PARIS: Iranian authorities jailed, and sometimes executed, 1.7 million people around the capital Tehran alone in the first 30 years after the 1979 Islamic revolution, according to a leaked file.
The number included regime opponents, Baha’is and other religious minorities and at least 860 journalists, media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said. At least four of the journalists were executed.
The information was based on a confidential file of judicial proceedings obtained by whistleblowers, the group said on Thursday in Paris.
The file registering judicial procedures contains details on some 1.7 million people, including minors, locked up in Evin prison in the first three decades of the Islamic regime that overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
“The very existence of this file and its millions of entries show not only the scale of the Iranian regime’s mendacity for years when claiming that its jails were holding no political prisoners or journalists, but also the relentless machinations it used for 40 years to persecute men and women for their opinions or their reporting,” the rights group’s secretary general Christophe Deloire said in a statement.
Deloire added that the findings would be sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
One of the prominent journalists included in the file is Farj Sarkhohi, editor of a political magazine, who Tehran said disappeared en route to Germany in 1996.
“The regime staged a press conference at the airport at which it produced Sarkhohi and claimed he had just returned from Turkmenistan. In reality, he had just spent two months in prison,” the report said.
Another was Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi, who according to a medical examiner died of her injuries after being beaten at Tehran’s Evin prison in 2003. She was accused of taking pictures of families waiting outside the facility.
Iran denied her killing, with an official report on her death failing to disclose the cause of death.
The report also includes details of more than 6,000 people who were arrested for protesting the re-election of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, all accused of “action against national security.”
Full round-up of RWB's findings can be found here.