Iran’s prison and judicial system are fraught with injustice and cruelty, and long prison sentences have been consistently handed out to all political prisoners, including those in contact with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Soheil Arabi, an Iranian political prisoner, was arrested in 2013 by Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and has now finished serving his original sentence. However, he, along with many other political prisoners, is being forced to remain in prison as the regime’s Judiciary has extended his sentence.
“After serving seven years in the heinous conditions of Iranian prisons, he is being falsely convicted under a generalized charge of ‘disturbing national security,’” dissidents reported.
In a letter written from prison, Arabi has exposed how the regime officials are extrajudicially prolonging the prison sentences of those who dare to reveal the ill-treatment that prisoners are subjected to on a daily basis.
“It is astonishing that they [officials] plunder people’s belongings, destroy our country, and are ruthless, but gain more wealth and security daily,” the letter read.
“Instead, they call those protesting tyranny and corruption ‘security convicts’ and perform all types of tortures on them and kill them in prisons, like they killed Satar Beheshti, Alireza Shir Mohammad-Ali, and Vahid. Yet, nothing happens,” Arabi added in his letter.
Two years ago, Arabi was on a hunger strike in Fashafuyeh prison in protest of poor prison conditions and violent mistreatment of prisoners by prison guards and officials.
Arabi has affirmed his conviction to continue exposing the truth behind the Iranian prison system saying, “Silence is not just wrong now, it is a crime.”
The people of Iran have been speaking out against the regime’s human rights violations for decades with many losing their lives for the cause. The PMOI/MEK said that the people’s demand for regime change was voiced by the 1,500 martyrs of the nationwide Iran protests in November 2019.
In that same year, MEK supporters rallied outside the United Nations in Geneva during the 40th session of the Human Rights Council. Protesters called for the accountability for the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly PMOI/MEK supporters, and for the ongoing violations of human rights in Iran, urging the UN to expel the regime’s representatives from the council.
The victims of the 1988 massacre were executed by the regime who feared the growing support for a free Iran. Ebrahim Raisi, known as the ‘hanging judge’, was one of the main perpetrators and is the current Judiciary Chief in Iran.
The international community has remained inactive and mostly silent over the human rights violations committed by the Iranian regime. The EU has recently created a new global sanctions policy against human rights violators but has yet to take any action to honor the policy.
The EU should use its new global sanctions to impose sanctions on the Iranian regime’s officials in order to stop emboldening them to commit more crimes against humanity. The regime leaders consistently enjoy impunity due to decades of international inaction and the time has come for more than simply expressing concern, dissidents say.