Heshmatollah Tabazadi: why I don’t attend the court
HRANA News Agency – During the past three months, I have been summoned to the Revolutionary Court, the last time being yesterday 14April2014, but refused to attend the court. Now, I have an opportunity to clarify the reasons for my refusal while sharing a message in the honor of labor day:
1. The authorities in Rajayee-Shahr prison do not give any explanation about the reason and the destination to the prisoner. The prisoner is solely a detainee for them, and this has been a common practice in all prisons under the current regime since long time ago. For example, when Shahrokh Zamani was summoned from division #12, they abducted him and transferred to Ghezel-Hesar prison. Earlier, Rasoul Bodaghi and Samkou Khalghati were similarly captured and transferred to the solitary confinement. This illegal practice has been a major concern for the prisoners, because there is no guarantee that the prisoners wouldn’t be kidnapped during the meetings with families or transfer to the court.
2. The minute the prisoner exit the prison to attend the court, he / she must face gruesome harassments and animosity from the intelligence service agents, guardians, and / or court security personnel. There is no exception for the political prisoners or common prisoners. A clear example of this behavior is beating Mr. Loghman Moradi. This is an inhuman and unlawful behavior, which has become a routine procedure that would be unlikely to be modified under the current circumstances. I have witnessed such barbaric behavior of beating and cursing the prisoners by guardians. This is absolutely unacceptable for me, and I cannot observe young, Iranian prisoners to be the subject of this brutal violence and harassment.
3. Over the past 20 years as a consequence of my responsibilities (as journalist, human rights and political activist), I have dealt with many court procedures, the so-called “revolutionary courts”, but I have constantly seen unjust, tyrannical court orders against myself. That is why I have repeatedly stated that until I have access to a just court with proper jury in the public, I will not recognize and participate in such specialized courts.
There will be no real reform in the country if the general competency of the judiciary is not restored, the full independence of the Judiciary system is not guaranteed, and the special revolutionary courts are not dissolved. And until then, I will not be attending any court in this country.
4. Last year when I was on vacation outside the prison, the enforcement unit of the revolutionary court stormed into my house without any notice or legal permit, and created fear and panic amongst my family. Meanwhile, thieves, criminals, causes of social instability, and those who continuously violate the constitution live free under protection. But, apparently the government denies even my minimum security in the Rajayee Shahr prison to stop me of defending the rights of my nation and my fellow Iranians. Therefore, I warn them (whoever they are at any position or ranking) that if they continue this tyrannical behavior I will do whatever it takes to convey the message of innocence of the prisoners to the world and will start an indefinite hunger strike. And without a doubt, the goal of this strike will be “death or freedom.”
In prison or outside the prison, I will defend the constitutional rights and uncover the regime’s systematic violation of human rights, as I did in the statement titled “The Year of Human Rights and Violations of Baha’is Civil Rights.” My rejection of attending courts is to protest against the abovementioned illegal procedures.
5. The systematic violation of human rights in Iran is so terrible that even regime’s Western allies and those who were appeasing the regime for many years are now forced to stand against the regime and search for a strategic plan. The regime’s human rights record has been accurately considered as the most vital element of its life, and the influential leaders of the regime are well aware of the situation and admit this fact. That is why 2014 is considered as the year of human rights and national demand for human rights.
6. Some of the fundamental human rights demands are labor rights, the right of education, right of health and well-being and security. Meanwhile, the regime has failed in all aspects including monopoly and corruption in the state agencies, ambitious nuclear programs, and illegal interference with national interests of other countries in the region. These issues have placed the country at enormous risk, facing international sanctions, alarming level of poverty, and severe economic consequences. The recent implementation of the embarrassing program of “basket of goods” and the regrettable disgrace called “opting out of receiving subsidies” well illustrates the desperate situation of the regime.
7. The Labor Day – May 1st – is a historical opportunity for the workers, teachers, and all organizations, syndicates, associations to take part in meetings and group discussions to collectively call for national and professional demands. No doubt, the current economical constrains places an enormous burden on the shoulder of the working class and teachers more than any group / class. Therefore, these conditions offer a great opportunity for the workers and teachers to demand better working environment, higher wage corresponding the current high cost of living, ensure occupational security, paying the postponed payments and bonuses, job insurance and superior educational and living conditions.
I am sure all political parties, organizations, media and syndicates will fully support the demands of the workers, cultural associations and teachers. Moreover, everybody will use the Labor Day as a major opportunity to challenge the regime and ask for national democratic demands including NO to death penalty, freedom of the political and ideological prisoners, independent and reliable judiciary system, NO to mandatory cover or Hijab, and ensuring a minimum wage for the working class.
Rajeyee Shahr Prison – 14 April, 2014