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Revenge of Theocracy – Letter from Prison

Mohammad Saber Malek Raisi, an exiled political prisoner in Ardebil prison, wrote a letter to Ebrahim Raisi, the head of the Judiciary, protesting the non-granting of leave to political prisoners during the country’s coronavirus outbreak and horrible prison conditions. In this letter, Mr. Malek Raisi, referring to the inappropriate treatment of political prisoners by the Ardebil prosecutor, asked Ebrahim Raisi to investigate his case.

Following the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus and the growing concern about the fate of hundreds of thousands of prisoners, the head of the Judiciary issued two directives in early March to control the health of prisons and setting conditions for the release of prisoners. It mostly included prisoners with financial crimes as well as prisoners with less than 5 years term left. The situation is doubly difficult for political prisoners. The judicial officials or the Prisons Organization take it upon themselves to create illegal transgressions in the administrative process of the release of some ideological detainees.

The full text of this letter, which has been made available to HRNA for publication, is as follows:

“Greetings and respect for Mr. Raisi;

I, Mohammad Saber Malek Raeisi, the son of Dadali, was arrested on the charges of acting against national security and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in exile, has been in prison since September 24, 2009 at the age of 17. Since you have been appointed to the position of the head of the judiciary, you have repeatedly mentioned justice and justice with human dignity in your speeches. You also emphasize to all officers and executors of justice to maintain these characteristics. You have made the justice and respect for clients as your top priority. If this is indeed the case, you believe in what you say, and it is not just demagogic slogans, take the necessary steps to act justly about the following issues I mention:

1: You have started an effort to release or furlough prisoners due to the coronavirus outbreak to prevent the spread of the virus in prisons. On Sunday, March 29, Ardebil’s prosecutor, judges and officials from Provincial Prisons Organization came to our ward at Ardebil Central Prison. I requested the prosecutor, Mr.Tabatabai to allow me to go on leave, I also informed him that I had submitted my written request yesterday. In response, he asked me for my crime, and when he found out it is “acting against national security”, he told me off in the worst possible way in front of all the officials and my wardmates. He yelled, “Breathing is forbidden for anyone who has acted against national security!” They left the ward without a single word.

I was the second person to make such request, it’s interesting to know that the first person received a similar answer. It was as if they had come just for a photo op and indirectly issue a fatwa on my murder and the like! Mr. Raisi, the question arises, is this the justice you have spoken of?! Was this the dignity, prisoner rights and honoring clients that you shouted in the national media?!

I’m a prisoner sentenced to 15 years, serving the eleventh year, now I have to die and breathing is forbidden for me?! Does the public prosecutor’s office have the right to yell at me and violate my dignity? Is he allowed to issue a fatwa on my murder? Isn’t this a fair question that there’s a plan to assassinate me and others like me under coronavirus ploy? It should be noted that this action of Mr. Tabatabai is contrary to Article 39 of the Constitution. Article 39 of the Constitution explicitly states that insulting the dignity of a person arrested, detained, imprisoned and exiled in accordance with the law is prohibited in any form and is punishable. Now, according to the Constitution, Article 2, paragraph C, negating any oppression, domination, justice, and so on; also Article 3, paragraph 6, eliminating any tyranny and monopoly; paragraph 14, ensuring comprehensive rights of men and women and the provision of fair judicial security for all and the equality of the public before the law, you are expected to take the necessary steps to ensure the rights of a prisoner.

2: Mr. Raisi! I was 17 years old, a student in the second year of high school, was arrested by the intelligence agents for no reason and severely tortured physically and mentally. My confessions were made under torture and dictated to me to be used for the case. I was held in the detention center of the Zahedan Intelligence Office for 21 months. I can safely swear that during these 21 months, I was beaten by agents on average once a week. For reasons such as confessions, intimidating newcomers, or even entertaining the detention officers! There were different types of torture, the most brutal and unbearable of which was torture on a bed called the “miracle bed”, and honestly it worked miracles! I was tied up to it twice for real and five or six times for the fright. All these fabrications and pressures were for my family to convince my brother, who was overseas and working against the regime, to return to the country and surrender. Before making a phone call or meeting with my family, I was always justified and threatened to try and persuade my family to make my brother return. Sometimes, even before I called my family, I would be beaten so I’d talk to them with teary eyes and lumps. My family would be worried about my condition and would be serious about trying to get my brother back.

All these actions were futile because my brother has nothing to do with the family, never have nor will listen to them. By the way, Mr. Raisi! For many years now, I have been living in a miserable situation, without any rights or legal privileges, without any proceedings, and even sometimes are subjected to beatings and customary torture. Many times my family and I have written letters to officials, including the Supreme Leader, the President and Chief of the Judiciary, but unfortunately to this day not only has no answer been received, but I have been accused of propagating against the regime because I have made my situation public. The people who have committed these acts under the banner and name of the system are the cause of destruction and propaganda against the system because what they do is against the law. Not me who is working to take back my lost rights and youth I’ve sacrificed here, , and to improve and restore comfort to the miserable lives of myself and my family. Since I have no other way to send and publish my letters except cyberspace, I have to do so. Can I write a letter about my situation and send it to you and the authorities through the prosecutor’s office, whom forbids me to live, or the prison officials who have beaten me many times?
Now you, the highest authority, are expected to investigate this matter and take the necessary measures with justice and fairness, so that my family, my old parents and myself can be free of this misery, tragedies and tortures after eleven years.
Thank you very much
Mohammad Saber Malek Raisi / April 2020 / Ardebil Central Prison ”.

Cover: Jon Tyson

Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!