Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, June 6, 2021—In the past few years, the Iranian regime has faced several rounds of widespread nationwide protests and it has only managed to maintain its hold on power through brutal repression, gunning down protesters in the streets, carrying out public and secret hangings, arresting and torturing protesters, and cracking down on any form of activity that criticize the repressive and corrupt rule of the mullahs.
Now all those crimes are coming back to haunt the regime as it approaches its sham presidential elections, scheduled for June 18. While being a total masquerade, the election is a milestone for the regime and will define the balance of power between the ruling theocracy and the restive population.
While the regime has been trying to rally its followers and propaganda machine to call for mass participation in the voting process, the families of the regime’s victims are raising their voices to call for a total boycott of the election.
In a video posted online, the mother of Mohsen Jafarpanah, one of the martyrs of the November 2019 Uprising, announced, “I will neither forgive nor forget the unjust murder of my son. I demand justice for the murder of my child and all the youths killed in November 2019. No to the Islamic Republic. I won’t vote. My vote is the overthrow and destruction [of the regime].”
The parents of Amir Hossein Zarezadeh, another martyr of the November 2019 uprising, held a ceremony at the grave of their son.
Zarezadeh’s mother said, “I am Amir Hossein’s mother. They ruined my world. I ask the Iranian people not to vote because of the death these innocent children in November 2019. People, do not vote; our vote is overthrow [of the regime].”
On, November 15, 2019, after months of discussions, the Iranian regime declared a 50-300 percent price hike in the price of gasoline. On the same night, the Iranian people, frustrated from economic constraints, poured into the streets in different cities to voice their outrage at the government’s policies.
Amjad Hossein Panahi, the brother of Kurdish political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi joined his voice to those of the families of the regime’s victims. “Together with the mothers [of martyrs] across Iran, with the families of the martyrs who died for freedom, I declare that my vote is to overthrow this dictatorial regime, a 42-year-old regime that is based on the killing, imprisonment, torture and execution of our young people. Hopefully, one day this regime will be overthrown and the perpetrators of the massacre of our youth will be brought to justice in the people’s courts! We will demand the overthrow of this dictatorial regime.”
Ramin Hossein Panahi was executed in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran on September 8, 2018, while he was on hunger strike. The regime buried him in an unknown location.
Elham Afkari, the sister of executed national wrestling champion and political prisoner Navid Afkari, wrote on her Instagram page:
“During the 2013 presidential election Navid was a conscript. I remember he told me, ‘No matter how much they tried, I didn’t vote.’ They even told him that if he didn’t vote they would extend his mandatory military service. But Navid said, ‘I will not vote. I will even tear my identification papers. I will not betray my people. I will not vote.’”
“And now, I will not betray 80 million Iranians,” Elham added in her post. “I will not betray the victims of the November 2019 protests. I will not betray the 176 innocent people who were killed in the sky [reference to the Ukrainian flight shot down by the Revolutionary Guards in January 2020]. I will not betray all the people who laid their lives down for freedom. I will not betray the pure and innocent blood of my brother Navid. I will not betray my imprisoned brothers who have been in solitary confinement for 273 days. I will not vote.”
The families of the victims of the regime’s brutality are one of several communities who are calling for the boycott of the regime’s sham presidential election. In recent months, farmers, workers, pensioners, teachers, creditors, and many other communities who have suffered the regime’s corruption and tyranny have joined the movement to boycott the election.