Iran’s regime ratchets up executions and suppression ahead of the anniversary of nationwide protests |

As Iran prepares to mark the first anniversary of the nationwide protests that began in September 2022, the regime is frantically trying to clamp down on any form of dissent and prevent protests from taking place. Part of this campaign is the growing wave of executions and the killing spree that the regime has unleashed in its prisons.

On August 2, the National Council of Resistance of Iran of 14 executions in Iran in three days, including nine in Sistan and Baluchestan province. And on July 19, the NCRI had warned of at least 400 executions in Iran in 2023.

At the same time, the regime is increasing pressure on political prisoners and activists in hopes of preventing the organization of protest movements. In Ahvaz, reports indicate that regime authorities have threatened political prisoner Mehran Qarebaghi in Sheiban Prison to transfer him to the ward of dangerous criminals. ‎Qarebaghi, a 30-year-old supporter of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from Behbehan, was arrested in January 2020. He was charged with insulting regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei and spreading propaganda against the regime. The regime has also accused him of participating in the destruction of public property, disturbing public order, and “corruption on earth,” a bogus crime that the regime uses against dissidents.

The regime has a history of transferring political prisoners to dangerous wards and arranging their murder. In August 2021, the regime’s interrogators and torturers at the Ahvaz Intelligence Detention Center had told Qarebaghi, “We will keep you in prison until you go crazy.” ‎

Also on July 19, the regime’s criminal judiciary upheld the death sentence of Mohammad Javad Vafa’i Thani, a 27-year-old PMOI supporter and boxing champion from Mashhad. Vafa’i Thani was arrested in March 2020 for taking part in the November 2019 anti-regime protests. He was tortured for a long time to make incriminating confessions. He was sentenced to death on charges of corruption on Earth. His harsh treatment and death sentence has triggered outrage from human rights bodies, lawyers, activists, and sports figures from across the globe. Supporters of the Iranian Resistance have been holding rallies across the world, calling on the United Nations and the international community to intervene.

The regime is also increasing pressure on other political prisoners, including  Maryam Akbari Monfared, 48, a political prisoner who has been behind bars without furlough for nearly 14 years. On July 1, the regime transferred her from Semnan prison, where she had been exiled, to the Evin Prison Court, and accused her of five new charges before sending her back to Semnan. Akbari Monfared, mother of three, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of supporting the PMOI.

On July 17, the NCRI warned about the medical conditions of 70-year-old political prisoner Ali Moezi, who was arrested in his residence October 1, 2022, without any specific charges. He had undergone surgery before his arrest and was in the recovery period. But the regime has denied him medical care to further torture him.

And on July 11, the regime’s judiciary in Mashhad sentenced 71-year-old political prisoner Hashem Khastar to an additional two and a half years in prison on charges of sending his memoirs outside the prison, insulting Khamenei, and propaganda against the regime. Khastar was arrested in August 2019 by the Intelligence Ministry in Mashhad and was sentenced to 16 years in prison, a three-year travel ban, and three years of exile to Nikshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan province.


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