Iran’s regime has accused Soheil Arabi of being a “national security threat” for opposing the state. His life is in danger, yet refuses to go back on his demands.
On the 33th day of his hunger strike, Soheil Arabi sent a message from the Great Tehran Penitentiary:
“Anyone who has little intelligence, accepts that enlightening free thinking and criticism, is not a crime but a service to mankind. But turbaned, kaffiyeh-wearing mullahs first sentenced me to death and then to three years for fighting ignorance and superstition, human rights activism, helping labour children, and supporting imprisoned workers and political prisoners of conscience. I endured three years and six months of imprisonment and physical and psychological torture. According to the very expired rules of the Islamic Republic, I should have been released on September 18, 2017. But not only did they not release me, but they hurt my family. They forced my wife to separate from me. They arrested my mother and exiled me to the Great Tehran torture chamber. When a political prisoner finishes his or her prison sentence and they do not release him or her, they say that the prisoner is doing “Melli-Keshi” *. In the eighties, many political prisoners did the “Melli-keshi”. They were executed even after their sentences were served. Now I’m spending the fifth month of my “Melli-keshi”. During these five months, I suffered all kinds of physical and psychological torture. For the fact that I became the title holder and the world’s top webmaster, the embezzlers and fraudsters were charged to beat me. I was exiled to quarantine, and there, an officer suddenly hit my head and, after falling down, kicked my kidney and I could hardly escape and other prisoners rescued me. In the same quarantine that Sina Ghanbari was killed and they said he had committed suicide. Fraudulent and reformist-like prisoners have always been reporting false reports against us, who are demanding the overthrow of the theocrats, to enjoy the advantage of religious visits, leave and hospitals. They exiled my comrades, Golrokh Iraee and Atena Daemi, to Qarechak prison and I went on hunger strike in protest. But instead of addressing my protest and listening to my talk, they brutally exiled me to the Great Tehran Prison. At the time of arrival, 15 soldiers attacked me with water pipes and batons. I went to coma due to hunger strike but they even feared sending me to the hospital. They forced me into a clinic and gave me infusion. I experienced very difficult conditions. But I continue to strike. Because we did not commit any crime that could be so cruelly punished. Yes, an anarchist dies to not accept oppression.”
- Melli-Keshi is an expression for the extra time a prisoner who has already served his prison terms remains incarcerated.