Iran continues to hide behind the world's focus on ISIS to accelerate political arrests, executions, "prison cleansing" and above all, its program to achieve nuclear capability.
Iran seems to be counting on the reluctance of the United States to intervene in any serious way, in order to run its nuclear weapons program to completion.
From left to right: Mohammad Reza Pour Shajari, Arash Sadeghi, Reyhaneh Jabbari, Ayatollah Hossein Kazamani Boroujerdi
Most recently, according to the International Committee Against Execution, Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison to be hanged on Monday September 29, has been returned to her cell in Shahr-Ray Prison. Her execution was halted only to be re-scheduled for Oct 8, 2014.
On September 29, Jabbari was seized by prison guards during her shower, forced to dress and told that she would be hanged in the morning. After the prison staff allowed her to make one last phone call to her mother, she was transferred to Rajai-Shahr prison and placed in solitary confinement to await execution at dawn.
Upon her daughter's transfer, Jabbari's mother, Shole Pakravan, rushed to Rajai-Shahr prison with her husband, two daughters and a few friends. In front of the prison a crowd grew quickly to protest Jabbari's execution. Prison authorities ordered the crowd to leave and assured Jabbari's family that she was not to be hanged -- a statement the authorities commonly make before an execution so it can be carried out quietly, without incident. Shole Pakravan refused to leave the premises until her daughter was transferred unharmed back to her original cell in Shahr-Ray Prison.
Meanwhile, the news spread through social media quickly, among a number of Italian, American and Swedish online news agencies. Additionally, the European Union, United Nations, along with most human rights organizations were alerted to the imminent execution. As a result, her execution was halted -- but re-scheduled for Oct 8, 2014. Perhaps the Iranian regime is hoping her case will be overlooked by then amidst headlines dominated by ISIS.
Jabbari was sentenced to death when she was 19 years old for stabbing a man who tried to rape her. Human rights activists have been demanding the reversal of her death sentence and subsequent release from prison, as she acted in self-defense. Islamic law, however, rarely recognizes self-defense, especially in cases of rape. Many women have already been executed for defending themselves; many more await execution.
Meanwhile, Ayatollah Hossein Kazamani Boroujerdi has been taken from his cell in Evin Prison to be executed, and has since been "missing." The Iranian regime does not allow the media inside Iran to report on missing prisoners; deeming the information inaccurate and propaganda against the regime.
Also "missing" is Mohammad Reza Pour Shajari; who was re-arrested a few days, ago according to his daughter. The regime is denying the arrest and any knowledge of Mr. Pour Shajari's disappearance.
Arash Sadeghi, a prominent political student activist, was arrested a few hours after posting comments on his Facebook page criticizing the regime, according to a source close to Sadeghi who was interviewed by Gatestone Institute and wishes to remain anonymous:
"Yes, they come for him and the rest of us who had been involved in the uprising of 2009. They are arresting everyone... mass arrests inside Iran of anyone who opposes them now or has opposed them in the past. They are counting on ISIS to distract the world from this systematic cleansing... luckily I was not home and was not arrested. We have no idea where Arash is, I just know that they arrested him hours after his Facebook comments... I also fear they are torturing him all over again... he is very frail, only 60 kilos now after what they did to him in prison last time. "
There has been no news of Sadeghi since his arrest on September 6, 2014. Iran is evidently escalating the cleansing of its prisoners -- political and non-political alike; many prisoners have apparently been taken to Rajai Shahr prison to await execution.
Meanwhile, the "mainstream media" and so-called Human Rights groups have, as usual, been silent.
Editor's Note: Sadly, Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed by hanging on October 25, 2014.