The Iranian government’s repression of the Iranian people continues. Women’s rights activist Jelve Javaheri was arrested on December 1st. A graduate student, Ms. Javaheri is active in the drive to collect one million signatures on a petition to overturn Iran’s discriminatory gender laws. She is now in the notorious Evin prison.
Reza Dehghan, labor activist and founding member of Iran’s Painters Union, was arrested in November and is also being held in Evin. Mr. Dehghan has been a vocal supporter of jailed Iranian labor leader Mansour Osanlou of the Tehran Bus Drivers Syndicate.
What is life like for those in Evin prison? Student activist Majid Tavakoli wrote about Evin in a letter addressed to Tehran’s special prosecutor. Mr. Tavakoli was convicted of trumped-up charges of insulting Islam and sentenced to up to three years in prison. Mr. Tavakoli writes of the brutal beating he received at the hands of prison authorities after he protested the violent treatment of a fellow prisoner. Repeatedly kicked, punched in the face, and thrown down the stairs, Mr. Tavakoli, fearing for his life, has called for authorities to launch an investigation.
Vice President Dick Cheney says that the people of Iran live in a climate of fear and intimidation:
“In the space of a generation, the regime has solidified its grip on the country and grown ever more arrogant and brutal toward the Iranian people.”
The conduct of the ruling elite in Tehran is a tragedy for all Iranians, says Mr. Cheney.