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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Political prisoner: Hojjat Zamani

Iran Focus-News:

Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence against a longtime political prisoner in Iran, making his execution imminent. Hojjat Zamani, 29 years old, has been imprisoned in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran since the year 2000 for being a member of the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). Zamani reportedly endured severe torture in Evin Prison, later escaping and fleeing to Turkey. He was arrested however and turned over to agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). Zamani was sent back to Iran where Amnesty International reported he was once again subjected to torture. Reports had surfaced that in the past few months, Zamani was held in the “dangerous prisoners” section of Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj (west of Tehran). Last winter, he and a group of other political prisoners went on a hunger strike that lasted several weeks. Zamani along with two other Mojahedin political prisoners, Jaafar Aghdami and Valiollah Feiz-Mahdavi, wrote a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on January 24, calling on him to set up a special fact-finding mission to “investigate the plight of families of political prisoners, particularly those whose loved ones were tortured or executed in mullahs’ prisons in the 1980s”. A prison official only identified as Sheikhan reportedly threatened Zamani by saying that he would face imminent execution unless he recanted his letter and collaborated with the regime, after the smuggled letter was distributed to human rights activists outside Iran. Zamani’s two brothers, Fallah and Khazal, were executed by the Iranian regime an earlier date.
Hopefully Zamani will be spared execution. Regardless though, remember him when you here calls for us to moderate our view of Iran or make deals with that nation. The mullahs are thugs and ultimately their method of government is incompatible with Democracy.


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