Free Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi, Dissident Iranian Cleric Serving 11 Years For "Anti Regime Propaganda"
- Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament
VERY URGENT UPDATE: OCTOBER 3, 2014-- HOSSEIN BOROUJERDI TAKEN TO UNDISCLOSED LOCATION BY CLERICAL COURT, TOLD BY GUARDS HE WOULD BE EXECUTED!!!
Hrana News Agency October 3, 2014--Ayatollah Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, a Political Prisoner at Evin Prison has been transferred to an unknown location and no information is available about his condition yet.
According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), on Wednesday morning, 01 October, 2014, Ayatollah Kazemeyni Boroujerdi was transferred from Special Clerical Ward at Evin Prison to an unknown location.
One of his close relatives told HRANA reporter: “He made a phone call to his home and told his family that he is banned from visits and making phone calls, prior to being transferred by security forces. He added that he was being sent to the Clerical Special Court. Also, a member of the security guard escort told him that he would be executed shortly. These threats were made despite the fact that Ayatollah Kazemeyni Boroujerdi was never sentenced to death by any court, and his official sentence is 11 years imprisonment.”
This source also added: “His daughters made an unsuccessful attempt to visit him at the Special Clerical Court and they were told that there will be no execution or death sentence form him”.
This source continued: “Someone who introduced himself as Ayatollah Kazemeyni Boroujerdi’s intimate has informed us -via a phone call- that he has been taken to a solitary confinement ward, but we are not able to verify the truthfulness of this message. We are worried about his condition, considering that a couple of days ago, Public Prosecutor Movahedi visited Ayatollah at his cell and verbally threatened him. Public Procedure told Ayatollah that because his new book has been published, he will request a death sentence for Ayatollah Boroujerdi on the charges of “Heresy Against Islam” and make sure he gets executed.”
Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi was arrested and jailed on several occasions back in 1995, 2000 and 2005. His final arrest was in 2006 when he was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment along with the seizure of all his belongings.
URGENT UPDATE: JULY 11, 2014: HOSSEIN BOROUJERDI THREATENED WITH TORTURE
On Tuesday, July 1st a fire broke out in the Special Clerical ward of Evin Prison, where Mr. Kazemeini-Boroujerdi is detained. Two days later, on Thursday, he was visited by agents of the regime; Mohammad Movahedi and Morteza Bakhtiari who appeared at Mr. Kazemeini-Boroujerdi’s cell demanding that he cease his opposition to the regime and telling him that he must participate in a television "interview" where he openly expresses support for the regime and apologizes to the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
He was also told that he must sign an affidavit agreeing not to meet with anyone or have any contact with supporters. The agents said that if he agrees to said conditions, he would be released from prison. But when they were confronted with Mr. Boroujerdi’s refusal, they threatened his life and began to give him ultimatums.
The agents expressed their anger that the news of the fire in the ward had been published.
Movahedi, who is also a judge then began accusing Mr. Boroujerdi with being Mohareb (Combatant against God) and shouted insults and invective at him for sending reports to “anti-regime” news sites. He said: “You are an embarrassment to the regime, you who wears the holy frock are a heretic and have colluded with foreigners.” He then told Mr. Boroujerdi that if he continues his opposition to the regime, that he will be transferred to solitary confinement in the IRGC ward where he would be tortured and physically ‘eliminated’.
Mr. Boroujerdi responded by saying: “Those people whom you call ‘foreigners’ and heretics, even if they have no beliefs, they do have conscience and humanity, and do not commit your crimes. You who pretend to be committed to Islam, in Islamic clothing, commit heinous crimes in the name of the Prophet. Do not try to threaten me with torture and death, because if you destroy me, people inside and outside Iran will continue to plague you and you will pay dearly for your actions.”
Then Movahedi and Bakhtiari mocked the papers and essays written by Mr. Boroujerdi in prison and said: “You who are a heretic, how dare you touch Islamic texts and Hadith?” Mr. Boroujerdi replied: “My writing is all documentation and in the future, people will judge between me and you lot.”
Mr. Kazemeini-Boroujerdi is now serving his eighth year of his eleven year sentence, in prison. He continues to be threatened and pressured, though he has stood his ground and has refused to give into the regime’s demands.
Movahedi, who had previously served as a prosecutor at the Special Clerical Tribunal, is now a judge. Bakhtiari is the former Minister of Justice, serves as a Special Clerical Tribunal official.
URGENT UPDATE, FEBRUARY 5 2014: February 5, 2014--Ayatollah Boroujerdi's condition has reportedly worsened as of January 28, 2014, when he suffered severe body tremors and was motionless for hours in his cell. The authorities still refuse to transfer him to a medical facility and are denying him the most basic medical care. We ask for intervention to save his life.
Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, a senior member of the Shiite Muslim clergy, is presently serving the eighth year of an 11-year sentence handed down to him by the Islamic Republic's courts for advocating the separation of state and religion inside Iran. He has also spoken against political Islam and its leaders. As a result, during his time in prison, he has been exposed to torture especially reserved for the Islamic Republic's dissident clergy and political prisoners. Boroujerdi has endured the rape of his spouse in front of other family members. He has been purposely exposed to toxic chemical agents while kept in a small solitary cell. As a result, he now suffers permanent neurological damage, further aggravated by group beatings. Urgent medical attention has been systematically withheld for his long list of ailments, which are mostly a direct result of years of torture and malnutrition.
On September 29, 2013, for example, Ayatollah Boroujerdi suffered a heart attack in prison for which he was refused medical intervention. His condition has reportedly worsened as of January 28, 2014, when he had severe body tremors and was motionless for hours in his cell, where he presently remains with no medical care.
Possibly due to Ayatollah Boroujerdi's prominence, the regime has apparently chosen not to execute him, but instead to kill him silently in prison. There were two failed attempts on his life by poisoning inside prison in 2012. His mother, detained at the same time, was also poisoned and died as a result. Previously, in November 2011, a prisoner on death row was told by the authorities that if he succeeded in killing Boroujerdi he would be set free. The attempt failed when other prisoners intervened.
To protest the violent crimes of political Islam in the Islamic Republic, Boroujerdi announced via audio tape from prison that: "I am not inclined anymore to wear this frock; this frock has no credit or value in Iran or the international community" and removed his clerical robes.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi descends from a long line of renowned Shiite clergy; both his father and grandfather were staunch opponents of religious leaders in politics. As a result, both of his parents, along with his brother, were killed by the authorities under mysterious circumstances, as is the regime's custom.
Despite his critical medical condition in prison, he remains defiant and his spirit remains unbreakable: he has stated hopes that his case will serve as a strong indictment of the Islamic Republic's despotic rule and unspeakable human rights violations.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has risked losing his life slowly under torture by writing letters from inside prison to then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to the United Nations, speaking of the absolute lack of freedom inside Iran, the grotesque human rights violations and the imminent danger of political Islam. Further, he recently urged people of Iran to boycott the so-called elections on June 14, 2013. As a direct result of this statement his tortures recommenced despite his extremely fragile medical condition.
Ms. Roya Araghi, an advocate of Boroujerdi who herself was jailed and tortured for defending the him, and has since fled Iran, believes that without medical treatment and international intervention, Ayatollah Boroujerdi will most likely die soon under torture.
On June 29, 2013, members of Ayatollah Boroujerdi's family went to Evin prison to visit him, and were shocked to see nature of his physical condition in the seventh year of his 11-year sentence. He has developed acute heart disease, which has led to the severe swelling of his feet and knees. He also suffers from ocular, pulmonary and respiratory disorders, but has been denied medical treatment by officials until he "repents "and "mends his ways".
On July 8, 2013, Boroujerdi was interrogated for an extended period of time by government agents for his refusal to concede to the demands of the regime by signing a letter of "repentance." He was informed that "the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed". He has thus far refused to surrender.
In a rare phone call to his family that followed this episode, he stated that he "will never give in to a single threat or intimidation tactic of the regime." His family stated that he also added, "he does not regret any of his actions and stands by his word, as he is prepared to die".
After their visit, the Boroujerdi family announced that the tyrannical regime of the Islamic Republic's fanatics continue systematically to exterminate political prisoners and prisoners of conscience through well-planned prolonged torture; both psychological and physical.
Despite a statement by then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 and a plea by the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, Dr. Ahmad Shaheed, to release Ayatollah Boroujerdi, the Iranian regime continues to torture this man of God whose only crime is advocating separation of religion from politics, democracy and human rights.
On July 24, 2013, Andrew Bennett, Canada's Ambassador to the Office of Religious Freedom, condemned the prolonged detention of Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi by Iranian authorities, but to no avail.
The regime of Iran is silently executing Mr. Boroujerdi, without a bullet or a noose -- away from the eyes of the world. These silent executions are now a common method of killing political prisoners in Iran as the regime tries to hide its grotesque human rights violations and its escalating rate of executions of opponents.
The human rights activists for democracy in Iran would like to bring to the immediate attention of all international human rights organizations and governments that Ayatollah Boroujerdi's life is in grave danger due to deliberate withholding of necessary medical care by the authorities in Iran. We ask for an intervention on his behalf, to save his life.
SOURCE: Gatestone Institute
THE DAGGER THAT TEARS AT ILL-FATED IRANIANS YEAR AFTER YEAR: LATEST STATEMENT FROM HOSSEIN BOROUJERDI
A message from Mr. Hossein Boroujerdi, prisoner of conscience, who writes from his cell in Evin prison, to emphasize that the anniversary march, is not proof of the regime adequacy.
Full Text below:
Once again, the month of Bahman is upon us and the shame and scandal that tainted the pages of human history; for over thirty-five years, the obscenity and illicitness of an irrational revolution, blackened the entire area and gutted Iran from border to border.
The Decade of Fajr is the record of a inculpable nation who are punished for their devotion to God, for being true to their morality and faith’s canons; but they were so badly burned by the red hot brand of religion, that for generations to come, there will be no sign of Islam. The Shah’s rule saturated society with faith and ignited the passion for the ‘Shia family’ (Ahl al-Bayt) among people, that they gambled everything they had on the Shia authority. Keeping one’s faith became the price of the whims and perversities of the power-grabbing clergy who were and are the main reason for the downfall of religious values. And now the religion of the rulers has emptied the hearts of the people from any will to be bamboozling clerics and has filled them with hatred, revenge, contempt for anything and everything that smacks of Islam. As a result of the monarchic Mullahs ceaseless lies and the teflon accusations of the regime-run media, we have a country whose problems and troubles are unprecedented and non-existent anywhere in the world.
Today, the gangs of authoritarian regime insiders celebrate their anniversary; they gather around a sumptuous table with full and brimming pockets and then kick up their heels and dancing on the corpses of innocent peasants and a crushed nation. Expenses for the coronation ceremonies held for the supreme leader and plans for the celebrations of the revolution, along with the marching herds, is a dagger which tears at ill-fated Iranian year after year. Now I ask the world, does march somehow prove this regime adequacy? Do all those who are out on the streets of Tehran and other cities, comprise the collective voices of seventy seven million population of Iran?
The Evil murdering rulers claim that every citizen of our country is a follower and fan of their revolution! And we say that the overwhelming majority of the children of this land, systematically oppose political Islam. As proof, the December 30th, 2013 (9th of the month of Dey, 1392) rally which cost large sums of money was a show of force by the regime’s own supporters; however when the regime forces turned up in Palestine Square in Tehran and saw the embarrassingly thin turn out and real lack of support, the Basiji commander Mohammad-Reza Naghdi walked out for fear of being discredited. The fact is that if the God-hating and blasphemous regime elite do not act violently, those who oppose them and their revolution, and their so-called Republic, would pour out into the streets, so that the people of the world could get a good look at the hidden realities inside this ravaged country.
Seyyed Hossein Kazemeini-Boroujerdi
Evin Prison, Tehran, Iran
URGENT UPDATE: JULY 11, 2013: AYATOLLAH HOSEEIN KAZAMEINI BOROUJERDI INTERROGATED, TORTURED: DECLARES HE IS "PREPARED TO DIE:
Based on received reports, on Monday, July 8th, the special guards assigned to the dissident clerics ward of Evin prison took Mr. Hossein Kazemeini-Boroujerdi for a new round of interrogations, which lead to many hours of physical and psychological torture. The interrogation began in the afternoon on Monday and continued through till Tuesday morning where Mr. Boroujerdi was repeatedly threatened and as a result of his refusal to concede to the demands of the regime’s pressures by signing a letter of ‘repentance’, he was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase, until he has been destroyed.”
This imprisoned Freedom-fighter continues to stand up to and oppose the religious dictatorship, and persists in his defense of human rights and democracy. During the seven years of his incarceration which has been fraught with repeated interrogations, torture and pressures, he has refused to surrender his position and capitulate.
In the phone call to his family that followed this episode, he stated very clearly that he will never give in to a single threat or intimidation tactic of the regime; he added that he does not regret any of his actions and stands by his word, as he is prepared to die.
Mr. Boroujerdi who has remained steadfast in exposing the tyranny of the ruling regime in Iran, has found various covert methods of transmitting his statements from inside prison. His last statement from prison, issued on May 22nd, called on the Iranian people to boycott of the so-called elections on June 14th. For that, he was transferred to solitary confinement, where he suffered severe heart and respiratory deterioration.
At present, his physical condition is extremely critical and he must be transferred to a full facility hospital for immediate medical treatment. The prison infirmary is entirely unequipped to attend to any of his ailments. The Iranian regime’s judiciary, the Ministry of Intelligence and the prison authority have categorically refused calls for his medical furlough and for admittance to a proper health care facility. They also prohibit his access to all prescribed medication, until he pens a letter of repentance.
UPDATE: MAY 20, 2013: ON THE EVE OF THE GUARDIAN COUNCIL'S VETTING OF CANDIDATES FOR THE JUNE 2013 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN IRAN, AYATOLLAH BOROUJERDI HAS BEEN MOVED TO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOLLOWING A CALL FOR IRANIANS TO BOYCOTT THE ELECTIONS
Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi (also Hosein Kazemaini Boroujerdi) is an Iranian Shia Muslim cleric who advocates the separation of religion and government and has been imprisoned several times by the Islamic Republic regime.
He reportedly first expressed his opposition to the theocratic nature of the Islamic government of Iran under which Islamic jurists rule or provide "guardianship" in 1994. He has been quoted as saying Iranians "are loyal to the fundamentals of the true religion and the Prophet's mission", but are "tired of the religion of politics and political slogans."
On October 7, 2006 a large crowd of over 1,000 people including many women gathered around his house and prevented his arrest by police forces and was able to repel them. Among the slogans shouted by the crowd: "Freedom, freedom - This is our incontrovertible right," (a counterpoint to the slogan shouted by supporters of the regime during Friday prayers: "Nuclear energy - This is our incontrovertible right,") and, "[We are] ready for martyrdom according to our traditional religion - that is, Islam that is not political". The next day security forces arrested Boroujerdi and several hundred of his followers - "172 women and 225 men" - who had gathered to prevent his arrest.
According to mardaninews website: "In June 2007, the Special Clerical Court prosecuted him behind closed doors. The authorities have not provided any official accounting regarding his prosecution and sentencing. According to his associates, he was initially sentenced to death, but upon appeals his sentence was reduced to 11 years in prison, ten of which must be served in exile in city of Yazd. He has been deprived of access to an independent attorney throughout his prosecution and imprisonment."
Amnesty International reports that there are believed to have been 30 charges against him. These include “waging war against God” (Moharebeh), for which the punishment is death; acts against national security; publicly calling political leadership by clergy (Velayat-e Faqih) unlawful; having links with anti-revolutionaries and spies; and using the term “religious dictatorship” instead of “Islamic Republic” in public discourse and radio interviews.
Some followers of Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi say his health has further deteriorated in prison .Since Boroujerdi's arrest, his supporters say they have been under pressure and are often threatened, detained, and prosecuted.
Roya Eraghi, a follower of Boroujerdi who is currently living outside Iran after being released from prison on bail, told Radio Farda on July 4, 2011 that due to severe pressure and torture in jail Boroujerdi has developed several afflictions, including a heart condition. She added that Boroujerdi has also lost vision in one eye but has not been allowed to leave prison to receive medical treatment.
Abbas Tabatabai, another follower of Boroujerdi who left Iran after being arrested in 2006 and later released, told Radio Farda that the cleric's supporters are facing various charges. Tabatabai said he had been charged with "enmity with God," acting against Iran's national security, and espionage for Israel.
In 2010, Boroujerdi wrote an open letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holding him responsible for the extensive violation of human rights in Iran. The letter says 30 years ago Iranian people were deceived into believing that the Islamic regime was going to be based on "independence, freedom, republicanism, and piety." But now people no longer want to maintain this political system, he said. Boroujerdi concluded his letter by calling for a "free referendum" in Iran "directly supervised by UN observers."
Family members of Boroujerdi wrote a letter last year to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to intervene in the jailed cleric's case. The letter stated that they were deeply concerned about Boroujerdi's health at that time and the inability for him to receive proper medical care.
In April 2009, Boroujerdi wrote a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urging Ki-Moon to intervene in his case, according to the website Washington TV. On November 11, 2011 a letter by him, was smuggled out from Evin prison, addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appealing for her help to deal with the root causes of the problems in Iran.
Based on Report sent to the "Human Rights Activists for Democracy in Iran" on Friday, in 9 March 2012, there was made an attempt on Mr. Kazemeini Boroujerdi’s life, the prominent religious leader who has spent more than 2,000 days in prison without any leave. His health condition is critical and he has the symptoms of severe poisoning.
Apparently, Mr. Boroujerdi’s food was poisoned by two prisoners. And since then both of those prisoners have been on leave and they are not available.
Over the past few months, this is the second attempt on this prisoner who opposed to religious Supreme Leadership. International Human Rights societies and defenders were protested against the failed attempt on Mr. Boroujerdi’s life previously. Also, it has been mentioned in the recent report by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran.
Mr. Boroujerdi's family kindly request all human rights organizations and individuals to do an immediate urgent action in this regards while they know Ali Khamenei as a direct responsible for his life.
WHEREAS: Mr. Hossein Kazameini Boroujerdi is clearly a prisoner of conscience, who is being not only imprisoned, but cruelly mistreated solely because of his peaceful expression of his religious and political views;
AND WHEREAS: His imprisonment is a flagrant violation of Article 18, Section 1, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 19, Sections 1 and 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Iran being a signatory state to said Covenant), as well as Article 24 of the Iranian Constitution;
AND WHEREAS: Reports indicate that he has been tortured on July 8, 2013; and that a year later, on July 3 2014 he was openly threatened with more torture unless he "confessed" on television;
THEREFORE: We the undersigned demand that the international community bring all possible to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi from prison.
We further demand that all charges against him be dismissed, his sentence be vacated, and that he be provided with urgently needed medical care.
The Free Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi, Dissident Iranian Cleric Serving 11 Years For "Anti Regime Propaganda" petition to Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.