By Abdollah Pakatchi
Hassan Rouhani, Iranian regime’s president said recently that “hanging convicts is implementing God’s commandments”. This is the main formula in Iran’s judicial system. Anybody making any criticism may finally find himself standing at the gallows. The prisoners, who, by this logic, have acted against the men of God, are not therefore to have the same rights as others. Political prisoners, men and women, are frequently attacked and beaten by prison guards. What happened this time at Evin Prison was just one of those incidents.
On Thursday, April 17th, about 100 IRGC forces broke into the rooms of ward 350 of Evin Prison, which houses mostly the PMOI supporters. Prisoners were forced to line up outside their cells and then go through a human tunnel in which they were viciously beaten by clubs and sticks. The guards even beat up old prisoners who some were in their seventies. This made prisoners in other sections shouting in protest to the brutality of guards.
Some of the inmates were severely injured and needed to be taken to hospital. Some prisoners were also taken to some unidentified locations, and their fates are not known yet. A number of prisoners were also put in solitary confinement even though they needed immediate medical attention for the wounds they had suffered during the raid. The prisoners, remained in ward 350, have gone on hunger strike since Friday 18th. On the next day, families of prisoners gathered in protest outside the Public Prosecutor‘s office in Tehran.
Prisoners, and in particular political prisoners, in Iran are subjects of periodical harassments by prison guards. The recent attack on inmates of Evin prisons was not the first of its kind. It did not happen by mistake. It was well planned before. 100 suppressive IRGC forces, along with some intelligence, and some of the prison authorities, were involved. The attack lasted five hours, in which the assailants beat up the prisoners, particularly the PMOI supporter, to their death.
This attack was organized to augment the atmosphere of fear in the Iranian society. It was aimed to repel the consequences of the waves of international condemnations of violations of human rights by this regime. Public executions, various kinds of suppressive guards, bothering people, especially women, in the streets, did not bring the desirable results to the regime.
Now, if the attack on prisoners is a routine tactic of the Iranian regime, so what is special this time that the recent raid has become a matter of debate between factions of Iranian regime? What has made the Iranian officials come out and deny that there has been any attack at all? Pour Mohammadi, who was one of key figures behind the mass murder of 30,000 of Iran’s political prisoners in 1988, is now trying to minimize the situation. He denied that any raid had occurred and said it was just a routine check. He described the scene as “a couple of prisoners were just lightly bruised and were treated without any need for hospitalization.”
The Iranian regime is now faced with many fatal political and economic internal crises. In last year’s presidential elections, the fear of encountering another mass uprising made Khamenei to acquiesce to Rouhani’s presidency. This made the Rafsanjani- Rouhani team return to Iran’s political scene pushing back the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. That election created an outgrowing gap inside the Iranian regime.
Later, when Rouhani government gave in to the recent nuclear accord in Geneva, it was another blow to the entire regime. The accord is now acting as a “chalice of poison” for the Iranian regime. It is gradually touching different organs of this regime. Any incident such as the criminal raid on defenseless political prisoners, although strongly needed by the regime, can become a punch in the face of the Mullahs. This is something that cannot be ignored by Iran’s Ayatollahs, when, simultaneously, the Iranian resistance conquers new summits on its path to a free Iran.