Voice of America interviews son of Jafar Kazemi, a prisoner sentenced to execution.
UPDATE | January 24, 2011: The Islamic Republic of Iran executed Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaie.
Voice of America- One of the people on death row is Jafar Kazemi whose son resides in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. Camp Ashraf residents face many problems and we have reported on this in the past. But today, this is not our discussion. We will now go to Mr. Behrouz Kazemi (Jafar Kazemi’s son)
Behrouz Kazemi: Hello to you and your dear viewers.
VOA: Mr. Kazemi, as an Iranian who lives outside Iran and who lives in a place like Camp Ashraf, with whatever beliefs and opinions you have, which is not what our discussion is about, as a human being who has heard the news of your father’s sentence, what are your feelings?
BK: When I heard of my father’s execution sentence, for me, as his child, it was extremely difficult to hear that he was arrested and sentenced to death after visiting me in Camp Ashraf. The news was very difficult for me to hear.
VOA: What is he being accused of? We hear that one of his ‘crimes’ is that he visited you.
BK: Yes. As you know, the regime has sentenced six people to death and one of them is Jafar Kazemi. My father was arrested on Qods Day during the demonstrations. For two weeks, we did not have any news of his situation. Eventually we discovered that my father was detained in Evin prison. Approximately four months after that, in a show trial, my father was sentenced to death. We heard the news through his lawyer, but the sentence was confirmed without the knowledge of his lawyer. During this time, the regime made every effort to hand my father a death sentence by referring to a false case. The only reason for my father’s death sentence is because he visited me in Camp Ashraf two years ago. This means that the regime cannot tolerate the basic rights of a person to visit family. For this reason, he was arrested, accused of being Moharebeh, and they gave issued him a death sentence. It is ridiculous that the regime doesn’t tolerate family members visiting us in Camp Ashraf. Additionally, it has been more than 100 days that with the help of the Iraqi government, the regime has brought family members of Ashraf residents [from Iran] to the camp to mentally and physically torture them.
VOA: That’s a different topic. What is your wish from the world in relation to your father’s sentencing? Meaning, what is it you would like from the United Nations? Do you think the world is paying attention to this and it is just the regime that doesn’t care?
BK: In an attempt to save my father’s life, I have written letters to the UN and other organizations. Maybe the world will become aware and open up their eyes to the crimes that are happening in Iran against innocent people, one of them being my father. Maybe the world will open their eyes and see that there are so many people that receive death sentences. As you know, five other people, who were so dear to all of us, were recently executed.
The main reason for these crimes [of imprisonment and execution] is to instill fear and intimidate the population leading up to the anniversary of the people’s uprising, which is coming up at the end of Khordad (June 12, 2010). The regime is extremely afraid of these demonstrations, so they commit crimes against political prisoners.
VOA: So your father has been accused of acting against the security of the nation? This is what the Islamic Republic of Iran government is saying. Isn’t this charge, without a doubt, unfair? So, they see your father visiting you as a threat to national security?
BK: Exactly. As I mentioned before, by issuing an execution sentence, the regime is proving that a basic human right of visiting family is considered an action against national security. How is a family visit a threat to national security, but at the same time, the regime brings family members to Camp Ashraf and tried to get them to talk against us. This is the contradiction of the regime.
VOA: Thank you Mr. Behrouz Kazemi- a resident of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, which is residence of the followers of the Mojahedin Khalgh of Iran. With many thanks to you.
BK: Thank you for giving me this time. Much gratitude and with thanks to you.
VOA: You are welcome.
BK: God bless.
VOA: God bless.