[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Gooya News

[Date:] 22 Shahrivar 1392 [13 September 2013]

 

42 Political Prisoners in Rajaei-Shahr Prison Request the Head of the Judiciary to Release 16 Sick Prisoners

In a letter to the head of the Judiciary, more than forty political prisoners and prisoners of conscience at Rajaei-Shahr Prison in Karaj, submitting a description of the [16] sick prisoners, demanded their immediate release.

According to Kalameh, in this letter, which was signed by 42 political prisoners at Rajaei-Shahr Prison, a copy of which was sent to the ministers of intelligence, justice and commissions of the Majlis[1], in mentioning the names and illnesses of these 60+-year-old prisoners it says:

“The release of these individuals in the current situation, in addition to healing the pain of past lawlessness, would be considered a humanitarian act and could be useful for a process of reduction of the current crisis and moving towards a policy of prudence and hope.”

The political prisoners warned in their letter, “We, the signatories of this letter, as co-prisoners of these individuals, strongly warn the judicial officials and the public opinion of Iran and the world, that the continuation of the current situation and the imposition of imprisonment on these people could cause irreparable damage to their health and even their lives. From now on, one can predict the occurrence of future bitter tragedies and the increase in the number of victims.

“Your Excellency, therefore, is expected, as the highest judicial official in the country and the person who is considered by the constitution to be primarily responsible for maintaining the security of the citizens and individuals of the Iranian nation, with a precautionary observation and with a justice-seeking vision, combined with human compassion, justice and kindness, to agree and declare the steps for the immediate release of the sick prisoners whose lives are threatened.

Last year, in less than a week, seven prisoners lost their lives in Rajaei-Shahr Prison in Karaj. Three of the seven died of stroke, and one of them was a political prisoner. Beating of political prisoners and use of foul language is common in Rajaei-Shahr Prison, and prison guards and officials harass prisoners, especially political prisoners, under any pretext.

The full text of the letter of political, ideological and security prisoners of Rajaei-Shahr prison to the head of the judiciary is as follows:

 

In the Name of God

9 Shahrivar 1392 [31 August 2013]

“Indeed, Allah commands justice, grace…”[2]

Dear Ayatollah Amoli Larijani

The Honourable Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran

With greetings,

To speak of justice based on the rule of law and combined with the fundamental rights of the nation; the need for justice and the denial of any oppression and domination; and the establishment of justice and fairness in the thousand-year-old culture and civilization of Iran; is not a strange phenomenon that demands much explanation. Both before and since the beginning of Islam, justice has always been the distinguishing feature and the main indicator for assessing the desirability and legitimacy of governments and the performance of rulers in Iran. Today, all over the world, Iranians are proud of the Charter of Cyrus the Great and cherish it as a symbol and role model for the realization of the natural rights of human beings.

The religion of Islam and its humanitarian example―the Holy Prophet (PBUH)―which according to Holy Quran, is called the Mercy of the World, always relies on freedom of thought and justice along with morality and philanthropy. Therefore, we can observe the necessity of an intertwined plan of justice and benevolence in the above-mentioned verse and analyze the behaviour of the Prophet of Islam and the release of old, sick and wounded prisoners [who participated] in ghazawat[3] and [other] battles.

Therefore, it seems that expecting the government—which claims to be Islamic—to follow the examples of the behaviour of the Prophet (PBUH), should not constitute an unreasonable expectation. The movement for the liberation of the Iranian people since the Constitutional [revolution] to the present day, has been based on demands for justice and material and spiritual human needs, and therefore, the sovereignty of the nation (democracy) has always been proposed in our contemporary history along with the rights of the nation (human rights).

Article 156 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran envisages the handling of lawsuits, the restoration of public rights, the promotion of justice and legitimate freedoms, and supervising the proper enforcement of laws to be among the duties of the judiciary, which should be independent and support the individual and social rights of the nations and be responsible for achieving justice.

In the meantime, the right to life, and especially the right to physical life and the physical and mental security of Iranian citizens, is a fundamental duty and responsibility of the Islamic Republic, which is emphasized in accordance with Article 22 of the Constitution. Protecting the security and lives of the prisoners, especially political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, who, according to jurists, are referred to as offenders sentenced for their good faith crimes, is a double priority. The physical and mental strength of convicts around the world, including the Iranian penal system, is one of the indicators that should be considered in accordance with the law and valid criminal rules in the execution of criminal sentences. In the past, and even some time after the revolution, according to the former laws, the age limit for serving a sentence was announced to be 60 years.

Your Honour, Ayatollah Larijani,

The majority of those sentenced on political and ideological charges in Iran are currently being held in security prisons and have been sentenced to long prison terms in the absence of a fair trial and without the possibility of defence, in courts without legal competence, and in the absence of impartial judges and investigators. Of course, this issue has been raised many times and has never received an appropriate response. Therefore, regardless of the procedural errors and substantive objections contained in the rulings, we would like to point out that in recent years, among the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, there have been many who have paid the price of the neglect of the judicial and security officials and staff of the prison’s organization in complying with judicial requirements and standards with their lives, for the execution of their sentences. The culmination of this tragedy was seen in the tragic and suspicious deaths of Hoda Saber in Evin and Afshin Osanlou in Rajaei-Shahr. In Rajaei-Shahr Prison in the last two-and-a-half years alone, five people have died as a result of physical and psychological pressures, and shortages due to the negligence and lawlessness by the judicial and security officials. At the present time, there are people in the ideological and political ward of Rajaei-Shahr Prison who are in danger of death due to old age and acute illnesses.

We, the signatories of this letter, as co-prisoners of these people, strongly warn the judicial officials and the Iranian public and the world that the continuation of the current situation and the imposition of imprisonment on these people can cause irreparable damage to their health and even their lives, and from now on, the occurrence of future unpleasant tragedies and the increase in the number of victims can be predicted.

Your Excellency is therefore expected, as the highest judicial official of the country and the person who is considered by the Constitution as the main one responsible for maintaining the security of the citizens and individuals of the Iranian nation, with a precautionary view and with a justice-seeking vision, combined with human compassion, justice and benevolence, to declare your agreement with the immediate release of sick prisoners who are at risk of death.

It is obvious that the complete list of the sick political prisoners and prisoners of conscience that are over 50 years old in this ward, is not limited to the announced names, and the following names are organized based on the two criteria of old age (over 60 years) and disease.

In conclusion, we announce that the release of these people in the current situation, in addition to healing the pain caused by the lawlessness of the past, would be considered a humanitarian action and could also be useful in the process of reducing the current crisis and moving towards a policy of prudence and hope.

The names of the prisoners with old age and acute illness in the political and ideological ward of Rajaei-Shahr Prison, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

 

1-Surname: Badavam; Name: Mahmoud; Age: 60; Sentence: 4 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 28 months; Kind of illness: Kidney cysts, muscle pain and frozen shoulder

2-Surname: Banazadeh Amirkhizi; Name: Mahammad; Age: 68; Sentence: 5 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 4 years; Kind of illness: history of surgery, severe orthopaedic pains – forensic medicine staff has considered the inability to tolerate the punishment.

3-Surname: Haeri; Name: Mashaollah; Age:61; Sentence: 15 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now:5 years; Kind of illness: History of heart surgery and cerebral hemorrhage

4 -Surname: Sobhani; Name: Riazollah; Age:68; Sentence: 4 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 27 months; Kind of illness: Heart surgery, general weakness, osteoarthritis of the hands and feet

5-Surname: Khanjani; Name: Jamaloddin; Age: 80; Sentence: 20 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 6 years; Kind of illness: Aging

6 -Surname: Seifzadeh; Name: Mohammad; Age: 66; Sentence: 8 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 30 months; Kind of illness: Lumbar and neck disc disease, stroke, severe chest pain, numbness of limbs

7 -Surname: Sedghi; Name: Farhad; Age: 67; Sentence: 4 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 28 months; Kind of illness: Kidney failure, kidney stones, prostate [disease], gallstones, cataracts

8 -Surname: Samimi; Name: Keyvan; Age: 65; Sentence: 6 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 4 years; Kind of illness: Severe joint pain, heart disease under treatment, need for internal surgery

9- Surname: Taef; Name: Shahrokh; Age: 64; Sentence: 4 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 25 Months; Kind of illness: -----

10-Surname: Aziz-Marouf; Name: Karim; Age:70; Sentence: life in prison; Duration of imprisonment up to now:17 years; Kind of illness: Aging and diabetes

11-Surname: Azizi-Tavakkoli; Name: Behrouz; Age: 62; Sentence:20 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 6 years; Kind of illness: Osteoarthritis, 70% clogging of a heart artery, lumbar disc disease

12-Surname: Fathali Ashtiani; Name: Hasan; Age:64; Sentence: 15 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 30 months; Kind of illness: -----

13-Surname: Mortezaie; Name: Kamran; Age: 61; Sentence: 5 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now:28 months; Kind of illness: -----

14-Surname: Mostaghim; Name: Amanollah; Age: 63; Sentence: 5 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 4 months; Kind of illness: Severe diabetes, open heart surgery, muscle pain

15-Surname: Moghaddam; Name: Foad; Age: 62; Sentence: 5 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 9 months; Kind of illness: Lumbar disc disease, swollen artery, at present in the operating room

16-Surname: Naimi; Name: Adel; Age: 61; Sentence: 11 years; Duration of imprisonment up to now: 1 year - Kind of illness: Heart disease, severe fluctuations in diabetes, has undergone gallbladder and stomach surgery

The names of the signatories of the letter are as follows:

1-Azmoudeh, Farid

2- Ahmadi Amouie, Bahman

3- Eskandari, Mostafa

4- Eghdami, Jafar

5-Baimani, Afshin

6- Boraghi, Rasoul

7- Tarahhomi, Behzad

8- Tizfahm, Vahid

9- Sanaie, Farahmand

10- Hatami, Iraj

11- Hatami, Hojjat

12- Hardani, Khaled

13- Heiratian, Afshin

14- Khanjani, Foad

15- Khanjani, Navid

16- Khelghati, Kamlou

17- Chinian, Shahram

18- Rahimian, Kamran

19- Rahimian, Keyvan

20- Rezaie, Saied

21- Rezaie, Houshang

22- Zamani, Shahrokh

23- Zibaie, Ramin

24- Ziari, Kourosh

25- Saiedi, Ramazan

26- Shahidi, Etian

27- Sadegh ol-hoseini, Jamshid

28- Sadri, Siamak

29- Isapour, Behrouz

30- Farahani, Reza

31- Fahandej, Farhad

32- Fahandej, Foad

33- Kashani, Kamal

34- Kashafi, Peyman

35- Mahmoudian, Mehdi

36-Moradi, Zaniar

37- Moradi, Loghman

38- Markazi, Peyam

39- Motamedi-Mehr, Mehdi

40- Naimi, Afif

41- Negari, Shahin

42- Yousefi, Naseh

 

 

[1] [Majlis:  the Islamic Consultative Assembly]

[2] [Quran 16:90] https://quran.com/16

[3] [Ghazawat (plural ghazwa):  Any of the battles in which the Islamic prophet Muhammad personally participated]