Monday, June 24, 2013

Iranian Judiciary Directive To Reduce Prison Population


By: Jabbar Fazeli, MD

The Iranian judiciary published a directive for prosecutors, judges, and the prison system with the goal of decreasing imprisonment and reducing the prison population.

The judiciary directive dated June 19, 2013 is supposedly based on the wishes of the supreme leader, as expressed in a speech he gave in Mashhad eleven months ago (9,10).

In an another development, announced on the same day, 1249 prisoners are pardoned by the supreme leader. It is not clear if any political prisoners are included in this prisoner release.  Only one political prisoner, journalist Jila Baniyaghoob, has been released since the announcement.

On the face of it, it looks like the supreme leader and his judiciary is trying to preempt any initiative by the newly elected "moderate" president on the prisoners issue.  The regime is placing itself in a position of saying "we already did that", in case the new president pushes for "prison reforms" or "judiciary reforms".

These initiatives also stress who's in charge in the Islamic republic, the supreme leader's name is features prominently in both news releases. 
More than 80 new prisoners arrive in Iranian prisons every day (7), with the episodic  mass arrests on special occasions. In item 5 of the 29 item directive, the judiciary makes a point of asking for more coordination before any "mass arrests" by the "security forces".

One practical aspect of the judiciary action is the fact that Iran has about a quarter of a million prisoners, but an official prison capacity of just over 100,000. Even though the Iranian government is working to reduce the prison population through executions (10), the prisons remain crowded.
Source: (10)
Many of the items in the directive deal with "payments" and "bail" money--That is understandable given the hard economic times, for the Iranian regime that is.

None of the 29 items in the judiciary directive address the issue of political prisoners. Iran maintains that it has no political prisoners, even as their names and pictures are becoming more public in Iran and the rest of he world (1,2,3,4,5,6). 
Ayatollah Boroujerdi is in prison for calling for separation of religion and politics, and calling for a referendum
Photo source: voiran, migspanel 
I doubt Rouhani will have the power to order the release of thousands of political prisoners. The last president couldn't even visit his friend in prison without a permission (that he never got) (12). 

President Rouhani is expected to complain, behind closed doors, and submit to the will of the dictator on literally everything.
Free political prisoners
Photo source: Nobelwomeninitiave.org
Ps. I am sure that this topic will tempt the cyber-Basij to switch topic to US prison issues, the high rate of incarceration in the United States, or GITMO. I would like to point out that none of the US issues have anything to do with Iran, and as such, they can not serve as an excuse for Iran to arrest, impression, and execute its people. So please try to come up with some other excuse if you must.

Below is the full Judiciary directive in Persian: 

References:

(1) Interview with an ex-prisoner
http://www.dw.de/behind-the-walls-of-irans-evin-prison/a-16835498
(2) The Guardian's Political Prisoners database (incomplete)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/may/21/iran-prisoners-of-conscience-interactive
(3) the story of Ebrahim Yazdi
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/05/29/bob-rae-an-iranian-insider-then-an-activist-now-a-prisoner/
(4) Easing of prison conditions for Amir Hekmati 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/04/world/middleeast/iran-eases-prison-conditions-for-ex-marine.html?_r=0
(5) faces of Iranian political prisoners
http://www.humanrights.gov/2012/12/27/faces-of-iran-citizens-unjustly-imprisoned/
(6) free all political prisoners Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-All-Political-Prisoners-in-Iran/140315882665290
(7) Iran offers bachelor degree in how to be a prison warden
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9426322/Iran-offers-a-bachelors-degree-in-how-to-be-a-prison-warden.html
(8) http://www.ettelaat.com/new/index.asp?fname=2013\06\06-23\22-33-18.htm&storytitle=%E3%E6%C7%DD%DE%CA%20%D1%E5%C8%D1%20%E3%DA%D9%E3%20%C7%E4%DE%E1%C7%C8%20%C8%C7%20%DA%DD%E6%20%E6%20%CA%CE%DD%ED%DD%20%E3%CC%C7%D2%C7%CA%201249%20%CA%E4%20%C7%D2%20%E3%CD%DF%E6%E3%C7%E4
(9)http://www.ettelaat.com/new/index.asp?fname=2013\06\06-23\22-43-18.htm&storytitle=%CF%D3%CA%E6%D1%C7%E1%DA%E3%E1%20%98%C7%E5%D4%20%CC%E3%DA%ED%CA%20%D2%E4%CF%C7%E4%ED%C7%E4%20%98%D4%E6%D1
(10) http://www.sharghdaily.ir/Modules/News/PrintVer.aspx?News_Id=13485&V_News_Id=&Src=Main
(11)http://www.iranrights.org/english/newsletter.php
(12) http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3576164.ece

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is bad news for iranian society. 99.9% of prisoners are not political prisoners.

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget the seventy million prisoners behind invisible bars that remain in Iran.

B.M.A said...

-Jabbar and his sharp nose!!-

-All the way from Russia through Israel deep into Europe and beyond!! ,there are prisons and correction institutions.prisons are meant to correct and shape some Guys who if left free, can bring problems to a state or disrupt the social fabric among other vices.there are some cases where individuals are jailed unjustly !,and this has to do with some shoddy work by the police.
Now! to bring some photos of prisoners and pretend that all these individuals were jailed unjustly is not only a mischievous attempt to portray a government in bad light but also boarders hypocrisy!.
-now the issue of 'who is in charge' in the country has nothing to do with the population in prison!,going straight to hit the LEADER is just reckless and irresponsible! -Your argument that the Leader and his judiciary is trying to preempt the initiative of the new moderate President to bring some reforms in the judiciary and prisons tells how your nose is too sharp and sensitive and ALWAYS SMELLS a rat!.
But once more J.F have you brought a good case on the Government,but yet again you have played a prosecutor,a witness and a Judge all in one denying us any say but sit and be silent observers in your courtroom!.

-Reply one-
How prudent had it been if you went deeper,bring some evidences to prove to all that in fact all these prisoners are jailed unjustly!shouting loudly and scary that '80 prisoners are brought in Iranian jails daily' !is not convincing to justify the Government as barbaric! do us some favor by showing some irrefutable evidence that these individuals are in fact innocent.- SEEMS you want to transform IRAN into the U.S!.- a theater of dreams!a paradise on earth!,no sorrows no worries at all?!.

-Reply two -
-YOU HAVE failed as an honest reporter!.can anyone buy your argument that the Leader is responsible
in throwing people in jail?!.are you telling us that if we decided to choose Uskowi as the leader or a democratic president he will close all prisons and turn them into recreation centers!you are too harsh on the Government! as though you have your own alternative world to give - i wish you are given some few months as a Mayor in a city in that besieged hapless tribal region in Pakistan at the mercy of U.S drones!.Then you would teach someone that civility demands suspects to stand trial and be heard and if guilty jailed [no matter the number]instead of being exposed to some summary killings and denied any justice!!.

-reply three-
-Thank and speak positively on the Government for this human gesture on reducing prison populations!just when will you learn to say the truth!.A barbaric regime does not reduce prison population!. instead, it builds more and more facilities.

-reply four-
-you have a soft sport on the president and too harsh on the leader!.But i think you are heading for a cruel disappointment seeing that president Rouhanni is a product of the revolution.your wish for some clash between your perceived 'two camps' may have to wait for just long to see the light of the day as the Clerics are too smart to play on the whims of the enemies of the Nation!.

-reply five-
-you are warning that the prison matters of the US does not relate to IRAN! so then we should not try to mention the US our refutations- now!, is this not preempting our initiative?

another example of double speak on your part accusing the leadership of some vices you are just perfect in doing them!!.

Anonymous said...

Can I ask a question Jabbar Fazeli, MD??? Why do you write MD beside your name ALL the time? You want to tell people you are smart boy because you are a MD or maybe you want to elevate you social status.... I know many people who are doctors but never write MD or Dr. beside their names when to write comments or... Would you please stop writing MD next to your name... it is kind of getting very annoying...

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

@anon 10:37
Thank you for your insightful comment. I take it you have nothing to say about the subject matter in this article.
Best,
Jabbar Fazeli, MD

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:37 AM ....Come on lets be fair about this.Rouhani claims he received his "doctorate" in Scotland.After investigation it was found that no person under the name of Rouhani or even Fereydoon existed in the claimed university.So you can imagine when Rouhani lies about his education,then what makes anybody think that he won't lie about other things?

On the subject matter now.

@Jabbar Fazeli,MD....Contrary to what others say,I believe that the regime is trying to portray an image of strength. But in reality they are showing their weakness.The regimes claimed turn-out of "seventy two percent"is just that a claim.Remember Rouhani's claim that he has a "doctorate"?
Khomenei once said that ninty percent lying should be used against enemies.With this belief system in the regime everything is fair game.

Yossarian said...

I hope they don't let anyone out of prison...They'll just move to Los Angeles, and by BMW's. :(

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you why! Sometime ago, Shamloo in a letter to Hoghooghi wrote: "It is not appropriate if the title 'Dr.' comes in FRONT of our names." He was a great man and realized he shouldn't get credit from a title," but Jabbar is in terrible need of it.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 11:27...Rouhani does have a doctorate. The university he attended (Glasgow Caledonian University)has confirmed it as of June 18 http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/gcu-confirms-it-was-alma-mater-for-iranian-president-elect.21371171. Not only that, but they also have congratulated him for winning the presidency http://double-glazing-glasgow.co.uk/glasgow-caledonian-university-congratulates-alumnus-hassan-rouhani-on-his-election-as-the-next-president-of-iran/

Anonymous said...

Rubbish, The Supreme leader and President Rouhani and the Iranian People have Triumphed Over Western Tyrants! End of story.

Anonymous said...

This was a good analysis.

I appreciate you posting a picture of Ayatollah Boroujerdi. It always frustrates me when people refer to the IRI as the "mullah regime" and lump all of the clergy together, when the fact is many (if not most) are not even supportive of the IRI and/or its current actions. The fact is, the regime has lost the majority of clerical legitimacy for a long time, and they are mainly supported by military hardliners in Sepah, not the clergy. Having lost its clerical legitimacy, the regime forces them into silence by Sepah and the Special Clerical Courts and other elements. Clerics who speak out are ruthlessly persecuted. Nowadays, those clerics who still "support" the IRI are mostly those directly on its payroll.

For those who don't know (and I don't blame them, the IRI always taught a distorted version of Islam), traditionally in Shia Islam, the clergy, believing that proper Sharia law cannot be implemented without the presence of the 12th Imam (who is in occulation), believed that they should not involve themselves directly in politics (since they would never be able to apply Sharia 100% correctly). So for hundreds of years, Shia Islam had a relative seperation of politics and religion (with some exceptions).

But in the 60's, Ayatollah Khomeini created a new concept of "velayat-e-fagih", in which it was believed that in the absence of the 12th Imam, members of the clergy should rule directly (namely himself and his buddies). As we have seen for over 30 years, it is a total disaster for Iranians, and Islam has been misued, polticized and degraded in Iran. If a cleric doesn't support this doctrine (which the majority don't), they will be persecuted upon discovery. Even if they only openly challenge certain actions of the regime (ex. torture), they would be treated the same. Today, very few sane clerics honestly believe in "velayat-e-fagih" and/or approve of this regime. The minority who "do" are directly on the IRI's payroll, and while they almost always privately know that it is all nonsense and that the regime is abusive, they will still willingly parrot the regime's line. Those corrupt clerics simply give a religious facade to what Ayatollah Montazeri called "military rule" by Sepah (Montazeri also publicly regretted having at one point believed in "velayat-e-faghih").

The most famous clerical victim of the IRI was Ayatollah Shariatmadari (one of the most prominent ayatollahs of his time, and an opponent of the IRI and "velayat-e-faghih"), who was arrested, tortured, and left for dead. When people protested his treatment, he called on them to not protest, so they would not be killed/harmed by the IRI (in total contrast to Khomeini, who had no problems causing the deaths of lots and lots of people). Having lost its clerical legitimacy, the regime relies on elements like Sepah and Special Clerical Courts to suppress them (as I stated earlier). The majority of clerics do not support this regime, and the brave ones who have refused to stay silent, like Ayatollah Boroujerdi, have faced severe punishment.

So, anybody who has an open heart and mind who reads this should know that the IRI doesn't represent Islam, and that it is unfair to lump the clergy together as part of the so called "mullah regime" when so many of them oppose it. The true Muslims have suffered under the IRI just as much as any other opponent has. There have been countless governments throughout history that have jusitifed their crimes in the name of religion, and there will be plenty more in the future as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are an IRI supporter (I won't judge). But this is the logic of a typical one:

1. The Islamic Republic is the greatest thing in the world since sliced bread. No government is as kind, fair, and good to its own people than the Islamic Republic (that 99.999999999% of people voted for in 1979)! It is perfect, and everybody is happy!!!!

2. (when confronted about human rights abuses and terrible policy) Well, look at the USA, they aren't perfect either! If you only blame us for being abusive, you are a hypocrite! In fact, we have the right to be 10 times more abusive than anybody else just for that reason alone!!!!!!!

3. You are a supporter of the US, an enemy of God, and a westernized puppet, a tool of Zionist-Capitalist-Imperialist-British-Saudi pig stooges!!!! We have the God-given right to liquidate you and your entire family!!!!!!!!!!!! Everybody loves the Islamic Republic, except you evil brainwashed West worshippers!!!!! (If that person happens to be a devout Muslim, add "loyal to fake Zio-American-Westtoxified Islam" to that long list).

On a side note, why does the IRI hate America? America should be the IRI's best friend. It seems like they would have no reason to exist if it wasn't for hating America. They complain that Iranians pay too much attention to the US, well they are the ones who are most obsessed with America!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:42 PM....Nonsense! He hasn't a doctorate.To receive a doctorate he would have had to attended for three years.

Same Anon 2:49....We will see who will triumph,nefarious regime and their lust for power through deception or the forces of light within the country.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:50 PM...And another thing they call us the minority of Iranians!

Mark Pyruz said...

It's interesting that Iranian leadership is attempting to reduce prison populations. Here in California, our state judiciary recently issued a legal order to do the same. However our governor has been doing his best to avoid the order, forcing the judiciary to put forth another order. Between Iran and California, which one will actually be reducing first?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:13 PM....I see your point of view on this,but were are the majority of these clergymen and their followers? Unfortunately we have all called this wicked regime "the mullah regime". But what else can you call these charlatans that wear the cloak of the cleargy? There must be something very wrong that the good forces from within the clerical establisment and forces within Iran that don't want this regime are not in communication with one another?
As long as this regime stays it will alienate more and more people against the clergy.
Everyone that is interested in saving Iran from the valih-e-faqih and the Sepah goons should join forces to overthrow this nexus.

Anonymous said...

Mark Pyruz,just pack it in will you.

Anonymous said...

Dear B.M.A
Looks like the "Jabbar" has been publishing his home work from previous months in "hiding", with the Iddon help?.

I have read that there are about over 70 anti Iranian websites around the world and there are "special" funds for promotion of the "Western" democracy, rewarded to the leading anti-Iranian organizations and websites.

How to find that kind of those "beneficiaries" (websites) and their benefactors ???

That is apparent reason, that some losers with their bosses can fret and perpetuate themselves, as the "intelectual" or physical prostitutes use to do...,because the money is what makes sense of a life for them.

A-F

Anonymous said...

And replace it with what exactly?,most of you malcontents know what you dont like ie the iri,but you dont seem to have a clue as to what you would replace it with and thats never a good sign

Anonymous said...

"the forces of light"
You mean like the mek or the royalists or the greens,I dont see any of them triumphing anytime soon

Anonymous said...

he packs it in incessantly. usually manages to get enough in every post to fertilize a large garden.

it's not just a green thumb, it's even more than a brown nose

Anonymous said...

AnonymousJune 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM
You are presented with proof yet still you deny it,I guess the glasgow-caledonian-university and the heraldscotland are in the pay of the iri,right?
You`re not doing your credibility much good repeating debunked claims

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:12 pm... That is a very good question, and it deserves an equally good answer. But first, think of this. The regime is extremely hard set in its ways. They seemed to have crushed the Green Movement. But actually the Green movement had evolved into a civil disobedience movement, that involves every facet of Iranian society. It has isolated the regime, and considered it unrepresentative of Iranians, and makes the system hard to function. It reached the point where the regime was forced to bend, and allow Rouhani to win. And what were the two main factors that caused it to happen? The most obvious one was the people of Iran, but equally important was the efforts of the clergy. Allow me to explain. (For those who have just started reading this, please refer back to my anon comment on June 24 at 4:13PM)

The clergy has already struck a blow to the IRI that nobody else in the general public could do. They have effectively rejected its legitimacy, giving it virtually a "vote of no-confidence". For a regime that is a so-called theocracy, having its religious clerical base remove their support and consider it not legitimate is the equivalent of kicking a chair out from under a sitting man. In a democratic political system, that would result in the immediate demise of that leadership, however, the IRI as I stated earlier now relies on Sepah to keep its power. I will explain the problems with that in a moment...

You were wondering why the clergy has not directly protested. The truth is they already have. I think you were instead wondering why the clergy have not taken to the streets and protested, the fact is that clergy don't protest that way. They are scholars of Islam, their job is to interpet Islam. If they take to the streets, they are no different than any other protester. If they protest in the seminaries, and make clear that this regime is violating Islam, that is where all of their importance comes from.

The power of the clergy comes from the faithful people, those who listen to them. When powerful marja-e-taqlids issue fatwas against the regime and for the people, like Grand Ayatollah Khorasani ("forced confessions are illegitimate"), and Grand Ayatollahs Saanei and Montazeri ("this regime and its leadership are illegitimate") and Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib ("those who put Mousavi and Green leadership under arrest are guilty of crimes"), just to name a few, they are striking heavy blows at a regime that derives much of its legitimacy from the clergy. They are providing support for the people who want a change. Many other clergymen have opposed the regime, for example in Muhammad Sahimi's article "What has the Green Movement Achieved", he explains the situation, while describing the ayatollahs who oppose the regime.

Remember in Iranian history, the power of the clergy has been to protest in the seminaries and drum up support against a system, while the people protested on the streets against that system. It also undermines the system from within. For example a sizable number of Basijis refused to attack protesters when they heard the protests of the clergy; and when the government tried to punish the protesters according to the laws, the declarations of the clergy (the intepreters of the laws) undermined their ability to successfully do so. That forced the regime to rely more and more on military men from Sepah and to violate the people's trust and clergy's trust, creating even greater divides between the regime, people, and clergy (an increasingly unfavorable position for the regime). The regime became increasingly separated and isolated from the nation. The actions of the clergy were described by some astute observers as being "a rebellion in the seminaries, as equally important as the rebellion on the streets". I will explain the rest in the next paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

The government, similar with the rest of the people, severely punishes those clerics who oppose them. Just like the common people, some clerics bravely stand up to oppose them, paying a heavy price; others voice and show their disapproval; while many others sit silent fearing harm to himself and his family. And then there are the few who are benefiting from the regime, and "support" it. Many who spoke out suffered in the hands of a regime that doesn't give mercy to even their own brothers in the clergy. Oftentimes, it is the brave actions of a few that make all of the difference (applies both to common people and clergy).

Today most of the clergy, like most of the people, act in a manner of civil disobedience to the regime. When the regular people do things such as giving to private charities rather than government charities after the Tabriz earthquake, listening to foreign news rather than state news, and (at least up to two days before the elections) planning to boycott government elections, they demonstrate their displeasure with the government, and thus deprive it of its legitimacy. The clergy carry out their own civil disobedience, for example, refusing to enter positions in the government, ignoring government backed religious causes, and worst of all, not respecting and recognizing Khamenei as a legitimate leader, or treating him as a religious leader. Both of those actions are equally important opposition, as I'll explain in the next paragraph.


This government for 30 years has claimed legitimacy from two vital things, the people (who carried out a revolution), and the clergy (to support Islam). With both avenues blocked, the government is as weak as a crippled man. They rely on Sepah to maintain power, and it is no cure for legitimacy and support from the people (their military rule makes people madder), and increasingly causing a breakdown in its regular functions and increased isolation from the mainstream, increasing its vulnerability.

To clarify better what I am saying, think of a hypothetical example of a injured man (Iran). The man's brain (regime) still functions, but his body (the people and clergy) is unresponsive to his brain due to damage, he is a cripple. He may sit in wheelchair (Sepah), but that wheelchair is no cure for being crippled. The regime's position is weak, it is isolated and he is in a weak position and not functioning well, it is even vulnerable to overthrow.

The regime would never give up power on its own. The only reason that Rouhani's victory wasn't stolen was due to the combined pressure the people and the clergy put on the regime, causing the system to effectivly be broken. Had either one of them not done so, this regime would not have given in. Perhaps it is only a symbolic victory. But I am optimistic that the symbolic man (Iran) I described cannot stay crippled forever, and must move down the road of recovery. It is sad that so many people oppose the clergy. The (true)clergy has and is supporting the people, and all of Iran's democractic gains can and will come through the unity of people and clergy. Perhaps history will be kinder to the clergy than people are today, because while many people haven't realized it yet, all of their efforts in the Green Movement (a movement that is neither secular nor religious, but includes all Iranians) were as equally important as the efforts of their clergy upon the movement.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:45 PM

Keep up your diatribes !


Anon 10:53 PM same again

Stop acting like a douche.Your "proof" is a hoax because the university said there was no such person attending their course.Everybody knows this by now.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:30 PM...Don't worry when the time comes you will see what type of system will replace the corrupt valih-e-faqih and his goons.Meanwhile cosy up with your own diatribes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:45...You are only showing your naivety when you should be thanking the MEK that they helped your lovey-dovies gain power in Iran.The MEK and the valih-e-faqih regime are both sides of the same coin.

Anonymous said...


"I have read that there are about over 70 anti Iranian websites around the world and there are "special" funds for promotion of the "Western" democracy, rewarded to the leading anti-Iranian organizations and websites."

Dear A-F,

you can read a great many things..... and it's possible that you have ..... and it's also possible that some of them are based on truth..... it's possible that some of the things that you've read contain truth......

it's also possible that you've read that there are many Iranian government sponsored websites and that the people writing for them are given not only money but are also allowed to take members of the Guardians Council as temporary wives.

you may ask yourself " How to find that kind of those "beneficiaries" (websites) and their benefactors ???"

and you may even wish to become one of those "beneficiaries", but it would be fruitless as that claim is just as dishonest and untruthful and fruitless as the things in your comment.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousJune 25, 2013 at 6:43 AM
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/gcu-confirms-it-was-alma-mater-for-iranian-president-elect.21371171
How much more proof do you want,maybe the heraldscotland is in the pay of the iri,right?
The claim that he didnt have a degree was easily debunked,you`re just making a fool of yourself by repeating it

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:08...Funny heraldscotland is a Zionist paper and a tool of British imperialism and you believe them?