Archive
Reports on Human Rights Violations in Iran

 Reports are provided by the Iranian Political Prisoners Association and other HR organizations
http://iranppa.blogspot.com 

Iran charges American journalist with espionage

 

Wednesday April 8, 2009

 

TEHRAN, Iran � An Iranian-American journalist detained in Tehran has been charged with espionage, her lawyer said Wednesday.

 

Roxana Saberi has been informed of the charges against her, her lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi told the Associated Press, without providing any further details.

 

"Yes, Saberi has been charged with espionage," he said.

 

The charges against her come two days after her parents visited their daughter in prison. The couple from North Dakota met Saberi for half an hour at Evin prison � the first time they had spoken to her since she called them on Feb. 10 to say she had been arrested.

 

The 31-year-old U.S.-born journalist has reported for the BBC, NPR and other media. She was arrested in late January. Iranian officials said at the time that she was working in the Islamic Republic with expired press credentials.

 

Saberi grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran. She has lived in Iran for six years and has reported for several news organizations.

 

Her parents, Reza and Akiko, arrived in Iran on Sunday as part of their efforts to seek her release.

 

Saberi is being held in Evin prison, north of the capital Tehran. Earlier, the Foreign Ministry said she had engaged in "illegal" activities because she continued working in Iran after the government revoked her press credentials in 2006.

 

3/3/09

Iran : Halt the execution of Mr. Habibollah Latifi

Mr. Habibollah Latifi

Defend International has been informed by reliable sources about the confirmation in appeal of the death sentence against Mr. Habibollah Latifi who was condemned to death after having been accused of "endangering state security".

Read More

 

3/2/09

Early morning of March 1st, 2009, four students affiliated with the leftist "Freedom and Equality seeking Students" movement were arrested by Intelligence Ministry agents and are reported to have been transferred to Evin prison.

The situation of these students is not yet clear but, there is concern that they will face persecution or solitary confinement.

Student committee of Human Rights Reporters has announced these students to be as follow: Sanaz Allahyari, Nassim Roshanayee, Maryam Sheikh and AmirHossein Mohammadi. This report has been confirmed by their families.

It is also reported that other students seeking freedom and democracy have also been amongst those arrested.

Prior to this purge, two other students affiliated with the same movement had been arrested in two different cities on 12 February 2009. Mohammad Poor Abdollahi and ALireza Davoodi were both arrested in Ispahan and Tehran and are detained in unknown locations.

On the verge of the "Student Day" in Iran, in December 2007, intelligence agents had arrested 40 students affiliated with the leftist who are known to be under torture in the notorious 209 section of Evin.

More than 70 students have been arrested on 23 February 2009, during recent protests against the burial of the remains of those killed in the Iran-Iraq war in University campuses. According to Iranian student internet sites, 20 of those arrested are in Evin prison. Four of these students who had not been in the protests had already been arrestee at their homes on 24 February.
Many students had been treated in hospital because of knife wounds received from thugs and Bassidge forces .

4 other students who had been arrested for participating in a commemoration ceremony for Bazargan ( first prime minister after Shah's downfall) , had been arrested on 5 February 2009 on charges of taking part in the ceremony, and are still in Evin Prison.

On the early hours of Saturday morning 2009, Mehdi Ghassemzadeh , a follower of the "Ahle Hagh" dervishes, was executed on charges of blasphemy, in Urumieh prison.

Neither his arrest, charges nor imprisonment were officially announced by authorities, but it is claimed that Mr.Ghassemzadeh was arrested when he was wounded in an armed clashe with the police in "Ojtapeh" ( A district in Urumieh) . He had been in prison for 4 years till his execution.
His family was denied the corps of their son, and was told to peruse the matter with the Intelligence Ministry.

It is worth noting that three others who shared the same case, sentenced to be hanged have now received a thirteen year prison sentence. These individuals are: ShahandAli Mohammadi, BakhshAli Mohammadi, Ebadollah Ghassemzadeh.

All three are members of the "Atashgera" (Fire lenient) sect in "Ojtapeh" district and have been reported to have been tortured in prison.

According to Azerbaijan websites following news on political prisoners, all three individuals have been on hunger strike in protest to Mr.Ghassemzadehs's sentence for execution.

Parallel to the hanging of Mr.Ghassemzadeh, Human Right activists are expressing concern on the possible hanging of another follower of the dervishes ; Youness Aghayan in the following days.

 

2/19/2009
The Baha'i group arrested in the spring of 2008 will soon be sent to the revolutionary courts

Source: Baha'i World News Service

 

 

 

Reports from Iran say that the case of the Baha'i group arrested in the spring of 2008 will soon be sent to the revolutionary courts. The individuals who form the committee that was imprisoned are, seated from left, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Saeid Rezaie, and, standing, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, and Mahvash Sabet.

 

The European Union yesterday issued a statement expressing its "deep concern" over Iran 's plans to bring seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders to trial for espionage and other charges soon. The Baha'i International Community has called for their immediate release, maintaining their innocence and characterizing the regime's claims as an "escalation of its systematic crackdown on the Baha'is."

 


The EU statement coincided with increasingly sharp anti-Baha'i rhetoric from Iranian officials, who said a trial for the seven might come within a week.

The seven Baha'i leaders have been imprisoned in Tehran for more than eight months, during which no formal evidence has been brought against them and they have not been given access to their legal counsel, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi. Another 30 Baha'is are imprisoned in Iran , while 80 other prisoners have been released on collateral.

The European Union said it was concerned that, "after being held for so long without due process, the Baha'i leaders may not receive a fair trial.

"The EU therefore requests the Islamic Republic of Iran to allow independent observation of the judicial proceedings and to reconsider the charges brought against these individuals."

The document was endorsed by the entire 27-nation membership of the EU, along with Turkey , Croatia , Macedonia , Albania , Montenegro , Iceland , Liechtenstein , Norway , Ukraine , and Moldova .

Separately, in Brazil yesterday, the president of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal Chamber of Deputies sent an open letter to Iran, asking for the release of the Baha?i prisoners.

"The peace-loving, humanistic principles and practices for which the Baha'is are known in Brazil have earned this community respect and credibility among the country's human rights supporters," said Deputy Pompeo de Mattos. "There is therefore no reason to doubt the credibility of their claims."

Other such strong statements of support have been issued over the past several days from governments and parliamentarians in a number of countries, including Canada , Germany , the United Kingdom , and the United States .

Meanwhile, an official Iranian news agency report yesterday quoted a judiciary spokesman as saying the seven Baha'is "would attend their hearing sessions within one week."

According to an Islamic Republic News Agency story, the spokesman, Ali-Reza Jamshidi, told reporters at his weekly press conference yesterday that the "seven committed criminal acts including spying for foreigners."

Mr. Jamshidi stated that the Baha'is would "definitely be allowed to use legal counsel," though they have had no access to their lawyer to date.

His statement followed a harsh report on Sunday that quoted Iran 's prosecutor general as saying the government plans the "complete destruction" of Baha'i administration in Iran .

"The administration of the misguided Baha'i sect at all levels is unlawful and banned, and their ties to Israel and their opposition to Islam and the Islamic regime are clear," said Iranian Prosecutor General Ayatollah Ghorban-Ali Dorri Najafabadi, according to a report in Fars News.

"The danger they pose to national security is documented and proven and therefore it is necessary that any substitute administration that acts as a replacement for the original be confronted through the law," said Ayatollah Najafabadi.

Diane Ala'i of the Baha'i International Community said the activities of the Baha'i leaders had to do with meeting the minimum spiritual and administrative needs of the 300,000-member Baha'i community of Iran . She said Ayatollah Najafabadi's attempt to portray their actions as "dangerous" was baseless and that the government is well aware that there is no truth to such allegations.

"How can the chief prosecutor equate something so harmless as a group of individuals who get together to give spiritual guidance and administer such things as marriages and burials and children's moral classes with something that threatens Iran's national security?" said Ms. Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community's representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

"After they banned Baha'i administration in Iran in 1983, the government has always been aware of and informed of the activities of these ad hoc groups.

"In the eyes of the government, the only real 'crime' of the seven currently in Evin prison ? along with the some 30 other Baha'i prisoners currently held in Iran ? is that they hold a religious belief that is different from the majority in Iran , and that is something that the current regime finds intolerable," she said.

Ms. Ala'i also discussed remarks made yesterday by Mr. Jamshidi in response to a question about Ayatollah Najafabadi's statements. Mr. Jamshidi was quoted as saying: "Any acts which could be taken as propaganda against Islam , Iran and its Islamic establishment is definitely considered a crime and its perpetrators would be legally encountered."

"The fact is that the Baha'i Faith is the only independent world religion other than Islam that accepts the divinity of Muhammad and reveres the Qur'an ? along with the holy books of all the world's great religions. There is nothing anti-Islamic or anti-Iran about the Baha'i Faith, its teachings, or the practices of its followers. The government cannot impose its own interpretation of Islam on the Baha'i Faith and conclude that the Baha'i Faith is anti-Islam," Ms. Ala'i said.

"Indeed, the lives of the seven leaders currently in prison reflect lifelong efforts to promote the best development of Iranian society as a whole, through the promotion of education, social and economic development, and adherence to moral principle," she said.

Earlier this week, the British Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell issued a statement saying the Iranian government "appears to be increasingly using vaguely worded charges to target human rights defenders and religious minorities."

"It is hard," said Minister Rammel on Monday, "not to conclude that these people are being held solely on account of their religious beliefs or their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association."

2/18/2009

The detention of a family of Ayatollah Boroujerdi's followers 

A follower of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, her husband and child were detained and transferred to an unknown point by security forces.
Yesterday morning February 17, the officials of Special Court of Clergy and of Ministry of Information referred to the house of lady.Zohre Sharifi, a follower of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, and detained her, her husband called Mohammad Ansari and her 5-year-old child( Amirmahdi) and confiscated and took some of their belongs. There is no information on their condition as yet.
It is reminded that lady.Zohre Sharifi had been detained along with ladies. Zahra Abdollahvand and Maryam Ghasemi opposed to Special Court of Clergy on January 28, but was released after first investigations.
The pressures on Ayatollah Boroujerdi who is detained in solitary confinement in Yazd prison, and also on his followers have been intensified during last weeks.
Human Rights Activists in Iran 

February 11, 2009
Iran vows to try 7 Baha'i leaders as spies

Steven Edwards

http://www.dose.ca/news/story.html?id=1279136

UNITED NATIONS - Iran pledged Wednesday to try seven leaders of the banned Baha'i faith on charges of spying for Israel, insulting Islam and spreading propaganda against the state, the ISNA news agency reported.

The Canadian-based son of one of the group - which was arrested last year - Wednesday night dismissed the accusations as "just one big lie."

"I am very worried about this development. Anything can happen. They face heavy accusations," Naeim Tavakkoli, 31, of Ottawa, said of his father, Behrouz, 57, and the other six.

Canada denounced Iran's jailing of the Baha'is at the time of their arrests.

"As stated by our government then, these individuals were detained solely on the basis of their faith," said Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. "These charges would be unacceptable and the reports, if they turn out to be true, are very concerning."

Iranian authorities are holding the seven in Tehran's infamous Evin prison, scene of the 2003 killing of Montreal Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. The Canadian Baha'I News Service identified them as as Tavakkoli, Saeid Rezaie, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, and Mahvash Sabet.

"The alleged charges against the seven accused belonging to the illegal Baha'i administration was considered in the public Prosecutor's Office and according to the warrant, the file will be remitted to the Islamic Court for deliberation next week," said Hassan Haddad, Tehran's deputy prosecutor, according to ISNA.

He mentioned some of the charges laid; espionage for Israel; insults to the Holy beliefs of Islam; and teaching against the regime, ISNA added.

Tavakkoli said the seven - among them two women - have had no access to lawyers since their arrests. The first of the group was arrested in March. Iranian intelligence officers arrested the rest, including Tavakkoli's father, in dawn raids at their homes in May.

"They have assigned my mother a few visits, but only with an agent present," said Tavakkoli, a structural engineer who arrived in Canada with his wife Neda, 29, in late 2005.

"My father was not able to speak freely, so we have no idea if he has faced abuse, but she could see that he appeared pale and weak."

Founded in then-Persia in the 19th century, the Baha'i faith today has about 300,000 followers in Iran, but they have faced increasing persecution as "apostates" since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The faith has no formal links with Israel, but its international headquarters is there.

"It is based inside modern-day Israel's borders purely because the Persian and Ottoman empires banished the faith's founder," said Gerald Filson, spokesman for the 30,000-strong Baha'i community in Canada.

"The accusation of spying is contrived, and has been used as a pretext to prosecute Baha'is for more than three quarters of a century."

The seven were members of a national co-ordinating group that helped to provide the "minimum needs of Baha'is in Iran," international representatives have said.

12/22/2008

Behnood Shojaee to be executed in less than 48 hours

Behnood Shojaee, a juvenile on death row is in imminent danger of execution.

Despite the fact that his execution was postponed three times, a formal statement from the European Union was released condemning his execution, a joint letter and press conference by 24 human rights groups was written, help from celebrities, and a reduction in blood money, Behnood Shojaee faces execution on Christmas eve.

Two and a half years ago, 17-year-old Behnood Shojaee was convicted of killing a 19 year old boy named Omid during a street fight involving over a dozen boys.

Shojaee says that he tried to stop the fight and used a chard of glass from a broken soda bottle in self defence. He said he hit an attacker once only with the piece of glass. Shojaee's lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei argues that the coroner found several wounds by various objects making it unable to assess who was responsible for the fatal blow causing death.

At first the family of the victim wanted over 2 million dollars US in �blood money� compensation. After months of negotiation, and his execution being postponed three times, the �diyeh� was reduced to approximately $625,000 USD.

Shojaee who grew up with his grandparents since the death of his mother at age 10 from diabetes and a father living with depression from his tragic loss, he could not afford the required �diyeh�.


Three of Iran �s most prominent movie directors and actors ( Entezami, Parviz Parastooyi and Kiymars PoorAhmad) opened a joint account to help raise money for his �diyeh�. In an unprecedented measure, the Iranian judiciary froze the bank account, summoned the artists and threatened that �they shall be investigated and it shall be assumed that they are not aware of the special laws that were passed in 1997 by the State Expediency Council which have strengthened the punishments against corruption, embezzlement, and misappropriation and which carry punishments ranging from one to seven years of prison�.

On May 23rd 2008, in a joint statement, 40 European countries condemned the execution of Behnood Shojaee.

In August 2008 in a press conference in Geneva and one put on by Stop Child Executions in London, 24 human rights organizations demanded Iran to Stop the execution of Behnood Shojaee and Mohammad Fadaee as well as the 132 children on death row at the time.

Despite the international pressure, Shojaei could be executed in less than two days.

This is our last chance to save Behnood Shojaee�s life.

Stop Child Executions has informed the office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights at the United Nations, members of the Canadian Government and members of the EU.

12/10/08
 
Students harassed in prison for informing whereabouts of Alaei brothers

Hood Yazerlou, student of Industrial management of Massoomein University of the religious city of Quom, who was arbitrarily arrested on 24 May 2008, for no clarified reason, has been transferred to solitary confinement since 7 December in 209 section of Evin prison and is under immense pressure.

Hood had informed his family during a visit about the transfer of Kamyar and Arash Alaei (two Aids specialists also arrested under charges of being in contact with the US) to solitary confinement.

The two brothers are founders of the triangular system of clinics established to curb Aids and are members of the Asian society, and have been in prison since June this year. In this regard, Hassan Haddad, deputy prosecutor general for security was quoted to have stated "The US is infiltrating Iran, and apart from using tough measures they use methods to attract people to their cause".

According to information received by Human Rights activists for Democracy in Iran, Mr.Yazerloo has been transferred to solitary confinement and is deprived of basic warmth and sanitary facilities under the present cold weather. He has been deprived of blankets and windows leading to his cell have been left open intentionally by prison officials as a means of torture. Hood (nearly 21 years old) is spending day and night under freezing conditions. He is left in unbearable conditions as a weak light is always on so as to prevent his sleep (if any).

Hood Yazerloo has been under these horrendous situations for the past 6 months. During the first thirty seven days of his solitary confinement, his prison conditions and sanitary was extremely poor as the result of which his lungs were infected and eventually he was coughing blood, but any medical assistance for him was prevented by prison officials.

Mr.Yazerloo, 21, was arbitrarily taken in to detention, after he came back from visiting his Aunt who is a member of the PMOI stationed in Iraq.

12/09/08

Iranian Students Day Demonstration at Shiraz University Turns Against Government

Two days after national Students Day, several hundred students at Iran 's Shiraz University marked the day with a demonstration against government policies, despite attempts to shut it down.

 
Students protest at Tehran University on December 7.

The gathering, which was organized by the school's reformist Islamic Council, was delayed by students for two days in an effort to prevent clashes with security forces.

One participant at the gathering told Radio Farda that as soon as the event began, security agents from the university "tried to disperse the students by taking away loudspeakers, which eventually led to some physical clashes."

The student, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said that demonstrators protested the policies of "President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the supreme leadership in Iran that does not accept criticism, the clampdowns on the political activities of university students, and the banning of [student] publications."

The student added that the gathering continued despite the heavy presence of security agents.

The Reformist Students of Tehran held their gathering earlier on December 7, during which slogans such as "down with the dictator" were chanted concerning Ahmadinejad's policies.

Students Day in Iran commemorates the deaths of three students killed in clashes with the police in the 1950s. It has become an annual event during which liberal-minded students protest against government policies they view as restrictive.

November 27, 2008

Four deprived University students end up in Evin Prison

Sadegh Shojaii, Mehdieh Golroo, Majid Dorri and Saiid Feizollahzade, the four students who had been deprived of their studies by the University Allameh Tabatabaii, have been arrested on Monday 24 November, after a sit-in and then transferred to Evin prison.

According to the students committee of Human Rights reporters, the four had begun a sit-in in front of the University which drew attention and support from other students.

The four students had been deprived after there were protests in Allameh for the shut down of Student press and clashes and harassments caused by the security forces of the University in the spring of 2007.

Their families had joined their protest in support of their loved ones outside the University.

Before being arrested, Ms. Mehdieh Golroo had spoken of the harassment by the University guards and said; "It was dawn, all four of us were sleep. Suddenly we were confronted with 25 people who dragged us out of the University Campus. I told them they have no right to speak and treat students like this, but the security agent began using foul language and begun hitting me instead, slapping me so much that I felt half of my face had gone paralyzed and swollen.".

At least 500 students rushed to support the four subjects and their demands; to be allowed to study.

It is noticeable that the Right to Education is one of the basic rights of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 26, and the Iranian constitution has also accepted this. But in reaction to the explosive situation and the student's activities, the Islamic Republic officials use the disciplinary committees created in the Universities to curb student movements.

September 22, 2008

17 years imprisonment for ceremony

According to Amirkabir news site, political activist, Mr. Mohammad Ali Mansouri has been sentence 17 years prison and exile to Gohardasht prison, for having participated in a ceremony marking the great massacre of more than 5000 political prisoners in 1988 by Khomeini's orders.

Mr. Mansouri was arrested in September 2007, at his home. This arrest was only three days after the memorial held in remembrance of the massacred political prisoners. In the attack, his belongings were confiscated, his house searched and Mr. Mansoori was scuffled and transferred to the notorious 209 solitary confinement.

It is unclear, how ever, why the Intelligence Ministry has removed the first applied charges against him, which entailed his participation in the mentioned memorial services, and later charged under other pretexts.

During the six month of his detention, Mr. Mansouri had spent four months in the notorious 209 Evin section and in solitary confinement. According to family members and eyewitnesses he has been subjected to violence during his detention.

September 21, 2008

Record Number of Death Sentences Issued � At least 500 Sentenced to Death in Mash-had

By IHRV

The prosecutor in the city of Mash-had announced on Tuesday that in Mash-had jail alone there were 500 death row inmates convicted of drug dealing. The statistics, combined with 150 death row convicts in the city of Dashtetan, is one of two shocking statistics that have been announced recently.
Gholamhosein Esmaeili, who was discussing in the second session of the coordinating council of crime prevention in Mash-had�s prosecutor office, also stated an increase in the consumption of narcotics and alcoholic beverages. Mr. Esmaeili claimed a 28% reduction in legal cases filed with Mash-had courts and stated: �at the present time, there are 500 drug dealers who are waiting death punishment�. The Mash-had prosecutor gave no indication of the details behind the case of those on death row, however he said that the 500 convicts are being kept seperate from other convicts with death punishment who are sentenced to death for non drug-related transgressions. In the middle of Mordad (August) of this year, the public relations branch of the court in Khorasan Razavi quoted Mr. Esmaeili and reported the arrests of 4,400 individuals on drug charges in the first 4 months of the year.
Even though Mash-had, along with Qum, is one of two religious centers in the country, according to officials the number instances of drug abuse and alcohol consumption in both cities are high.
The publication of the figure of 500 convicts in Mash-had is the second shocking number of those sentenced to death that has been printed in recent weeks.
Two weeks earlier, the head of police in Dshtestan in Bushehr province, with a population of 250,000 announced that the number of death row inmates in the jails stands at 150 individuals.
Source: Rooz Online

September 12, 2008

Open Letter from the Families of Currently Imprisoned Tabriz


The signatories of this letter�being the families of the imprisoned students of Azerbaijan�respectfully bring forth our objections to, and complaints about, the legal and security departments for wrongfully
arresting our loved ones and subjecting them to mental and physical pressure.

In July and August, our children were arrested by safety officials and taken to the National Security Office's temporary prison without an explanation. There, in individual cells, they were interrogated day
and night and subjected to severe mental and physical pressures.

Our children were robbed of the most basic human rights granted to an accused person, such as the right to meet with family, the right to see a lawyer, and even the right to study or get fresh air. Instead,
the accused were only allowed brief telephone communication with their family members every two weeks.

Such restrictions have been implemented despite news of the waning physical and mental condition of our loved ones. This bad news has directly caused stress, and even mental and emotional illness, for the students' families.

As the Chief Justice, we request that you issue an order to deal with the cases of our loved ones. We ask you to declare that the treatment of our loved ones�appropriate only in the case of serious crimes�is in no way proportionate to the actions of these students. We ask that you match the imprisonment procedure with accusations against the students�which are not serious enough to warrant the current punishment. We would also like you to grant our loved ones permission
to meet with their families and lawyers. Further, we request that those who have been hit or injured be transported to a medical center immediately.

The family of University of Tabriz law student, Faraz Zahtab
The family of University of Tabriz law student, Aydin Khaje'i
The family of University of Tabriz mechanical engineering graduate
student, Sajad Radmehr
The family of University of Tabriz mechanical engineering graduate
student, Mansoor Aminian
The family of University of Tabriz electrical engineering student, Amir Mardani
The family of University of Tabriz geography student, Maghsood Ahdi
The family of former University of Tabriz student and military
officer, Daryoosh Hatemi
The family of "Malik Ashtar Isfahan" University student, Majid Makooyizad
The Families of Currently Imprisoned Tabriz University Students

September 9, 2008

Kamyar and Arash Alaii under torture in 209

Both Kamyar and Arash Alaii were arrested on 23 June 2008 by security forces, and are still in detention after 2 months under going interrogation and torture.

The Alaii brothers have been vanguards in combating Aids in Iran.

According to reports by the Student Committee of the Human Rights Reporters, the two Doctors have been separated in solitary confinement and are undergoing immense pressure. Apparently security officials have managed to compel them to fake confessions suggesting their involvement in a plot to overthrow the government. They have been threatened not to ask for lawyers.

The Islamic Republic had previously charged the Alaii brothers of "acting to overthrow the Islamic Republic", through establishing an NGO, affiliated to the USA.

This has been the case during last year in which civil activists have been targeted with charges such as "acting to overthrow the government", in order to pave the way for security forces to carry out widespread arrests.

Dr.Kamyar Alaii has been a researcher in Harvard University and the founder of triangular clinics, specialist in World Health planning, and an activist in preventing the spread of Aids in Iran.

Before his arrest, in an interview with the Farsi speaking Radio Zamaneh, he had expressed concern over the spread of Aids indicating the rising statistics of those infected by Aids to have reached 100 000 so far. In the same interview he had re iterated that the spread could be contained.

Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is obligated to pertain to the obligations of this Covenant.

These include: refraining from arbitrary arrests and detention, announcing reasons of arrest with no delay, announcing charges under which the victims are detained, allowing the right to defense and to have a legal defense, and also allowing the victim to be present when charges are ruled.

 

September 9, 2008

Political activist abducted and under interrogation

Political activist Kourosh Ahmadi, from Karaj city, has been arrested by the Intelligence security forces on 25 August 2008 and is at the moment under interrogation and torture.

According to eye witness accounts and family members, Kourosh was beaten up and abducted near his home by plain clothed agents who appeared to be of the Intelligence Minsitry.
 
On the other hand some prisoners of Rajaii Shahr have asserted to have seen him in that prison
According to their reports, Mr.Ahmadi is being held in the security section number 3, which is officially run by the Intelligence section of the RGC (known as the Sepah Pasdaran).
 
It is also reported that he is prohibited from all contacts with his family and is under intense interrogation and pressure.
 

Mr.Ahmadi has had a prior arrest in 2004 on charges of propagating against the State.

 

September 8, 20089

Defend the Rights of Kurdish Political Prisoners who are on Hunger Strike in Iran

On August 25th 2008 a large number of Kurdish political prisoners went on a hunger strike, to protest against the brutal treatment of Kurdish political prisoners, as well as the imposition of heavy sentences including lengthy prison terms and the death sentence.

The Islamic Regime in Iran is well known for its inhumane treatment of political prisoners in general, and ethnic minorities in particular. Most of the Kurdish prisoners have been subjected to severe physical and psychological torture; many of them have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, and some to death.

Many of these prisoners are human rights, civil rights or women's rights activists and they include teachers, journalists, womens' rights activists and students. The trials of these individuals have taken place behind closed doors, without a defence lawyer and on numerous occasions without the presence of the accused himself/herself.

Currently there are at least 8 Kurdish political prisoners on death row, the names of these individuals include Adnan Hassanpour, Hiwa Bwtimar, Farzad Kamangar, Anwer Hussein Panahy, Farhad Vakily, Ali Haidarian, Arsalan Awliaiy and Habibullah Latify.

Some of the prisoners sentenced to lengthy prison terms include Ms. Hanna Abdi (5 years imprisonment), Ms. Zaynab Baiazidy (4 years imprisonment), and Ms. Fatima Eftary (18 months imprisonment).

There are also many prisoners who are being held without a charge being laid against them or without a verdict. Some of these prisoners are Kawa Jwanmard, Ysir Guly, Hidayet Gazali, Sabah Nasri, Masoud Kurdpur, Rwnak Safarzade, Kamran Alaiy, Arash Alaiy.

We the undersigned urge The United Nations Secretary General, The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, The European Union as well as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to condemn the brutal treatment of political prisoners in Iran, in particular the treatment of ethnic minorities, and to pressure the Islamic Regime to:

1. Release all political prisoners who are being held without a charge, or in the alternative to charge them with internationally recognized crimes.

2. To rescind the death sentences for all political prisoners.

3. To have new trials for political prisoners whose trials took place behind closed doors. These new trials must meet international standards, be held in open court before a jury, with the presence of the accused and his/her defence lawyer.

4. To allow for visitations from independent human rights organizations to monitor the condition and treatment of political prisoners in Iranian prisons.

This is a petition has been created by Sayeh Hassan a human rights activist in Canada and is addressed to Ban Ki-moon Secretary General of the United Nations, Navi Pillay: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The European Union, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
.

8/28/08

 

Two years sentence for Kurdish students

Sabah Nasri and Hedayat Ghazali have been sentenced to two years imprisonment by the 13th branch of the revolutionary court.

Sabaha Nasri a student of the law faculty of Tehran University and Hedayat Ghazali studying psychology in Alameh Tabatabaii University, were involved in printing a student news release called "Rozhameh", which covered articles on civil rights for students. The Court has accused these students of participating in illegal congregations.

This is while the two students have already spent 14 month in prison, and accordingly their attorney, Mr.Nikbakht has filed a complaint.

Recently Dorri Najafabadi, Tehran prosecutor, had warned students that any one attempting to "Create a political trend", will be dealt with by the Judiciary.

According to International Organizations reports at least 150 students have been detained and prosecuted during the past year.

Mohamad Hashemi and Bahareh Hedayat, the other two students arrested by the Intelligence agency were released on 16 August 2008. They were charged to be in contact with opposition forces outside the country. This is how the Agency has legalized the arbitrary detention and arrest of the students.

Ahmad Ghasaban, Majid Tavakoli and Ehsan Mansoori, the three famous Amirkabir University students were released on conditions on 13 August 2008. They had been detained on charges of "Insulting the sacred of the State".

 

8/25/08

4 year prison term for a Kurdish name and denouncing gender apartheid

Zeinab Bayazidi is being punished for choosing a Kurdish name for her shop and participating in the 1 Million petition camping against gender apartheid. According to reports received from The Iranian Women's Guild, she has received a 4 year prison term and has begun a hunger strike in protest to this charge.


Ms Bayazidi , 26 , and an activist of the 1 million campaign petition and a graduate of computer engineering , was summoned to the Intelligence offices of Mahabad (Iranian western Kurdish region). She was "trialed "with no attorney presence and exiled to Zanajan. She is passing her eight day of hunger strike at the moment.
 
Zinab had owned a health shop in Mahabad called "Zeylan", named after a known plant used for medical treatment. She threatened a number of times by the Intelligence offices of Mahabad to change the name claiming that the aforementioned name is being used by the insurgent group "PKK" and represented a "code". Since the name was a regular official Kurdish name and legally used by the registry offices of Kurdistan, she had decided to ignore the warnings.
A member of Ms. Bayazidi's family had informed the Iranian Women's Guild site that, the Intelligence Ministry of Mahabad had summoned her in a telephone contact for an interrogation 40 days ago. After being interrogated for 2 hours she was released and told to return in the next 2 days. She was arrested the second time.
According to this information, "She was refused an attorney and was sentenced with the charges almost immediately". They have claimed they were tricked by the court and Intelligence office, and have asked for an attorney.
 
All human right and gender equality activities in the Kurdish region have been hampered under the excuse of the presence of opposition groups and have grounded all activists. They are very easily charged and their files are tempered with, to make any legal defense, or support by other civil activists, difficult.

8/14/08

8 Kurdish political activist sentenced to death

According to reports from the "Campaign to stop the death penalty in Kurdistan", so far 8 political activists have been sentenced to death in the Sanandaj district, West of Iran.

This includes Habibollah Latifi a student from the law faculty of Sanandaj University in Ilam province.

Habibollah , 26 years old , has been in detention since the beginning of September 2007.

He has been charged for being an infidel (The term used against those who oppose the regime through armed struggle). He has also been charged to death for co-operating with Kurdish opposition parties by so called Sanandaj "revolutionary court", on 2 August 2008.

It is noticeable that the charge has not yet been officially issued to his lawyer Mr.Nemat Ahmadi.

During his detention , Mr.Latifi has been subjected to violent torture and punishments , resulting in internal hemorrhage and occasional unconsciousness .

The deterioration of his physical condition forced his transfer to Tohid hospital and later to the public social hospital of Sanandaj.

Political activist who have been sentenced to death are named as follow:
Anan HassanPour- Journalist
Hiwa Boutimar – Civil Rights activist and journalist
Farzad Kamangar- Civil and Human Rights activist
Anvar Hossein Panahi- Civil Rights activist and teacher
Farhad Vakili- Civil Rights activist
Ali Heydarian- Civil Rights activist
Arsalan Oliayee- Civil Rights activist
Habibollah Latifi - Civil Rights and student activist

Iran, after China, holds the top toll of death penalties.

8/5/08

7 members of the Bahaii Faith in solitary confinement of 209

The seven leaders of the Bahaii faith, who have received prison sentences, are: Fariba Kamal Abadi, Jamol-Aldin Khanjani. Afif Naiimi, Saieed Rezaii, Behrooz Tavakoli, Vahid TizFahm, and Mahvash Sabet.

 

All are being detained in solitary confinement of the 209 section of the notorious Evin prison.
 
Six of the detainees were arrested at their homes after a night raid by the Intelligence agents on 14 May 2008.
 
Hassan Haddad , deputy Prosecutor of Tehran- known as the butcher by most students – announced on 2 August that the detainees are charged for founding an illegal groups and being in contact with Israel.
 
Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham had accused the six members 'of a group working together "against national interest." And that it was "an organized establishment linked to foreigners, the Zionists in particular."
 
In reaction to these allegations, Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations, called Iran's assertion "utterly baseless."
 
"The allegations are not new, and the Iranian government knows well that they are untrue," he had said.
 
He had categorically denied accusations implying that the Bahaiis have been involved in attempts to overthrow the Iranian government, and asserted that "The Bahai community is not involved in political matters. Their only 'crime' is their belief in the (Bahai) faith."
 
In an interview Bani Dugal had stressed: "The argument for a ploy with Israel is a bald-faced lie and deception. The Iranian government is taking advantage of the fact that the Bahai community's governing council is based in Israel," (August 4 1980)
 
The Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize the followers of the Bahaii faith. This was particularly obvious during the 1980s open.

8/4/08

As reported by Iranian Minorities’ Human Right Organisation (IMHRO), Yaghub Mehrnahad 28 years old, a Baluchi human Right Activist, was executed on August 2008 after a secret trial.

He was executed on Monday together with Mr. Abdolnaser Taheri Sadrieh in the city of Zahedan.
The regime alleged that both of this person were member of a "terrorist group known as Jondollah leaded by Abdolmalek Rigi ".

IRNA and ISNA news agency including the website of Tabnak on Monday reported this news through the announcement by judiciary office in Zahedan .

Mr. Mehrnahad was arrested on January of this year and was sentenced to death. His court session was held without jury , without his lawyer and presence of his family.

Alireza Jamshidi the spokesperson for the Islamic Republic judiciary power announced this news in a press conference.
Mr. Mehrnad's family in a visit to the prison and meeting with their son noticed the torture and weight lost .
Ebrahim Mehrnahad the brother of Yaghub Mehrnahad was also arrested on March this year and had spent several months in prison.

For more background details check the following link: http://iranianminorityshumanright.blogspot.com/2008/02/yaghub-mehrnahad-baluchi-activist-in.html

 
8/2/08

Human right activist under torture in Tabriz

Hamid Valayee, human right activist, who has been undergoing constant torture for at least 13 days in the detention centre of the Intelligence Ministry of Tabriz, was bailed out to be treated on 1 August 2008.

According to witnessed reports of a Human right association in Tabriz, Mr.Valaiees' teeth have all been broken, his leg smashed, and he had been unconscious several times during torture. Because of his deteriorating physical conditions Mr. Valayee has been transferred to the prison clinic even after he was returned to prison.

According to the same sources, Tabriz prosecutor has rejected all attempts by Mr.Valaee 's attorney to ask for a coroners' report and an end to torture. Mr.Naghi Mahmoudi , attrorney, asserted that his clients' file is still in the 4th prosecutors branch in Tabriz, and "under Investigation".

Mr.Valayee ws arrested arbitrarily after he was summoned to the Prosecutors office on 15 July 2008.

Student goes on Hunger strike after family receives threats from Intelligence Ministry

According to the campaign supporting Abed Tavanche, he has begun a hunger strike on 31 July , to protest against threats made against his family by the Intelligence Ministry. Abed has been sentenced to 8 months in prison.

According to information received from the campaign, officials of the Intelligence Ministry of Arak city have been exerting much pressure on his family asking them not to approach the media and keep silence, and have sent for his sisters' husband for a hearing at the offices of the Intelligence Ministry this Tuesday. (In the usual terms this normally implies to interrogation and even arbitrary arrest).

Mr.Tavanche has in a contact made it clear that he is very serious and he shall keep to one glass of water each day till these unjust threats are stopped.

In December 2008 the Intelligence Ministry had arrested at least 40 students to prevent them from commemorating the "student day", and Mr.Tavanche was amongst those arrested. He is affiliated with the movement called "Students seeking Equality and Freedom".

7/24/08 

Return to prison for writing a slogan on the walls

Mehrdad Lahrasbi, former student activist who Participated in the 1999 student protest, and released after undergoing 9 years of prison term, has again been sent to prison.

Mr.Lahrasbi was taken from Evin prison to the revolution court, to be informed of his "charges', he was later transferred to solitary confinement of 240 ward of Evin Prison.

His "charges "include; writing anti government slogans on the wall.

In 1999, Mr.Lahrasbi and five other student activists who had participated in the student protest had been sentenced to death. His sentence had been reduced to 15 years. During the period of his detention, he had been tortured and under went much psychological pressure:

The coroner at the Prosecutors' office had acknowledged his physical loss. In return, prison officials had transferred him to the public ward with ordinary prisons, to increase pressure and enforce confessions.

Both Bahare Hedayat and Mohammad Hashemi are student activists of Office for Student Solidarity (daftare tahkim vahdat) , who were arrested by the Intelligence Ministry agents on 13 July 2008 and are now in 209 section of the notorious Evin prison.

According to reports from their families the two victims have been informed of their so called charges as "endangering National security", by the first branch prosecutor, judge Matin Rasekh , on 14 July.

The state news agency "IRNA", quoting judiciary officials, claimed that Bahare Hedayat and Mihammad Hashemi , had been alleged to have affiliations with opposition groups abroad. The Office for Student Solidarity, in defense of its two members has categorically denied charges made by government controlled media as an attempt to take revenge on the student movement.

In the current moth at least 20 students have been illegally arrested. In Mashad a group of students who had improvised a committee to examine arbitrary arrests of students, have themselves been victim to illegal arrests and were arrested. Five of the detainees have been released so far.

7/15/08

The Iranian High Court announced the death penalty of a teacher and Human right activist , Farhad Kamangar , and two political activists- Farhad Vakili and Ali Heidarian- who are of Kurdish origins.

Apparently the Head of the Judiciary, Shahroodi has personally released the order.

The three human right activists had been arrested during a trip to Tehran in August of 2006.

The 36th so called revolutionary court, had previously sentenced Mr.Kamangar , after 19 months detention, to death for being a member of the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party).

Alireza Jamshidi spokesman of the Judiciary had announced on 27 May 2007, that Mr.Kamangar had been charged for membership in a terrorist organization, and with holding explosives.

After his sentence was delivered, Mr. Kamangar in a letter smuggled out, revealed that he had been tortured physically and mentally in the Intelligence Ministry detention centre. He had been tied to a bed and tortured and threatened to be raped.

Human right activists have already announced that Mr. Kamangar had been transferred twice to the prison clinic because of severe conditions resulting from torture.

Prior to this, Khalil Bahramian, and Mr. Kamangars' attorney had announced that they believe Mr.Kamangars' case is only a result of prejudice on Kurdish nationalists. He had rejected all accusations against his client.

Mr. Khalil Bahramian had also declared that his client had no knowledge whatsoever of explosives mentioned to have been found in his car. He had asserted that the aforementioned explosives had been implanted in his car in Tehran.

Teachers of Kamyaran province had collected a petition in support of the release of their colleague Farzad Kamangar. In their petition they had born witness to the fact that Mr.Kamangar had always been a law abiding citizen, and demanded the death sentence be annulled.

Farzad Kamangar has been a teacher in the Kamyaran province art college in Kurdistan. He was a member of the teachers' association, the environmentalists of Asak (meaning deer) . He was also a known writer in the monthly "Royan" of the Ministry of Education.

7/12/08

Mahboobeh Karami on Hunger strike

Mahboobeh Karami , a member of the 1 million petition project, which denounced sexual apartheid under the current regime in Iran, n a telephone call to her family, announced that she and 9 other women inmates have begun a hunger strike.

The reasons for their hunger strike was explained to be : deprivation of food, incommunicado and reluctance to be allowed any contact to protest their deteriorating conditions in their prison cells, and also the fact that no legal reason for their detention had been provided.

The ten women age between 17 to 70 years, have not been allowed a meeting with the prosecutor to enquire the reasons of their detention.

According to the Iranian Women's Movement site, Mr. Babaii, attorney to Ms.Karami approached the so called revolutionary court on July 6, to obtain given legal reasons for her detention, but in vain.

Mrs. Sedighe Masaebi, Mahboobeh Karamis' mother, 63 years old, has suffered deteriorating strokes because of her daughters' detention. In every approach for clarifications from the so called officials of the courts, she has been humiliated and has not been directed as to the reasons for her daughters' detention.

Ms. Karami , was harassed , beaten and arrested on 13 June , as she was travelling in a public bus, by "plain clothed agents" of the government.(A term used for trained special forces recruited by the Intelligence Ministry).

This bus was apparently passing along the gathered protest against deteriorating economic situation and poverty, in which around a 1000 people had participated. Practically all the passengers of the bus were beaten up. It is reported that at least 200 participants had been arrested that day by the security agents.

 

Vida Dehganian, 30, a civil right activist, who was arrested on 13 June in front of the Melat park in a congregation, has been transferred to Evin prison.

Friends of Ms. Deghan , have said that she was transferred to the section after she had invoked a clash with security guards in the "women's section" of Evin prison on 23 June. The new section is under the Intelligence Ministry jurisdiction and it seems this move was aimed to put more pressure on Ms. Dehganian .

Vida Dehganian is a member of the Pan Iranian opposition party, which is considered illegal in Iran.

After the protest demonstration of people in Tehran on 13 June, which was against inflation and corruption of government Authorities, the Judiciary's spokesman, announced that 200 people had been arrested in that demonstration .

On 13 June at least 230 people were arrested in Mashad and their where-abouts is not clear. At least 5 students of Ferdowsi University of Mahshad had been amongst those arrested.

Amnesty International has released an appeal, expressing concern over the well being of Ms. Mahboobe Karami , an activist of the 1 million petition who had been in the same parkas those protesting and as consequence had been arrested.

 6/24/08

11 years sentence for supporting Human Rights

Mohammad Sedigh Kaboodvand , a journalist , has been sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, by the 5th Branch of the so called revolution Court , on charges of founding an organization to promote Human Rights.

"The lawyers to this case are protesting to the surprising sentence "said Mrs. Nasrin Sotudeh who is one of the attorneys to the case.
Mrs. Sotudeh insists, sentencing her client to 11 years imprisonment only for printing his thoughts, is in violation of the International Covenant of civil and political rights and Human rights.
Mr.Kaboodvand was called to the Court on 1 July 2007 in Tehran and was immediately arrested. He has been in prison since. He has been ill during this period and has suffered a stroke.
Prior to this Mr.Kaboodvand had been imprisoned for 6 months because of printing an article in the Payam newspaper .
 

6/24/08

Student arrested for visiting a relative in PMOI camp

Houd Yazerlou , 21, has been arrested after visiting his aunt in the Mojahedin Camp (called Ashraf in Iraq) after returning to Iran.

Numerous activists in Iran have released a statement protesting to Yazerlous' arbitrary arrest on 24 May 2008.

The statement reiterates concern over Mr.Yazerlous well being, saying "despite Mr.Majid Zarghamis' claim (prosecutor of the 2nd Security Branch of the so called revolutionary courts) that Mr.Yazerlou is in 209 Evin prison, there is no news of his real where-a bouts since his family's request to see him has continuously been refused and turned down.

Houd Yazerlou and his mother Nazila Dashti had visited Iraq 3 months ago to meet his aunt, who is a member of the People's Mojahedin organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Ashraf Camp.

According to Houd's Mother, Mrs. Dashti, they were both arrested after return. Mrs Dashti spent 21 days in prison, while her son was 16 days in prison. They were bailed out, each paying 200 Million and 100 million Tomans .

Nazilla Dashti adds that on 24 May, they were called informally through the person who had provided their bail to the Court for further inquiry, but Houd Yazerlou was arrested and taken way since.

Mrs. Dashti explained her ordeal while under "investigation":
"On our entering the building, we were harassed and humiliated and degraded continuously by the person who was to question us. He prevented my son from sitting down and kept him standing all through. He asked him: Are you in touch with other families of the Monafeghin? ( A term used to deface the Mojahedin in public by the Government authorities)

My child, who is not familiar with these terms and their intentions, simply answered "No sir, I know no Monafeghin".

The person who had by this time become extremely angry replied "What then?" , and my son replied : " They are Mojahedin ". This was enough to blow the top off that person. While throwing the paper and pen to my son, he said in a threatening tone "I will show you what I Mean …"

Nazila Dashti says Houd Yazerlou was sent to prison immediately after his so called interview and nothing has been heard so far of his where-abouts.

Nazilla Dashti and her husband Hani Yazerlou are former political prisoners and activists. Fariba and houd , sister and brother to Mrs.Dashti are amongst the victims of the great massacre of the political prisoners in 1988.

6/20/08

11 years sentence for supporting Human Rights

Mohammad Sedigh Kaboodvand , a journalist , has been sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, by the 5th Branch of the so called revolution Court , on charges of founding an organization to promote Human Rights.  

"The lawyers to this case are protesting to the surprising sentence "said Mrs. Nasrin Sotudeh who is one of the attorneys to the case.

Mrs. Sotudeh insists, sentencing her client to 11 years imprisonment only for printing his thoughts, is in violation of the International Covenant of civil and political rights and Human rights.

Mr.Kaboodvand was called to the Court on 1 July 2007 in Tehran and was immediately arrested. He has been in prison since. He has been ill during this period and has suffered a stroke.

Prior to this Mr.Kaboodvand had been imprisoned for 6 months because of printing an article in the Payam newspaper . 

6/20/08

Student arrested for visiting a relative in PMOI camp

Houd Yazerlou , 21, has been arrested after visiting his aunt in the Mojahedin Camp (called Ashraf in Iraq ) after returning to Iran .

Numerous activists in Iran have released a statement protesting to Yazerlous' arbitrary arrest on 24 May 2008.

The statement reiterates concern over Mr.Yazerlous well being, saying "despite Mr.Majid Zarghamis' claim (prosecutor of the 2nd Security Branch of the so called revolutionary courts) that Mr.Yazerlou is in 209 Evin prison, there is no news of his real where-a bouts since his family's request to see him has continuously been refused and turned down.

Houd Yazerlou and his mother Nazila Dashti had visited Iraq 3 months ago to meet his aunt, who is a member of the People's Mojahedin organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Ashraf Camp.

According to Houd's Mother, Mrs. Dashti, they were both arrested after return. Mrs Dashti spent 21 days in prison, while her son was 16 days in prison. They were bailed out, each paying 200 Million and 100 million Tomans .

Nazilla Dashti adds that on 24 May, they were called informally through the person who had provided their bail to the Court for further inquiry, but Houd Yazerlou was arrested and taken way since.

Mrs. Dashti explained her ordeal while under "investigation":
"On our entering the building, we were harassed and humiliated and degraded continuously by the person who was to question us. He prevented my son from sitting down and kept him standing all through. He asked him: Are you in touch with other families of the Monafeghin? ( A term used to deface the Mojahedin in public by the Government authorities)

My child, who is not familiar with these terms and their intentions, simply answered "No sir, I know no Monafeghin".

The person who had by this time become extremely angry replied "What then?" , and my son replied : " They are Mojahedin ". This was enough to blow the top off that person. While throwing the paper and pen to my son, he said in a threatening tone "I will show you what I Mean …"

Nazila Dashti says Houd Yazerlou was sent to prison immediately after his so called interview and nothing has been heard so far of his where-abouts.

Nazilla Dashti and her husband Hani Yazerlou are former political prisoners and activists. Fariba and houd , sister and brother to Mrs.Dashti are amongst the victims of the great massacre of the political prisoners in 1988.

 

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