“Human Rights Campaign for Iran” salutes Mr. Barry Rosen for going on hunger strike in Vienna urging countries engaged in negotiation to revive JCPOA to make the release of foreign and duel national hostages in Iran a precondition of any agreement. Mr. Rosen was one of the 53 American hostages who spent 444 days in captivity in Iran. January 20, 1981 was the day of their release and he chose the fourty-one anniversary of that memorable day to begin his courageous act. Over the past four days some former hostages as well as a number of Iranian human rights activists have either gone on hunger strike with him or have declared their support for his initiative. Anoosheh Ashoori, an Iranian-British citizen who is incarcerated in Evin prison in Iran has announced his decision to go on hunger strike to show his solidarity with Mr. Rosen. At the present time there are close to 20 foreign or dual citizen hostages incarcerated in Iran. It is a fact that in the past 42 years the theocrats ruling Iran have used hostages as bargaining chips to get concessions from Western governments. As Xiyue Wng, a Princeton University graduate student who had received official permission to do historical research in Iran but ended up spending three years in prison has said, “hostage taking, along with a long list of malign behavior, is in the DNA of the Islamic Republic’s regime. Team Biden must prioritize the release of hostages.”
As an officially registered Non-Profit Organization, supports the demand of “Human Rights Campaign for Iran” supports the demand of making the release of foreign and duel national hostages a precondition for revival of JCPOA and urge all advocates of human rights to participate in #Hostages in Iran.
We should note that arrest, torture and execution of native opponents and critics of the regime have been routine since the foundation of Iran’s totalitarian theocracy.
The Islamic Republic is not an ordinary dictatorship. It is the only constitutionally established theocracy in the modern world. The clerical rulers reject the very idea of human rights and expect the citizens to submit to the duties and obligations prevalent in Arabian Peninsula of 1400 years ago. Any lifestyle contrary to these pre medieval rules is a sin subject to punishment. The regime has created a massive coercive apparatus to interfere in both the public and private spheres of life. Women can be arrested and accused of committing sin for the way they dress. Even listening to the music of one’s choice is considered a sin subject to punishment. In addition, due to unprecedented official corruption, growth of poverty, unemployment and inflation, survival related misbehavior and petty theft law have also led to an unprecedented increase in prison population. In 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution, Iran had 38 million population and about 14,000 prisoners. Today, the population has more than doubled to 82 million, but the number of prisoners has increased to 240 thousand or 20-fold.
Human Rights Campaign for Iran