In Iran, the Supreme Leader and the regime he heads is treated as if they are a god. Hence, when Iranians stand up to question the regime and its leader, then they risk receiving punishments akin to angering a god. Six PMOI/MEK supports were recently charged with burning images of Khomeini and Khamenei, along with chanting slogans supporting Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a coalition of Iranian resistance groups.
Their sentence includes not only prison time, but after they serve their prison sentences, then they will be exiled from homecity. The goal is to limit the influence of these supporters, who are seen as leading the protests and demonstrations that are evident throughout the country.
Iranian officials admit to repressive measures
As part of the judicial proceedings for these individuals, the Iranian regime admitted to how it was able to catch them, which included monitoring their social media accounts, and the use of other technical efforts to track their movements.
“The judiciary and the general bureau of intelligence of the province managed to have access to the photos and videos sent by this opponent group, and arrested them in a surprise operation through monitoring, spreading intelligence umbrella, and the application of technical techniques,” said Mullah Mazarei.
These individuals were arrested last June, before the latest round of protests and demonstrations began in December 2017.
Criminal verdicts meant to intimidate
Issuing criminal verdicts is meant to keep the Iranian people from speaking out by means of intimidation. It is a desperate attempt to keep the Iranian opposition from growing and forcing the regime out of power.
The Iranian resistance has called on international human rights organizations to speak out against the human rights violations of the regime. Similar arrests to these have occurred, as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) kicks into gear to protect the regime and its financial interests.
With the next round of sanctions scheduled to begin in November, it is clear that the regime is worried about the impact on their fortunes. The Iranian people have called the regime out for its corruption, mis-management, and the poor state of the Iranian environment. The regime has also been condemned in 64 United Nations resolutions for its human rights abuses, cruel trials, and torture, as well as its physical abuse of prisoners and activists.