By The Free Iranian Staff
Early in October news of the September 25th suicide of a cleric in Evin Prison quietly circulated around several media outlets in Iran. Qaanoon (Law) newspaper reported: “the hardship of life on prisoners and their families is such that a detainee held in the Special Clerics ward committed suicide last week.” The newspaper did not divulge the name of the cleric.
A single tweet the following day however, filled in the blanks. Abdulreza Davari, Politician and advisor to former Islamic regime president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, revealed the cleric’s name as Parviz Sarbaz and explained that the man committed suicide by grabbing onto the exposed prongs of a cable that had been plugged into a live outlet, or suicide cable.
رفقای اوین خبر دادند، شب گذشته یکی از زندانیان بند ویژه #روحانیت در #زندان_اوین به نام «پرویز سرباز» #خودکشی کرده و متاسفانه فوت شده است.
گفته میشود خودکشی وی از طریق اتصال جریان برق صورت گرفته است. pic.twitter.com/dUkeBdVMlK
— AbdolReza Davari (@AbdolrezaDavari) September 26, 2019
The clergy have their own special courts and are not tried by other tribunals. The judges of the clerical court are directly appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Special Prosecutor’s Office has a structure independent of the judiciary and its officials are elected by Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader.
There is also a special clergy unit in Evin Prison where clerics serve their sentences on what the regime’s judiciary claims to be various financial, political and moral charges; it is well known however, that the clerics in this ward are those who have protested against the criminality of the regime’s elite and who have actively spoken out about the illegitimacy of the Khomeinist ideology.
The news about these courts are either quashed or reported much less, by the media than criminal or even courts, and the court process and verdicts are usually suppressed.
One of the clerics who served the longest sentence in the history of that ward was Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi who advocates the separation of religion and government, was forced to serve 11 years under threats, intimidation and the worst physical and sanitary conditions.
Tehran’s judicial practices and prison system have been the focus of the United Nations and a host of human rights organization. Demands for reforms, transparent trials and due process based on the rule of law have been adamantly refused by the Khomeinist regime, which persists with the harsh enforcement of their own version of Sharia law.