Following two years of torture in prison, political prisoner Mohammad Javad Vafaei has been sentenced to death by the Iranian regime’s judiciary.
Vafaei, aged 26, a boxing champion from Mashhad, was arrested in March 2020 on the charges of supporting the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), corruption, and ‘inciting and destroying certain places’.
His lawyer received the latest ruling, but as the regime’s court set bail at a total of 30 billion tomans for his temporary release, and with Vafaei’s family being unable to afford to pay the amount, there is little that can be done by them to help him at this stage.
The regime, which is already floundering under the weight of the current crises in Iran, has desperately resorted to intensifying executions of political prisoners, and the widespread repression of Iranian citizens in a bid to prevent social protests from exploding into another uprising. Also, with the expanding activities of the Resistance Units in Iran, the regime is fearful of the flocks of young people joining the ranks of the MEK networks in the country at a fast pace.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said, “The Iranian Resistance urges the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and all human rights bodies, as well as the European Union and its member states, to take urgent action to save the life of this political prisoner.”
Along with the plight of Vafaei, concerns over two other political prisoners and their sudden transfer to other prisons have triggered calls for international assistance.
On January 7, 63-year-old Ebrahim Khalil Sedighi Hamedani, and his son Salar, aged 30 were removed from Urmia Prison and forcibly transferred to the Marivan and Kamyaran prisons. Both men were arrested in February 2019 by the regime’s Intelligence Ministry on the charges of supporting the MEK and ‘propaganda against the state’ and were both sentenced to 19 years behind bars.
The NCRI said, “Dariush Bakhshi, the head of the Political Prisoners’ Ward in Urmia Prison, said the two were transferred because they provoked two prisoners as provoking prisoners to protest and strike.”
Ebrahim, who suffers from a number of health problems, including diabetes, began a hunger strike as soon as he arrived at Marivan prison. His son, Salar had been caring for him for the past several years and he has stated that he will only end his hunger strike once his son has been reunited with him.
The regime notoriously denies political prisoners from receiving medical treatment, or even accessing hospitals, alongside physically torturing them, in a bid to ‘crush’ the prisoners’ resistance against the mullahs’ clerical theocracy. Deporting the prisoners to remote prisons across Iran is also another method used by the regime.
The NCRI said, “The Iranian Resistance urges the United Nations and other relevant bodies to take immediate action to save the lives of these two political prisoners, especially Ebrahim, whose health is in danger.”