“This is my last appeal to you: The prison guards are right behind the door. They have come to take us. Be the voice of our suppressed voice! Don’t let them murder us.” These were the last words Mina Ahadi heard from a prisoner on death row in Rajaaishahr prison. She heard the guards raid the ward and the call was disconnected abruptly.
Mohammad Mardani, Rajaaishahr prison’s warden, called on the ward where the Sunni prisoners sentenced to execution were held on 29 September to let them know a judge had ordered their transfer to solitary cells. Mardani read out the names of twenty prisoners. Six other prisoners had previously been transferred to Ghezelhesaar prison. Mardani also threatened the prisoners that should they not go peacefully, they would be taken forcibly and with broken limbs.
Mina talked to the prisoners awaiting their execution and heard he prison guards about to bust in to take the prisoners. She could hear the prisoners shouting in the midst of a commotion: “we won’t go; we won’t go.” One of them told her: “if we are completely cut off from the outside world, let everyone know that we were forcibly taken to the gallows. Please be the voice of our suppressed voice! Don’t let them murder us!”
Of the 117 Sunni prisoners held in this ward, twenty were on death row. They were taken either to solitary confinement or to Ghezelhesaar prison. The regime apparently intends to execute the 26 together.
Our sources report that whilst the victim’s families were meeting with the Prosecutor General, the violent prison guards were dragging the group of twenty away to execute them.
The International Committee Against Execution appeals to one and all to vehemently protest the Islamic regime of Iran’s plan to execute these twenty-six prisoners. We must respond to their appeal.
Update: The latest reports indicate that as a result of two-days of protest and sit-in by the families of the prisoners, the regime has backed down for now and postponed the executions until next month. But the struggle must continue until all the death sentences have been revoked.
In the past months and particularly since Hassan Rouhani took office, executions have been stepped up. 218 people have been executed since July; 22 people were hung whilst Rouhani was being hailed as a “moderate” in New York. From the perspective of the people of Iran, the regime cannot be moderate. It and its representatives are the people’s executioners and must all be stopped as must all executions.
International Committee Against Execution
29 September 2013
0049 (0) 1775692413