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Families of Iranian Political Prisoners: We Take Refuge In God, Not This Judiciary

Source: (translation by Negar Irani)

Statement by a group of family members of the political prisoners for the one year anniversary of the rigged presidential election: We take refuge in God, not this judiciary

With the approaching anniversary of last year's controversial presidential elections, a number of families of political prisoners, issued a statement describing the suffering and hardship they and their loved ones have endured this past year and expressing their concern that there is no light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the regime's treatment of political prisoners. Many have been kept behind bars with heavy sentences, while others have been sent to notoriously gruesome prisons such as Rajai Shahr for reasons that remain unclear.

The complete content of this letter is as follows:

In the name of God who renders justice to the oppressed

To the great nation of Iran,

A year has past since the arrests of our spouses, fathers and children. In this year, we the families' of political prisoners, have endured much hardship and suffering, some of which we have shared with the people of Iran and some which remains in the privacy of our hearts, to be shared between us and our God - as no one is closer to us and more aware of the truth than God.

Today, as we write this letter to the people of Iran, we remain as worried and languished as the first day when our loved ones were arrested. We see no light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the regime's treatment of political prisoners. Many have been sent to prison with heavy sentences. Some have been sent to notoriously gruesome prisons such as Rajai Shahr for reasons that remain unclear to us, while a select few have been allowed to leave prison temporarily by paying several hundred million tomans in bail. We all remain in a state of limbo and uncertainty. Our minds are filled with questions. Questions that the government and judiciary have failed to respond to in a convincing, clear and transparent manner.

Why have you arrested our children? Why have you forced them to participate in show trials with little to no concern for their defense and legal representation? Why have you insisted on ignoring their rights? Why after months, they are still unable to meet with their lawyers? Why are their lawyers unaware of their exact charges and why have they not had the opportunity to review their files? Why have you held them in solitary confinement for months and subjected them to inhumane interrogations and torture while blind folded? Why is it that even the judges issuing the initial sentences, after reviewing the rulings of the appeals court express regret regarding their initial sentencing and claim that they handed down such heavy sentences because they imagined that the sentences would be reduced by the appeals courts?

Shouldn't sentences and punishment be in accordance to the crimes committed? Why is this fundamental principle of law and justice not reflected in any of the rulings? Why so many long term prison and death sentences? Why so many hundred million toman bails, endless uncertainty and torturous waiting? Why should the interrogators rule over the judges and the interrogations? Why is there no access what so ever to an independent judiciary?

For years we believed that the judiciary is a place where the oppressed can turn to for justice, and the ruthless are brought to justice. However, with the passing of time, our disappointment in the judiciary only increased and now our only hope and refuge is in God.

The honorable prosecutor of Tehran recently said that the worst sin is concealing the truth. For an entire year all we have been asking is why are you hiding the truth?

Let us be consistent and demonstrate transparency in everything we do. Shouldn't the rulers and those in power pay attention to this lack of transparency and concealment of the truth? What can an ordinary citizen, house wife, journalist, student and political activist be hiding that has not been revealed after so many months of interrogation? Is this lack of transparency and concealment of the truth their priority or the priority of those in power?

Last week 5 of the prisoners in Evin were executed. Executions that are filled with ambiguity with regards to the process in which the accused were arrested, the manner in which they were interrogated, their trials, the sentencing and even the manner and timing of their judgments. While expressing deep concern regarding the fate of our children and loved ones, we the families of the political prisoners, condemn the manner in which these executions were handled. We protest the lack of information regarding these executions and denounce the unjust manner in which the mourning families of those executed have been treated. We ask the judiciary to begin handling matters with justice, transparency and utmost regard for the truth.

Signed by a number of families of political prisoners

... Payvand News - 05/18/10 ... --

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