Iranian authorities once again filed a new accusation against political prisoner Soheil Arabi. Following a period of ignoring this political prisoner’s fate, on December 23, he was informed of the new charges through a video conference at Shahr-e Rey court.
According to reports provided by the human and civil rights advocate website fa.iranfreedom.org, Judiciary officials from Branch 8 of Shahr-e Rey jurisdiction accused Soheil Arabi of propaganda against the state. This is while since 2015, Arabi has had no access to outside the prison and has not been afforded furlough even during the coronavirus pandemic.
For One Month There Was No News About Soheil Arabi
On September 18, Soheil Arabi was suddenly summoned to the bureau of Tehran Greater Penitentiary warden Chaharmahali. Then, the prison guard transferred him to an unknown place. After many follow-ups by his families, authorities acknowledged that Soheil Arabi had been transferred to the quarantine ward called ‘Suite’ at Karaj’s Raja’i Shahr Prison, in Alborz province.
Eventually, contrary to authorities’ false information, Soheil Arabi called his family from Evin Prison’s Ward 2A on October 20. Notably, this ward is controlled by the Intelligence Department of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Prisoners are exposed to inhuman torture and other ill-treatment by cruel interrogators like Raouf and Sattar.
Later, on November 17, authorities finally transferred Arabi to Raja’i Shahr Prison, Ward 4 – Hall 10. Simultaneously, this political prisoner faced new allegations by the IRGC Intelligence Department. Due to his revelation about Tehran Greater Penitentiary‘s awful conditions, particularly during the coronavirus era, authorities filed new accusations under the pretense of ‘propaganda against the state.’
Torturing and Harassing Prisoners
Furthermore, Soheil Arabi was subjected to torture time and again by prison guards at Tehran Greater Penitentiary. Under the warden’s supervision, the guards repeatedly attacked, tortured, and harassed this political prisoner.
During an assault, Soheil Arabi was harmed in the testicles, and attackers broke his nose. Authorities deprived him of medical care. Since then, he cannot breathe easily.
International Appeals for Releasing Soheil Arabi
On October 17, Amnesty International expressed its concerns about Soheil Arabi’s condition and unclear fate. “Prisoner of conscience Soheil Arabi was transferred out of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary on September 18, 2020. Prison officials have told his family he is now held in Raja’i Shahr prison, Karaj, but Soheil Arabi has had no contact with the outside world since his transfer,” Amnesty tweeted.
Prisoner of conscience #SoheilArabi was transferred out of Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary on 18 Sept 2020. Prison officials have told his family he is now held in Raja'i Shahr prison, Karaj, but Soheil Arabi has had no contact with the outside world since his transfer. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/r3957vtFze
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) October 17, 2020
Also, Amnesty International mentioned the risks of torture against this prisoner, adding, “This raises fears that Soheil Arabi may be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment since he has had no contact with the outside world in nearly one month. The denial of all contact is also causing Soheil Arabi’s family great alarm.”
Moreover, Amnesty called on Iranian authorities to release Soheil Arabi immediately and unconditionally. “The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Soheil Arabi. Pending this, he must be protected from torture and other ill-treatment, provided urgently with any medical care he may require, and given access to his family and a lawyer of his choosing,” Amnesty wrote on its Twitter account which follows developments in Iran.
The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release #SoheilArabi. Pending this, he must be protected from torture and other ill-treatment, provided urgently with any medical care he may require, and given access to his family and a lawyer of his choosing. 3/3
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) October 17, 2020
In flagrant defiance of international appeals for improving human rights conditions in Iran and releasing political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, and followers of ethnic and religious minorities, the judiciary has opened a new case against Soheil Arabi. Opposition activists say the international community should not remain idle regarding this shameless act by the world’s record holder of executions per capita. It is time for the civilized world to pressure Iranian authorities to respect their people’s fundamental rights.