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Four Female Activists Write Letter From Prison Lambasting Iran's Rulers

FILE photo - Tehran's infamous Evin prison where many political prisoners are kept.
FILE photo - Tehran's infamous Evin prison where many political prisoners are kept.

In a letter written from Tehran’s Evin prison, four inmates have lambasted the Islamic Republic's establishment for persecuting independent journalists, political and civil rights activists accusing them of security-related crimes and issuing harsh verdicts.

The four prisoners, all young women, have criticized their condition in custody and referred to the long sentences issued against them.

Two of the prisoners were arrested during protest demonstrations held by unpaid workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Industrial complex last year in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, southwest Iran.

Two others who are journalists were detained last May in Tehran while covering a peaceful workers rally to celebrate the International Labor Day.

Speaking to Radio Farda, a Seattle-based social and political researcher, Shadyar Omrani, says that she believes the letter by the four has some exceptional aspects.

First, Ms. Omrani notes, the letter is directly addressed to the Iranian people, not to the Islamic Republic authorities.

Furthermore, the letter highlights the Islamic Republic's dual standard in vigorously pursuing legal cases against political, labor, and civil activists but mostly treating lightly those accused of fraud and financial corruption.

Meanwhile, according to Ms. Omrani, the letter reveals that the Islamic Republic's clergy-dominated establishment is supporting the so-called private sector in full force against the impoverished workers who are merely demanding their overdue wages, calling for better work conditions, the right to strike and launch independent trade unions.

In recent months women in Iran have become more active and vociferous in demanding their rights as well as supporting workers' rights. In the meantime, the number of women imprisoned in Iran has also increased in the past months.

The Paris-based international organization, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has declared Iran as the largest prison in the world for female journalists.