Evin prison

Political prisoners boycott presidential elections in Iran

Friday, 07/05/2024

Political prisoners in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison and Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj abstained from voting for the runoff presidential elections, just as they did last week.

“More than a hundred political prisoners [in Evin prison] refused to participate in this unfair and unjust process, standing firm in their pro-freedom ideals,” former political prisoner Mehdi Mahmoudian wrote on X.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi, reformist politician Mostafa Tajzadeh, and former MP Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani are among the prisoners who boycotted the elections. Others include Abdollah Momeni, Mohammad Najafi, Alireza Beheshti Shirazi, Reza Shahabi, Rasoul Bodaghi, Behzad Ghorbanian Nejad, Amir Salar Davoodi, Vida Rabbani, Sepideh Gholian, Golrokh Iraee, and Maryam Yahyaavi.

In recent weeks, numerous dissidents, from those in prison to those active on social media, have publicly declared that the upcoming election is a manipulated facade rather than a genuine democratic process.

Amirsalar Davoudi, a lawyer incarcerated in Evin Prison, denounced the election as a "selection" in a letter from prison. He refused to participate, asserting that the Islamic Republic follows a path of "lies and deceit."

Former political prisoner Abolfazl Ghadiani also called for a boycott of the election. He emphasized that solving Iran's problems requires transforming the "ruling religious dictatorship" into a "democratic secular republic" through "civil and political resistance."

Ghadiani’s stance reflects a broader sentiment among activists who believe superficial electoral changes are insufficient and that only a complete overhaul of the political system can address the country's root issues.

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