Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Victims and Witnesses

Dr. Mohammad Maleki to Participants of the Non-aligned Movement Summit in Tehran

Mohammad Maleki
Melli Mazhabi
August 25, 2012

In the name of God,

Your Excellencies,

Honorable Participants of the Non-aligned Movement Summit in Tehran,

I welcome you to my country that has recently faced yet another disaster, a country which is nowadays in the grips of having lost its compatriots in a recent earthquake. I want to use this opportunity to share some concerns with you.

You are surely aware of the great and ancient heritage of this country, which has enriched human culture. Many researchers consider ancient Iran as having contributed to the development of the idea of human rights, and even to the progress of world civilization.

Your Excellencies,

Today, sadly you have come to a country whose authorities are not qualified and legitimate to be its governors. As a consequence, its people suffer dreadfully. On the one hand, they face corruption and poverty. On the other, they are threatened by the shadow of what would be a disastrous war.

In a period of more than thirty years, the rulers of this country have committed crimes against humanity such as the killing of tens of thousands of men and women, merely because of their beliefs. These were people who wanted nothing but freedom and justice.

A grave example is the murder of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, who had received prison sentences already but were executed nevertheless. Their deaths were ordered by Ayatollah Khomeini. A recent example is the killing of peaceful people who protested the fraudulent presidential election of 2009.

For your information, please let me introduce myself. I am Mohammad Maleki, a retired professor and the first president of Tehran University after the 1979 Revolution. I want to briefly explain what happened to me as a political critic over the past thirty years. This story can raise your awareness about the regime that has invited you to Iran, a theocratic regime which does not hesitate to employ fascist solutions against dissenters.

A year after the closing of the universities in 1980, under the name of a “Cultural Revolution”, I wrote a critical letter against the policy. This letter became an excuse to arrest me. I was imprisoned for five years in many different and notorious prisons such as Evin and Ghezel-Hesar, where I faced brutal tortures. After thirty years, my body still remains scarred. In 2000, I and other activists were arrested together by the Revolutionary Guard. Again, I was imprisoned for six months in the notorious Eshratabad prison. My cell was 180 by 80 centimeters. Next, an illegitimate court sentenced me to seven years. In 2009, after the historic demonstrations of the Green Movement against the “election” of Ahmadinejad, who has invited you today, while I was being under medical treatment, I was arrested yet again and moved to Evin prison for 191 days, 90 of which in solitary confinement under grave conditions.

Your Excellencies,

I want to inform you that I am almost eighty years old and suffer from different diseases, such as prostrate cancer and cardiovascular complications. Because of my health, they had to free me. But in a show-trial afterwards I was sentenced to a one-year imprisonment again. The exact nature of the tortures I faced and witnessed in the prisons of the Islamic Republic is a separate story that I may expound on if the opportunity arises.

Your Excellencies,

Now that you are in my country, as an Iranian who has suffered the inhumane actions of this regime and who has witnessed the pains of the people, I want to beg you to visit the political prisoners in Iran who the government has mischievously described as “acting against national security”. I urge you to visit the many lawyers, students, journalists, political and civil activists who are imprisoned and suffer grave conditions, so that you may learn how the regime that has invited you treats its critics and dissidents.

You can receive the list of political and civil prisoners from Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, who has not yet had the same privilege of visiting Iran.

I would like to name some of them here:

Prisoned lawyers: Nasrin Sotoudeh, Abdolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Seifzadeh

Prisoned journalists: Ahmad Zeidabadi, Masoud Bastani, Mahsa Amrabadi, Bahman Ahmadi Amooee, Keivan Samimi, Isa Saharkhiz, Siamak Ghaderi

Prisoned students: Majid Tavakoli, Bahareh Hedayat, Shabnam Madadzadeh, Farzad Madadzadeh, Emad Behavar, Majid Dorri, Zia Nabavi, Aliakbar Mohammadzadeh, Hamed Roohinejad, Omid Kookabi, Mehdi Khodaiee, Arash Sadeghi, Siavash Hatam, Babak Dashab

Prisoned political activists: Masoud Pedram, Alireza Rajaee, Saeed Madani, Abdollah Momeni, Heshmat Tabarzadi, Khosro dalirsani, Mohammad Taheri, Amir Khoram, Fariborz Raeesdana, Hasan Assadi Zeidabadi, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Behzad Nabavi, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Ali Moezi, Mehdi Mahmoodian, Arash Sagher, Feyzollah Arabsorkhi, Mohsen aminzadeh, Abolfazl Aabedini, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Mohammadamin Hadavi, Mohammad Kazemeini Boroojerdi, Arzhang Davoodi, Mohammad Rezaee

Under house arrest political activists: Mehdi Karoubi, Mirhossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard

Prisoned civil activists: Mahboobeh Karami, Mohammad Sedigh Kaboodvand, Reza Shahabi, Afshin Osanloo, Mohammad Davari, Mehdi Khodaee

And tens of other prisoners

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Mohammad Maleki

August 24, 2012, Tehran

Copy to:

- The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Ban Ki-Moon.

- The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed

- The secretariat of the Nonaligned Movement Meeting