July 9, 2016 – Paris, France
Delegates to the Free Iran rally spoke on a variety of issues, particularly the political and ordinary prisoners of Iran. These individuals have been arrested and held in horrible conditions, despite the violations of international law that this entails. Yet in spite of the suppressive measures implemented, these prisoners courageously sent their support to the Iranian resistance. A presentation was made at the rally in support of these prisoners by Ingrid Betancourt and joined by their relatives in exile.
Prisoners in the Zahedan prison issued a statement, saying in part, “We political prisoners of the Central Prison of Zahedan call on all our countrymen, both inside and outside the country, to take part in the major gathering of Iranians in Paris, which will be taking place in defense of the rights of the Iranian people in order to prevent all the tragedies that are taking place.”
They described some of the abuses they have suffered, including a lack of legal representation, torture and the excessive sentences. One form of torture described was being tied to a bed and flogged with heavy cables. Executions in the country continue unabated and there has been non change for the better during President Hassan Rouhani’s term. They urged delegates to be the voice of “political prisoners in Iran.”
Arzhang Davoudi, who was arrested in 2003, sent a message from Gohardasht prison. He wrote, “This regime has not only withheld freedom, democracy, peace and justice from us Iranians, but it also scattered millions of our people and intellectuals across the world.” He went on to express that the regime “does not appreciate humanity.” His letter ended with a call for individuals to work together to free those in oppression and to maintain an open attitude to others’ views and cultures.
Ali Moezi, located in the Tehran Evin prison, said, “I salute you, the guardians of dignity and honor, that with your presence reflect the just demands of the Iranian people. Your presence is the promise and proof of victory before the eyes of those who do not want to see or hear the reality.”
Other prisoners sent greetings to the resistance leaders, Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi, encouraging support of “the only organized alternative to this regime, which is none but the National Council of Resistance of Iran with Maryam Rajavi’s plans for a free Iran.”
One such message from the ordinary prisoners stated, “We are grateful to you for your efforts to free us from Khamenei and his cruel judges and beg you to help us as we have no one to come to our aid. You should know that in our prison, you are the only hope for many and count on what you do for us. You are our heroes and we are waiting for you to rescue us from our misfortunes.”
Camp Liberty and the individuals there were also praised for their courage in light of the recent attacks on them by Iran’s Quds, using rockets on July 4, 2016. Ms. Rajavi, President-Elect of the NCRI, said that the missile attack on Camp Liberty, especially following an inhumane eight-day siege demonstrates the religious dictatorship’s fear of the People’s Mojahedin Organization and the NCRI, which it views as an existential threat.