Maryam Rajavi: Clerical dictatorship’s vengeance against families of Ashraf residents and PMOI members in Iran
This morning, Monday, January 24, two political prisoners; Jaafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj-Aqai were executed in Tehran’s Evin prison upon the order of the clerical regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The regime’s prosecutor and the official news agency announced their charges as: Visiting Camp Ashraf, encouraging their children and families to go to Ashraf, propaganda and activities in streets and mosques during the uprising, taking films and photos from demonstrations, conducting interviews with families of PMOI members in Ashraf and collecting funds for PMOI members in Ashraf.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, described the barbaric executions as the clerical dictatorship’s vengeance against the families of PMOI members residing in Ashraf following worldwide support for the solution offered by the Iranian Resistance after the regime’s failed maneuver in the nuclear issue in Istanbul, and an act in fear of public uprisings in Iran. Simultaneously, the regime is becoming increasingly isolated in the international arena and the world community has acknowledged that the regime is not a party to engage in negotiations and it is facing a dead lock in dealing with the regime.
Jaafar Kazemi, 47, a political prisoner for 11 years, was in prison from 1982 to 1991 and he was again arrested in August 2009 and held in solitary confinement of Ward 209 of Evin prison. He was subjected to variety of tortures and pressures for a year and a half. The regime’s henchmen put him under pressure to take part in revolting stage managed shows and kangaroo trials to give force confessions, but they failed. Finally they sentenced him to death with an empty file. Kazemi’s main “crime”, as described by the regime’s prosecutor, was to visit Ashraf and meet with his son, Behrouz, who is currently in Ashraf.
Mohammad Ali Haj-Aqai, 52, spent 7 years in prisons of the regime. He was in jail from 1983 to 1988 and in December 2009, during Ashura uprising, he was rearrested and sentenced to death as ‘mohareb’ (enemy of God) for visiting Ashraf and participating in demonstrations.
Both dissidents were witness to the massacre of Iranian political prisoners carried out at Khomeini’s orders in the summer of 1988. They were suffering physical ailments due to tortures endured during their imprisonment in Evin Prison but they were denied all medical treatment.
Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action Appeal on their behalf on January 5, 2011. Amnesty announced that Jaafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj-Aqai and five other political prisoners are under threat of execution on charges of having contacts with the PMOI.
Jaafar Kazemi was not cowed by the Iranian regime’s unjust trial judge and courageously declared in the sham trial: I don’t know who you mean by Monafeghin (regime’s derogatory term for the PMOI). I only know the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)…
On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, a head interrogator in Evin Prison tried in one last vain attempt to break the two PMOI members and pressured them again to repent and seek Khamenei’s pardon in a television interview. They were taken to a fake execution scene and a noose was placed around their necks. But both of them heroically stood by their goals and were returned to their cells only to be martyred early dawn today at Khamenei’s orders.
The executions were performed without any prior notice to the political prisoners’ families or to their defense lawyer.
Mohammad Ali Haj-Aqai who was being sought for arrest by the Iranian regime sought refuge at Camp Ashraf in Iraq in January 2009 . At the same time US forces transferred control of Ashraf to Iraqi forces and the Iraqi committee in charge of suppressing Ashraf at Iraq’s prime ministry forced Haj-Aqai to return to Iran. This issue was brought up many times by representatives of Ashraf in meetings with Iraqi and US force commanders in a period of 3 months leading up to Haj-Aqai’s return. Ashraf representatives informed Colonel Jones, then commander of US forces and Lt-Colonel Amir Abdul-Latif, then Iraqi commander, that Haj-Aqai and three other persons that had come to Ashraf recently from Iran would be arrested and executed if forced to return.
Despite all the warnings, Iraqi forces, on orders from the Iraqi committee in charge of suppressing Ashraf at Iraq’s prime ministry, in clear violation of international covenants on refugees and humanitarian law, forced Haj-Aqai and three other persons to leave Ashraf and return to Iran on April 25, 2009 on grounds that they do not have any past record of presence in Ashraf. Iraqi claims that they cannot accept any new person at Ashraf after transfer of security responsibility from the US forces signified the Iraqi government’s eagerness to serve the mullahs in Iran.
Both heroes, Jaafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj-Aqai, spent almost one year in solitary confinement under threat of execution.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 24, 2011