News : Human rights

Iran MP Admits Solitary Confinement Is Widely Used Against Political Prisoners

In Iran’s prisons, the use of solitary confinement is not only used for extracting confessions and identifying charges; they are also widely used so that the defendant ‘repents’ and abandons his or her ideology

In an unprecedented confession by an Iranian parliamentarian, Mohammad Kazemi on 22 December unveiled a covert crime that has been going on by Iran’s regime for the past 40 years.

He also said in statements carried by the regime's state media that the country's judges are handing down sentences with excessive use of solitary confinement. He claimed that solitary confinement was merely for those accused of political offenses in order to force them to ‘confess’.

"This solitary confinement is a tool that we have provided our judges and it is extremely unlimited. It is not right that we are being recklessly allowed to put the accused in solitary confinement to prove any crime ... the use of solitary confinement in the judiciary is extremely unjustified and is overdone." The repressive forces, "use this simply because keeping the defendant in solitary confinement will make a person confess or give reasons against him," said the lawmaker.

In Iran’s prisons, the use of solitary confinement is not only used for extracting confessions and identifying charges; they are also widely used so that the defendant ‘repents’ and abandons his or her ideology.

Iran’s rulers who came to power after the 1979 revolution were some of the political prisoners of the Shah's dynasty and it was clear to them what political prisoners were entitled to. For this reason, from the very early years of their rule, in order to strengthen the foundations of their disgraceful government, they began to destroy all the other political currents in the country, killing and imprisoning them.

The difference between the mullahs' dictatorship and that of the Shah's dictatorship is that, so as not to be accused of imprisoning politicians internationally, they accuse all political detainees of having security charges. They have refused after 40 years to accept that even one person was detained for political reasons.

The authorities always allege that the detainees have been waging war on God, acting against national security, espionage, collaborating with strangers, acting as the fifth column of the enemy, wickedness, conspiracy, sedition and the like.

One of the banned areas was the subject of political imprisonment, torture and solitary confinement in the medieval system of the Iranian regime. From the very first years, regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini dismissed claims of torture in his regime. Now Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei claims that “no one in the Islamic Republic is being persecuted because of his opposition to the government” (ISNA, 21 March 2018). His chief justice has said that “we do not have the defendant condemned as ‘political prisoners’ and no one in the Islamic Republic is being prosecuted for criticism.” (4 February 2019)

Between 1981-1984, Assadollah Lajevardi, the infamous 'Butcher of Evin,' was the chief of the country's prisons and received his orders directly from Khomeini, and in addition to the dozens and sometimes hundreds of executions he carried out daily, he kept a large number in solitary confinement cells in the Comites and Evin, Ghezel Hesar and Gohardasht prisons.

This regime’s parliament member pointed to only a very small part of the regime's hidden crimes, which is holding the people in solitary confinement for long times. Other aspects that are not mentioned are 74 types of torture, trials lasting less than five minute without the presence of a lawyer, hostage-taking of prisoners’ inmates to extract forced confessions, confiscation of property, getting the money of the bullets used for the execution of the prisoner, rape, and execution of pregnant women.

In this dreadful and late confession, Kazemi said, "Solitary confinement, which is a severe punishment, is better to be only used in security issues that are related to the country's interests and benefits."

This regime considers political prisoners to be prisoners of security issues. So, this MP also recommends that solitary confinement be used only for political prisoners.

Can this lawmaker name one case where the regime has admitted that it is holding a political prisoner?

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