NCRI Staff

NCRI - At least 50 anti-regime protesters have been shot dead in the streets in Iran, 4,000 have been detained and are threatened with the death penalty, with at least two have died under torture in prison.

This is how the Iranian Regime deals with peaceful protesters and human rights organisations from around the world should be paying close attention, according to Iranian-American political scientist Dr. Majid Rafizadeh.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote an op-ed on Arab News explaining that the Regime has also been engaging in “preventative” arrests (as confirmed by the Iranian Students’ News Agency and Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of the Iranian parliament), which effectively means arresting people who have not been involved in the protests in an effort to impose fear.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh warned: “[This] provides the Iranian authorities with a ‘legitimate’ pretext to arrest people who are considered to be in opposition to the regime. In addition, the regime is also trying to reduce the possibility of the discontent spreading or another wave of protests erupting.”

Most of those arrested have been young people, women, and university students; people that are already routinely oppressed by the Regime. What will happen to them now?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh explored how the Regime has treated protesters in the past to see how the current detainees may fare and the reading isn’t pretty.

He cites rape, torture, and death in custody as common in detentions centres like Kahrizak and Evin Prison, after the 2009 Green Protests following the rigged election.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “The detainees are routinely used as pawns to teach society a hard lesson against protesting. Protesters are generally labelled as political dissidents… They will likely face ambiguous charges such as endangering the national security of the government, attempting to overthrow the government, or conspiring with “enemies” and foreigners. Their sentences can range from long-term solitary confinement to execution. The act of insulting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and chanting “Death to Khamenei” is punishable by death.”

These prisoners are not allowed access to lawyers, their trials lack due process, and in many cases the Regime will force confessions from the defendants.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “Some of the detainees are not capable of enduring the atrocities and torture….Not surprisingly, the regime attempts to brush off these kinds of deaths in detention as ‘suicides without providing any details.”
He continued: “Human rights organizations and the United Nations should closely monitor the situations of these detainees in Iran. The international community should also put pressure on the Iranian authorities to stop its campaign of preventative arrests and release innocent detainees.”