daughter, Mehraveh Khandan. She was detained for several hours in at the Intelligence Courthouse of Evin. In reaction to this inhuman measure on the part of the clerical regime, Nasrin Sotoudeh announced that she would not meet her family anymore to avoid their being harassed by prison authorities.
Retired teacher, Nahid Fat’halian, remains in undetermined status in Evin Prison four months since her arrest on April 14, 2020. She was an activist teacher who actively assisted flood victims by taking them aid packages in spring 2019.
Fabricating new cases to extend prison sentences
Resistant political prisoners Maryam Akbari Monfared and Atena Daemi have been targeted by the IRGC Intelligence that has fabricated new cases against them.
Their court convened on August 31. The charge brought against the two political prisoners is “disruption of order in prison” through chanting slogans against the regime.
Maryam Akbari Monfared is sentenced to 15 years in prison for contacting her siblings who are members of the opposition PMOI/MEK. She has served 11 years of her sentences without being granted a single day of leave.
Atena Daemi, a children’s rights activist, was about to complete serving her sentence, when she was sentenced to another 3 years and 7 months after a new case fabricated against her. This is the third case being filed against her with complicity of the Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) and the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The regime’s Judiciary fabricates cases against resistant political prisoners as a systematic practice to extend their prison terms and increase pressure on them.
Political prisoners elsewhere
Political prisoner Massoumeh Senobari was sentenced to one year for “propaganda against the state,” 5 years for “membership in the People’s Mojahedin,” and 2 years for “insulting Khamenei,” a total of eight years in prison.
Ms. Senobari was born in 1988. She has one child and lives in Tabriz, capital of East Azerbaijan Province in northwestern Iran. She is presently detained in the women’s ward of the Prison of Tabriz.
After 2 months of no outside contact, Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian was finally able to get in touch with family members via phone call. She informed her family that she had been in solitary confinement in Kerman Prison.
She was infected with the coronavirus while in detention in Qarchak Prison. She is in critical health conditions in light of her suffering from Asthma. Ms. Jalalian went on hunger strike to protest her sudden transfer to Qarchak Prison and then to Kerman, while she is suffering from various illnesses.
Iran protester, Fatemeh Davand, was transferred to the Central prison of Urmia on August 6, 2020, to start serving her jail sentence for taking part in the protests in Boukan, one of the cities of the Iranian Kurdistan, in November 2019.
She is sentenced to five years and five months in jail and 30 lashes for participating in the November 2019 protests against the tripling of the price of petrol.
Heavy sentences for civil activists, protesters against mandatory Hijab
The clerical regime also tried to bring further pressure on female civil activists and opponents of the mandatory Hijab by issuing them heavy jail sentences, cash fines and depriving them from political and civil activities.
Continued arbitrary arrests and infection of prisoners with covid-19
The clerical regime continued to arrest female civil activists and human rights defenders in August. The growing number of arbitrary arrests are taking place despite the spread of the coronavirus in all prisons.
Amnesty International published documents on July 31, 2020, revealing the correspondence between the National Prisons Organization and Health Ministry Officials. According to these documents, the clerical regime had not sent medical equipment to prisons across the country to help them curb and contain the disease.
Political prisoner and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi also announced that she and 11 of her inmates in the Central Prison of Zanjan had contracted the virus.
Taking revenge of the families of protesters, mothers of political prisoners
By issuing death and heavy prison sentences for youths, the mullahs’ regime has inflicted endless suffering on their mothers and families. In some cases, however, the regime is seeking to take revenge from the mothers, wives, and families of political prisoners.
Farangis Mazloum spent time in solitary confinement and under torture for defending her son, political prisoners Soheil Arabi.
The Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced her to six years in prison on August 25, 2020. Her next trial is going to be on September 28, 2020.
According to this misogynistic and inhuman ruling, if the widow of executed Iran protester, now a single woman head of household, fails to pay the heavy compensation, her house and only shelter for her two orphaned children – Nazanin, 4, and Amir Hossein, 6—will be impounded. They will also confiscate the garden belonging to the family of Mostafa Salehi.
Mrs. Afkari (Bahieh Namjou), mother of three young Iran protesters, has gone public to save the lives of her sons, after the Iranian Judiciary handed down unfair sentences for them for participating in public protests in 2018 in Kazerun and Shiraz.
Two of her sons, Navid and Vahid, were arrested in August 2018, and after a while, her husband and son-in-law were apprehended. Three months later, her third son, Habib, was also arrested.
Navid Afkari, 27 and a wrestling champion, has been sentenced to double executions and 6.4 years in prison and 74 lashes.
His brother, Vahid Afkari, 35, has been sentenced to 54.5 years in prison and 74 lashes.
Habib Afkari, 29, has been sentenced to 27 years and three months in prison and 74 lashes.
The three brothers have been in jail since 2018 and all three have been viciously tortured.
Fatemeh Vakili, mother of political prisoner Majid Assadi, in an interview on July 30 said the Judiciary had sent them a letter informing them that Majid would be released on July 20 after serving 3.5 years of his sentence. “But the Ministry of Intelligence opened a fabricated new case for him” and he was transferred from Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison in Karaj, to ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran.
Mrs. Vakili urged all international human rights authorities and organizations to take urgent action to secure the immediate and unconditional release of her son.
Sharareh Sadeghi posted a video clip on the internet, urging the people of Iran and international human rights defenders and organizations to take action to save the life of her husband.
Call to save the lives of women political prisoners
The Iranian Resistance urges the UN Security Council, UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Council, and the European Union to take urgent action to save the lives of political prisoners in Iran.
In such circumstances, it is imperative to launch an international fact-finding mission to visit Iranian regime’s prisons and prisoners and meet with political prisoners, particularly the women political prisoners.
Silence and inaction towards torture and the crimes against humanity committed by the mullahs’ regime is tantamount to the trampling of the very values that tens of millions of people sacrificed their lives to uphold.