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Date:22 August 2012

Author: Kalameh

The Recent Release Of Political Prisoners, A Distraction Or A Show Of Good Faith?

Voice of Freedom :Last week a number of political prisoners were released under amnesty by the Supreme Leader.

Last Wednesday, August 15, 2012, according to what Tehran's District Attorney called "Amnesty by the Supreme Leader" released were; 40 civil activists, 7 convicted of espionage, 5 convicted of blasphemy, 6 journalists and 5 members of the Mojahedin-e-Khalgh (MEK). Along with those released were 9 Ward 350 political prisoners that their sentences were commuted.

Among those released, 21 people had only few weeks to a few months left of their prison term, and would have been automatically released after serving out their prison term. Thus, at least in their case, we must doubt the good intentions of the regime for returning to a "more politically open environment" and a "return to a just Judicial system".

Further analysis shows that those who currently remain incarcerated under heavy sentences are those who, despite their incarceration, have issued statements and written letters on various occasions protesting the unjust current situation. These are people who have been deprived of their basic rights such as use of telephone, furlough and face to face visitations.

A further look at the political prisoners who remain incarcerated, shows that, in Evin Ward 350 alone, there are 20 political party and presidential campaign activists, 8 journalists and media activists, 15 Student and labor activists, 7 human rights activists, 10 civil and cultural activists, 17 accused of cooperation with Mojahedin Khalgh Organization and 10 election protesters.

Many of those who remain incarcerated have not been allowed even one day of furlough, and many have serious medical and health problems whose treatments have either been stopped or continues in a very slow pace.

Also, there are a number of women held in the womens ward at Evin, there are prisoners in Wards 240, 209 and 2-A of Evin, a number of prisoners in Rejaei Shahr prison, and in prisons outside of Tehran, but an accurate number of these incarcerated political prisoners is not available.

Also, according to reports obtained by Kalameh from Ward 350 of Evin, where most of the post-presidential election political prisoners are incarcerated, despite earlier claims made by Tehran's Prosecutor that the political prisoners being released were remorseful and had asked for a pardon, from the moment that their names were announced and they started gathering their belongings until the time they were released from prison at approximately 11:00 PM Wednesday night, not for a moment did the prisoners stop chanting slogans and singing anthems, both those who were being released and those who were remaining behind.

All the prisoners together were roaring chants of "Ya Hossein Mir Hossein", "Neither Eastern, nor Western, a Green National State".

They expressed their solidarity by singing the "O Iran" anthem, they sang "My Schoolmate", "The Winter Has Ended". They continued their chants and singing until the last person to be released left the ward.

Yet, there still are many people such as Nasrin Sotoudeh, Bahareh Hedayat, Mahsa Amrabadi, Mahboubeh Karami, Amirkhosro Dalirsani, Sayed Mehdi Khodaei, Mohamad Davari, Mohamad Sayfzadeh, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Mohamad Sedigh Kaboudvand, Abolfazl Abedini, Sama Nourani, Siyamak Ghaderi, Hossein Zarini, Sayd Mohamad Ebrahimi, Arash Safar, Afshin Osanlo, Alireza Rejaei, Mohamad Hossein Naimipour, Alireza Beheshti Shirazi, Fayzollah Arabsorkhi, Behzad Navavi, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Mohamad Taher Ghavini, Emad Bahavar, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Abdollah Momeni, Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, Siyavash Hatam, Saeid Matinpour, Masoud Pedram, Kayvan Samimi, Sayd Amir Khoram, Abdolfatah Soltani, Isa Saharkhiz, Mohsen Aminzadeh, Hassan Assadi Zaidabadi, Babak Dashab, Majid Dori, Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Zaidabadi, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Rasoul Badaghi, Mohamad Amin Hadavi, Zia Navabi, Masoud Bastani, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Reza Shahavi, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Ahmad Hashemi and Arash Sadeghi, and many more, who are still incarcerated as political prisoners.

Many of these prisoners are deprived of their basic right of use of furlough, and many are deprived of needed medical treatment. Families of many of these political prisoners have to wait for hours upon hours and endure harassment and harsh treatment at the Prosecutors officen or at Court in order to request a medical furlough or a face to face visit.

An analysis of the prisoners who were released and those who remain behind bars, and a look at the people with short prison terms that were recently summoned to prison, easily shows that the release of these prisoners was just an act trying to show good faith and to distract the public on the eve of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, from the governments lack of proper and timely response to the recent earthquake in Azarbaijan, and to distract the people from the current economic pressure on the them.

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