News : Human rights
- Published: Tuesday, 07 July 2020
An Iranian political prisoner, arrested during the November 2019 uprisings and subsequently put on death row, has been placed under so much physical and mental pressure that he almost died from suicide this weekend.
On Saturday, Siamak Moghimi was found in a pool of blood by his cellmates in the bathroom at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary and immediately taken to the prison’s clinic. However, the doctor there released him after only a quick check-up.
The 25-year-old has almost died from suicide five times since he sentenced to death in March for taking part in the protests that sprung up across the country in response to the sudden increase in petrol prices.
Moghimi says that he was walking home from work when he was tear-gassed by the regime’s security forces, who were violently cracking down on the protests in order to silence dissent against the mullahs.
Moghimi was then arrested and taken to Shahriar Police Headquarters. He was moved to the Intelligence Department of Shahriar for interrogation, during which he was severely beaten, before being moved to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.
In March, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “assembly and collusion”, “propaganda against the state”, and “insulting Khamenei and Rouhani” by Judge Ramazani of Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Shahriar, but then the authorities added on the intentionally-vague charge of moharebeh (“enmity against God”), for which they applied the death sentence.
The intense pressure of being kept in inhumane and unsanitary living conditions during a pandemic, as well as being sentenced to death on a charge that he denies and that should not be a crime anyway, has severely impacted Moghimi’s mental health.
The regime has failed to provide official numbers for those killed, injured or arrested during the crackdown on the November uprising, with the closest admission being that of Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesman of Parliament’s National Security Committee. He said early on that 7,000 people were arrested on November 15.
However, reliable sources, like eyewitnesses and uncut state media reports, and above all the Iranian Resistance, indicate that at least 1,500 people were killed during the six-day protest in over 144 cities, while 8,000 were injured and 12,000 arrested. All of these figures include children.
Many of the detained protesters have been tried and given sentences. The Iranian Supreme Court recently upheld the death sentences of Amir-Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi. The three young men were all sentenced to flogging, prison, and death for various charges brought against them, but say that they were tortured into making false confessions.
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