In a letter to the UN Human Rights Council, political prisoners in Gohardasht Prison, Karaj, west of Tehran, asked for the extension of the UN Special Rapporteur’s mission on Human Rights to Iran. These prisoners wrote time and again some of us have been asked to declared Dr. Ahmed Shaheed’s reports as incorrect and full of lies, and in return be granted amnesty or other incentives from the judiciary.
The text of this letter written inside Gohardasht Prison is as follows:
United Nations Human Rights Council
We are on the verge of electing the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran. We Iranian political prisoners would like to express our opinion in this regard to support you as much as we can in this decision.
Considering the fact that we have spent years in prison, naturally more than anyone else we are informed about the human rights situation in Iran. We have followed up on all events and human rights reports, not as a human rights activist or a political-social advocate, but as individuals whose very lives depend on such news. This is why what we understand from human rights in Iran and its Special Rapporteur is much more down to earth. Although some of us have gained nothing directly from this rapporteur, we would like to express our opinion to you in brief:
1. In comparison to all other Special Rapporteurs, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed has been one of the most active and we have seen the impact of his reports in Iran’s prisons.
2. There have relatively been no major human rights violations in prison that have not been reflected in his reports.
3. There have been no special rapporteurs to have been so abhorred by those violating human rights (in Iran’s judicial system). Many such officials insult and disrespect Dr. Shaheed’s name in court and in interrogations (because of his correct reports).
4. Time and again prisoners have been summoned because of his reports. Although there have been many insults, in the end the prisoners’ demands have been relatively addressed (which would not have been possible without the reports).
5. Time and again in prison we have seen TV programs mostly aimed against Ahmed Shaheed, and many insults thrown at him and the Human Rights Council. All prisoners know all their claims are false, especially those expressed by individuals such as Mohammad Javad Larijani, who usually leads the shows against the UN Human Rights Council and Dr. Ahmed Shaheed himself.
6. Through these TV programs broadcasted against the UN Human Rights Council, and especially Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, we come to realize they can neither deceive him nor bribe him into anything.
7. We, political prisoners, have been asked time and again to describe Dr. Shaheed’s reports as untrue and lies to be granted amnesty or other incentives by the judiciary.
For these reasons we political prisoners, most of whom have been in prison for more than 10 years, fully support Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, and we call on the respectful UN Human Rights Council to extend his mission or reelect him as the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran.
Names of prisoners:
Saleh Kohandel, Faridd Azmude, Pirouz Mansouri, Saeed Masouri, Shaheen Zoghitabar, Hassan Sadeghi, Abdulahad Jalilzadeh, Payam Bastani, Behzad Tarahomi, Saeed Shirzad, Amir Amirgholi, Ali Moezi, Soheil Babadi, Mehdi Shandiz, Masoud Arab-choubdar, Zaniyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, Ramezan Ahmad Kamal, Reza Akbari Monfared, Afshin Baimani, Latif Hassani, Vaheed Asghari, Hamid Babai, Amir Ghaziyan, Mohammad Reza Ali-Payam, Iraj Hatami, Ali Mashhadi Kazem, Mithagh Yazdan-nezhad, Javad Fouladvand, Asghar Mahbubian, Alireza Gholipour, Ibrahim Firouzi, Reza Kahe, Asghar Ghatan, Khaled Heradani, Rasoul Heradani, Shahram Pour Mansouri, Farhang Pourmansouri, Saeed Shahgholiyan and Gholam Hossein Ka’bi.