Iran’s inhuman record of persecution revealed: 12 million prisoners since 1981
Recently, the Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), through resistance units within the regime's organs, obtained internal documents that reveal the horrific magnitude of Iran’s persecution of its people.
The statistics, from June 20, 1981, to May 4, 2020, include the number of prisoners, prison officials, interrogators, torturers, and execution officials, as well as the number of political prisoners and the number of people sentenced to death.
The lists come from the Iranian Prisons Organization, which controls all Iranian prisons and is considered one of the repressive regime’s most essential agencies. The data give an accurate picture of the severity of oppression in Iran.
According to these leaked documents, 5,197 people are awaiting execution and punishment ("Qessas" in the term of the fundamentalists is the same as execution). Some 107 people have been sentenced to amputation. In 2020 alone, 51 people were stoned to death, including 23 women. Sixty of those executed in 2020 were under the age of 18.
The prisons themselves are revealed to be archaic and inhumane—many of Iran’s prisons were built 50 years ago and are very dilapidated. According to 100 photos and other documents, Iran’s prisons are chronically overcrowded, creating physical and psychological suffering to the prisoners.
12 million prisoners
One of the most important documents obtained by NCRI is the list of 12 million people imprisoned since 1981. These staggering numbers are compiled by the Prisons Organization itself—and they are incomplete: They do not include another 2,273 political prisoners from 2000 to 2010, as well as the 30,000 political prisoners executed in 1988, who were held by the Revolutionary Guards and the regime's Ministry of Intelligence and Prosecution Office.
Some 571,000 women were named on the list of 12 million prisoners.
According to a confidential and classified report dated August 2015 and prepared for former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's cabinet, "about 600,000 people are imprisoned every year" and "2.4 million families face numerous dangers and problems."
Clearly, the Iranian regime has been using its police state and terror, torture, and death to maintain its survival. Amnesty International stated in its latest release that in 2021, 54% of the world’s executions took place in Iran.
Iran’s regime is born out of medieval religious dogmas and cannot meet the modern economic, political, and cultural needs of the Iranian people. Around 80% of the population currently lives below the poverty line and prices of basic products have recently quadrupled.
The regime responds to protests with bullets and imprisonment and uses terrorism, belligerence, and hostage-taking abroad as a cover for its internal repression.
Beginning in 2016, a network of “resistance units” has been formed throughout Iran to push back on the regime and break through the regime’s wall of terror. Since December 2017, according to the leaked documents, more than 8,700 prisoners have been accused of insulting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei or other crimes, such as participating in riots, burning and destroying banners and billboards of the authorities and repressive bodies.
But despite pursuit by the regime, the resistance units are multiplying—Iran’s people cheer when they see others tear down photos of current and former Supreme Leaders or burn a statue of the late Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was feared and hated for his brutal attacks on people inside and out of Iran.
Iran’s regime has recently taken steps to strengthen its iron fist over its restless and unhappy population. In addition to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the national army, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has elevated the forces of order, i.e., the police, to the level of the army and the IRGC. This means Khamenei has three armies to suppress demonstrations and maintain his punitive system. Khamenei further has three security and intelligence agencies—the Ministry of Intelligence, the IRGC, and the Police Force Intelligence Organization.
European and Western policy
Inexplicably, the world’s response to Iran’s savagery has been appeasement and support for Iran’s mullahs. This global silence in the face of brutal internal repression and aggressive militancy in the region has only encouraged Iran’s regime to keep working towards its goal to create nuclear weapons to threaten the world.
Doesn't Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion show the world that it should end three decades of the West's appeasement policy toward the mullahs?
Is it not time, as the NATO secretary-general says, to prioritize freedom over free trade—and to support the democratic Iranian opposition of the NCRI, which calls for the separation of religion and state and gender equality?
Image: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty video screen shot, via YouTube