The continuation of the protest movement despite maximum suppression in Iran
The Iranian regime has two “main characteristics.” The first is exporting terrorism and warmongering in the region and beyond. The second is brutal repression designed to intimidate the Iranian people in their own country.
Since the January 2018 uprising, signs of real change in Iran leading to the regime’s overthrow have become manifest.
The most significant point is that the Iranian people have established a powerful protest movement despite maximum suppression, despite daily arrests and executions, and despite so-called suicides by detainees in the regime’s prisons. Despite everything, the protests are expanding and deepening throughout all Iran’s provinces and cities.
The most used methods of suppression
– Daily arrests and executions designed to intimidate the public
One of the classic methods used by repressive forces to crack down on protests is the identification of the participants by taking photos so they can then be then arrested at their home later without any further arrest warrant needed.
Following the Tehran Bazaar demonstration, in protest against skyrocketing prices and the plunge of the Iranian currency to the dollar, more than 129 people were detained according to an Iranian official.
When, in recent press commentary, the Tehran prosecutor was quoted as saying that” inviting and taking part in riots and sedition is a crime” and that “ it carries heavy penalties.” it is clear that repressive forces can arrest people without any restraint.
As another example., news reports stated a taxi service was created with the drivers all recruited by the Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Ministry of Intelligence. The drivers would speak to their passengers, seemingly just making friendly conversation. However, once the drivers realized that their passenger was against the government, their address was given to the Ministry of Intelligence for later arrest. The conversation would also be recorded so it could be used as evidence against the person at trial.
– spying on citizens by monitoring telephone calls and internet activities
There is an organization called the Iranian Cyber Army, in addition to a Supreme Council of Cyberspace, which is responsible for inserting equipment into a flow of online data, from emails and Internet phone calls to images and messages on social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Iranian authorities, with the help of such equipment, are operating an advanced internet monitoring system capable of spreading disinformation, blocking communications, and mining internet data for personal information.
– So-called suicides by detainees in the regime’s prisons
Recently, and most notably during the January 2018 uprising, Iranian regime officials have been brushing off deaths of detainees as suicides without providing any credible evidence. These so-called suicides ought to be viewed with grave suspicion. First of all, when the Iranian authorities arrest people, the regime’s constitution does not allow the detainees to have access to a lawyer during the initial phase of questioning. This provides the perfect cover for the regime’s forces to commit human rights violations, such as obtaining forced confessions by torturing detainees; actions that have been documented by Amnesty International
– Obtaining forced confessions
A frequently used method for condemning prisoners in Iran is by obtaining forced confessions, often televised, in flagrant breach of International law.
The last notable example was used to pass the sentence of execution on Mohammad Salas, a 51-year-old man from Iran’s largest Sufi order.
Salas was arrested in Tehran on February 19, 2018, during a violent clash between security forces and followers of the Sufi Gonabadi. He was charged and convicted of killing three policemen, allegedly by driving a bus over them. In the weeks before his execution, he accused his interrogators of forcing him to confess under torture, reported Iran News Wire.
Sadly, while the West may be critical of Iran’s practice of imprisoning, torturing and executing dissidents, the Iranian regime has no fear that any real action will be taken to stop it.
The world would be a better, more humane place if this policy changed.