The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) warns of a serious threat to the life of political prisoner Ali Moezzi following reports that the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security has taken him to an unknown location outside the prison.
According to the reports, Mr Moezzi has not returned to his prison ward after his last visit with family members on 4 January 2017. Prison guards have told other political prisoners in his ward that he has been transferred from the prison but that they are unaware of his whereabouts.
Worrying about his disappearance, his two daughters have written an urgent letter to UN officials reiterating that their father, whose only crime is to be related to members of the Iranian opposition PMOI, has served his sentence and should have been released, but has now gone missing without any information on his fate.
Mr Moezzi’s case is another example that the Iranian authorities are stepping up domestic crackdown on political prisoners, activists, dissidents and dual citizens in Iran.
Just this week, the authorities were forced to release, albeit temporarily, the Iranian activist and writer, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, from prison following domestic and international pressure in support of her and her husband Arash Sadeghi, another prisoner of conscience who staged a 71-day hunger strike in protest against her unjust sentence.
Similarly, the British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested unjustly by the Revolutionary Guards at Tehran International Airport last year, is currently serving a five-year sentence for unspecified charges. She is now being held in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison awaiting the verdict of her appeal.
Together these cases show the Iranian authorities’ disregard for the right to life and reveal the serious flaws of the Judiciary in Iran that has become a tool of suppression.
Mr Moezzi’s disappearance is starkly reminiscent of the plight of tens of thousands of political prisoners in Iran in 1988 who went missing and were later executed by the authorities despite finishing their sentences.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF), while warning about the threats to Mr Moezzi’s life and the continued imprisonment of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, calls for their immediate and unconditional release.
We urge the British government, relevant UN bodies, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran Ms Asma Jahangir, and international NGOs to take urgent action in support of this call and pressure the Tehran regime to heed international concerns and its obligations.
The British government must make it clear to the Iranian authorities that their unacceptable treatment of political prisoners and dual citizens held unjustly will only isolate Tehran further on the international scene as a pariah state and make improvement of relations impossible.
British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
6 January 2017