Saturday , 25 May 2024

“Suffering And Nightmare:” Iranian Authorities Urged To Release Jailed Environmentalists

Iranwire – Twenty Iranian women incarcerated with eight environmental activists in Tehran’s Evin Prison have issued a joint statement calling the release of their fellow inmates, saying they have been subjected to numerous human rights violations and abuse.

The statement released on February 27 said the environmentalists who worked at the Parsian Wildlife Institute to preserve the Asiatic cheetah and other endangered animals were imprisoned because of “authoritarian government policies and power struggles.”

Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Taher Qadirian, Homan Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Amir Hossein Khaleghi, Murad Tahbaz and Abdul Reza Kohpayeh were arrested in 2018 and sentenced to long-term prison terms on charges including “espionage” and “collaboration with hostile countries.”

Calling their sentences “invalid and without legal basis,” the authors of the statement said that the environmentalists endured torture and solitary confinement and were denied medical treatment.

“Even with their release, the suffering and nightmare that cast a shadow over their lives, their families, and Iranian society will not be compensated,” said the signatories, who included well-known figures such as Narges Mohammadi, Faizeh Hashemi and Bahareh Hedayat.

After the release of the statement, the last surviving Asiatic cheetah cub born in captivity in Iran died in Tehran Veterinary Hospital of kidney failure.

Pirouz’s death on February 28 has caused sadness and outrage among Iranians, with many blaming the authorities’ inability to provide adequate treatment to the 10-month-old cheetah cub.

Some Iranians have linked the death to the arrest of environmentalists.

Kavos Seyed Emami, the founder of the Parsian Wildlife Institute, has worked to protect the critically endangered sub-species.

He was arrested along with his colleagues in 2018 and died under suspicious circumstances in Evin prison a few days later.