Political prisoner Soheil Arabi has been transferred from Evin Prison to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary, 20 miles southeast of Tehran.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry is deliberately trying to place him in a perilous condition after he, along with 10 inmates, condemned the Iranian regime for downing a Ukrainian passenger plane by missiles.
Prison authorities told Soheil Arabi that he will be transferred from ward 8 to ward 4.
After collecting his belongings and as he was getting on the car, an Intelligence Ministry agent told him, “You have only two options. You can withdraw your previous declarations and express regret on TV or you’ll be transferred to a worse prison.”
Soheil Arab responded immediately: “I choose a worse prison.”
A few days ago, the Intelligence Ministry agent asked Soheil Arabi to step back from his stances and dismiss his previous declarations on the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane and bloody crackdown on November protests in Iran.
Soheil Arab said in response: “I told the truth in my statements. You killed people in the streets. People want their rights. They have the right to protest and express their opinion. Why do you kill those who protest? We also have the right to express our views. So we made statements and protested the repression of the people. It’s not a crime.”
Soheil Arabi along with other fellow inmates had previously condemned violent crackdown on Iranian protesters during the November 2019 protests.
On January 29, 2018, Soheil Arabi who is in prison for the content of his Facebook posts, had been transferred to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary from Evin Prison in Tehran, which has a separate wing for political prisoners to keep them safe from violent offenders.
Arabi had been serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence since 2013 for criticizing the Islamic Republic on Facebook.
In early October 2018, he was sentenced to three more years behind bars, increasing his total term to 10 years, for engaging in peaceful activism inside the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.
His additional sentence of three years was issued for the charges of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the sacred and the supreme leader.”
Located in Tehran Province’s Fashafouyeh district, 20 miles southeast of Tehran, and built in 2015 primarily for holding inmates convicted of drug-related offenses, Iran’s judiciary has also used the GTP to incarcerate dissidents and anti-state protesters convicted of politically motivated charges.