The recent #protests of the Iranian people, which began over the economic conditions and systematic corruption, turned to cries of regime change. The mullahs’ regime has responded with increasing repressive measures on both the protestors and their families.
As part of their repressive measures, the #regime has cracked down on the internet and social media sites, attempting to keep the protestors from organizing and gathering in public places. Additionally, using the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime has been actively seeking out and arresting protestors or those that may have associated with protestors.
One protestor, Arash Mohammadi, was arrested on January 3. He called his family and told them that he had been arrested and then tortured. It was the last time that he talked to his family. Since that time, no one from his family have had contact with him or heard anything about his whereabouts. The Iranian authorities are denying that he was arrested at all and have refused to provide any additional information.
The lives of those arrested during the #nationwide #protests are in danger, as the Iranian regime is counting on its ability to hide the arbitrary murders and the killings of detainees. There are continual reports of further deaths in custody on a daily basis. According to the regime, these individuals committed suicide, but that seems to be the pat answer of the regime.
Ali Pouladi was arrested in a village near Chalous, northwest of Iran. He was transferred to a detention center and the morning after his transfer, the authorities told his family that he had passed away. They gave no details regarding his death, but reports indicate that his mother was insulted by authorities as she asked for details regarding her son and his death. According to his family, Pouladi was in good health prior to his arrest.
Another protestor’s mother was informed that 10 days after his arrest, his body was in the morgue. No other details were given, but according to his mother, his body was covered by extensive bruises. The evidence seems to indicate that he was tortured by authorities prior to his death. Other protestors’ families are being intimidated and told that they cannot go public with the details regarding their loved ones’ deaths.
“The shroud of secrecy and lack of transparency over what happened to these detainees is alarming. Instead of rushing to the judgment that they committed suicide, the authorities must immediately launch an independent, impartial, and transparent investigation, including independent autopsies,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
#Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist, reported the killing of five detained protestors. She has also been arrested by the regime and has a history of suffering through long prison terms.
“We have long documented the nightmarish conditions in detention facilities in Iran, including the use of torture. Those suspected of having any responsibility for these deaths should be suspended from their positions and prosecuted in proceedings that respect international fair trial standards and without recourse to the death penalty,” said Mughrabi.
#International organizations have expressed concern about the conditions protestors are dealing with and the response of the regime. Despite the statements from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani supporting the right to protest, the crackdown indicates that the #IRGC is focused repressing any dissent from the Iranian people or questions about the way the regime rules the country.
Amnesty International, in a recent statement, noted, “Fears over the welfare of hundreds of detainees have been heightened by the death of Sina Ghanbari, 23, who was held in the ‘quarantine’ section of #Tehran’s Evin prison, where detainees are held for processing immediately after being arrested. There have been conflicting reports about the circumstances surrounding Ghanbari’s death, with activists disputing the authorities’ claims that he had committed suicide.”
#Evin prison has a notorious reputation, despite the fact that foreign officials were allowed to tour this prison in the summer of 2017 to dispel negative human rights reports about the prison. It was a PR stunt of sorts, as the Iranian authorities tried to show that conditions in this prison were not sub-standard and there were excellent facilities.
Research by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have indicated inhumane and unsanitary conditions at Evin Prison. #Prisoners complain of chronic overcrowding, severely limited hot water, poor ventilation, and infestations of cockroaches and mice.
#Protestors who have been transferred to this prison have been tortured and the authorities have not been forthcoming about their condition or allowed contact with their families.