On February 8, the Intelligence Ministry arrested and took to the Ministry’s prison in Tabriz, northwest Iran, these former political prisoners:
- Majid Mowtab, 59
- Majid Zabihi, 55
- Hassan Tarvardian, 61
- Reza Qoli Shirmohammadi, 65, and
- his son, Yasser Shirmohammadi, 25
The first four were imprisoned for political reasons during the 1980s for several years.
Last week, the regime arrested Mahmoud Yousefi in Behshahr and Mohammad Ali Karnama in Rostamkolah. Both men were also political prisoners in the 1980s.
On January 28, in Zanjan, the regime arrested Ali Osanlou, 57, and his two sons, Morteza, 30, and Hamid, 24.
These arrests are taking place because the mullahs fear that the popular uprisings of November and January will restart, especially given the increased activities of Resistance Units nationwide. (During the crackdown on peaceful protesters in those uprisings, the regime killed at least 1,500 people, wounded 4,000, and arrested 12,000. Those arrested are facing torture in prison to make false confessions and then the death penalty for supporting the MEK.)
The timing of this is incredibly relevant, as it has just passed the anniversary of the 1979 anti-monarchic revolution, where the mullahs stole power from the people who risked everything to overthrow one dictatorship and ended up crushed by another.
It is also coming up to the sham parliamentary election, scheduled for February 21, where infighting among the regime’s factions has revealed the corruption that everyone already suspected. In an attempt to forestall the inevitable fall of the regime, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is consolidating his power by ensuring that his faction has the overwhelming majority of the seats.
The Guardian Council, which is chosen directly and indirectly by Khamenei, is responsible for approving candidates to run in the elections. It has disqualified most of the candidates from the faction belonging to President Hassan Rouhani, including some 90 sitting members of parliament.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said in a statement on February 11: “The Iranian Resistance urges the United Nations Security Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, relevant rapporteurs, and all international human rights organizations to take immediate action to secure the release of those arrested recently. It again calls on the UN to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Iran to visit the prisons and political prisoners.”