Political prisoner Soheil Arabi was returned to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary from the IRGC’s detention center.
In response to the threats made by his interrogators to silence him, Soheil Arabi said: “This is the era of communications. It is not the 1980s when you executed thousands of people and nobody found out. You silence your opponents by suppression and execution, but you cannot eliminate humanity’s desire for freedom.”
After six days of interrogation at the IRGC ward 1A, political prisoner Soheil Arabi was returned to the Greater Tehran Penitentiary (Fashafuyeh Prison) on Sunday, April 19, 2020.
When they were taking Mr. Arabi to the IRGC’s Sarallah Ward 1A on April 14, it was noted in his dispatch paper that he would stay there for 21 days and this period could be extended.
The reason Mr. Arabi was taken under interrogation was dissemination of news about him. He was warned that to punish him, he would be sent to a prison much worse than the Greater Tehran Penitentiary. The Ward 1A interrogators told him to be silent. They asked him: “Why did you contact and give interview to opposition media? Why do you talk to aliens? These are tantamount to crime. We have worse prisons. If you continue to do these things, these are considered activities against the state.”
Mr. Arabi answered: “I believe no human being is alien except for those who oppress their fellow human beings and are corrupt and autocratic. All the people of the world are my friends. From my point of view, no one is an alien. When I am a stranger in my own country, when I am subjected to inquisition, I would certainly talk to other people. I would speak about my pain to someone who understands me. Anyone who believes in human rights and democracy is my friend. It is not important what nationality, what color of skin and what religion they have. What’s important is for them to respect humanity.
Everyone sees life in his/her own way. There is no reason, that all of us must think the same way. We have our own opinions and taste. The art is to have dialogue and agree together.
You suffocate your opponents by suppression and executions, but you can never eliminate humanity’s desire for freedom. Because everyone would eventually find a way to achieve freedom. And no one has been able to keep a human being in a cage forever. We fly with our beliefs.”
Mr. Arabi’s interrogator told him: “You are cooperating with the enemy in this way.”
Soheil Arabi responded: “If you have an enemy, you are the one who cooperates with it. By detaining a writer and a journalist in jail, you are cooperating with your enemy. Certainly, the same people that I defended their rights, will support me. They will not allow you to take a hostage here. I was the voice of oppressed people. I spoke on their behalf. They did not leave me alone, and I thank them. If you want me to refrain from talking to the media, you should release the political prisoners. In contrast, you have released embezzlers, thieves and drug dealers who jeopardize the society. You have continued to incarcerate the teachers, workers, students and journalists who serve their people. This is the era of communications. It is not the 1980s for you to execute thousands of people and no one finds out. Today, people are united and they will not let you suffocate our voice.”
Based on a reliable source, political prisoner Soheil Arabi is still on hunger strike since April 3. He went on hunger strike to protest violation of his own rights and being doubly oppressed after officials failed to deliver on their promise to send him to hospital to undergo his much needed surgical operation.