By NCRI Staff

NCRI - The Iranian Regime is a ticking time bomb and ever-present protests from the Iranian people are just speeding up the countdown, according to a human rights activist.

Heshmat Alavi wrote an op-ed on the plight of Iranian political prisoners on hunger strike for Forbes in which he identified human rights as the Regime’s Achilles Heel.

Their complete disregard for the rights of the Iranian people will prove their downfall, more so than the nuclear weapons programme or their meddling in the Middle East.

The supposed moderate, President Hassan Rouhani, who pledged to improve human rights (both in the 2013 and 2017 Presidential campaigns) allowed over 100 executions in July alone. During his first term, he had nearly 4,000 people executed.

Hunger Strike

In late July, dozens of political prisoners (mostly supporters of the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)) were forced to move to a new section in Gohardasht (Raja’i Shahr) prison, in Karaj, west of Tehran, where conditions were described as “suffocating” by Amnesty International.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director for Amnesty International, said: “The horrendous conditions at Raja’i Shahr prison point to a pattern of cruel and inhumane treatment that has repeatedly characterized Iran’s ruthless attitude to prisoners in its custody.”

They are deprived of:

• clean, drinking water; even the water purification devices that prisoners purchased at their own expense have been confiscated

• food

• adequate beds

• fresh air and sunlight, with metal sheets covering the windows

• contact with family members

• privacy, with CCTV and listening devices in all areas including bathrooms

Alavi wrote: “Such situations leave no conclusion possible other than the authorities’ intention to completely cut off these political prisoners from the outside world. Officials also seek to restrict, to any extent possible, any information leak regarding their regular ordeals in Raja’i Shahr.”

As a result, 22 prisoners are now on hunger strike. Some of the hunger strikers were forced into solitary confinement as punishment for their peaceful protest.

Many of the hunger strikers desperately require medical treatment in hospital but the prison warden is refusing to authorise such transfers.

Still the hunger strikers will not give up and they are indeed being joined by other political prisoners around Iran.

Alavi wrote: “Iranian authorities have human rights commitments they are obligated to live up to. Yet detaining prisoners of conscience by the dozens following completely unfair trials is this regime’s response in honouring these commitments.”

He concluded: “This case brings to light how these protest acts, such as hunger strikes launched by political prisoners inside the regime’s own jails and rallies witnessed across the country, enjoy important influence. The ruling elite in Tehran continues to seek effective measures to counter such movements.”

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