Iran regime urges dismissal of Ahmed Shaheed while political prisoners support extension of his tenure

The forty political prisoners noted in their letter that the Iranian regime has failed to deceive or bribe Mr. Shaheed and that the Special Rapporteur was targeted by a wave of insults and accusations by the Iranian regime because of his job integrity which in and by itself testifies to his righteousness and honesty.

The political prisoners went on to add that Mr. Ahmed Shaheed has been one of the most active Rapporteurs and that his reports have had tangible effects in regime’s prisons. 

They noted that the Iranian regime judiciary officials have offered them clemency and release from prison if they declare that Mr. Shaheed’s reports are fallacious.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of the Iranian regime’s High Council for Human Rights, stated on March 1, 2016 in Geneva that Iran strongly opposes the motion by some European countries for the extension of the mission of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran and that Iran calls on its international allies not to support such a motion.

Mr. Shaheed issued a warning on 26 October 2015 about a 25% spike in executions in Iran and stated that since the beginning of the year, 700 people have been executed with the number of executions probably going over 1000 by the end of the year.

Reports by Mr. Shaheed on the situation of human rights in Iran usually raise the wrath of the Iranian regime’s politicians and he is even reprimanded in the regime’s media.

The letter by the political prisoners in Iran appears in its entirety below:

Tehran – Letter by Iranian political prisoners to United Nations Human Rights Council in support of Mr. Ahmed Shaheed

To UN Human Rights Council:

Now that we are on the verge of once again selecting the Special Rapporteur on human rights, we the Iranian prisoners declare our opinion to you to help you in your selection as much as we can. 

As we have been spending many years in prison, we are naturally aware of the situation of human rights in Iran more than anyone else and we follow all events and news on human rights not as human rights or politico-social activists in a human rights agency, but as people whose lives depend on it. Therefore, it may well be that what we understand and assess about human rights in Iran and the Special Rapporteur would be closer to reality. Although some of us have not directly benefited from this Rapporteur, we inform you of our opinion by referring to the following issues:

1.Compared to all Special Rapporteurs, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed has been one of the most active, and we have clearly seen the effect of his reports in prisons.

2.There have almost been no serious violations of human rights in prisons that in some way have not been reflected in his reports.

3.There has never been a Special Rapporteur so loathed by the violators [in regime’s judiciary system] such that he is usually insulted or disrespectfully referred to in most court proceedings and interrogations. 

4.There have been many instances that prisoners have been summoned because of his reports and despite the insults and accusations, the issues [raised in the reports] have been considered to some extent. This would not have been possible without his reports.

5.We have seen many TV programs that are against Mr. Ahmed Shaheed where he and the Human Rights Council are tagged with voluminous accusations that prisoners know they are false. In particular, everyone knows well Mohammad Javad Larijani and his big falsifications. He is usually the interviewee in these programs against the Human Rights Council and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed. 

6.From these TV programs that are against the Human Rights Council and in particular against Mr. Ahmed Shaheed we learn that he is somebody they have not been able to deceive or bribe.

7.Time and again we have been told to declare his reports as bogus and unreal in order to be pardoned or receive concessions from the judiciary.

For all these reasons, we the political prisoners with some of us spending more than 10 years in prison, trustfully support Mr. Ahmed Shaheed and call on the respectable Human Rights Council to extend his mission and reelect him as the Special Rapporteur.

Names of political prisoners:

1.Iraj Hatami

2.Afshin Baimani

3.Asghar Mahmoudian

4.Ebrahim Firouzi

5.Asghar Qatani

6.Amir Qaziani Dourbin

7.Amir Amirqoli

8.Behzad Tarahhomi

9.Pirouz Mansouri

10.Payam Bastani

11.Javad Fouladvand

12.Hamid Babaei

13.Hassan Sadeqi

14.Khaled Hardani

15.Ramadan Ahmad

16.Reza Akbari Monfared

17.Reza Kahe

18.Rasoul Hardani

19.Zaniar Moradi

20.Saeid Shah Qale’ii

21.Saeid Masouri

22.Sohail Babadi

23.Saeid Shirzad

24.Shahram Pourmansouri

25.Shahin Zoqi-tabar

26.Saleh Kohandel

27.Farid Azmoudeh

28.Farhang Pourmansouri

29.Ali Mashhadi Kazem

30.Alireza Qolipour

31.Abdulahad Jalilzadeh

32.Ali Moezzi

33.Gholamhossein Kalbei

34.Loghman Moradi

35.Latif Hassani

36.Mehdi Shandiz

37.Massoud Arab Choubdar

38.Mohammadreza A’alipayam

39.Misaq Yazdan-nejad

40.Vahid Asghari

and hundreds of political or ordinary prisoners, prisoners of conscience, or religious or ethnic prisoners who have declared their support but we cannot announce their names for security reasons.