by Shadi Paveh:
Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s condition has reportedly worsened as of January 28, 2014, when he suffered severe body tremors and was motionless for hours in his cell. The authorities still refuse to transfer him to a medical facility and are denying him the most basic medical care. We ask for intervention to save his life.
Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, a senior member of the Shiite Muslim clergy, is presently serving the eighth year of an 11-year sentence handed down to him by the Islamic Republic’s courts for advocating the separation of state and religion inside Iran. He has also spoken against political Islam and its leaders. As a result, during his time in prison, he has been exposed to torture especially reserved for the Islamic Republic’s dissident clergy and political prisoners. Boroujerdi has endured the rape of his spouse in front of other family members. He has been purposely exposed to toxic chemical agents while kept in a small solitary cell. As a result, he now suffers permanent neurological damage, further aggravated by group beatings. Urgent medical attention has been systematically withheld for his long list of ailments, which are mostly a direct result of years of torture and malnutrition.
Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, in better times (left) and in his prison cell (right).
On September 29, 2013, for example, Ayatollah Boroujerdi suffered a heart attack in prison for which he was refused medical intervention. His condition has reportedly worsened as of January 28, 2014, when he had severe body tremors and was motionless for hours in his cell, where he presently remains with no medical care.
Possibly due to Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s prominence, the regime has apparently chosen not to execute him, but instead to kill him silently in prison. There were two failed attempts on his life by poisoning inside prison in 2012. His mother, detained at the same time, was also poisoned and died as a result. Previously, in November 2011, a prisoner on death row was told by the authorities that if he succeeded in killing Boroujerdi he would be set free. The attempt failed when other prisoners intervened.
To protest the violent crimes of political Islam in the Islamic Republic, Boroujerdi announced via audio tape from prison that: “I am not inclined anymore to wear this frock; this frock has no credit or value in Iran or the international community” and removed his clerical robes.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi descends from a long line of renowned Shiite clergy; both his father and grandfather were staunch opponents of religious leaders in politics. As a result, both of his parents, along with his brother, were killed by the authorities under mysterious circumstances, as is the regime’s custom.
Despite his critical medical condition in prison, he remains defiant and his spirit remains unbreakable: he has stated hopes that his case will serve as a strong indictment of the Islamic Republic’s despotic rule and unspeakable human rights violations.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has risked losing his life slowly under torture by writing letters from inside prison to then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to the United Nations, speaking of the absolute lack of freedom inside Iran, the grotesque human rights violations and the imminent danger of political Islam. Further, he recently urged people of Iran to boycott the so-called elections on June 14, 2013. As a direct result of this statement his tortures recommenced despite his extremely fragile medical condition.
Ms. Roya Araghi, an advocate of Boroujerdi who herself was jailed and tortured for defending the him, and has since fled Iran, believes that without medical treatment and international intervention, Ayatollah Boroujerdi will most likely die soon under torture.
On June 29, 2013, members of Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s family went to Evin prison to visit him, and were shocked to see nature of his physical condition in the seventh year of his 11-year sentence. He has developed acute heart disease, which has led to the severe swelling of his feet and knees. He also suffers from ocular, pulmonary and respiratory disorders, but has been denied medical treatment by officials until he “repents “and “mends his ways”.
On July 8, 2013, Boroujerdi was interrogated for an extended period of time by government agents for his refusal to concede to the demands of the regime by signing a letter of “repentance.” He was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed”. He has thus far refused to surrender.
Read more at Gatestone Institute