Four Sunni Prisoners Write from Solitary Confinement
HARANA News Agency – Hamed Ahmadi, Jamshid Dehghani, Jahangir Ahmadi, and Kamal Molayee, four Sunni prisoners who have been sentenced to death and have started a hunger strike since 13, June 2013, wrote: “We would like to inform the whole world about our biographies and nostalgia through this letter. Yes, we live in a country that claims following Islamic principles and Imam Ali. The government claims respecting the holy month of Ramadan and while all Muslims fast by having proper breakfast and Iftar, we, the four Sunni prisoners in Evin Prison, start and break our fast with water alone. The government feels no responsibility to address our problems or investigate the cause of our hunger strike for the fourth time in the past year.
The full text of this letter, a copy of which has been submitted HRANA, is as follows:
“In the name of Allah,
Greetings and respect to the people of Iran, especially those who did not hesitate to be our voice and support our families and compassionately followed our cases.
Today 14July2014 and 20th of Ramadan, we the four Sunni prisoners have spent more than 36 days in hunger strike while suffering terrible health situation. The local physician of the prison has warned the authorities about our health problems, and we have lost our physical strength. Now, we would like to inform the whole world about our biographies, sufferings and nostalgia through this letter.
Yes, we live in a country that claims following Islamic principles and Imam Ali. The government claims respecting the holy month of Ramadan and while all Muslims fast by having proper breakfast and Iftar, we, the four Sunni prisoners in Evin Prison, start and break our fast with water alone. The government feels no responsibility to address our problems or investigate the cause of our hunger strike for the fourth time in the past year.
On 14Jun2014, while crisis in Iraq and Syria is rising, we were taken to the execution chamber for the fourth time with cuffed feet. No prisoner shall be maintained with cuffed feet before the execution. That night, we slept without having fear of death, hoping that soon the doors will be open and will be executed and become free from torture and humiliations. However, 11:30 PM at night, the guards informed us that our execution has been stopped and we were transferred to the quarantine section of Ghezel Hesar prison the next day. Ghezel Hesar was the prison that we had already spent 15 months after the execution of six of our Sunni friends. We continued our hunger strike in Gezel Hesar prison, protesting the tyranny that our families and ourselves were facing and requesting canceling the execution decree, having a fair and public trial, and access to lawyer. At the beginning of the hunger strike, when our families traveled to Tehran to follow up with our cases, some of the authorities showed respect and sympathy with a sense of responsibility. It was encouraging to know that we can still find individuals who would like to be the voice of innocent and oppressed people.
After six years, we were allowed to access an attorney. But, what a lawyer? Our lawyer didn’t have permission to review our cases or meet with us. The authorities denied his requests to appeal our cases to the Supreme Court.
What is the real problem? We would like to inform the world that we have confessed false accusations under immense pressure, torture, and even threats of rape and torturing our families. All these happened in the last two years in the ministry of intelligence prisons in Hamedan, Tehran and Sanandaj.
We have risked our lives many times and issued statements, interviewed with media, and written letters to different organization, announcing our innocence. We have repeatedly denied the allegations of terrorism, or being member of any fundamentalist group. We are ordinary citizens of Iran, who didn’t even know each other outside the prison. Our only crime is being true believer in our faith and having connection to our mosque. We have peacefully objected the offensive article written by Bijan Daneshmand (published in the Sabz Magazine, editors: Ebrahim Hatami-Kia and Jouibari, 2008). It is our right to defend our faith and object these offensive expressions. In response, the offenders were not charged, but we were convicted of acting against national security and sentenced to death. This was a pre-designed scenario to create fear amongst the young Sunnis. However, these tortures, harassments, and suppression not only cannot intimidate the people, but they will make the people defiant and rebellious. Now, we are on hunger strike not because of fear of death but because our rights have been violated and injustice has been imposed upon us and families. After stopping our death sentence, why we should be kept in a dark chamber with two dirty blankets amongst the drug addicts? These are also some examples of tortures and oppressions imposed on us and our families.
Is there a tyranny bigger than the kind of injustice we face in our own country and among our own people? Why the leaders of our country would like to justify their subordinates? For how long, they want to remain silent in response to great injustice and oppression committed by security forces?
We advise the leaders and government of Iran to take a responsible approach. The Day of Judgment is close and they will be held accountable before God about all oppressions occurred in this country. They have to remember that the people may be kept in disbelief but never under oppression and cruelty.
The martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali is close, and we have to learn how Imam Ali dealt with his own murderer and the opposition with compromise and cooperation. You, the leaders, should also learn from him and stop these tyrannical suppressions and execution of innocent people.
Is a peaceful protest against insulting our religion a crime? Have we committed a crime if we ask not to keep us in the drug addicts’ prison? Is the fact that we ask for a fair and public trial with access to lawyer a crime? Why we have been sentenced to death in a fake and fabricated court in less than 10 minutes in Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh without having the right to protest. Now, judge for yourself and see how you are dealing with innocent people.
We asked the head of Justice System, as the highest ranking justice authority in the country, to cancel our execution sentences and accommodate a fair and public trial with access to a lawyer so that the world can see if we have committed a crime or we have been faced injustice and oppression. We, as Iranian citizens, have the right to access such a court.
It should be noted that we have been sentenced to death under Article 186, and in the new Act this material has been removed. In accordance with Article 10 of the new law, we have the right to request stopping the sentence and returning our cases to the High Court to resume a new trial.
Now in the holy month of Ramadan, we ask all the people of Iran to spend one day starting and breaking fast with water alone and pray for us. Lastly, we sincerely thank the lovely people who defend and sympathize with our problems and families and demonstrated a sense of responsibility. We ask all international organizations, human rights organizations, independent lawyers, and influential personalities in Iran and foreign countries to support our cause and justice for the young Sunni activists. We also demand the media to communicate our innocence to the world so that our voice can be heard.
“Human beings are equal in creation and similar to the organs of the same body; when one person feels the pain the rest will be in pain as well.
People who ignore others sufferings may not be called human being”
Four Sunni prisoners of Gezelhesar prison: Jamshid Dehghani, Jahangir Dehghani, Kamal Molayee, and Hamed Ahmadi”