Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Statement of Former Political Prisoners of the Islamic Republic of Iran

From Pezhvak-e Iran

Statement of Former Political Prisoners of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Since the onset of the June 12th “coup d’état” thousands of people have been detained or disappeared in Iran. In Tehran, for instance, the number of detainees is so large that the officials are holding prisoners in places such as the Ministry of State building’s basement and vacant camps in the city suburbs. Many families are kept in the dark with regard to the whereabouts or the conditions of their loved ones. According to the testimony of some of those who were arrested, tortured and released, this recent wave of arrests and disappearances is overseen by the Ministry of Intelligence, and in Tehran through their base in Evin prison, the infamous Section 209. Their stories tell of subjection to both physical and psychological torture, forcing them to incriminate themselves and others by confessing to prefabricated charges. Coincidentally, tortured-confessions begin to appear on state media. These events are reminiscent of the well-documented atrocities committed inside the prison walls during the 1980s.

We former political prisoners of the Islamic Republic of Iran testify to the scarring effects –on the prisoners, their families and society as a whole—of physical and psychological torture. We have witnessed how, through the application of callous methods, prosecutors sought to break down the sense of identity and human integrity of their ‘subjects’.

We fear that, under torture, some will be forced to confess to crimes committed by the security, military, paramilitary and plain-clothes forces on the streets, crimes such as the attacks on the University of Tehran and Shiraz’s dormitories on June 14th, the murder of student residents, the murder of Neda Aqa-Soltani, etc.

We fear this new generation of prisoners will, in their turn, experience this awful cycle of violence. We fear this naked, violent suppression of people in the streets and inside numerous jails around the country will lead to another wave of political executions. This naked violent suppression must be taken with the utmost seriousness. This threat of execution must be taken with the utmost seriousness.

As we demand release of all political prisoners, including those categorized as rioters by the government, and an end to torture and execution in Iran. we call on all international human rights institutions, particularly the United Nations to hold the government of Iran accountable for this violence and the violence it will continue to perpetrate; to utilize all their powers to stop crimes being committed in Iran’s prisons; and, adding our voices to those of the many other concerned citizens, we urge the general secretary of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, to send a representative to inspect Iran’s prisons before everything is swept under the carpet.

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