64 Prisoners testify: ‘Jailed activist Hoda Saber beaten up before death’


GVF — In a shocking new revelation, 64 political prisoners held in ward 350 of Iran’s notorious Evin prison have provided a more detailed account how inmate Reza Hoda Saber had been beaten up by state agents before his death on Sunday.

According to opposition website Kaleme, the prisoners were able to get their message across prison bars with the aid of Green Movement sympathisers inside Evin prison.

On Sunday, Kaleme reported that Hoda Saber, who had been arrested after the disputed 2009 presidential election, had died of cardiac complications after being transferred from Evin prison to Tehran’s Modarres hospital. The website had said that Saber’s heart complication had been induced by his hunger strike in prison.

Hoda Saber, along with fellow imprisoned activist Amir Khosro Dalir-Sani, had gone on hunger strike to protest the tragic murder of Iranian activist Haleh Sahabi at the funeral of her father Ezzatollah Sahabi.

The list of signatories to the letter includes the names of many prominent activists, journalist and political figures such as Feizollah Arabsorkhi, Ali Malihi, Arash Sadeghi, Ghorban Behzadian-Nejad, Bahmadn Ahmadi Amooei, Emad Bahavar, Javad Emam, Emadoddin Baghi and Ramin Parchami.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Political prisoners Reza-Saber was martyred on 12 June 2011 after an indefinite hunger strike and as a result of the authorities’ negligence. As his fellow inmates, we, the signatories to this statement who had been with him throughout the past year, would like to inform the Iranian people and testify that:

On Thursday 2 June 2011 following news of the death of political prisoner Haleh Sahabi who had been on furlough, and while Mr Hoda Saber was still mourning the death of Chief of the Nationalist-Religious Council Ezzatollah Sahabi, he [Saber] and Mr Amir Khosro Dalirsani issued a statement in the courtyard of Evin prison’s ward 350 after noon, and afternoon prayers and declared their intention to begin an indefinite hunger strike to show their protest against this flagrant injustice and violation, while informing the public of the move.

We testify that in addition to his daily reading of books, recitation of the Quran and holding history lessons, Hoda Saber always dedicated significant time to sports and even took part in sporting competitions together with the youth at ward 350.

We testify that throughout the past year, Hoda Saber had ever suffered from any health condition or illness, something that his medical records in the prison medical facility attest to.

We testify that on the eighth day of his hunger strike, Hoda Saber developed chest pains as well as a digestive disorder, and at 4am on Friday 10 June, he was taken to the Evin prison clinic—situated next to ward 350—for the first time. However, two hours later, he was brought back to the ward while curling around himself in pain. His cellmates were awoken due to his cries [of pain] and encircled him. Saber then said “they not only didn’t treat me for my condition, but beat me up and insulted me, ad I was thrown out of the room by agents wearing uniforms of clinic staff.”

We testify that as Hoda Saber was shivering intensely and curling around himself in room 1 of ward 350, he said in a loud voice, “I will sue them.”

At this point and following protests by inmates, a prison guard once more arranged for him to be transferred to the medical facility, but this time, Saber repeated his disapproval of the way he had been treated and the behaviour of agents at the clinic and said “I don’t trust them,” after which the guard promised to make an effort to admit him to a hospital outside Evin [prison].

We testify that at this point, Saber who could not even stand on his own two feet, was taken outside the ward on a stretcher. In his last hour at the ward, his digestive system was in a very critical condition and he said many times that he had severe diarrhoea and nausea.

Dear people of Iran

What’s been said is an account of martyr Hoda Saber’s last hours in Evin’s ward 350. But at a point in time when the regime has responded with crime to a protest against crime, we firmly state that the current [political] establishment is directly responsible for the death of martyr Saber. This heart-breaking incident is not the first of its kind, and as things stand, it will not be the last either.

Even though a thorough examination of the cases of most political prisoners would reveal widespread injustice and disregard for their rights during legal proceedings, Hoda Saber had been held in prison without any legal verdict or sentence, and was imprisoned in a completely unsystematic fashion due to the pressure and force exerted by certain intelligence bodies and with full knowledge of responsible organisations; Yet no one provided answers to why and with what legal justification he was held behind bars. And of course, his indictment had expired long before his recent arrest. The unmethodical and illegal arrest of Saber alone is enough to delegitimise the legal system and to prove their lack of independence and their vulnerability to the intelligence bodies. Under the status quo, citizens outside the confines of prisons, and more than anyone else, prisoners, will not be able to enjoy legal, medical and life security.

We would like to express our deep condolences to the patient family of martyr Hoda Saber, especially Mrs. Farideh Saber and her mourning children Hanif and Sharif.

As a first step, we condemn this inhumane norms within the legal system and this type of treatment of prisoners, and hold the ruling establishment responsible. Henceforth, we shall take further action based on how officials follow-up on the issue [death of Saber] and we will stand till the very end to uphold the people’s rights and [to ensure] the regime respects the law.

Signatories to the letter:

1. Ghorban Behzadian Nejad
2. Mohammad Davari
3. Bahman Ahmadi Amooei
4. Abdollah Momeni
5. Hasan Asadi Zeidabadi
6. Ali Jamali
7. Mohammad Reza Moghiseh
8. Ali Malihi
9. Babak Dashab
10. Hamid Reza Mohammadi
11. Ghasel Sholeh-Sadi
12. Kiarash Kamrani
13. Mohammad Javad Mozaffar
14. Ehsan Mehrabi
15. Emad Bahavar
16. Mojtaba Tehrani
17. Javad Emam
18. Feizollah Arabsorkhi
19. Emadoddin Baghi
20. Abolfazl Ghadyani
21. Mohammad Hossein Khorbak
22. Esmail Sahabeh
23. Amir Khosro Dalirsani
24. Seyed Mohammad Seifzadeh
25. Siamak Ghaderi
26. Sam Mahmoudi Sarabi
27. Akbar Amini Armaki
28. Houshang Farzin
29. Hamed Mirzaei Gorji
30. Arash Segher
31. Ahmad Shah Rezaei
32. Arash Sadeghi
33. Navid Kamran
34. Ramin Parchami
35. Alireza Sohrab-Pour
36. Mahdi Hosseinzadeh
37. Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand
38. Mahdi Khodaei
39. Siamak Rahmani
40. Saeid Matin-Pour
41. Masoud Lavasani
42. Mohsen Ghamin
43. Mohammad Pour-Abdollah
44. Hossein Mofidi
45. Mahdi Nowzar
46. Abolfazl Ghasemi
47. Ebrahim Madadi
48. Abbas Nami
49. Ali Behzadian-Nejad
50. Hossein Zarrini
51. Amir-Hossein Ghanbari
52. Gholam-Reza Azadi
53. Majid Tamjidi
54. Yousef Mehr
55. Shahin Zeinali
56. Peyman Aref
57. Javad Alikhani
58. Ramtin Ghaffari
59. Mahdi Vatankhah
60. Fereydoun Seidi-Rad
61. Saeid Malmirian
62. Javad Alikhani
63. Mohsen Ghali
64. Meysam Roudaki



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