In an open letter to the people of Iran, the dissident Iranian cleric Einollah Rezazadeh Joybari, imprisoned in Sari, in the northern Mazandaran Province, shed light on the atrocities perpetrated by prison officials. Addressing the regime’s Judiciary Chief, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’i, he rejected the claims about the humane and pleasant conditions in prisons across the country and those prisoners are treated according to human rights values and standards.
“When the judiciary intervenes in politics, justice is being squeezed. I’m speaking with all the lawyers who are still silent in the face of injustices prevailing in the Judiciary. You must face justice because of this degree of injustice and cruelty. The Iranian people and justice-seekers in Iran ask why you don’t abide by the very laws you have passed?” Jobari asked.
Referring to Ejei, he further said, “You often speak about justice and civil rights in the state-run media and advocate alternative punishments to imprisonment. You talk about the rights of prisoners. Why is none of the directives issued by the judges acted upon? Your prisons are full of old men who are in prison for minor and non-criminal offenses. and financial means. Where is the implementation of the law for those who cannot afford to pay their debts? Why do your judges reject the application of this law irrationally and without any sound reasoning?”
In another part of his letter to the authorities he wrote, “People used to accept your populist ideas because they did not think that a preaching cleric would lie.”
Discussing the situation in Iran’s prisons in general and in Sari prison in particular, “Do you know about the living conditions and welfare of the prisoners, especially in Sari prison?”
Pointing to the severity of the drug problems among the prison population, Jobari added, “They were trained in various technical and non-technical professions. But unfortunately, in your prisons today, many young people are sexually enslaved due to drug addiction and are using glass (crystal meth), drugs and heroin. They are infected and addicted to methadone. Long lines of methadone in prison signal a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Addressing Eje’i directly, he added: “Take you’re the time and sit face to face with the prisoners without anyone accompanying you, listen to their problems and you will realize that there is no such thing as civil and human rights in your prisons. Are you aware of the suspicious deaths and murders of inmates in prisons? What about the high suicide rate among prisoners? What have you done in this regard? Mr. Eje’i, I hope you have a convincing answer for the nation about the suspicious death of our dear prisoners, the late Qassem Shirzad, Jafar Azizi, Asgari Siahpoosh, Borhan Hakimian, Faramarz Ruhshenas, Omid Bipanah, Abbas Asghari, and many other prisoners about whose deaths prison officials remained silent. God did not create human beings in vain. How can you be described and judged in history?”
Referencing the Iranian people, Jobari said, “Compatriots, even if one of these crimes against humanity were to take place in civilized countries, it would lead to the overthrow of the government. [I am talking about such shameful crimes that even the Islamic State of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (ISIS), the Islamic State of Al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State of the Taliban were reluctant to commit against prisoners and prisoners of war. I will just mention the torture and violations of the civil rights of the prisoners, and I will share the details in an official statement with the great nation of Iran later.”
He concluded his address by saying, “For the past 40 years, there has been genocide, ethnic cleansing, and religious apartheid. My last word: In the name of cultural work, some people destroyed Islamic culture, and in the name of culture and cultural affairs, they are the main perpetrators of addiction in prisons. Let me say briefly that there is no justice, civil rights, human rights and law, and freedom of choice in your prisons.”
Einollah Rezazadeh Joybari has been arrested and imprisoned many times over the past decades. Two years ago, he issued a video statement protesting the human rights abuses in Iran, took off the robe, and said, “I am taking off my turban and wearing the hat of someone who loves Iran.”
He was subsequently arrested for the interview and is still being held incommunicado in Sari Prison. He was first arrested in 1990 for opposing the principle of the Velayat-e Faqih (absolute clerical rule) and imprisoned for a time in the special ward for the clergy in Qom Prison.
He was also arrested several times in 2002. He was abducted by plainclothes agents in 2006 after writing a 200-page letter to the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and served one year in prison.
He was then imprisoned in 2017 by the Ministry of Intelligence. He was initially sentenced to eight years and two years of internal exile but was released a year later. His latest arrest took place in 2019.