Despite Iran’s participation in an International Rights Covenant, Christian Converts And Political Prisoners are in a vicious circle of abuse.
Ibrahim Firouzi, a Christian Convert in Iran, has been handed a 5 year prison sentence. He has, like most religious and political prisoners in Iran been arressted, imprisoned, released and re-arressted with either new or the same charges and years added to a sentence. The same trail of abuse with ficticous charges, torture to extract confessions and years of harrassment culminating in unjust, prejudice, and without due process, punishments of 5 years or more in prison.
The torture to extract confessions are heinous, including from Christian Converts, the added torture of telling them, that if they would only say they are Muslim, they would be free, otherwise, they will be tried. Most cases are tried without legal representation, and the families are more often than not targeted by security agencies. Ibrahim has been on this torturous merry go round for at least 3 years, with an initial sentence of 5 months, released, and exiled, then rearressted for converting to Christianity, and perfoming mission work, propaganda against the religious system of the state and blasphemy. The Blasphemy charge was dropped, but all others held. Then finally arressted and sentenced to 5 years for attempts to launch an educational website,in theology, while he was in exile, and teaching religion while in prison. His 5 year sentence was recently approved by the courts in Iran. Rajai Shahr prison is where prisoners of conscience and political prisoners are held. This re-trial harrassment and iterrogation(torture)goes against written Iranian law, despite this fact it is common practice.
The “Prohibition of a double trial” and harrassment and torture are clearly against the International Covenant on Civil And Political Rights.
“The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976. It commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. As of February 2017, the Covenant has 169 parties and six more signatories without ratification.
The ICCPR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The ICCPR is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (a separate body to the United Nations Human Rights Council), which reviews regular reports of States parties on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Covenant and then whenever the Committee requests (usually every four years). The Committee normally meets in Geneva and normally holds three sessions per year.”
Iran signed this covenant on April 4th, 1968 and ratified it on June 24, 1975. It was brought into force on March 23, 1976. Three years before the Iranian Revolution. Have they revolked this? It’s obvious they don’t abide by it. In no way, shape or form. It’s time for the UN Security Council to reveiw this and hold the current regime accountable for it’s egregrious abuses under this covenant.
A portion of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
States Parties to the present Covenant, Considering that according to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations declared that recognition of the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and non-transferable and peace in the world. All peoples have the right to autonomy. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely their cultural and socio-economic development are provided.
No person shall be harassed. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally or in writing or in print head or the form of art or through any other media.
Iran is in clear violation of all aspects of this covenant. As evidenced by the executions of drug offenders, and underage youth, women, political activists, and opponents of the regime. Arash Sadeghi and his wife, Golrahk are still in prison caught in this tangled web of abuse and harrassment, Maryam Naghash Zargarn is also in the same situation, there is a Mother and Son Christian Convert, recently arressted and are in the beginning stages of this farce. A British woman is still being held illegally, and thousands of others. I have no news on the Mother and Son, but I am told that Ibrahim, Arash, Golrahk, and Maryam (Nasim) are strong in their spirit and Faith. Ibrahim’s mother remains ill and is unable to speak for her son. I’m told that Ibrahim is strong, and unwavering in His faith. Maryam’s and Arash’s health has been serious in recent day’s. Arash is denied medical care, and every time Maryam is granted a reprieve for treatment, she has more time added to her sentence. This is not only a violation of Human Rights, it is clear abuse. Abuse of the basic right of all Humans as laid out in the above covenant to retain autonomy and freedom.
Pray for the Christian Converts and political prisoners in Iran. Share the stories of them, speak out, and let Iran know that the world is watching them. It’s time for the UN Security Council to address these abuses by the Iranian Regime.
Credit Wikipedia, Iran Human Rights.org