Prisoner of conscience on dry hunger strike writes his will

Prisoner of conscience on dry hunger strike writes his will

Published by on September 30, 2017

Prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi turned to a dry hunger strike on 23 September after a month on hunger strike in detention in Evin Prison. On Friday 29 September his frail voice reading his will was put on social media. Here is the text of his will translated from Farsi:

Farewell life!

My dear Nastaran, believe me, I did whatever was needed to return and rebuild our lives anew, but …

Tell Rojana that her father was imprisoned for the crime of thinking and enlightenment.

I love you, and now that I write this testament I have no wealth to leave for you, and for this, I am ashamed. Forgive me for leaving you. I have been jailed for 1388 days; especially the last 8 days were very difficult. I spent unbearable nights until the mornings with the hope that the conscience of the judges and interrogators would be awakened. If it had, I would have been freed and real criminals would be jailed and we would be allowed to live together again so that I could tell tails to Rojana and hug you. I cannot tolerate this much oppression and injustice anymore. I am tired of fighting and crying alone. There is no one to help me to be a loud voice over the heads of the oppressors. A Soheil who is caged and unable to do anything is no different from a dead.

I am gone but I have no doubt that one day we will be free from the evil of the oppressors; you will read my case and believe that I did not deserve to be in jail for even one day.

The day will come when the corrupt judges and interrogators will be tried and our country will not be ruled by hypocrites with [prayer] marked forehead.

Now to the officials: I am one step from death with sugar level 50, blood pressure 5 over 6, weight 66 kilos, with bleeding stomach and …. You did not pay attention to my lawful demands. At least do my last wish after death. Bury me in room one in cell 350 of Evin prison. Very soon this place will become a museum and Rojana will remember us with pride.

To those who I love and they love me, do not cry on my anniversary, listen to La vie en rose by Edith Piaf to remember me.
Never allow another person to be tortured for having a different belief.

The 32-year-old photographer, Soheil Arabi, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in 2013 for publishing his views on Facebook. On 24 August 2017 he sent an open letter from prison announcing that he had started a hunger strike in protest to “charges brought against his family members” by agents of the regime. On 23 September he decided to go on dry hunger strike and in his letter announcing this he said:

I cannot be silent when I see people enduring torture without ever committing a crime. Here is Evin Prison where freethinkers are being punished. Do not tell me to keep silent because remaining silent is the worst betrayal. I am not crying out to save my own life, I want you to hear the voice of our innocence. I want to convey the voice of all jailed freethinkers such as Manuchehr Mohammadali, Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi, Ali Shariati, Yousef Emadi, Arash Sadeghi, Savada Aghasar and my other friends in Ward 7 whose crimes are knowing and expressing the truth. We were tried by judges who are the most corrupt human beings of our time. This is the third year that my daughter is going to school and I am not with her. I have gone on a dry hunger strike because I do not want her to see me in jail anymore”.

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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.

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