Few know the cost of freedom better than Amir Hossein Moradi, who at the tender age of 25 endured incomparable suffering at the hands of the Islamic Republic occupying Iran since 1979, and all because he wanted his country to be free. While Amir is just one of the countless Iranians oppressed, persecuted, and imprisoned for their political beliefs, what distinguishes Amir’s story is the sheer brutality and barbaric savagery he endured as a political prisoner of the Islamic Regime. The Islamic Republic is arguably one of the world’s most prolific state violators of human rights, and since 1979 have only ramped up their brutality as seen in the recent nationwide protests, where many were killed in the streets as they were peacefully protesting along with thousands more unjustly imprisoned.
In November of 2019, Amir Hossain Moradi was arrested for participating in the anti-regime uprising, which was protesting regime corruption and the suppression of political and social freedoms.
Amir Hossein Moradi was subject to enforced disappearance for weeks after his arrest and was denied access to a lawyer during the investigation phase of his case, a common tactic utilized by the regime to stifle dissent and intimidate and deter Iranians seeking freedom. Amir has endured unimaginable torture, including but not limited to, being physically brutalized and kicked, beaten with weapons such as batons, and even hung upside down while repeatedly beaten on his legs and feet in order to force false confessions from him. Former political prisoner Mojtaba Hosseini said the confession filming sessions sometimes lasted all night and did not end until the scripts were read in the exact tone and manner the interrogators were looking for. A year after his arrest, Amir was held in Security Ward 209 of Evin Prison and had yet been allowed access to his lawyer or had a trial. His lawyer has said that he had not been permitted to meet or speak with his client and that he has been charged with efsad fil arz (corruption on earth) a charge often given to political prisoners and those who speak up against the regime. Such vaguely defined charges are punishable by death, which put Moradi at risk of execution. Amir’s verdict caused national outrage among a broad spectrum of Iranians, who took to Twitter and managed to get the Persian hashtag #Don’t_Execute_Them, elevated to the number one hashtag worldwide on July 14, 2020. Iran Human Rights had previously warned of the impending heavy sentences such freedom-loving Iranians would be facing and Amnesty International also described the trial of Amir as grossly unfair.
In July 2020, Iranians swarmed to social media to voice their opposition to death sentences handed down to three men who took part in yet another nationwide uprising and protests last year. The unprecedented drive saw the “Don’t execute” hashtag in Persian topping Twitter trends in Iran for more than 24 hours. Then-president Donald Trump took notice of the social media outpouring of support for the three Iranian protesters and in his first Persian-language tweet in months, along with an identical English tweet, stated that the executions of Moradi and other political prisoners Rajabi and Tamjidi were “expected momentarily.”
Amir Hossein Moradi is also suffering from a very severe skin condition on his legs and has been denied crucial medical leave, which may result in their amputation. Amir’s lawyer, Babak Paknia, recently posted pictures of Amir’s leg, showing his critical skin condition on Twitter to draw attention to his client’s suffering. Denial of adequate treatment and timely medical leave is tantamount to torture. Paknia has also stated that the condition of Amir Hossein Moradi’s stomach and liver were also dangerously poor, a side effect of the drugs he takes for his skin disease.
Moradi’s family have also endured the torture of another kind at the hands of the Islamic Republic: witnessing the public abuse, torture, and defilement of their beloved son who only wanted a better future and life. The psychological duress and intimidation they experienced has been unfathomable, taking a huge toll on the entire family. After a year of unimaginable pressure and abuse from the Islamic Regime, Naser Moradi, Amir’s father, could no longer bear to watch his son suffer and slowly die anymore. Naser Moradi, a loving father with a broken heart, committed suicide by hanging himself in his basement on September 30, 2020. Shortly before committing suicide, he posted a heartfelt message to his son on Instagram, “Amir Hossein, my helping hand, I’ve been missing you immeasurably. May God help us to survive in your absence. Come home, my son. Your dad can no longer tolerate this situation.” As if this family had not endured enough pain, heartbreak, and abuse, Amir was prohibited from attending the family’s mourning funeral. The deputy prosecutor told his family that it would not be possible for him to attend the funeral until the Supreme Court’s decision. He could only participate in his father’s funeral if the death sentence was not approved in the Supreme Court.
The treatment of Amir Hossein Moradi is emblematic of humanity at its worst and of a brutal regime that clings to power through state-sponsored violence and oppression of its people. Amir’s story and experience is a common one in Iran, where the regime targets and seeks to eliminate anyone threatening the status quo or the regime’s future.
Amir is currently still in jail, and like many Iranian people who fight against the Islamic Regime, his fate is unknown. The Iranian people and Amir Hossein Moradi need the unequivocal support of the international community in their ongoing fight for justice, freedom, democracy, and equality.