By Donya Jam

The regime of Iran has started off the New Year by continuing its repressive policies against prisoners.  For the inmates, there is absolutely nothing to be “happy” about.  If you’ve been following the news emerging from Iran’s prisons in the past week, you would know the situation of prisoners is appalling and continues to worsen.  In the past few days’ executions have been carried out and the lives of multiple political prisoners who launched hunger strikes are in imminent danger.

 On January 4, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reported the Iranian regime carried out seven executions in a span of three days.  On January 3the regime executed four prisoners in Karaj Central Prison. Another three prisoners, all in their thirties, were executed in Ghazvin Prison between January 2-3.  It must be noted that thousands of inmates including political prisoners, women, and juveniles have been executed since Hassan Rouhani, the so called “moderate” president, took office in Iran.  The majority of these prisoners didn’t even receive a fair trial.  Refusing prisoners with a fair trial, which is the right of each and every citizen, is cruel and among the many injustices existing in Iran. Risking their own health and lives, multiple political prisoners have launched hunger strikes protesting the regime’s corruption and crimes.

 Political prisoner Arash Sadeghi launched a hunger strike on October 24, 2016, and continued for 71 days, demanding the release of his unjustly arrested wife Golrokh Iraee, who was unjustly arrested.  Mrs. Iraee was violently arrested in October 2016 for writing an unpublished piece against the mullahs’ cruel practice of stoning.  Mr. Sadeghi ended his strike after his wife was temporarily released.  His health, however, remains critical and Amnesty International reported authorities are denying him receiving medical treatment. This is despite authorities pledging to transfer Mr. Sadeghi to a hospital. 

 “By failing to authorize his transfer to hospital the Iranian authorities are callously toying with his life and flouting their obligation under international law to provide him with access to adequate medical care,” said Philip Luther of Amnesty International.

On January 2nd hundreds of people protested in Tehran in support of Mr. Sadeghi, Mrs. Iraee and other prisoners of conscience, calling for their immediate release.  Writing “We are Arash” on the palm of their hands, demonstrators rallied outside Evin Prison where he is detained.

 The condition of political prisoner Ali Shariati condition was also reported critical on the 65th day of his hunger strike.  Mr. Shariati is protesting his unjust arrest.  The Iranian regime detained him for taking part in a demonstration protesting acid attacks on women.  Political prisoner Saeed Shirzad sewed his lips on the 29th day of his hunger strike, protesting the cruel treatment of prisoners by the authorities. 

 Since the Iranian regime hijacked the people’s freedom movement in 1979, not a single day has gone by in the past 38 years without execution or repression. More than 120,000 political prisoners have been sent to the gallows by this regime. Those who believed Rouhani could deliver reform to improve the appalling human rights situation now see that moderation within the Iranian regime is nothing but a myth.

 If these 38 years have proven anything, it is that the regime will never halt its crimes against the Iranian people and that reforming the system is impossible. The regime uses execution and repression as means of holding onto power. As the days go by, the regime will continue claiming new victims.

 In order to save lives, establish justice and rule of law the Iranian people seek, the ultimate solution is regime change.  Regime change by the Iranian people and their organized opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.  Mrs. Rajavi, along with the PMOI, work tirelessly to realize the people’s aspirations of a free and democratic Iran.

 Mrs. Rajavi discusses what she visions for the future of Iran in her Ten Point Plan.  This resistance movement believes in the rule of law, calls for the abolition of the death penalty, and is committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This movement for freedom should be supported by the international community so that justice can finally prevail for the Iranian nation and the mullahs’ policies of repression are brought to an end.