Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          

Public Statement

CONTACT: press@wfafi.org   

September 8, 2006

Iran's New Strategy to Kill Political Prisoners: Murder in Prison

BOSTON, MA In recent months, Tehran's fundamentalist regime has resorted to new strategies for killing political prisoners, particularly those who have gained an international attention and recognition. On September 6th, in a preemptive move, Tehran's regime announced that Mr. Valiollah Feyz Mahdavi has committed suicide in Ghohardasht prison. Mr. Mahdavi death followed the death of Mr. Akbar Mohammadi on July 30, 2006. Both political prisoners and had been on hunger strike protesting prison conditions and their detention on fabricated charges.

Mr. Feiz-Mahdavi, 28, and a member of Iran's main opposition group (PMOI/MeK), was arrested in 2001. He was sentenced to execution by the Tehran's regime, however, due to international pressure and a widespread campaign by human rights advocates in exile, his death sentence was put on hold in recent weeks . However, on September 3rd, his attorney, Mr. Mohammad Sharif, was told by the 6th District Prosecutor's Office of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran that his "client’s execution sentence had not been commuted to imprisonment."

Mr. Mahdavi, who was on his 7th day of hunger strike, issued a statement from prison calling on international community to continue their campaign on behalf of Iran's political prisoners. On the 8th day of his hunger strike, Mr. Mahdavi's health deteriorated tremendously, yet the prisoner's officials continued to ignore calls by other prisoners pleading medical attention for Mr. Mahdavi. Based on reports received from families of political prisoners in Iran, Mr. Mahdavi had a cardiac arrest before receiving any medical attention. He was revived in prison's medical facility, but was never returned to his cell. Many of his cellmates immediately issued statements and calls for investigation on Mr. Mahdavi's status.

In a move to avoid unwanted attention to the status of political prisoner, Tehran's regime announced his suicide on Wednesday September 6, 2006. Yet, based on reports received from underground human rights groups in Iran, the fundamentalist regime is now pressuring Mr. Mahdavi's cellmates to give on-camera testimony on his suicide. In the last two days, camera crews are interrogating prisoners in Gohardasht prison, where Mr. Mahdavi was murdered, to cover up the heinous act by Tehran's regime.

Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) calls on the international community to pay attention to such evidence of blatant violations of rights and international norms. Tehran's regime must be strongly condemned by the international community. Ahmadinejad's regime must be held responsible for terror at home. His regime must also be referred to the United Nations Security Council for state-sponsor of violence against its own citizens. WFAFI calls upon the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations Security Council, the International Human Rights organizations to dispatch fact finding missions to Iran and provide report on the status of political prisoners. The lives of political prisoners are in danger. The world must intervene to avoid another purge and massacre of political prisons in Iran. In light of the State Department Democracy Initiative in Iran, WFAFI hopes the US officials, publicly and pointedly, mention the above cases while criticizing the Iranian regime




P.O. Box 15205

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