August 11, 2017
Yet, despite Rouhani dismissing Pour Mohammadi, it is clear that the thinking of the regime has not truly changed. This dismissal was simply window-dressing, whitewashing over the issue of the massacre altogether.
Political prisoners are being suppressed and those who are attempting to defend their right to speak out and peacefully protest are also being repressed. Human rights defenders have been sentenced to long prison terms, often on vague charges of being national security risks.
The proceedings where the sentencing takes place are often brief, barely following any type of legal international precedent for a fair trial. Anti-death campaigners Atena Daemi and Omid Alishenas were sentenced to 14 and 10 years’ imprisonment respectively, after a trial in March 2015 that lasted around 45 minutes. On appeal, their sentences were reduced to seven years each.
Human rights lawyers who speak out on behalf of these individuals, particularly the torture and unfair trials, are also facing relentless harassment, disbarment, and imprisonment. Demanding answers from the Iranian regime, especially accountability for these human rights violations, comes with real life costs for those determined to find justice.