In Iran, the regime has an intense level of enforcement on those who speak out against the regime or endorse another political ideology. This enforcement means that those who try to add another political thought to the conversation are arrested, and their ability to contact the outside world is severely limited. The point of this enforcement is meant to keep these political opponents from creating any form of leadership or forming a movement.
These political prisoners continue to grow in number, despite all the repressive measures the regime and the #Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have initiated. For their efforts to speak out against the injustice they see throughout the regime’s leadership, these political prisoners receive severe punishments, which can include anything from torture and imprisonment to being sentenced to death.
Recently, the #National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Women’s Committee drew attention to the plight of two political prisoners who were brutally beaten and then transferred to another prison, known as Qarchak Prison.
#Atena Daemi, 29, is one of the activists, taking a role of defending human and children’s rights. She has been sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the state, association, and collusion against national security,” and insulting the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
#Golrokh Ibrahimi Iraee, another activist, was sentenced to six years on charges of “insulting the sanctities” and also insulting the Supreme Leader.
The two women refused to be interrogated separately after being summoned to the Directorate for the Implementation of Sentences and then taken to the IRGC Ward 2A of Evin Prison. When the women refused to be separated and demanded to see their transfer warrant, they were beaten by authorities.
Qarchak Prison is known for its deplorable conditions, and the clerical regime routinely transfers political prisoners, thus disregarding the principle of classification of crimes.
“The brutal treatment of Atena Daemi and Colrokh Iraee comes in reaction to their declared support for the Iranian people’s uprising and is an attempt to scare Iran’s courageous women, especially the young high school and university students, who played a significant role in the Iranian people’s nationwide uprising,” said the Women’s Committee of the NCRI in a statement on January 26.
The #NCRI also condemned the regime’s savagery towards #women political prisoners. They also called on international authorities and various non-profits, as well as the United Nations, to take urgent action to address the situation of political prisoners in Iran, but especially these two women.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) played an important role in organizing the protests that ended 2017 and began 2018 in Iran, but they also were key in breaking the censorship barrier of the regime to get news of the protests out to the international community. While the initial start of the protests was economically based, it quickly became a large demonstration with chants of regime change.
For years, the regime and its advocates have convinced foreign policymakers that the opposition was limited to exiles abroad and were not present in significant numbers of Iranians. These recent protests have proved that narrative to be wrong.
On January 9, 2018, Supreme Leader #Khamenei blamed the U.S. for these protests, claiming that they had plotted with the MEK. This gambit is common of the regime, along with arrests of those that they believe are leaders in speaking out against the regime. These women are just one example of the regime’s efforts to maintain power in the face of an Iranian people that are standing up to the mullahs and their corrupt leadership.
“The mullahs cannot prevent the resurgence of the uprisings because they only depend on their deeply-hated repressive organs. They have lost the most important component of their power to enchain the society…The Iranian society will not return to the conditions preceding the uprising, nor is the religious dictatorship capable of regaining its previous balance,” said Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the NCRI.
Many leaders and organizations have called on the international community to address the oppressive Iranian regime.
As Mrs. Rajavi told major political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe on January 24, “All governments should adopt effective measures and binding decisions to compel the religious dictatorship ruling Iran to release the prisoners of the uprising, uphold freedom of expression and association, end repression and lift the compulsory veil.”
These two women are just one example of multiple political prisoners suffering at the hands of the regime. For the international community, there is a call to address these human rights violations and the repression of free speech and press throughout Iran.