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Lack of a global interest on freedom of political prisoners in Iran

There has been a mounting pressure on Burma to free all political prisoners. This is an important step in the history of the country, which is the result of years of struggle and gathering of an international support for Burmese political prisoners. The important struggle for freedom of all political prisoners shouldn’t end in Burma.

 

There are thousands of political prisoners in Iran who have spent most of their lives in prison, being tortured, and many awaiting their execution. Despite this ongoing imprisonment of political activists and dissidents by the Islamic regime in Iran, there is a lack of continued international interest aimed at pressuring the Islamic regime in Iran, and Rouhani as its head, to free political prisoners. The question that comes to mind is why European governments rightly demand freedom of Burmese political prisoners but ignore political prisoners in Iran and do not include the release of these prisoners in their negotiations with the Islamic regime?

 

Why Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs sits at the same table with Islamic regime’s representatives without mentioning political prisoners or demanding the release of these prisoners in her negotiations? Why delegates of European Union travel to Iran, visit some of the political prisoners who have been recently released, but refuse to demand visiting prisons and talking with political prisoners? Are there any differences between political prisoners held in different countries? Obviously evidence shows that there are differences.

 

The EU heads of states and their representatives, who call themselves defenders of global human rights, should not be let out easily to pick and choose their pursuit of human rights abuses. They should be pressurized to apply equal amount of attention to the human rights abuses in every country and put this issue before their economic interests. It seems that trade with Iran is more important for EU governments and therefore all their attention is focused on pursuing their economic interests instead of dealing with human rights issues, but we need to change this skewed perspective.

 

There is a need to demand that the release of all political prisoners in Iran be put high on the agenda in negotiations with the Islamic regime. There is a need to demand that Rouhani, the Islamic regime’s president as part of the Islamic establishment be held responsible for the current situation. We need to emphasize that since Rouhani’s election the repression and execution of prisoners have considerably increased and that he, as the head of the regime, must be accountable for all human rights’ abuses.

 

 

Balatarin

Saeed Parto @saeedparto

Writer, Blogger, social and political activist

United Kingdom

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DrZurvan

DrZurvan

Thank you Saeed for a wonderful article. We as Iranians who love humanity should demand that all political prisoners be freed immediately and all executions be stopped.

KeyvanNassiri4

Keyvan Nassiri

Historically, when it comes to injustice in the third world, there has only been interest from Europe and North America when the regime in such countries were not giving points to those countries, perfect example during shah's reign starting from late 60s till the islamic invasion of 1979.
When governments such as IR, pakistan, saudi arabia are already providing a chewy spread for the west or the new east (Orthodox Russia, Capitalist China and nuclear north korea) there is never any interest of the rights of citizens of such countries.
It is up to the people, by any means necessary, to acquire such rights from their so called Governments.
There is a saying in the Farsi language which goes like:"kas nakharad posht e to joz nakhon e angosht e to"

Zendanian

Zendanian An injury to one is an injury to all.

Saeed jan thanx for this great article and focusing our attention on a very important issue.

As you've correctly concluded in here there's not a whole lot we could except from the so called "international community." However with millions of Iranian abroad and many of them active in their respective communities we actually have an incredible amount of resources (organizational, financial, cultural,...) that we often overlook.

Before I get to my specific suggestion, I would like to remind you and all the readers of how back in 70's Iranian students used to successfully organize Human Rights delegations and send them to Iran, to investigate Human Rights violations back then.
To make a long story short, we need to revive and re-establish this noble tradition of sending Truth Seeking, and Human Rights delegations to Iran once more.

Below I'm submitting one example of such efforts by Transportation Syndicates of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, to send Truth Seeking delegation to jails of Islamic Republic in Iran. This is an idea that could be taken up by many Students, Women's, Journalists, communities of faith, and host of other civil society organizations. Needless to say Iranian communities in each country have to initiate such efforts. Cheers

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Joint call of Transportation Syndicates of Sweden, Denmark and Norway is Solidarity with Iranian workers.

This common call was adapted on 10 November 2013 in Helsingor, Denmark during the conference of unions from these three countries

Resolution: Imprisoned workers and political prisoners in Iran must be freed.
In ILO’s 2013 report Islamic Republic of Iran has the third highest rates for repression of workers’ rights, violation of personal rights, and dismal working conditions. In Iran labor activists are faced with an array of issues: being constantly under investigation, target of judicial charges, expulsion from work, or threats of imprisonment.

In addition to being threatened to lose their job, judicial proceeding against them, or jail, labor activists in Iran are also pressured in interrogation session to formally resign from their own independent and free workers’ organizations. The only charge against these persecuted activists is their membership in their own free and independent labor syndicates and attempts in betterment and improvement of their living conditions
The names below are only a short list of the imprisoned workers that we know of, that are currently incarcerated, due to their labor activism:
1- Reza Shahabi, financial secretary of Bus workers syndicate of Tehran aka Vahed
2- Mohamad Jarahi , member of Committee for continuation of free workers organizations
3- - Shahrokh Zamani, member of Committee for continuation of free workers organizations
4- Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Children’s Rights activist. His son is afflicted with cancer and under chemo therapy, needing his father besides him.
5- , Abdolreza Ghanbary, member of Teachers’ Association Of Iran
6- Rasol Badaghi, Executive Board member Teachers’ Association of Iran
7- Aliakbar Baghbani, Executive director of Teachers’ association of Iran
8- Mahmoud Beheshti, Inspector and spokesperson of Association’ Guild of Iran
Labor and political activists are subjected to disturbing conditions in Iranian jails.
Attorney General of Islamic Republic has been quoted as saying:” By attrition we will gradually get rid of every single one these activists.”
We the signatories of this call demand:
1-Immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned workers and political prisoners in Iran.
2- Formation of an “International Truth Seeking Committee” and sending it to Iran, in order to investigate prisoners’ condition in Iranian jails.
3- We call for an immediate end to inhumane treatment of dissidents in Iran.
4-We call for an investigation of living conditions of prisoners’ families and dispatching of needed aid.
5-We call for recognition of all international laws and conventions regarding political freedoms, formation of syndicates, free associations and basic rights of all citizens.

Bavafa

Bavafa   'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory  Mehrdad

Why you may ask?

I believe for self-serving reasons. They object to political prisoners in Burma because they can claim they are on the side of democracy in other nations, yet won’t lose anything since Burma has nothing worth of interest to these Western nations. In case of Iran however, they can’t afford pissing off Mullahs when the prize is political prisoners AND possibly, god forbid, a true democratic system to take roots in Iran.

Lastly, let’s not forget our own impotence population that have done even less than these Western nations to demand freedom for these brave bunch behind bars.

Mehrdad