Iran Human RightsAyatollahs' Pardoning of Political Prisoners Is a Ruse

Ayatollahs’ Pardoning of Political Prisoners Is a Ruse

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Iran’s Judiciary spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Ismaili claimed on Tuesday, November 10, to have pardoned 157 “security convicts”, which is the ayatollahs’ codename for political prisoners, despite the ayatollahs taking desperate action to silence dissidents before the anniversary of the 2019 nationwide protests.

“In the evolution of amnesty and proposed amnesties, especially the recent amnesty, the basis of expert work is a detailed review of judicial cases, monitoring the actions and behavior of convicts during the sentence in the provincial and central amnesty commissions of the judiciary and considering and in the process of amnesty to make sure that the convicts have repented and remorse and rehabilitated. Because in such cases where expert work is done, we see that those whose convictions have been pardoned rarely commit a crime again or do not commit a crime at all,” said Esmaili.

Of course, as always with the ruling theocracy in Iran, this is a total lie. Esmaili’s comments about “expert work” actually refer to the government’s inhumane treatment of prisoners, especially those arrested in the major Iran protests in 2018 and 2019.

This shocking abuse and torture were detailed in a recent Amnesty International report – Trampled Humanity – which showed how government agents are mistreating detained protesters.

“Torture was used to punish, intimidate, and humiliate detainees. It was also routinely used to elicit “confessions” and incriminating statements, not just about their involvement in the protests, but also about their alleged associations with opposition groups, human rights defenders, media outside Iran, as well as with foreign governments,” the report read.

It listed the following horrific tortures:

  • hooding or blindfolding
  • forced into painful stress positions for long periods
  • beating with sticks, rubber hosepipes, knives, batons, and cables
  • punching, kicking, and flogging
  • deprivation of food and water
  • suspension from the ceiling
  • months of solitary confinement
  • deprivation of medical care

The Iranian Judiciary talks of pardon some 150-odd political prisoners, but it executed two peaceful protesters over the past three months – Navid Afkari, and Mostafa Salehi– despite ongoing appeals to save their lives that sparked international attention.

Further, it executed over 1500 peaceful protesters. Where were their pardons? This just highlights that the international community must intervene to stop the executions and torture as well as secure the release of all political prisoners.

“The clerical regime must be ousted from the UN and its leaders must face justice for their systematic violations of Human Rights, a crime against humanity, and trampling human dignity,” said Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition.

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