Prisoner writes to the UN Special Rapporteur

Prisoner writes to the UN Special Rapporteur

Published by on August 1, 2017

Khaled Hardani, a prisoner of conscience held in Rajai Shahr prison has written an open letter to Mrs Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of Human Rights in Iran, about increasing repression against prisoners and the Iranian people.

Khaled Hardani is serving a life sentence in prison since 2000. He has had eight surgeries in prison and doctors have repeatedly called for sending him to specialized hospitals but the prison authorities refuse to send him to specialized hospitals outside prison and deny him proper medical care. He is currently on hunger strike to protest the wretched situation of political prisoners.

In his letter to Mrs Jahangir, Khalid Hardani explained the shooting a young man, Asghar Nahvi, to death, by state agents and wrote: “Inhumane and cruel treatment on the streets in the name of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, and the evil and negative behaviour of agents of “fire at will” [referring to a recent fatwa by Iran’s Supreme Leader] towards young girls and boys with the pretext of mal-veiling or mischief, is an insult to the Iranian people’s intelligence, is an insult to the will of the younger generation who demand freedom.”

In his letter Khalid refers to various social ills in the society and writes: “Ever growing poverty and social discontent and … the collapse of the hegemony of the supreme leader (velayat-e-faqih) among the masses, mismanagement in the so-called government organs, and banks, largely affiliated with the security forces and the IRGC, looting people’s deposits, the protest movement of workers, teachers and the rest of deprived community throughout the country show the real causes of the criminal death of Asghar Nahvi in the capital of the Islamic Republic. The burning anger of the people from injustice and tyranny is imposed on them.”

Hardani added: “Straight shooting to the heart of Asghar Nahvi by mercenaries of “fire at will” is undoubtedly a shooting into the heart of the society protesting against the clerical regime that has shown to the world at full-length the ugly and inhumane display of executions, torture and imprisonment for over 38 years.”

At the end of his letter Khalid has said: “Evident injustice is in the behaviour of the judiciary under the Supreme Leader and continuation of executions, torture, imprisonment and kidnapping opponents and their families, journalists, human rights activists and religious and ethnic minorities. There are currently two Christians in this prison named Ibrahim Firouzi and Amin Afshar Nadery who are on hunger strike. Prior to them Rassoul Hardani and Ismail Abdi and Athena Daemi were on hunger strike. Added to this inhumanity is the widening gap between the layers of poor and rich (read agents of the regime) and the collapse of the main foundation of the society, i.e. the family, through drugs and poverty, among young people, and various classes of the society. Widespread unemployment and thousands of various other forms of sufferings has been inflicted on the people in the past 38 years.”

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Abolish death penalty

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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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