By international standards, Iran's election is not free and fair. Candidates are vetted by the Guardian Council and all democratic, liberal, secularist, left-wing and women candidates are banned. The media is censored. There is no open political debate. Dissenting opinions are suppressed and liable to result in arrest.
The tenacity and forthrightness of Amnesty's founding members is truly remarkable and admirable. These were ordinary people with ordinary jobs, who appointed themselves as moonlighting human rights defenders. They picked up their pens and wrote to heads of state, demanding that they release prisoners.