Daughter worried of his father’s whereabouts writes to UN Rapporteur

Daughter worried of his father’s whereabouts writes to UN Rapporteur

Published by on May 4, 2017

Prisoner of conscience, Mohammad-Ali Mansouri, has been transferred to an unknown location by Gohardasht prison guards on 23 April. His family have no news of him ever since.

Masoumeh Mansouri, Mohammad-Ali’s daughter, has written a letter to Ms Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, calling for urgent action to find him.

The text of the letter follows:

Dear Ms Asma Jahangir,

My father, Mohammad-Ali Mansouri, has been a prisoner of conscience since 2007.

According to my father’s ward mates, prison guards have forcefully transferred him to the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran on April 23, a transfer ordered by branch 33 of Evin Court.

This is not the first time that the judiciary tries to open new cases against my father so as to make his prison term longer than what it should be.

My father and three of his ward mates were held in Evin Prison’s ward 209 in June 2011 for three months. The section is quite notorious for its terrible conditions. My father lost about 10 kilos while he was there, being interrogated and put under physical and psychological pressures.

I believe the transfer has been planned by the Iranian regime for further torturing my father, which has made me quite concerned. Although my father’s charges have not yet been announced, but he was last charged with ‘act against national security’.

The question is, how is it possible for someone who has been held in prison for ten years without the possibility of being in touch with the outside world, is regarded as a threat and danger to national security? Moreover, the notable point is that a crime committed inside prison should be punished with solitary confinement in that same prison. Not true for prisoners of conscience, though, as their crimes are defined by arbitrary interpretation of law, which may vary based on different occasions. Actually, I’m quite suspicious that my father’s transfer to Evin Prison is somehow related to the upcoming presidential election in June. I’m too concerned about my father’s health.

The Iranian regime has a terrible history of inhumane behaviour with prisoners of conscience. Thousands of prisoners were executed within two months in 1988 by Khomeini’s order, while they were still serving their terms.

Those responsible for the massacre are quite well-known and still holding positions in current government, an instance of whom is Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who’s currently the Justice Minister. There are many more cases of executing prisoners of conscience, carried out after the 1988 massacre, with none of those responsible being brought to justice.

My father has been denied the right to meet with his family from the time he has been transferred and we are quite unaware of his physical or psychological status. From previous experiences, I am afraid he might not be able to pull through this time.

My father was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in jail and exile in 2007 on charges of ‘participating in a ceremony held to commemorate victims of 1988 massacre’, ‘backing PMOI’, and ‘propaganda against the regime and acting against national security’.

My request from the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran is to act urgently to press the Iranian regime for giving information on my father’s status in prison and the reason for his transfer.”

With respect

Masoumeh Mansouri

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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