Brussels 17th March 2021
More MEPs have joined the call for an investigation into the dire conditions of the prisoners in Iran and the unlawful death of Mahjoubi, who was killed through poisoning while in prison during the last days of his sentence.
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, DEMAND THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE THE DEATH OF BEHNAM MAHJOUBI AND TO ADHERE TO ARTICLES OF THEIR OWN LAW, WHICH PROVIDES PRISONERS WITH APPROPRIATE CARE AND MEDICINE.
The widespread crackdown on Gonabadi Sufis, which led to the biological assassination of its leader, Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh, the murder of Mohammad Raji under Torture, and the execution of Mohammad Salas by hanging, continues to date. Most recently, a young man named Behnam Mahjoubi, was killed in a similar fashion to Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh, by being given excessive amounts of drugs and medical neglect in Evin Prison Medical Centre.
The regime did not only subject Behnam and his family to the worst medieval forms of torture, but continued to do so after he was pronounced dead, as his lifeless body was kept under life support for over a week in order to send out mixed messages and give the false impression that Behnam may in fact still be alive.
Manipulating and torturing bodies after they have been killed is not uncommon in Iran, as the recent case of Zahra Esmaeili, provides another clear example. She suffered a cardiac arrest and died in a state of shock, after seeing the execution of 16 other men before her eyes. Despite this, the execution of Ms. Esmaeili on 17th February 2021 proceeded and her lifeless body was hanged, according to her lawyer.
Currently, there are eight Gonabadi Sufis imprisoned inside Iran’s prisons, each at a great risk of being subjected to the same form of biological assassination as Dr. Noor Ali Tabaneh and Behnam Mahjoubi. This is particularly concerning given the indisputable fact that the Iranian regime and prison authorities have clearly and consistently failed in their responsibility to ensure the health and safety of prisoners of conscience, and political prisoners.
In accordance with the provisions of Articles 24, 40, 41, 70, 103, 111, 113, 114, 115 and 116 of the Executive Regulations of Iran’s Prisons, Security and Correctional Institutes, which was approved on December 11, 2005, a prisoner’s physical and psychological health must be regularly supervised, and all prisoners must be provided with appropriate care and medicine. Therefore, prison authorities are fully responsible for maintaining the safety and care of all prisoners.
Furthermore, to prevent other prisoners of conscience from suffering the same fate as Behnam Mahjoubi, we, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, demand the Iranian government to investigate the death of Behnam Mahjoubi, and to adhere to the articles of their own law, which provides prisoners with appropriate care and medicine.
Also, given the fact that the authorities of the ruling regime in Iran once again registered the highest per capita execution rate in the world with more than 50 people being executed in just the last three months, we would like to express our deepest concern over the safety and health of imprisoned Sufi in Iran, and all prisoners of conscience.
- Juozas Olekas, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
- Frédérique Ries, Renew Europe Group
- Dietmar Köster, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
- Özlem Alev Demirel, The Left group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL
- Fulvio Martusciello, Group of the European People’s Party
- Assita Kanko, European Conservatives and Reformists Group
- Isabel Santos, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
- Bart Groothuis, Renew Europe Group
- Pina Picierno, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament