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Demand the Gates of Ghezal Hesar be Opened to Inspection by the International Committee of the Red Cross!

The massacre at Ghezal Hesar Prison is only the latest and most visible manifestation of the conditions of complete repression of prisoners in Iran, and their utter lack of anything resembling rights. The repression of prisoners in Iran reflects the repression of the society as a whole.

On March 15, 2011, at least 80 prisoners in Ghezal Hesar were killed, and more than 150 were injured and in critical condition after prison authorities opened fire on them. Defenseless prisoners were showered with bullets. In implementing this massacre, the Islamic Republic has committed yet another unspeakable crime and created a bloodbath, which they are doing thir utmost to cover up.

At 5 pm on March 15, 3,000 prisoners of the 2nd ward of Ghezal Hesar, the majority of whom were sentenced to death and life imprisonment, decided to protest against the planned execution of 10 inmates who were to be executed Wednesday morning. The inmates decided to riot, breaking down the doors and using gas canisters to break down the walls of the prison. They chanted against the regime and in protest against execution, a particularl salient demand given that the Islamic Republic is on a killing spree, executing hundreds so far in 2011 alone.

The Islamic Republic has claimed that these prisoners were trying to escape, in an attempt to excuse its massacre of the inmates of Ghezal Hesar. There is no possible excuse for this wholesale slaughter, and we must demand more strenuously than ever that the prisons of the Islamic Republic be opened to inspection by the international community, specifically by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

To this end, Mission Free Iran has created a poster to be used in protests (click image to download full-size graphic); we also ask concerned people to write to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and demand the ICRC send a delegation to the Islamic Republic to inspect the regime’s prisons and publicly document their findings.

Sample letter:

Send to: Florian Westphal (fwestphal@icrc.org) and Dorothea Krimitsas (dkrimitsas@icrc.org)

Dear Mr. Westphal and Ms. Krimitsas,

I am writing to you with an urgent request that you intervene with the authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose most recent and egregious violations of the rights of prisoners is the massacre of Ghezal Hesar, where at least 80 inmates were slaughtered in a hail of bullets, and hundreds more were seriously, if not fatally, wounded.

Multilateral organizations have thus far refused to step in and put a halt to the criminal actions perpetrated by the Islamic Republic. Your mandate encourages your organization to undertake the work of visiting prisoners in situations of internal violence, where the Geneva Conventions do not apply. I ask you to step in and demand a halt to this and other ongoing criminal and barbaric proceedings in the Islamic Republic.

The UN and all other bilateral and multilateral organizations remained silent during the 1988 prison massacres in Iran, where thousands of prisoners were secretly executed and buried in mass graves. We will not stand by and allow silence to cover these ongoing crimes. We demand action now.

Sincerely,
[your name]

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