Friday, 7 February 2014

Ayatollah Tortured, Near Death, in Iran for Criticizing Political Islam

Ayatollah Boroujerdi's condition has reportedly worsened as of January 28, 2014, when he suffered severe body tremors and was motionless for hours in his cell. The authorities still refuse to transfer him to a medical facility and are denying him the most basic medical care. We ask for intervention to save his life.

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, a senior member of the Shiite Muslim clergy, is presently serving the eighth year of an 11-year sentence handed down to him by the Islamic Republic's courts for advocating the separation of state and religion inside Iran. He has also spoken against political Islam and its leaders. As a result, during his time in prison, he has been exposed to torture especially reserved for the Islamic Republic's dissident clergy and political prisoners. Boroujerdi has endured the rape of his spouse in front of other family members. He has been purposely exposed to toxic chemical agents while kept in a small solitary cell. As a result, he now suffers permanent neurological damage, further aggravated by group beatings. Urgent medical attention has been systematically withheld for his long list of ailments, which are mostly a direct result of years of torture and malnutrition.

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, in better times (left) and in his prison cell (right).

On September 29, 2013, for example, Ayatollah Boroujerdi suffered a heart attack in prison for which he was refused medical intervention. His condition has reportedly worsened as of January 28, 2014, when he had severe body tremors and was motionless for hours in his cell, where he presently remains with no medical care.

Possibly due to Ayatollah Boroujerdi's prominence, the regime has apparently chosen not to execute him, but instead to kill him silently in prison. There were two failed attempts on his life by poisoning inside prison in 2012. His mother, detained at the same time, was also poisoned and died as a result. Previously, in November 2011, a prisoner on death row was told by the authorities that if he succeeded in killing Boroujerdi he would be set free. The attempt failed when other prisoners intervened.

To protest the violent crimes of political Islam in the Islamic Republic, Boroujerdi announced via audio tape from prison that: "I am not inclined anymore to wear this frock; this frock has no credit or value in Iran or the international community" and removed his clerical robes.

Ayatollah Boroujerdi descends from a long line of renowned Shiite clergy; both his father and grandfather were staunch opponents of religious leaders in politics. As a result, both of his parents, along with his brother, were killed by the authorities under mysterious circumstances, as is the regime's custom.

Despite his critical medical condition in prison, he remains defiant and his spirit remains unbreakable: he has stated hopes that his case will serve as a strong indictment of the Islamic Republic's despotic rule and unspeakable human rights violations.

Ayatollah Boroujerdi has risked losing his life slowly under torture by writing letters from inside prison to then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to the United Nations, speaking of the absolute lack of freedom inside Iran, the grotesque human rights violations and the imminent danger of political Islam. Further, he recently urged people of Iran to boycott the so-called elections on June 14, 2013. As a direct result of this statement his tortures recommenced despite his extremely fragile medical condition.
Ms. Roya Araghi, an advocate of Boroujerdi who herself was jailed and tortured for defending the him, and has since fled Iran, believes that without medical treatment and international intervention, Ayatollah Boroujerdi will most likely die soon under torture.

On June 29, 2013, members of Ayatollah Boroujerdi's family went to Evin prison to visit him, and were shocked to see nature of his physical condition in the seventh year of his 11-year sentence. He has developed acute heart disease, which has led to the severe swelling of his feet and knees. He also suffers from ocular, pulmonary and respiratory disorders, but has been denied medical treatment by officials until he "repents "and "mends his ways".

On July 8, 2013, Boroujerdi was interrogated for an extended period of time by government agents for his refusal to concede to the demands of the regime by signing a letter of "repentance." He was informed that "the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed". He has thus far refused to surrender.

In a rare phone call to his family that followed this episode, he stated that he "will never give in to a single threat or intimidation tactic of the regime." His family stated that he also added, "he does not regret any of his actions and stands by his word, as he is prepared to die".

After their visit, the Boroujerdi family announced that the tyrannical regime of the Islamic Republic's fanatics continue systematically to exterminate political prisoners and prisoners of conscience through well-planned prolonged torture; both psychological and physical.

Despite a statement by then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 and a plea by the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, Dr. Ahmad Shaheed, to release Ayatollah Boroujerdi, the Iranian regime continues to torture this man of God whose only crime is advocating separation of religion from politics, democracy and human rights.

On July 24, 2013, Andrew Bennett, Canada's Ambassador to the Office of Religious Freedom, condemned the prolonged detention of Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi by Iranian authorities, but to no avail.

The regime of Iran is silently executing Mr. Boroujerdi, without a bullet or a noose -- away from the eyes of the world. These silent executions are now a common method of killing political prisoners in Iran as the regime tries to hide its grotesque human rights violations and its escalating rate of executions of opponents.

The human rights activists for democracy in Iran would like to bring to the immediate attention of all international human rights organizations and governments that Ayatollah Boroujerdi's life is in grave danger due to deliberate withholding of necessary medical care by the authorities in Iran. We ask for an intervention on his behalf, to save his life.

Appendix: Partial List of Political Prisoners in Iran

Source: The Campaign to Free Political Prisoners (CFPPI)
NameAgePrisonCitySentenceChargesAilmentArrest Date
Mohammad-Reza Pourshajri53Central PrisonKaraj4 yearsActing against national security
Insulting Islam
Insulting the Supreme Leader
Diabetes, kidney stones, heart attack, enlarged prostate2010
Dr. Sayed MadaniCentral PrisonBandar Abbas6 yearsActing against national security
Civil rights activist
Sociology Research
Gallbladder stones2011
Dr. Nader BabaiEvin, ward 350Tehran74 lashes and 6 years suspended sentenceSocial and civil activist arrested during the 2009 protests for helping his student Omid Dana.
war vet for Iran/Iraq war
2 strokes
internal bleeding
Vahid RoohbakhshEvin, ward 350Tehran18 months suspended sentencehe was arrested during the 2009 protests on charges of protesting/gathering and propagating propaganda against the regimedue to severe beatings during torture he has lost 70% of his hearing and needs a hearing aid2010
Dr. Haani Yazloo59Evin, ward 350Tehran6 yearspropaganda against the regime
he was previously arrested and sentenced to 1 year in prison and 15 years in exile
He has had 2 open heart surgeries and suffers from extremely high blood pressure.2012
Pajman Abdodlhossein ZadeEvin, ward 350TehranHeld for 1 yearGreen movement activist from 2009 and arrested before and this year againBroken arm during arrest2012
Mehdi KhodaiEvin, ward 350Tehran7 yearshuman rights activist
acting against national security
Injured jaw and gums (due to beatings)2012
Zaniar MoradiRajai ShahrKarajDeath-hangingenemy of God
alleged killing of the son of an Imam
Broken spine and unbearable pain as result of routine torture, paralysis2008
Loghman MoradiRajai ShahrKarajDeath-hangingenemy of God
alleged killing of the son of an Imam
Broken spine and unbearable pain as result of routine torture2008
Yashar DaralshafaEvinTehran5.5 yearsacting against national security
insulting the President
Problems with spine and disc2009
Saeed MatinPour38EvinTehran8 yearsacting against national security
contacting with foreigners
Extreme back pain and numb legs1997
Ahmad DoneshpourEvinTehranDeathSupporter of the MEKCrohn's and intestinal bleeding2009
Ayatollah Hossein Boroujerdi54EvinTehranOne year in Tehran and 10 years exileAccused of acting against national security, holding lectures and public incitement against the regime and Islamic ConstitutionDue to torture he is suffering from Parkinson's diseases, heart disease, kidney failure, pulmonary edema, edema of the legs, diabetes, high blood pressure, 90% loss of vision in the right eye and many other ailments2006
Rasool BadaghiRajai ShahrKarajIn prison 6 yearsTeachers Union board memberSevere debilitating headaches2009
Reza ShahabiEvin ward 350Tehran4 years prison and 5 years ban on union activities, 70 million Tomans fineUnion worker activist member of imprisoned workers unionhigh blood pressure and neck and low back pain2010
Mohammad JarahiTabriz PrisonTabriz5 yearsWorkers Union memberThyroid gland tumor which has developed to cancer2011
Mohammad Ali Taheri54Evin ward 209Tehran7 years prison, 900 million Tomans fine and 64 lashesApostasy, violating national security establishment of a spiritual center( Erfan-e Halghe)Has been on hunger strike 9 times and has serious infection of the mouth and jaw
Hamid NavidEvin ward 350TehranDeathLymphatic cancer
Ali AlaeeEvinTehran7 yearsCollaboration with a hostile enemy governmentHeart disease and spinal cord pain/injury
Mostafa DaneshjooEvin -- intelligence /security sectionTehranin prison without sentencingpart of the Dervish Gonabadi groupLung disease, difficulty breathing2011
Reza EntesaryEvinTehranWebmaster, blogger (blog: Majzobane Noor)Injury to left arm2011
Assadollah HadiEvinTehran5 yearsEx-political prisoner in '80s
acting against national security
Severe heart disease along with problems with the meniscus of the knee2009
Asghar GhattanEvin ward 350Tehran5.5 yearsEx-political prisoner in 80's
connection to MEK organization
Kidney and heart problems along with prostate issues2010
Mohmmad Salemi64Evin ward 350Tehran3 yearsEx-political prisoner in 80's
connection to MEK organization
enemy of God
Heart disease and spinal sciatica and kidney problems2009
Mohammad Sadigh KabodavandEvinTehran10.5 yearsestablishing a human rights organization and acting against national securityProstate problems1997
Kamyar SabetiEvinTehran5 yearsspyingHeart disease
Sina AzeemiEvinTehran5 yearsspyingProblems breathing/lung issues
Mohsen Daneshpour67EvinTehranDeathacting against national security
enemy of God
connection to MEK organization
Heart and prostate disease2009
Hassan FarajiEvin ward 350Tehran7 yearsspyingHeart disease, spinal cord injury, intestinal disease2009
Alireza Ahmadi30Evin ward 350TehranCollaborating with enemyBroken legs during interrogation as a result of being kicked2012
Tasavor TaghipourEvin ward 350Tehran7 yearsmember of human rights organization and thus propaganda against the regimeJaw and gum problems2012
Mohammad Davari41Evin ward 350Tehran5 yearsActing against national securityKnee and lower back joint problems along with mouth and teeth injuries2009
Amir Khoram51EvinTehran8 yearsMember of the Freedom Movement - conspiring against national securityJaw and gum injuries2009
Amir EslamiEvin ward 350TehranNo sentence arrested in 2011Member of Darvish Gonabadi and webmaster, blogger (blog: Majzobane Noor)Severe heart and intestinal pain2011
Rahman GhahermanpourEvin ward 350Tehran3.5 yearsspyingSpinal cord pain, nose, ear and throat issues2011
Esmael BarzagariEvin ward 350TehranNo sentence arrested 2011Acting against national securityGum and jaw issues2011
Nader JaniEvin ward 350Tehran3.5 yearsAssembly and collusion against national securitySpinal cord, heart lung problems2012
Saeed Mohammad EbrahimiEvin ward 350Tehran5 yearsinsulting the Supreme Leader
Acting against national security
involvement in a soft Coup
Asthma and intestinal issues plus lower back Joint problem - herniated disc2010
Hamid Reza MoradiEvin ward 209TehranNo sentenceMember of Darvish Gonabadi
acting against national security
spreading lies and propaganda
Spinal stenosis2011
Hossein ZarriniEvin ward 350Tehran4 yearsAssembly and collusion against national securityepilepsy2010
Behnam Ebrahim ZadeEvin ward 350Tehran5 yearsWorkers Union ActivistArthritis in the neck and ear, jaw and kidney pain2010
Saeed AbedeeniEvin ward 350Tehran8 yearsEstablishing and running a church from his homeBleeding from stomach and bladder2012
Farzad RohiEvinTehran3.5 yearsPropaganda against the regime and insulting IslamSinusitis2010
Assadollah AssadiEvin ward 350Tehran10 yearsCollaborating with enemyLung problems/disease2010
Gholamreza HosseiniEvin ward 209Tehran10 yearsCollaborating with enemyThe destruction of the hip joint, and leg – gum issues2010
Majid AssadiEvin ward 350Tehran4 yearsAssembly and collusion against national securityAnxiety and severe headaches2008
Nader Karbassi58EvinTehranNo sentenceCommunicating with opposition groupsJoint problem - herniated disc2011
Mohammad Banazade Amir-Kheezi68Evin ward 209Tehran5 yearsCommunicating with MEK organizationHistory of surgery and has severe bone pain2010
Mushallah Hatteri61Rajai ShahrKaraj15 yearsEx-political prisoner in the 80s
protesting in 2009 demonstrations
Has had heart surgery and suffers from brain hemorrhage2009
Riazollah Sobhani68Rajai ShahrKaraj4 yearsProfessor of online Baha'i school, member of the Baha'i faithHistory of heart surgery. arthritis in hands and feet2011
Jamal Khanjani80EvinTehran20 yearsMember of the Baha'i faith
Accused of spying for Israel
Old age2008
Mohammad Saifzadeh66Evin ward 350Tehran8 yearsEstablishing human rights organization and acting against the regimeStroke, numbness of hands and feet. Severe chest pains2011
Farhad Sadaghi67Rajai ShahrKaraj4 yearsProfessor of online Baha'i school and member of Baha'i faithKidney stones, gall bladder stones and cataracts2011
Kayvan Samimi65Rajai ShahrKaraj6 yearsQuestioning the 2009 election results and calling the results fraudulentSevere heart disease - joint problems - need for internal operations2009
Sharokh Tanef64Rajai ShahrKaraj4 yearsBeing a member of the Baha'i faithJoint pain2008
Karim Ma'rof Aziz70Rajai ShahrKarajLife in prisonspyingDiabetes - old age1995
Behrooz Azizi Tavakoli62Rajai ShahrKaraj20 yearsMember of Baha'i faith
Spying for Israel
Coronary Heart – Arthritis and herniated disc1997
Fariba Kamal Abadi (female)EvinTehran20 yearsMember of Baha'i faith
Spying for Israel
Mahvash Shahriyari (female)EvinTehran20 yearsMember of Baha'i faith
Spying for Israel
Osteoporosis and depression2008
Hassan Fatali Ashtiani64Rajai ShahrKaraj15 yearsCommunication with MEK organizationJoint pain2007
Kamran Mortezai61Rajai ShahrKaraj5 yearsMember of Baha'i faith
Spying for Israel
Severe back and knee pain2011
Amonollah Mostaghim
Rajai ShahrKaraj5 yearsMember of Baha'i faith
And a teacher of the faith online
Diabetic, heart disease and history of open heart surgery2010
Favad Moghadam62Rajai ShahrKaraj5 yearsMember of Baha'i faith
And a teacher of the faith online
Swelling of the arteries and herniated disc2011
Adelle Naemi61Rajai ShahrKaraj11 yearsMember of Baha'i faith
Spying for Israel
Heart disease, diabetic and past gall bladder and intestine surgery2011
Neymat Rashidi21EvinTehranNo sentenceMember of the minority group of Kurdistan
communications with opposition groups
Pain from injuries caused by torture2011
Ali Ma'ezi59Central prisonKarajOne year in prison - suspendedEnemy of God and supporter of MEK organizationbladder cancer2011
Reza Joshan272.5 years in prison and 3 years exileEnemy of GodVision and heart problems and increased blood platelet count2010
Mijagh Bozdannejad27Rajai ShahrKaraj13 yearsCommunication with MEK
And paying tribute to those executed in 1988
Mohammad Ali Mansouri53Rajai ShahrKaraj18 yearsCommunication with MEK2007
Saeed Maasoori48GohardashtKarajLifeCommunication with MEKHeart disease painful gums,, back pain2000
Shahram RadmehrRajai ShahrKaraj9 yearsPropaganda against the regime and insulting Islam
Behnoud GholizadehRajai ShahrKaraj9 yearsPropaganda against the regime and insulting Islam
Sedigheh Moradi549 years
Motahareh Bahrami60EvinTehran10 yearsEnemy of god and connection with MEK2009
Kobra Bannazadeh Amirkhizi62EvinTehran5 yearsEnemy of god and connection with MEK
Peyman KasNezhadEvinTehran3 yearsConnection with Israel
Davoud Asadi78Kianoush Sabouri
Omid Shahmoradi SanandajiEvinTehran3 yearsActing against national security2011
Mahdi Sajedifar35EvinTehranConnection with foreign government2011
Amir Moladoust
Morteza Rahim Tayefeh
Majid Mohammadi MoienEvinTehran4 yearsConnection with foreign government2012
Afshin Karampour
MohammadHossein YousefpourEvinTehran5.5 yearsPropaganda against the regime and apostasy2009
Abdollah Momeni36EvinTehranPropaganda against the regime and apostasy2009
Alireza Ousivand Karimi
Omid Kokabee31EvinTehran10 yearscommunicating with a hostile governmentkidney problems some stomach issues2011
Zeynab Jalalian33Dizel-AbadKermanshahLifeenmity against God (moharebeh)losing eye sight2007
Hossein ronaghi28EvinTehran15 yearsActing against national securityKidny disease, stomach bleeding, several hunger strikes in prison2009
Sakhi RigiKaroonAhvaz20 yearsActing against national security, Webmaster, blogger, Jondollah supporterIssue with his Thyroid gland
Ebrahim RigiKaroonAhvaz11 yearsActing against national security and Jondollah supporterBladder, Kidney and urine tract
Esmael VafaviKaroonAhvaa25 yearsActing against national security and Jondollah supporterSeizures, severe headache and deformed in the region of the scalp due to lashing
Syed Zia NavabiKaroonAhvaa10 yearsActing against national security, Support for right of educationGum and tooth infection
Majid DooriKaroonAhvaa6 yearsActing against national security, Support for Right ofEducationGum and tooth infection
Yousef FotuhiKaroonAhvaa9 yearsConnection with PEJAKSuspicious painful lump between his shoulder
Kazem Khosh NamakKaroonAhvaa10 yearsCollaborating with enemyExtreme weakness of vision

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