News : Human rights

Letter by Death-Row Prisoner Hossein Reyhani, Arrested in the Iran Protests in November

The Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary (Fashafuyeh)

Major Iran protests erupted in November 2019 triggering the greatest existential crisis in the regime’s 40-year history. Protesters took to the streets in at least 191 cities because of the 30-50 percent increase in fuel prices, and immediately the demands of the protesting people changed, calling for regime change.

The regime has resorted to brute repression, killing at least 1500 protesters and arresting thousands more. It also shut down Iran’s internet completely for a week, blocking images of the protests from reaching the outside world.

The protests have spread to at least 190 cities in all 31 of Iran’s provinces. Protesters attacked centers of suppression, including government centers, security outposts, and state-affiliated banks, gas stations, and seminaries, particularly those affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Hundreds of buildings were torched or sustained serious damages.

The paragraphs above were a lookback at the events of Iran’s November 2019 uprising. What now very clear is that the regime had killed at least 1500 people. The names of more than 700 slain protesters have been announced by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

But what is unclear here is the fate of the arrested people and their exact number, which was estimated to be more than 12000 people. In the last week, the regime Judiciary decided to execute three of them, Amir Hossein Moradi, Saied Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi.

Another one of the arrested people, Hossein Reyhani from the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary (Fashafuyeh) wrote a letter about his situation, while he is awaiting his execution. Below is his letter:

“Hello to everyone who is listening to my voice. My name is Hossein Reyahni, son of Yadollah, born in 1987 and a married man with a family. Maybe it is funny that the crime that I have committed was just sending an SMS to one of my friends. When I saw the presence of the people on the street, I was so excited that the people are gathering on the streets. I was arrested by the IRGC’s intelligence brutally after 18 days (of the start of the protests). They have attacked our house very aggressively and transported me to the Evin prison.  Which means that I was arrested on 4 December 2019.

“First, I was very terrified. Thirteen days in solitary confinement and after one month, they displaced me to the Fashafuyeh prison. I do not know why and how, just because of an SMS, I was sentenced to death for “waging war against God”. Until this day, just because I did not want my mother to hear about my sentence, I have kept silent and said nothing. And a few days ago, I got the divorce letter of my wife, and now nothing is important to me, and I have nothing to lose anymore.”

In his letter, he added: “I am tired of eight months of uncertainty and the shadow of the death sentence and cannot tolerate any more to be imprisoned and while I am seeing the release of people who were involved with corruption. All because of an SMS!”

“Until now they do not allow me to get a lawyer, and even to be informed about my case. The only thing I know is that my case is in the Supreme Court, and I know that I am innocent and did not commit any crime. This is your responsibility to be the voice of those who have a fight for justice.”

Hossein Reyhani, Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary - July 2020

 

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