Kommentar

Human Rights Watch har denne uka offentliggjort en rapport om Iran som viser at EUs og Europas diplomatiske linje overfor Iran er fullstendig mislykket.

No one knows how many people are held in Iran’s prisons and secret detention centers for the peaceful expression of their views. Over the past four years, as the window of free expression has closed in Iran, abuse and torture of dissidents have increased in Evin Prison’s solitary cells and secret detention centers, står det innledningsvis i HRW-rapporten.

Etter at Khatami ble valgt til president første gang, fikk de mer liberale kreftene i Iran vind i seilene, men så snudde det. Spørsmålet er da om Europas vennlige holdning til prestestyret og lysten til å gjøre business med disse korrupte og antidemokratiske lederne, har bidratt til undertrykkelsen av ytringsfriheten og politiske meningsforkjeller. I alle fall har ikke Europa gjort noe for å støtte den liberale opposisjonen, og kanskje kom nobelprisen til Shirin Ebadi litt for seint. Den burde vært gitt henne eller en annen iraner for fem-seks år siden.

Aftenposten brukte bare litt spalteplass på denne HRW-rapporten, noe som er veldig rart særlig i lys av at vi har gitt siste nobelpris til Ebadi nettopp for hennes innsats for menneskerettigheter i Iran. Det virker som hun alt er glemt.
NTB sendte tirsdagen ut en «halvlang sak» om at bruken av tortur tiltar i Iran, saken var like lang som en om at Leger uten grenser kommer med skarp kritikk av USA for å blande militære operasjoner og nødhjelp i Afghanistan. Så lite betyr iranerne.

Overgrepene som begås av regimet i Iran, tas heller ikke like alvorlig som f.eks. Abu Ghraib etter Saddam. De som bærer menneskerettighetsfanen høyt hos oss, og sikkert i flere europeiske land, har det med å svikte totalt når det gjelder undertrykkelse som mennesker utsettes for i ikke-demokratiske land. Det er som man tenker at noe annet er ikke å forvente, eller kanskje gir det ikke like stor status i aktivistmiljøene å kjempe mot undertrykkelsen i muslimske land.

Det er verdt å nevne at HRWs knusende rapport om forholdene i Iran kommer samtidig med at EU-landene har begynt å skjønne at de lures trill rundt av iranernes atompolitikk og blitt nødt til å gå med på FN-kritikk mot Iran, men all erfaring viser at EU-landene nøyer seg med ord og oppfordringer!

This report demonstrates a nexus between the press closures that began in 2000, the systematic arrests of journalists, writers and intellectuals in the following years, and the treatment of political prisoners. With the newspapers closed, treatment of detainees worsened considerably in Evin prison and in detention centers operated clandestinely by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the judiciary. Members of parliament and defense attorneys who have spoken out against the crackdown have themselves been summoned to court, and some jailed. Few platforms outside of the Internet re2_kommentar available to expose the reality of conditions for Iran’s political prisoners in detention centers. The closure of the newspapers has secured an environment of impunity for judges and security forces who routinely violate international human rights law and Iran’s criminal and penal codes.

The Iranian authorities have managed, in the span of four years, to virtually silence the political opposition within the country through the systematic use of indefinite solitary confinement of political prisoners, physical torture of student activists, and denial of basic due process rights to all those detained for the expression of dissenting views. Paradoxically, criticism of government policies has increased over the past several years on the streets, in shopping lines, in taxis, within homes. But those engaged in criticism on the record — newspapers, websites, public statements of members of parliament, and legally organized protests—have been silenced.

Det som er spesielt i Iran, er at det er rettsmyndighetene selv som har hovedansvaret for undertrykkelsen, en voldelig og på alle måter hensynsløs undertrykkelse som er legitimert gjennom Sharia-loven. Det er fristende å trekke sammenligningen med nazi-Tyskland og lignende tyranniske regimer – kriminaliteten kommer ikke fra «samfunnet», men fra selve regimet. Politi og rettsmyndigheter er deltagere i og redskaper for et gjennomkorrupt og kriminelt regime, som selvfølgelig ikke vil gå inn i noen «dialog» med sikte på å endre seg selv.

EU og Europa forøvrig fremstår som utrolig naive i sin bløte Iran-linje, og også korrupte, siden det jo er snakk om penger her. Særlig Frankrike, men også flere andre europeiske land kaster stein i glasshus når USA beskyldes for å angripe Irak for å få kontroll med oljen. De økonomiske hensiktene veier svært tungt i den europeiske dialog-linja overfor Iran, og Chirac bryr seg åpenbart ikke om hva som skjer i iranske fengsler.
På den annen side bidrar USA til å nærmest «legitimere» mishandling og tortur i fengslene til antidemokratiske regimer, når fanger i amerikansk varetekt behandles så vilkårlig som i Abu Ghraib og kanskje også på Guantanamo i andre amerikanske fengsler.

«Like the Dead in Their Coffins»
Torture, Detention, and the Crushing of Dissent in Iran
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Rapporten omtaler blant annet fengslene Amaken og Evin:

The Amaken interrogations have become well known among Iran’s students and the journalistic community, and they seem to be intended to spread uncertainty and fear among students and others. Individuals often return home from a day of interrogations without being taken into long-term detention. Some are asked to provide written confessions, others are threatened and told that they will be arrested in the future if they do not cooperate, or if they do not cease to engage in political activity. Others are told that cases are being created against them. Individuals are reportedly taken to an office where they are interrogated about a particular article, website, or international telephone call, suggesting that the intelligence agents are developing a file against them. Individuals are often spoken to harshly, threatened with imprisonment, and then let go.40 One individual told Human Rights Watch said, «It is not worth it anymore, they can summon you whenever they like.»

In Iran, intellectuals, writers, activists and detainees themselves use the term «white torture» to refer to the use of incommunicado solitary confinement (enferadi). The conditions of solitary confinement used against political prisoners are designed to break the resolve of detainees such that they capitulate and agree to be videotaped, sign confessions, and give information regarding their political affiliations and associates. Prisoners are held in solitary cell blocks, many in secret detention centers, often underground, with twenty-four-hour artificial light. They are denied communication with other prisoners and access to attorneys, family members, and medical health professionals.

Under international law, prolonged solitary confinement may rise to the level of torture. The individuals who were interviewed by Human Rights Watch emphasized that their time in absolute solitary was far worse than any physical or verbal abuse they experienced. They spoke of fear of losing their minds, of worrying that another day without any human contact would break their will.

Former prisoners emphasized that the increasing use of solitary confinement against those who criticize the government sends a message to others who might consider engaging in political expression: it is not worth it. As many who have been detained have said, «I went in as one person and came out another person.» Their experiences in solitary have had a reverberating impact on the student and activist communities. By targeting the leadership of the student activist community and the most influential writers and newspaper editors, the government was able to chill expression among the larger public.

One writer described the effects of solitary confinement in Evin’s Section 240:
Since I left Evin, I have not been able to sleep without sleeping pills. It is terrible. The loneliness never leaves you, long after you are «free.» Every door that is closed on you, it affects you. This is why we call it «white torture.» They get what they want without having to hit you. They know enough about you to control the information that you get: they can make you believe that the president has resigned, that they have your wife, that someone you trust has told them lies about you. You begin to break. And once you break, they have control. And then you begin to confess.