Father of Political Prisoner Atena Daemi: "A Response to Islamic Republic’s so-called Human Rights Institution"
In recent days, news has unfortunately been published in domestic media – I’m not interested in domestic media, so some friends sent it to me – about how the UN Special Rapporteur had written a Tweet about Iran that Atena Dae’mi had, for two months, been prohibited from using a telephone, and demanded that the government of Iran make a phone available to her so that she could communicate with her family.
Responding to the UN Rapporteur, Iran’s Human Rights Headquarters stated, unfortunately, that Atena Da’emi had been imprisoned in Gilan Province for seven months; that during these seven months, she had 34 visitations with her family; and that she had no sort of phone restriction and could readily communicate with her family.
Here, I thought it necessary to answer this human rights organization of Iran’s – and I don’t know what part of it has to do with human rights, or what human rights work it’s done for the people of Iran. To answer the Human Rights Headquarters of Iran, as well as the news service that published this text, I ask: where were they these past seven years? This Human Rights Council, these domestic news agencies. It’s been seven years we’ve experienced all this psychological torture, and they didn’t even come to us once, or ask a question of us. They never followed up to see what’s going on or what our problem is.
So what happened now, that they have to show such a reaction in responding to a foreign Rapporteur? Is it not the case that my innocent daughter will be in prison for seven years? Have they not transferred my daughter to Gilan Province, illegally per the Prison Organization regulations, which say a person should serve their sentence where they reside? Why do I have to go 800 kilometers to Gilan and back? Why do I have to go to Rasht every week to see my daughter? Should my daughter not be serving her sentence in Tehran? This is illegal. Why is it that my daughter has had to be in Gilan for seven months? Why did they take away my daughter’s phone – her phone card? And then say so comfortably that she has a phone, and has no restriction on her communications?
It’s now been about 85 days since they took my daughter’s phone card away from her. The Prison Organization regulations say a free telephone is the right of all prisoners. Why did they take away her phone, her phone card? And then lie so easily about it, saying that Atena Da’emi’s phone is in working order and she has no problems with communication.
And if I’m recording this video today, and in the past have done interviews, and have worked on getting news out – these very same investigative judges in the country, the ones in charge of my daughter’s case, and the assistant judge overseeing the prison have asked me repeatedly: ‘Who do you do interviews with foreign media?’ Is there media inside the country that will listen to our voice? Why must I answer the Human Rights Headquarters and the Rapporteur with this very video? If in our country, we had some Rapporteur of our own, some media, some newspaper, they would ask us what our problem is. I’ll say this here: whichever media or reporter are willing to talk with us, I’m here for them.