Iranian political prisoner Arzhang Davoodi has sent an open letter from behind bars to the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini decrying her trip on Saturday to Tehran in a bid to reestablish economic ties with the regime.
Mr. Davoodi is incarcerated in the notorious Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison in Karaj, north-west of Tehran.
The following is an English translation of Mr. Davoodi’s letter to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:
“Dear Federica Mogherini,
As one of the oldest political prisoners in Iran who has consistently respected the universal declaration of human rights with its accompanied bonds, from the beginning I have always carried out my political activities in accordance with these values. Since 2003, I am the man who has served time in different prisons of a medieval regime and who has been in exile during the unjust convictions, the convictions for the peaceful struggle to achieve freedom, democracy, rights and justice. I hereby notify you that although we Iranians have considerable respect for guests and particularly female guests in our homes, the leaders of this fake government basically do not give value to people’s lives, let alone the individual and social rights of the citizens. I believe that the trip [to Iran] by each senior official from developed countries including the travel of a distinguished lady like you- who leads the Europe Union’s foreign policy-does not establish freedom and democracy in this afflicted country. Your travel also annoys political and non-political prisoners, and it particularly hurts the feelings of the political activists. I note that in authoritarian governments, the leaders scorn the civil liberties and citizenship rights and evade their international responsibilities. These authoritarian rulers cannot solve domestic problems and they also stir up domestic and cross-border troubles. In fact, in today’s world, the mere existence of such governments is itself the main problem. However, we expect you to not withhold any effective efforts to prevent the massive violation of the human rights as long as you are in Iran and you are in formal and informal negotiations with the leaders of the Khamenei regime and their partners. It is also expected of you to pay particular attention to the politically-oppressed prisoners in order to alleviate the pain of their families
Rajai Shahr Prison, April 12, 2016”