Friday, December 28, 2007

Transfer of a Human rights activist from prison to Hospital

On 26 December, Emada-Aldin Baghi, director of the "Association in Support of Prisoners' Rights in Iran" was transferred from the notorious 209 section (Evin prison) to a hospital out of the prison premises, for deteriorating conditions. Sohrab Soleimani, head of "Teheran prisons" while accepting the news said Mr.baghis' general condition is not favorable but he will be returned to prison a couple of hours later.

In a telephone conversation, which was abruptly ended from prison, Mr,baghi had informed his family that his condition was not favorable. He had also added that if it were not for the least of the facilities he had found there, he would have been dead by now. Following this conversation his wife and attorney tried to visit him but were denied access.

The Baghi family has issued a statement announcing his detention as illegal, while explaining his situation thoroughly. They have stated in the statement that Mr. Baghi has been kept in prison for the past 74 days without any developments with regards to his prison conditions or his case.

Mr.Baghi has been kept in solitary confinement, and is not allowed to take air out of the cell, and is under constant physical and mental pressure.

Although, according to his attorney Saleh Nikbakhti, his detention had previously been ordered as to be a one year prison sentence, but it is said that the recent arrest was in connection to his protest against the death penalty and in defense of the prisoners rights.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The three Amirkabir University students acquitted

Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Ghassaban, and EhsanMansouri, the three Amirkabir University students who are imprisoned on charges of publishing insulting articles to Islam, in the students chronicle , have been acquitted after 9 months of detention.

Mohammad ali Dadkhah, who represents them as their attorney announced on 19 December, that the 1043 branch of the Public court had acquitted his clients from the following charges:
- Insulting the Sainthood of Islam
- Insulting the Shiite Imams
- Insulting the religious people of the city of Quom.
- Insulting the religious leadership of the country
- Insulting religious youth and veiled women
- Insulting Officials of the State
- propagating lies against the para
- military bassidge forces of the security unit of the University

The three were charged to undergo 4 months imprisonment.

Despite the letters the three students had written, revealing they had been tortured in the infamous Evin 209 section, they were eached charged with, 3 years, 2 years and 6montyhs, and 2 years of imprisonment.

The Students were ordered to be freed through bail, but since the prosecutors' office is closed on Thursdays in Iran, they will be freed on Saturday from Evin prison.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Student commits suicide while in detention

One of the students, detained on 4 December in relation to the recent student demonstrations has apparently committed suicide and is in serious conditions. The student is unidentified but, it is known that Behrooz Karimizade , Peyman Piravan and Saiid Habibi are amongst the recent detained students and have a leftist tendency.

According to report by Freedom seeking students, the news of torture of these students in Evin Prison which is also been released by Mr.Baghi and the students attorney Nasser Zarafshan, is accredited.
The student discussed has cut his wrist and is been kept in the Revolutionary guards detention centre known as the 325 section. He has escaped death but remains in serious condition.
The Intelligence ministry of Iran has admitted arresting students who tried to participate in demonstrations on 4 December and has claimed that the students have been creating disorder and intended to topple the State illegally.
Despite the fact that the Ministry has claimed that these students had intended to enter the University premise with phony student cards, Mr. Zarafshan, their attorney has announced that his clients are all students and the University was indeed their university of study. All specifications are available to approve this, the year of their entrance, the number of tops they have passed and the period they have spent in the University, says Mr. Zarafshan.

Two woman right activists accused of endangering national security

Ronak SaffarZade and Hanna Abdi have been condemned for instigating violence against national security, while waiting for their court session in Intelligence ministry prison. They have been accused of taking part in planting bombs, in the recent attacks in Sanandaj city (in the West of Iran) and co-operating with the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (Pjak). Pjak is an organization which is carrying out armed struggle against the Iranian regime and is affiliated with the Workers Party of Kurdistan.

An official of the Iranian judiciary system told the Iranian press Agency that their arrest had nothing to do with their civil activities. According to this agency both woman activists have confessed of being trained by the Pjvak forces. Apparently they have undergone violent physical and mental torture in while in detention in the Intelligence ministry prison. They have been asked by their torturers to testify against their friends.

Families of the two detainees have denied any affiliation of their daughters with the political party.

Accusing activists to be in touch with political parties has been a known tactic used by the Intelligence Ministry to justify suppressing all dissident but peaceful activity Mariam Hosseinkhah – another woman activist evolved in collecting 1million signatures for gender equality in Iran, has also been accused by IRNA, to have been in contact with Pjak, which was rejected by her attorney Ms.Sotudeh.

Ronak Saffar zade was student in graphic design, and Hanna Abdi has been a student of psychology. They both are 2 years old.

They are members of Azarmehr association in Sanandj , which sponsored the 1 million signature campaign. Ronak was arrested on 9 October and hanna was arrested a month later, by the Intelligence ministry agents.

According to Ronak Saffarzade's mother's talks, her activities have been humanitarian. Ronak helped to provide for homeless children and women, with the small amount of money she used to get from her overtime working hours.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An unsatisfied Political activist is enduring hard pressures in the 209 lockup

The wife of the politically imprisoned Abbas Khorsandi informed the Iranian Political Prisoners Association on the 9th of December that due to the fact that her husband has put up with more than 3 months in solitary isolation cell in the infamous high security lockup of 209, and suffered hard pressures and psychological torture, his health has deteriorated.

Abbas Khorsandi was arrested on the 9th of September 2007 along with five other political activists namely; Sepideh Pouraghayi, Ghasem Shir-zadiyan, Mansour Farji, Bahram Rasekhifar and Meysam Rudaki, with whom all were acquaintances, and were all transferred to the infamous and high security 209 lockup in Evin prison.

According to Mr. Khorsandi’s wife, the intelligence agency allowed her to visit her husband only once. After visiting her husband in prison, she has been even more troubled, now that she knows for a fact that her husband is suffering from severe pressure and interrogations.

Khalil Bahramian, who is the defense lawyer for Mr. Khorsandi, has declared that the revolutionary court has denied him the right to investigate his client’s files.

It has been stated that Mr. Khorsandi has had his first interrogation with the 1st Filial of the revolutionary court, which is under the management of Mr. Matin Rasekh. Mr. Khorsandi was than accused for involvement in actions against the security of Iran amongst other false accusations.

The wife of Abbas Khorsandi also declared that after conducting a series of interviews with media abroad in connection to her husband’s imprisonment, the intelligence agency raided her house and warned her to not conduct any more interviews.

Prior to this lockup, Abbas Khorsandi was arrested the summer of 2005 and suffered one month’s imprisonment in the high security and infamous 209 lockups in Evin prison.

A Human rights activist has spent more than 200 days in solitary isolation

Atiyeh Taheri whom is the wife of Mr. Saeed Matinpour, a journalist and cultural rights activist in Azerbaijan, has declared that her husband has spent more than 200 days in Solitary isolation cell. Her husband Saeed Matinpour is being tortured until he will be ready to make a false confession against himself on national television.

Based on the testimonies of other prisoners, it has been stated that it is evidently clear that the physical condition of Saeed Matinpour had deteriorated in view of the fact that he had to endure durable pressures forced upon him.

In a letter that Mrs. Atiyeh Taheri has written, one can read; Dear god it has now been more than 200 days that my husband Saeed been confined in solitary isolation, been tortured, had insomnia, been humiliated, doesn’t see the sun, and they want him to confess to uncommitted crimes, sit in front of the camera and testify against himself, I don’t have any news about him and don’t know what they are doing to him.

Saeed Matinpour was arrested along with his wife on may 25th 2007. He was a journalist at the “Yarpach” Newspaper which was published in Azeri language.

Besides this arrestment, Mr. Matinpour, in February 2007, was arrested for the reason that he was participating in a peaceful demonstration for the “International mother’s tongue day” which is officially recognized by the United Nations.

The international organization defense for the freedom of speech and press, recently condemned Iran for imprisoning the largest amount of workers within media in the whole Middle East. This organization declared “Many of the journalists have been scarified due to the crackdowns against the media by the Iranian government. They have been forced to appear in court and answer to allegations without any proof and become the elementary respondent.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The intelligence agency has confirmed the widespread arrestment of the students

The Iranian Intelligence agency (Vezarate Etelaat) has officially confirmed the widespread arrestment of the left winged students whom on the 4th of December were planning to carry out a demonstration on the international student day.

On the statement from the Intelligence agency, the more than 28 students has been called agitators and they have been held responsible for preparing an illegal aggregation in front of the Technical University in Tehran.

Even though the Intelligence agency has claimed that the arrestees had meant to enter the University with false student id-cards, Mr. Nasser Zarafshan the Defense lawyer of the students stated that all the students were in fact students and that the location of their studies, Year of entry, Student number and even the amount of units passed by them are evidently clear.

In order to justify the widespread arrestment of the students, the intelligence agency announced that the students had books and published material that was offensive against all that is sacred.

According to Nasser Zarafshan, two of the arrestees have been released and some of the others have had telephone contact with their families, and notified them regarding their health.

Although the official persons in command have not communicated any information regarding the whereabouts of the students’ lockup, it seems that the majority of them are being held at the infamous and the high security band of 209 in the Evin Prison.

The mother of one of the arrested students, Anooshe Azadfar (whom was arrested along with her brother), has said that her son has been shunt to solitary confinement and there been ordered to make his sister cooperate with the intelligence agency.

It has been stated that all the students are being held at solitary confinement and are enduring hard pressure and interrogation. According to the law, blindfolding the suspects is strictly prohibited, yet in the 209 lockup the arrested students are forced to wear blindfolds.

Another report reveals that Ali Nikoonesbaty a student whom was arrested three weeks ago along with the security forces raids against his fathers house, has been released today Sunday the 9th of December, He is a member of the “Strengthening the solidarity” association.

With the release of Ali Nikoonesbaty and with the arrestment of more than 28 students whom were recently arrested, Ahmad ghassaban, Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli and Ali Azizi are students whom have been arrested by the intelligence agency and are still imprisoned in Evin prison.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

28 Students arrested and incarcerated in the intelligence agency’s lockup

On Tuesday the 4th of December, Security police and masked intelligence agents arrested 28 students during a demonstration against the Iranian government. Some of them are detained in solitary confinement in the notorious high security lockup of 209 and some in the small lockup of the intelligence agency in central Tehran called Tracking office (Daftare Peygiri).

The names of the arrested students, which were published by the website of the student base, are as follows. From the University of Mazandaran; Milad Moeeni, Behrang Zandi, Hamed Mohammadi, Arash Pakzad, Nader Ahsani and Hassan Moarefi.
Saeed Habibi whom was a prior member of the central council of solidarity strengthening (Shoraye markaziye daftare tahkime vahdat). From the university of Tehran; Anooshe Azadfar, Behrooz Karimizade, Mehdi Gerayloo, Rouzbeh Safshekan and Rouzbehan Amiri. From the Polytechnic University; Ali Salem and Mohsen Ghamin. From the Al’ame University; Nasim Soltanbeigi and Saeed Agham-Alikhalili.

From the Shahed University; Yasser Pirhayati. From the Industrial university of Sharif; Keyvan Amiri-Alyassi. From the Central Tehran Azad University; Ilnaz Jamshidi, Mahsa Mohabi, Ali Kallayi, Amir Mehrzad, Hadi Salaari, Farshid Farhadi Ahangaran, Amir Aghayi, Milad Omrani.

The widespread arrestment of the students begun when Security forces raided the homes of a majority of the left winged students, whom were planning to initiate a demonstration on “Students Day” inside the Tehran University. Some of the students were arrested at the student day demonstration preparation meeting at the University by the Security forces. Even though it is prohibited for the security forces to enter the university, they crossed the threshold and in a very discussable and vicious attack arrested two students inside the university, and removed them from the complex.

Even in the University of Shiraz, armed security forces brutally attacked Yunes Mirhosseini, a part of the student movement, hit him all bloody and kidnapped him. No information about the whereabouts of the detainment or the conditions of the imprisonment of Mr. Mirhosseini has been specified. However one can clearly see the connection of his arrestment and the involvement in initiating the student meeting.

Besides Nasim Soltanbeigi whom called his family, and told them that he has been arrested, the families of the other students that have been arrested have separately attended the revolutionary court to gain some information about the conditions and the grounds of the arrestments of their children.

In addition to the 28 students whom was recently arrested, so have these students; Ahmad Ghassaban, Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli, Ali Nikoonesbaty and Ali Azizi been arrested by the intelligence agency and are detained in Evin prison.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

All visits for Emaddedin Baghi is now strictly prohibited

Fatemeh Kamali the wife of Journalist Emaddedin Baghi who is also the head of Iran’s Organization for the Defense ‎of Prisoners' Rights (Anjomane Defa az Hoghooghe Zendanian) declared today that her visit to her husband in Evin prison was prevented. The security guards of the 209 security lockup which is under the management of the intelligence agency, told Mrs. Kamali that according to the decree of the revolutionary court Mr. Baghi is strictly prohibited to have any visits.

On the 14th of October Emaddedin Baghi was present at the first security branch of the state attorney’s office to respond against the allegations made against him regarding his responsibilities in the organization of “the Defense for press freedom”, but was arrested at site.

Mr. Baghi whom previously was the editor of the confiscated Jomhuriat newspaper was transferred on the 22nd of October from the security lockup of 209 to the revolutionary court for an interrogation, incidentally saw his defense lawyer Josef Molayi and there told him that in the security lockup 209, he was beneath severe pressure and disdain but unwavering about defending the human rights in Iran.

Emaddedin Baghi is imprisoned in solitary confinement and is undergoing interrogation. Mrs. Kamali said that her husband is enduring white torture in the 209 lockup. White torture a.k.a. soft torture is utilized for putting pressure on the political prisoners without resolving to physical violence in the security lockups.

Mrs. Kamali has expressed concern regarding the health condition of her husband. According to her, Emaddedin Baghi has lost a lot of weight and become rigorously frail.

The accusations made against Mr. Baghi has been said to be spreading anti-governmental propaganda and disclosing classified governmental documents in order to gain information from the detainees in the security lockups around the country.

As well as spreading these information’s during meetings, gatherings and having published these materials through the “Defense of the prisoners rights” association.

According to the defense lawyer of Mr. Baghi, none of the prisoners boast any undisclosed governmental information.

Mr. Baghi has been a defender of the right to life and has been seeking an end to the death penalty. In the year 2005 he had received the Human right prize of the French national commission on Human rights. He had previous to that spent 2 years in prison from 2000 to 2002, after which he supported freedom of speech by writing numerous articles. He then founded the Association in support of Iranian prisoners and continued his activities in support of Human rights beneath extensive suppression.

Illegal arrestment of a political disgruntled citizen

Heshmatollah Tabarzadi is a former journalist and a politically disgruntled citizen whom is against the Islamic government. Even though Khalil Bahramian whom is the defending lawyer of Mr. Tabarzadi, consider his client to have exceeded his sentence, the revolutionary court on the 11th of November opposed that proposal and once again brought him to court and imprisoned him repeatedly.

Last year the revolutionary court released Mr. Tabarzadi from prison on provisional basis. The intelligence agency than instructed him that under no circumstances was he to have any interviews with the media or to write any articles against the government. Two months ago he disregarded the previously given warnings and threats of the intelligence agency and conducted interviews with Farsi lingual media situated outside of Iran. Mr. Tabarzadi, whom is the creator of a party that is opposing the Iranian government, wrote on his personal Webb log and called upon all oppositional parties to join in solidarity and rise against the government.

Mr. Tabarzadi had declared before his arrestment that he had been receiving several phone calls from agents of the intelligence agency telling him to attend a court and giving himself up, but he had refused.

Mr. Tabarzadi has been arrested at least 7 times. The reasons behind the arrestment have been his disgruntle with the government of the Islamic republic and its leader Ayatollah Khameneyi. During 2003 the revolutionary court sentenced Tabarzadi to prison for these alleged crimes; formation and organizing of an oppositional party against the government called “Jebheye democratic Iran” and spreading propaganda in opposition to the system and offending its leader, to a 14 years long sentence behind bars. After appealing the verdict, the 7th filial of the supreme court council of Iran finally decided that Mr. Tabarzadi’s crimes were insulting to the leader and hence sentencing him 2 years for that, 5 years added on for activities concerning the security of the country and 10 years of deprivation of any societal rights. Tabarzadi than refused to attend any of the court hearings that condemned him. He declared that this was a protest against the unjust and dishonest way of conducting a trial.

The defending lawyer of Tabarzadi declared that regarding the time his client is suppose to serve, if one would be counting the days he spent previously in lockup, his sentence would have ended the previous summer. Ali, Mr. Tabarzadi’s son also condemned his father being sent to prison as an illegal act.

During a recent telephone conversation with his family Mr. Tabarzadi explained that the terms of his imprisonment were incredibly unfitting and inhumane, the quality of food is particularly low and that visits to the shower facilities were restricted to all detainees. He also mentioned that the section 350 in the Evin prison does not have a functioning heating, because of the lack of diesel fuel, they only turned on the heating a couple of hours a day.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The long time imprisonment of an unknown human rights activist in the 209 lockup

On the 9th of September the agents of the intelligence agency stormed an unknown human rights activist’s home, named Ms Sepideh Pour-aghayi and confiscated her computer, her books and also her handwritten notes, and afterwards arrested her.
The following day, her friends reported that on the same day that Sepideh was arrested, the Intelligence agency’s agents performed a raid simultaneously against five other political activists named, Abbas Khorsandi, Meysam Rudaki, Bahram Rasekhifar, Mansour Faraji and Ghasem Shirzadiyan, arresting all of them. All five are acquaintances with Sepideh.

Some of these arrestees such as Mansour Faraji were temporarily released from prison upon bail. According to Sepideh´s family, the interrogation of Sepideh seized one month ago, but she is still imprisoned in the notorious high security lockup of 209. Sepideh was detained in solitary confinement for approximately 60 days, and is now detained in a small cell for 3.

During this imprisonment in the security lockup of 209, neither Sepideh Pour-Aghayi nor her friends have been allowed to make contact with a defense attorney, not to mention the constant pressures and interrogations that they have to endure.

A Few days after the arrestment of Sepideh Pour-Aghayi, a website closely associated with the security service in Iran named “Bulletin News”, falsely published that Sepideh was a collaborator with Hale Esfandiyari (An American-Iranian progressive intellectual that was arrested by the intelligence agency in Iran).

Some times ago Sepideh´s Mother reported that her daughter made a phone call from prison to her house and told her that she was in the investigation and interrogation phase and that no allegations had been made.

Sepideh Pour-Aghayi holds a BA in English language. She used to be a reporter for the closed newspaper “Gozareshe Rooz” and for the two past years, she has been fighting for human rights and the defense of political prisoners. She volunteered in the campaign “One million signatures” for ending the discrimination against women’s rights.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The torture of an educator in the prison of the intelligence agency

Farzad Kamangar, an educator and member of the teachers union in the village of Kamyaran in the west of Iran has been tortured in the lockup of the intelligence agency.

During the summer of 2006 Farzad Kamangar along with his friends, Ali Heydarian and Farhad Vakili was arrested by the agents of the intelligence agency in the city of Sanandaj. During the four initial months the family of Mr. Kamangar was unaware of the location of his imprisonment; later it was stated that Farzad was imprisoned in the high security lockup 209.

In advance to those statements, human rights activists in the west of Iran had reported that Farzad Kamangar was held in solitary confinement in 209 security lockup and was severely exposed to both psychological and Physical abuse. Farzad has recently described on a letter that was smuggled out of prison, the torture he was exposed to. He has written in that letter, that as soon as the interrogator found out he was Kurdish he was flogged with a garden hose. He also wrote that he was dreadfully affronted because of his beliefs, and was intensely beaten.

Farzad Wrote, that he was tied down to a chair in a little confined space close to the prison clinic for 24 hours. He was not permitted to visit the lavatory nor to eat.

Farzad also wrote in his letter that following the increase of torture and pursue in the security lockup of 209 he was exposed to, and the harassment of his family, and the arrestment of a girl that he was interested in, he attempted a suicide in the security lockup 209, he threw himself down the stairs, however he did not succeed.

In security lockup 209 he was incarcerated in a very small cell where he was not permitted to go out for fresh air, neither was he allowed having any contact with his family via the telephone or meeting his defending lawyer.

Furthermore he wrote that during October 2006, even when no accusation had been made against him, he was transferred from the security lockup of 209, to the lockup of the intelligence agency in the city of Kermanshah and was incarcerated in solitary confinement measuring 1m x 1m x 0.6m. In this incarceration he was exposed to noise torture and was only allowed to leave the cell only twice in order to use the toilet. In the basement of the lockup he was tied down to a bed and he was than flogged on the back and on the feet.

Continuously Farzad wrote that he was taken to the basement of the lockup where he was stripped of his clothes and then raped. In protest to this ill treatment he hit his head against the wall several times.

No Knowledge about the state of the being of an imprisoned student

The Family of Yasser Goli, a student from the city of Sanandaj whom was arrested in the beginning of October in front of The Sanandaj Azad University, still do not have any information regarding the state of the being of their son.

According to Mr. Goli’s Brother, Yasser was only allowed to make two phone calls from prison to his family, both of them limited to only four minutes. During this calls Yasser was not allowed to mention anything relating to his detention. Yasser is suffering from heart problems.

Even though Yasser Goli was arrested by the agents of the intelligence ministry and with the orders of the mayor of Sanandaj, the court of Sanandaj has still not officially declared on what grounds he was arrested.

According to Yasser’s brother his family has been maltreated and been exposed to obscenities while at court. One month after the arrestment of Yasser, his father referred to the information section of the intelligence ministry in order to find out about Yasser’s condition, he was arrested at site and imprisoned for six days.

The court has not given permission to Mr. Saleh Nikbakht whom is legally representing Mr. Yasser Goli, to neither investigate or to access the files relating to his client; neither had he been allowed meeting his client.

Mr.Yasser Goli was the preceding chairman of the Kurdish democratic student association. According to the orders of the intelligence agency he is deprived of any further academic education.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Where about of a Womans’ right activist unclear

Hana Abdi, a 21 year old student of Sanandaj University was abducted from her grandfathers’ house by the Intelligence Ministry agents a couple of days ago and her were about is unclear, says her mother.

According to Hanas’ mother, although the Intelligence ministry has not clarified the reasons for her arbitrary arrest and the information centre of the ministry has already informed her family that Hanas’ court would start in a months’ time, it is suspected that her arrest is due to activities concerning a petition which supported womans’ rights in Iran.

Hana abdi was very much involved in teaching literacy to the poor and especially to the women in villages and used to hold celebrations for those women who overcame addiction in the ‘Azarmehr” association. The association provides the means for battered and addicted women to over ride their problems.

Hana and her friend Ronak Safar Zadeh, had set up collections to support destitute women. Ronak Safawadeh was also arrested by the Ministry on 9 October 2007, and is reported to be in a bad state of mind. She had recently called her family from prison expressing concern over her extended detention. According to her parents, Ronaks’ interrogations have finished but she has been kept in detention for unspecified reasons.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Death sentence for a journalist confirmed

Iranian High Court has conformed death sentence for a Adnan Hassanpour , journalist of Kurdish origin, who had been arrested on 17 July 2007.

Saleh Nikbakht, attorney to the accused has declared that the sentence was confirmed by the 13th branch of the Court. This is while, death sentence of Hiwa boutimar, the second Kurdish journalist, which had been previously violated is being reconsidered.
Mr.Nikbakht has declared the verdict unjust, and emphasized that he will be challenging the Courts verdict.
Although both journalist have been engaged in news publications such as the weekly “Aso”, (published in two languages , Farsi and Kurdish) and “Sabze chia” (which covers news on environment and warming), both journalists- Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed Boutimar (known as Hiwa) – have been charged for infidelity, which corresponds with arm struggle in the Islamic state.
The journalists’ lawyer has categorically denied the announced charges as relevant, and has emphasized that the real charges of his clients are: espionage, disclosing Iranian military installation information to enemy, helping to escape suspects involved in explosions in Ahwaz in the South of Iran thorough western Iranian borders, and being in contact with an official of the US State Department.

Relatives to Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Boutimar, have said that the two journalists have been forced to accept the charges under intense torture by Intelligence Ministry agents.

Their lawyer has also underlined the fact that he has been prevented from meeting with his clients.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

14 interrogation sessions for Emadeddin Baghi

Family of Emadeddin Baghi, head of the Association in support of Iranian prisoners announced that Mr.Baghi has declared having undergone 14 sessions of interrogations, and having gone through so called, legal procedures of interrogations of the courts, he would not answer to any more questions, unless in a legal court with the supervision of a defense and jury.

Mr.Baghis family, who had met him on 5th November, also announced on his behalf that he does not accept any of the so called charges brought against him and has protested to his one year prison sentence.

While he is accused of breaching information security by enclosing information with regards to prisoners and their conditions, Mr.Baghis’ family announced that he had been interrogated over press releases of his association.

Mr.Baghi was visited by his family through glass compartments supervised by prison authorities and they refused to deliver his belongings which were brought for him by his family.

According to his family, Mr.Baghi is kept in a cell along with one other inmate and is isolated, not allowed to have any writing tools, paper or news from the outside world.

We have to emphasize that Emadeddin Baghi, is the editor to the confiscated Jomhuriate paper, and head of the Association in support of Iranian prisoners. He has been a defender of the right to life and has been seeking an end to the death penalty. In the year 2005 he had received the Human right prize of the French national commission on Human rights.

He had spent 2 years in prison from 2000 to 2002, after which he supported freedom of speech by writing numerous articles. He then founded the Association in support of Iranian prisoners and continued his activities in support of Human rights under extensive suppression.

Prisoner sent to exile for being kind and helpful

Hamidreza Borhani an unknown political prisoner who is renowned for his helping hand amongst prisoners, has brought much anger to the prison authorities for his activities and exiled to Rajaeishar prison.

Mr.Borhani had been engaged in forced labor in the shops section of Evin prison, in which he helped poor prisoners and provided them facilities and money and sometimes paid their bail so that they could be released from prison.

Prison officials have announced that his charge for exile is propagating his political beliefs amongst other inmates.

The officials also have indirectly announced that he has provided bail for a former political prisoner, Mr.Khalile Shalchi, lenient to the People Mojahedin organization of Iran, which has lead to his release from prison.

Although, providing financial support for prisoners to get bail or obtain their necessary needs in prison is a humanitarian act and officially legal, but prison authorities have been angered by Mr.Borhanis’ activities in this regard.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Court hearing of a Human Right activist lasting 5 minutes

The 13th branch of the so called revolutionary court began hearing the case of Keyvane Rafiee on 4th of November.

Mr.Rafiee has been a member of a group supporting political prisoners’ rights and has spent 5 months in solitary confinement since his arrest on 9th July.

His hearing was held without the presence of his lawyer and only took 5 minutes to conclude.

The so called court announced Mr. Rafiees’ charges as, plotting against national security, taking part in anti government demonstrations and gatherings, in co operation with a political movement.

Mr. Rafiee has protested against the procedure of his so called court and has underlined that the charges are baseless and void of any legal basis.

The 13th Branch which is presided by Judge Saadat, announced that the final verdict will be announced in a weeks time.

Student arrested after her father got detained

Masoume Mansoori, student from Amir Kabir University, has been detained on 25 October while a collecting her fathers belongings from the public prosecutors’ office.

Ms. Mansoori had been arrested for ambiguous reasons previously in September.
The Mansoori family had approached the Court to inquire about the where about of Mr. Mansoori , but had been threatened to be detained.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry had previously telephoned the Mansoori family a number of times threatening them to either stop following up Ms. Mansooris’ situation or face detention. They were also threatened not to discuss his arrest with the media.

Miss Mansoori had been called 14 days prior to her disappearance by the Ministry and was threatened not to participate in any demonstration.

Student sources have said her detention has to do with her activities in the recent demonstrations.

After Miss Mansooris’ detention, the Minsitry also called her brother and told him not to contact anyone about her arrest.

They are forced not to ask for the renowned layer Mr.Abdolfattah Soltani , to take-up Ms.Mansooris case.

Ten days have passed since the arrest of Miss Mansoori , during which she is prevented from contacting her family.

Miss Mansoori is suffering from nervous predicaments and her close relatives have expressed concern over her situation emphasizing that discontinuation of her medical treatment would have grave consequences for her.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Kurdish human rights defenders at risk

Amnesty International

Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights defender Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, head of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK) (, is reportedly being ill-treated in detention. Amnesty International fears that this ill-treatment may be intended to force board members of the HROK to present themselves to security officials, thereby risking arrest and the closure of the KHRO, and is calling on the Iranian authorities to halt any such ill-treatment immediately.

Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand has been detained since 1 July 2007 in Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison. Although he is believed not to have been formally charged, in mid-July he reportedly said that he was being accused of "acting against national security," "propaganda against the system" and "cooperating with groups opposed to the system." He also complained of poor detention conditions and that whenever he was interrogated he was blindfolded and bound hand and foot, His lawyer, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, has not been allowed to meet with him and contact with his family has been limited.

Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand is said to suffer from high blood pressure, a skin disorder and a kidney complaint, the nature of which is not known to Amnesty International. He reportedly needs to be able to urinate frequently and failure to do so adversely affects his kidneys. He has been told that if he wants to go to the toilet, he must seek formal permission in writing.

Under current Iranian law, no one is required to present themselves before police or other security forces without first receiving a written summons. However, Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand has also been told that if the three board members of the HROK currently at liberty present themselves voluntarily to the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj, he will be permitted to go to the toilet whenever he needs to. In response, Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand is believed to have insisted that the KHRO is an independent, human rights organisation and that ‘we will simply not go away and we will continue our humanitarian works.’ Amnesty International fears that if board members of the HROK present themselves for interview at the Sanandaj offices of the Ministry of Intelligence, they risk arrest and the HROK will effectively be closed.

The HROK was founded by Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand and others in April 2005 and currently has around 100 members. The authorities have never granted the HROK’s request for official recognition as an NGO. A fourth board member, Ajlal Qavami, is in prison in Sanandaj in connection with another case relating to his work as a journalist.

The ill treatment of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand and the associated attempt to pressure board members of the HROK contravene international human rights standards which the Iranian authorities have committed to uphold, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The repeated harassment and imprisonment of human rights defenders by the Iranian authorities, however, calls into question their willingness to observe basic principles of respect for human dignity. The government should ensure that human rights defenders are able to carry out their important work – which has been recognised in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders - in a climate of respect and in accordance with human rights standards.

BACKGROUND INFORMATIONKurds, who are one of Iran’s many ethnic groups, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kurdistan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. For many years, Kurdish organizations such as the Kurdistan People’s Democratic Party (KDPI) and Komala carried out armed opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran, although more recently they have abandoned armed opposition in favour of a federal solution. The Iranian authorities continue to face armed opposition mainly from the Kurdistan Independent Life Party (PJAK), which reportedly began operations in 2004. The Iranian authorities have accused foreign governments of fomenting unrest among Iran’s ethnic minorities.

Mohamad Sadiq Kabudvand was arrested on 1 July at his place of work in Tehran by security officers in plain clothes, the day the publication ban on his newspaper, Payam-e Mardom-e Kordestan (Kurdistan People’s Message), reportedly expired. He is facing a one-year prison sentence in connection with articles published in this newspaper, but his current detention does not appear to be connected with this.

To take action on behalf of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, please refer to our Urgent Action and follow

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mother worries of imprisoned students’ state of being

Yasser Golis’ mother has expressed deep concerns over her sons’ heart situation, as she has been told by the deputy prosecutor in Sanandaj , that if Yasser dies of heart attack or even strangles himself in prison they will not accept any responsibility.
Yasser Goli , a student, had been arrested 22 days ago, in Sanandaj, west of Iran, by Intelligence Ministry agents, for unknown reasons.

Judicial Officials have told Yassers’ mother that they will keep him in prison as long as they please.

She has approached the courts a number of times to inquire about her sons’ state in vain.

Although the court has refused any contact with Yasser, his mother had seen him in court by coincidence, a couple of days ago. Apparently, Yasser was in disarray, with unfit appearance and psychological state.

Yassser Goli, former director of Democratic Students Union, had been prohibited from scholarship for his political activities.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Leader of Iranian Workers Transport Union transferred to prison from hospital

Mansour Osanloo, leader of Iranian workers transport Union who had been transferred from prison to hospital for an eye operation was transferred back to prison regardless of conditions.

Iranian judiciary had refused to allow his operation after Mr. Osanloos’ arrest on 10 July 2007. It is reported that the decision was taken by the infamous Judge Hassan Zare Dehnavi, known as Hassan Haddad, security deputy to Tehrans’ prosecutor.

Mr. Ossanloos’ operation was agreed under pressure from International Human right organizations and workers Union, which had expressed concern over his conditions.

Although Mr.Ossanloos’ condition requires rest and primary necessary medical supervision, it is reported that he is transferred to Evin prison clinic, which does not support the necessary accommodations for such treatments.

Mansoor Ossanloo had been beaten up and arrested on 10 July 2007, accused of distributing provocative communicates against National Security, where as his lawyer had announced that he was only distributing written demands of his fellow workers.

Mr. Ossanloo had previously been arrested and kept in prison for 7 months, and harassed after his release. He had participated in the International Labor Union Assembly in London, defending Iranian workers rights before his arrest in Iran.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Emadeddin Baghi Interrogated without presence of attorney

Handcuffed and dresses in prison cloths Emaddedin Baghi was taken from 209 Evin Prison to be interrogated in the first Branch of the public prosecutors office, on Monday 22 October.

His acting lawyer, Mr.Youssef Molaei, witnessed the scene by coincidence as he had approached the prison to visit his client.

According to section 3 of the 14th article of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Islamic regime is also a signatory, having a lawyer present during all stages of investigations is a principal right. Mr. Baghi, however, was deprived of this essential right.

In a separate short contact with his lawyer Mr.Baghi stressed that he was ridiculed and pressurized while in section 209 Evin prison, but expressed his determination to continue his activities regarding Human right violations in Iran.

We should remind our readers that charges targeted at this human right activist and journalist has been; to have propagated against the regime, and to have revealed highly sensitive government documents under the pretext of interviewing prisoners and discussing them in meetings and congregations and also to have been writing for the Association to Protect the Rights of Prisoners.

Mr. Emadeddin Baghi, had been arrested on 14 October, while attending convocation at the first branch of the Public Prosecutors’ Office, about his activities in the Association in Defense of Freedom of Press.

According to Mr.Bagis’ daughter, he had been asked for a 50million toman bail, to which he was reluctant at first but accepted considering the circumstances. Whilst the bail was being collected by his family, they were informed that Mr. Baghi had been removed to prison, to under take the previous 1 year sentence accorded to him.

Mr. Baghi has released a letter after his arrest in which he reveals pressures put on him and his family prior to his imprisonment. According to this letter, he had been deprived of teaching in the University, refrained from all media activities and interviews and contact with the press.
In his letter he has said that during the 25 years of his activities, as a researcher he had released articles and books, which had either been barred from publication or confiscated after being published.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Petition in Support of Keyvan Rafiee

Sign the Petition
Keyvan Rafiee is a 26 years old human rights activist in Iran. He is the spokesperson for Human Rights Activists in Iran. He was also involved in publishing news about political prisoners on his weblog before his arrest.

Mr. Rafiee was arrested on July 9th 2006, near Tehran University by the Intelligence Ministry Officials. After his arrest he was transferred to Section 209 of the Evin Prison, which is under the direct control of the Ministry of Intelligence.

It could be said that the arrest of Mr. Rafiee was similar to a kidnapping, because the officers who arrested Mr. Rafiee did not have an arrest warrant and did not inform him of his charges.
Mr. Rafiee has spent more then 5 months in solitary confinement.
Keeping prisoners in solitary confinement is a brutal form of psychological torture. When in solitary confinement the prisoner is completely unaware of what is going on outside of the prison.
The prisoner is given false information and lies in order to confuse and frustrate him. Further the prisoner is not allowed to have any visitations even with his lawyer. This is a silent torture, a torture which does not bruise the body, however it is meant to destroy the persons’ spirit.
Also Mr. Rafiee was not allowed to inform his family of his arrest and whereabouts for the first three (3) months of his imprisonment.

According to Article 9, subsection 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran is a Signatory State “Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgment.”
However Keyvan Rafiee has been in pre-trial custody for almost 15 months and the prosecution has refused to deal with his case for unknown reasons.

Mr. Rafiee’s bail has been set at $56,000 dollars, however the Revolutionary Courts have not allowed Mr. Rafiee to post bail and continue his illegal incarceration.

Mr. Rafiee’s trial dates have been adjourned on six different occasions respectively on December 6th 2006, April 18th 2007, May 22nd 2007, July 29th 2007, August 5th 2007 and September 5th 2007.

Keyvan Rafiee believes that the Intelligence Ministry Officials have prevented the Revolutionary Courts from carrying out his trial, due to the lack of evidence against him.
He has stated that the Ministry of Intelligence has no evidence against him and has tried through physical and psychological torture to force him into false confessions against himself and his friends.

Further according to Article 14, subsection 3 (d)of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights an accused person has the right to: “be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it”, however since his arrest Mr. Rafiee has not been able to see his defence lawyer even once.

We the undersigned are deeply concerned about the illegal and unjust arrest and imprisonment of Keyvan Rafiee and demand that Mr. Keyvan Rafiee be released immediately and unconditionally.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Secret hearing of a dissident reformist clergy

Hadi Ghabel, a reformist clergy, who had been arrested five weeks ago, informed his family, in a telephone contact, that he had been secretly trial twice by the special public prosecutor for clergy, which is situated in Quom, on 16 October, without the presence of an attorney.

According to his son Rohollah Ghabel , the government appointed attorney was not present because he was away.

Mr.Ghabels’ relatives believe that due to the fact that his case is considered politically sensitive, and that his charges are mainly political, his hearing was carried out without the presence of an attorney in two sessions for 3 days.

Mr.Ghabel had been arrested at his home on 12 September, by the security forces of the special Clergy Courts in Quom.
At the time of his arrest the security guards had pretended to pose religious questions but confiscated all Mr.Ghabels’ writings, computer and belongings.

State of health of an activist for the workers association deteriorated

Mahmoud Salehi, Founding member of the workers Union of Saghez (in Kurdistan of Iran) and director of the Coordinating Committee for Founding Workers Organizations, of that city, has been suffering of kidney malfunction.

Mr. Salehi was transferred to the prison clinic on 17 October 2007, but returned after several hours. He had previously been taken to a hospital called Tohid in June, but then again transferred back to his cell.

Considering that Mr. Salehi has only one functional kidney, his relatives have expressed serious concern over his state of health and have stressed that prison medical facilities does not compensate for his situation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Release Leading Defender of Prisoners’ Rights

Human Rights Watch: (Washington, DC, October 16, 2007) – Iranian authorities should immediately release prominent human rights defender Emadeddin Baghi and drop the politically motivated charges against him, Human Rights Watch said today.

On October 14, Baghi responded to a summons to appear before an interrogator at Branch 1 of the Security Unit of the General and Revolutionary Public Prosecutor’s Office. The court charged him with “propaganda against the system” and “publishing secret government documents” for his activities as president of the Society for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights, a nongovernmental organization that he founded in 2003.

“The Iranian government should applaud Baghi for his efforts on behalf of prisoners’ rights, not arrest him,” said Joe Stork, Middle East and North Africa deputy director at Human Rights Watch.

After Baghi’s arrest, court officials set a bail of 500 million rials (approximately US$50,000). While Baghi’s family was in the process of posting bail, Evin prison authorities arrived at the courthouse and announced that Baghi had to serve a 2003 suspended sentence. The court authorities revoked the bail, and prison officials immediately transferred Baghi back into detention.

In 2003, Judge Babayee of Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Baghi to a one-year suspended term for “endangering national security” and “printing lies” in his book, The Tragedy of Democracy in Iran.

In 2000, a Revolutionary Court sentenced Baghi to a three-year prison term on charges of “endangering national security” for his writings about the serial murder of dissident intellectuals in Iran in the late 1990s. He served two years of that sentence, and one year was suspended.

Baghi’s family and lawyers report that since his release in 2003, the authorities have summoned Baghi to court 23 times.

In July, Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Baghi, as well as his wife and daughter, to suspended three-year sentences for their work documenting and publicizing human rights violations in Iran’s court systems and prisons.

Emadeddin Baghi also founded the Society of Right to Life Guardians in 2005, an organization that aims to abolish the death penalty in Iran. His two organizations produce reports on the situation of Iranian prisoners and gather data about death penalty cases in Iran.

The Amir Kabir University Students have been Sentenced to Imprisonment

After the review of the case of the three Amir Kabir University Students for the second time, the sentences for Mr. Majid Tavakoli, Mr. Ahmad Ghasaban and Mr. Ehsan Mansouri has been announced.

Mr. Tavakoli has been sentenced to three (3) years, Mr. Ghasaban to two and a half (2.5) years and Mr. Mansouri to two (2) years imprisonment.

Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadbakhsh, the defence lawyer for Mr. Tavakoli, Mr. Ghasaban and Mr. Mansouri has stated that his clients have not accepted any of the charges laid against them, and do not accept their sentences.

Mr. Dadbakhsh has stated that he will be appealing the convictions and the sentences.

Mr. Ghasaban, Mr. Mansouri and Mr. Tavakoli were arrested in May of 2007 after the publication of certain articles in the Amir Kabir Student Paper, which insulted Islam and the Leader of the Revolution. Above named students were falsely accused of publishing these articles.

These students have denied having published these articles before their arrest and imprisonment; however after their arrest the interrogators were able to obtain false confessions from these students through brutal torture.

Mr. Tavakoli, Mr. Ghasaban and Mr. Mansouri were transferred to the public ward of the Evin Prison after spending four (4) months in solitary confinement.

Where is Ronak Safarzadeh Imprisoned?

Ms. Ronak Safarzadeh whi si one of the members of the One Million Signature Campaign demanding an end to discriminatory laws against women in the Iranian Law, was arrested seven days ago by the Intelligence Ministry Officials. Her mother Ms.

Shahnaz Ahmadi has not been able to get any news regarding her daughters arrest and whereabouts.
She has further stated that she has attended at the prosecutor’s office only to face insults.

Ms. Safarzadeh was arrested on Tuesday October 9th 2007, in the city of Sanandaj close to her home by the Intelligence Ministry Officials. According to Ms. Safarzadeh’s mother Intelligence Ministry Officials entered their home on that day and confiscated her computer, books, writings and personal belongings.

According to her friends, the day before her arrest she had attended a celebration for children organized by a group called Houraz and had handed out pamphlets regarding the one million signature campaign.

After not receiving any news from her daughter for one week Ms. Ahmadi believes that her daughter has been kidnapped by the intelligence ministry she has also stated that the prosecution office has confirmed that there is a warrant for her arrest.

Ms. Ahmadi has further stated that the prosecution office has refused to accept and take any of the medication she had brought for her daughter.
Further the prosecutors office has stated that she is not allowed to visit her daughter and have insulted and lied to her.

Ronak Safazadeh is 21 years old, and in addition to being a member of the one million signature campaign demanding an end to discriminatory law against women in the Iranian law she is also a member of Azarmehr Women’s Organization.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sign the Petition: Free Ayatollah Boroujerdi

Sign the Petition

To: The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, The United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, Louise Arbour, The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohmoud Ahmadinejad and The Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.
WE THE UNDERSIGNED hereby Petition the above Honorable Dignitaries for the immediate exoneration and release of Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi from imprisonment in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

RELEVANT FACTS: Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi is a Shi'a Muslim cleric who supports the freedom speech and the free exercise of religion in Iran. On October 7, 2006 Ayatollah Boroujerdi was arrested along with many of his supporters who had gathered at his home. Although no crime had been committed, witnesses say that they were incarcerated and subjected to torture in section 209 of Evin Prison.
In a special clerical court, without representation by legal counsel, Ayatollah Boroujerdi was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment in exile. Ayatollah Boroujerdi was then coerced, under threat of torture, to give a statement in which he was forced to confess to acts he did not commit. This forced confession was then televised nationally in Iran in an attempt to humiliate Ayatollah Boroujerdi and others who share his belief in the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has committed no crime. He is a peaceful man who does not advocate violence nor does he threaten the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in any way. All he has done is to advocate for the unalienable right of the individual to hold personal religious beliefs and to exercise freedom of speech. For this he has been subjected to imprisonment and torture under continuous threat of execution.

STANDARD OF LAW: Article 56 of the UN Charter requires that all member nations pledge to "take joint and separate action in cooperation with the Organization (UN) for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55." Article 55 includes several paragraphs most notably here "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion."
Article 18 Section 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, provides that:

1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Article 19, Sections 1 and 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provide that:

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides in pertinent part:

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

APPLICATION OF LAW AND ARGUMENT: Ayatollah Boroujerdi has been denied his rights under each of the above referenced Articles and sections of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He has been arrested held in confinement and tortured because of his beliefs and for expressing his views on political matters.

On September 24, 2007 Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke in the United States at Columbia University. In response to the introduction from Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, President Ahmadinejad said the following:

“I think the text read by the dear gentleman here, more than addressing me, was an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here, present here. In a university environment we must allow people to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is eventually revealed by all."
"Certainly he took more than all the time I was allocated to speak, and that's fine with me. We'll just leave that to add up with the claims of respect for freedom and the freedom of speech that's given to us in this country.”
In his words, which have been communicated to billions of people throughout the world, President Ahmadinejad expressed his belief in the freedom of speech and the right of people to “speak their mind.” Yet, within the nation of Iran people are arrested and tortured for “speaking their mind.”

Now the world is watching to see if Iran will live up to the high standard set by these words of the President Ahmadinejad. Will Iran release Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, who has done nothing more than exercise his right to “speak his mind,” as President Ahmadinejad said, so that “truth is eventually revealed by all.”

THE UNDERSIGNED RESPECTFULLY REQUEST: 1. That the sentence imposed upon Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi be commuted immediately;

2. That the case of Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi be thoroughly reviewed in a manner consistent with the provisions of the UN Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

3. That Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi be released from prison forthwith, that the sentence against him be reversed and that all charges against him be dismissed;

4. That the Islamic Republic of Iran honor its commitment to the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the high standard of freedom of religion and speech as has been promised by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his speech at Columbia University.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Torture of an Iranian Teacher in the Ministry of Intelligence Prison

The life of a teacher named Farzad Kamangar who was arrested in May of 2006 for unknown reasons, and is currently in a Ministry of Intelligence Prison is in danger.

According to the Krudish Human Rights Organization in Iran Mr. Kamangar was arrested by the Intelligence Ministry 14 months ago, along with two of his friends Mr. Ali Heydariyan and Mr. Farhad Vakili in the city of Sanandaj.

Mr. Kamangar’s family was not aware of his whereabouts for four (4) months. After four months they found out that Mr. Kamangar was imprisoned in Section 209 of the Evin Prison which is under the direct control of Intelligence Ministry.

Human Rights Activists have reported that Mr. Kamangar was in Section 209 of the Evin Prison, in solitary confinement and under physical and psychological torture.

According to news from Human Rights Activists in Kurdistan of Iran he has suffered from serious burns on his left leg and arm as a result of torture, involving pouring hot water over his body, kidney problems as well as infection.

On his seventh month of imprisonment Mr. Kamangar was allowed to visit with his mother and brother. Security guards were present in the room during the visit and they were ordered to speak only in Farsi.

Mr. Khalil Bahramiyan a well known defence lawyer in Tehran has taken up Mr. Kamangar’s case; however after 14 months he has still not been able to meet with Mr. Kamangar.

In the past 14 months no charges have been laid against Mr. Kamangar and no trial date has been set. He is still in pre-trial custody. The amount of pre-trial custody is set by the Judge of the Revolutionary courts and it is possible that he may remain in pre-trial custody for another year.

The courts have not laid any formal charges against Mr. Kamangar however it is said that he will be charged with acting against national security.

Before his arrest Mr. Kamangar resided in the city of Kamyaran. He is a teacher who for the past 5 years had been teaching in small towns and villages around the city of Kamyaran.

The family of Mr. Kamangar are very much concerned about the health, well being and safety of Mr. Kamangar. They have urged international human rights organizations to follow up on Mr. Kamangar’s situation and to help save his life and to further urge the Judge dealing with his case to allow for his medical treatment.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Three Amir Kabir University Students Taken our of Solitary Confinement After Four Months Imprisonment

Ahmad Ghasaban, Ehsan Mansouri and Majid Tavakoli, three Amir Kabir University Students who had been in solitary confinement in Section 209 of the Evin Prison for the past four months were taken to the general ward for political prisoners on Tuesday October 9th 2007.

All three students were able to call their families Monday night and inform them that they would be transferred to a general ward on Tuesday.

Mr. Ghasaban, Mr. Mansouri and Mr. Tavakoli were arrested in May of 2007 after the publication of certain articles in the Amir Kabir Student Paper, which insulted Islam and the Leader of the Revolution. Above named students were falsely accused of publishing these articles.

Ahmad Gassaban, is the director of the student publication called “Sahar” and the first student nominee to take part in elections of the central committee of the AmirKabir student Association. He was arrested on 3 May 2007 , as he had approached the courts to deliver the students complaints of their University directorate, the Official news paper Keyahn and also Raja news site.

The next day, the second nominated student for the student elections , Majid Tavakoli , had to reside in court along with his other fellow students, Majid Sheikh pour and Pouyan Mahmoudian (directorates of student publications “Rivar” and “Sarkhat”). On 22 May, security forces attacked Ehsan Mansouris’ house, and while creating fear and beating up Mr. Mansouris’ family members, fired shots, arrested and confiscated his belongings.

These students have denied having published these articles before their arrest and imprisonment, however after their arrest the interrogators were able to obtain false confessions from these students through brutal torture.

After the false confessions were obtained, Mr. Ghasaban, Mr. Mansouri and Mr. Tavakoli each wrote letters from prison setting out the torture they had been subjected to in Section 209 of the Evin Prison. The families of these students also wrote a detailed letter to the head of Judiciary confirming the torture their sons had been subjected to.

The torture of these students involved the following:
A round the clock interrogation of the victims with no food or water, informing them of faked news; “ death of a close member of family “ , creating unbearable noise at all times, insulting family members ,threatening them and their families and close relatives, beating them simultaneously by 7 torturers, mixing political prisoners with ordinary criminals and killers, keeping them in cubic cells for 48 hours in which they could just stand, lashing prisoners with thick cables and rough wires to beat the flesh out, lying the victim and treading on feet and face by 7 torturers at the same time, standing on parts of the body and sitting on the waist for a long time, dicing the students between several torturers banging them to the wall, and forbidding any visit by doctors.

Five (5) out of eight (8) imprisoned Amir Kabir University students who were released earlier, wrote letters to the Judiciary and the Parliament asking for an investigation into the torture they and their friends had been subjected to. As follow up to these letters Alireza Avayi, the head of the Prosecution Office in the Province of Tehran started an investigation into the torture of these students.

According to news published by the above named three students, they have been able to visit with Mr. Avayi in Section 209 of the Evin Prison. This is the first visit of its kind, since until now only the head of Prison has entered and visited Section 209. Further, to this day no parliament member has been allowed to enter Section 209.

Although the arrest warrants for students and political activists in Iran are approved by Judge Hassan Haddad (Hassan Zareh Dahnavei) students are hopeful that the visit of Mr. Avayi with prisoners in Section 209 may lead to higher accountability of interrogators in Section 209.

Section 209 of the Evin Prison is under the direct control of Mostafa Karimi, who is one of the directors in the Ministry of Intelligence. Mr. Karimi has not answered any questions regarding the behavior of interrogators and the use of torture in Section 209 and has not been held accountable.

Mr. Karimi’s office was used to obtain televised confessions from Haleh Esfandiyari and Kian Tajbakhsh (two Iranian /American academics who were arrested and charged with trying to start a velvet revolution.)

Ali Farahbakhsh, an Imprisoned Journalist has been Released from Prison

Mr. Ali Farahbakhsh’s lawyer has stated that Mr. Farahbakhsh has been released from prison after 11 months of imprisonment, on October 11, 2007. Mr. Farahbakhs is a journalist specializing in economics.

Mr. Alireza Tabatabayi who is Mr. Farahbakhsh’s lawyer has stated that the Revolutionary Court have reduced his sentence from 36 months to 16 months and have agreed to his early release.

Mr. Farahbaksh had been arrested for his participation in a number of academic conferences in Malaise and Thailand; however the Revolutionary Courts have charged him with Spying.
Mr. Farahbakhsh is a journalist who writes for numerous reformist newspapers including Sobhe Emruz, Norouz, Yase No and Sarmaye.

Although Mr. Farahbakhsh was suffering from a serious eye problem while in prison, he had not been allowed a temporary leave from prison. Mr. Farahbaksh has spent more then 10 months of his imprisonment in Section 209 of the Evin Prison.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Release of a Young Journalist from Evin Prison

Soheil Asafi a blogger and a journalist was released on Saturday October 6th 2007 from Evin Prison after two months of imprisonment. He was released on 100 Million Toman bail.
Soheil Asafi was arrested on August 4th 2007. On that day he was summoned to court, where he was interrogated and was taken to the Evin Prison by Intelligence Ministry Officials. Mr. Asafi was in solitary confinement for 2 months in Section 209 of the Evin Prison.

Mr. Asafi’s mother Ms. Nahid Khyrabi who is also a journalist has stated in regards to his son’s arrest and imprisonment conditions in Section 209 that the interrogators would give him false news and information and subject him to other psychological torture while he was in solitary confinement.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Adnan HasanPour and Hiwa Boutimar meet their families

8 days after being transferred from solitary confinement of Intelligence ministry, to the public section of Sanandaj prison the two political prisoners managed to meet their families.

Adnan Hassanpour had been arrested 9 months ago by the Intelligence ministry agents at home in Marivan- west of Iran. He was a member of the editorial board of the Bilangual weekly “Aso”.

He was then subjected to torture for 7 months resulting into a forced confession. Following this, a trivial court arranged by the Marivan Magistrate in April this year, condemn him to death for apostasy based on his forced confessions.

Those claimed by the mullahs in Iran to have been involved in armed resistance are labeled as apostates. It is a misunderstanding of the Shiite Islam by the government clergy in Iran.

Hiwa Boutimar was one of the founding members of the “Sabzchia” association (meaning the Green Mountain) and also a reporter of the news bulletin released by this association. He was arrested 10 months ago in his office, and was also later announced to be an apostate by the same court and condemned to death.

After receiving their charges, Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Boutimar were both transferred to solitary confinement in Sanandaj , were they faced more torture.

The two political prisoners’ began a hunger strike to protest their transfer.

The Judiciary and the Intelligence Ministry did not pay any attention to their 47 day hunger strike, They stopped their hunger strike after an appeal was raised by their families and some Human right organizations such as the reporters without borders, who were concerned for their well being.

Saleh Nikbakht , attorney to the two political prisoners has stressed that, charges raised against his clients do not lie under the category of apostasy.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Psychological Torture of a Human Rights Activists in Evin Prison

Keyvan Rafiee was arrested on July 9th 2006, in front of the Tehran University, on the day when a ceremony was planned in remembrance of July 9th 1999 pro-democracy demonstrations.

He was taken to Section 209 of the Evin Prison and was in solitary confinement for more then 8 months. The Intelligence Ministry has charged him with involvement with opposition groups; however Mr. Rafiee has always maintained that he is a human rights activist.

Solitary confinement is an interrogation method used by the Intelligence Ministry in Iran, used to break the resistance of political prisoners. The prisoner is completely unaware of what is going on outside of the prison, has no access to his family. Also interrogators give them false news and information over a long period of time. The prison is not allowed to go out for fresh air, he also has no access to a defense lawyer. This is a silent kind of torture, a torture with no sound and does not bruise the body, however it destroys the person’s spirit.

Keyvan Rafiee has been extremely strong in the face of this torture, which is why the Intelligence Ministry keeps on torturing him in various ways in order to break him and force him into false confessions.

The Intelligence Ministry and the Courts have not yet formally charged him with any offence. Since his arrest Mr. Rafiee’s trial has been adjourned six times. The reason for these adjournments has been the non-attendance of the prosecution at trial.

According to Mr. Rafiee the Intelligence Ministry has no evidence against him, and has used these adjournment techniques in order to build a case against him while he is in prison.

Mr. Rafiee recently wrote a letter from prison which explains in details his arrest and the treatment of the Judiciary and Prison Officials as follows:
(This letter was published on June 2007)

In the Name of Freedom,
With Greetings to all Iranians,
I have decided to share with all human rights organizations and freedom fighters all over the world my story, and what has happened to me in the past year at the hands of the Islamic Regime of Iran.

I am a human rights activist and have been working with other human rights activists and groups in Iran, fighting for the rights of those whose basic human rights have been violated. I am and was not a criminal nor have I ever committed a criminal act. My only “crime” is being a human rights activist who believes in the principles of human rights for everyone.

On July 8th 2006 I was arrested by the Islamic Regime forces without an arrest warrant or without having any idea as to what I was being charged with. After my arrest I was taken to s. 209 of the Evin Prison which is under the direct control of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. This section is famous for its solitary cells, blindfolds and torture. I was taken to solitary cell numbered 115, and was there for two days, when I was informed that I would be brought before a judge. At that time I still did not know what I was being charged with. My bail was set at 500 million Rial however I was not given permission to call anyone in order to try to obtain this money.

Shortly after, I was taken into a small room with one interrogator and three guards. In the hopes of breaking my spirits, they forced all of my clothes off and told me that my hair was too long and tried to cut off my hair with a scissor. I did not want to allow them to do this and started fighting back, at this time they took me to solitary cell number 73. At this time I still had no idea what I was being charged with. Being distraught by the way I was treated I started banging on the door of my cell trying to get some answers.

One of the guards blindfolded me and took me to see the warden of s. 209 of the Evin Prison Mr. Mostafa Karimi. In answer to my protests he told me that they could and would keep me there for as long as they wanted and that they did not need any reason for my incarceration. He also informed me that if I continued my struggle they would handcuff my hands and feet in addition to keeping me in a solitary cell.

Once again I was taken to solitary cell number 63 and the blindfolded interrogations started. Their only goal was to force me into false confessions in order to use the confession to further persecute me and other members of the Human Rights Activists in Iran. Because of the fact that they had no evidence against me and they had not laid any charges the interrogations and accusations kept on changing, and they kept on accusing me of different “crimes.” There were also times when I would not be interrogated for days or even weeks and I would be left alone in my solitary cell.

It is also important to mention that during this time my family had no news of my whereabouts and I was not able to contact them. I was also not allowed very basic rights such as adequate clothing, being able to get fresh air, pen and paper or telephone calls and visitations.

Recently I found out that shortly after my arrest intelligence ministry officials had gone to my fathers house and went through my family’s personal belongings and took number of things that did not belong to me. At this time my family was desperately searching for me in revolutionary courts, jails, coroner’s office, hospitals and even graveyards, and finally after 3 months they were informed of my whereabouts.

After one month in solitary confinement and having faced such cruel and inhuman behavior I decided to go on a hunger strike and I even refused to drink water. After four days I was promised by the prison warden that the prison conditions would improve and I ended my strike. Unfortunately as a result of not drinking water for so long I came down with an intestine infection as well as severe gum infection and was not able to eat or drink anything but water for 15 days, and I was in severe pain and unable to move for these 15 days.

On numerous occasions I was told by the prison guards that I was free, or that I would be free soon, or they would give me a date on which I would supposedly be released. Unfortunately I realized that all this was nothing but a form of psychological torture and I was left in solitary cells with no hope of being released.

After three (3) months in solitary confinement once again I started my protests and insisted that I be taken into the general prison ward rather then solitary cells. I was told by prison guards that the only other place they would take me would be in a cell with Al’Qaeda detainees. When I continued my protest they did indeed put me in a cell with two prisoners whom I was told were Al Qaeda members, who needed to take dozens of medications every day in order to be able function. These two prisoners threatened me to death on numerous occasions and on one occasion produced a piece of glass and threatened to kill me with it.

Once again I requested to be put in a cell with Iranian inmates and once again I was refused. Again I was forced to go on a hunger strike even though I was extremely ill and in danger of coming down with another intestine infection. After three days of refusing to eat or drink water, once again I was taken to see the prison warden who told me that I could choose between where I was or the solitary cell, and that those were my only two choices. I had no choice but to choose the solitary cell. They forced me to write a statement claiming that I had requested to be transferred to a solitary cell and they were granting my request.

I was once again taken to solitary cell 130 and was there until 11 October 2006 when I was taken for interrogation at a revolutionary court and was charged with acting against the regime, propaganda against the regime, risking national security and involvement with anti-revolutionary groups. I asked why I had not been allowed to post bail and was told that the revolutionary courts had special powers and that they would not let me post bail and would keep me in jail for as long as they wanted.

I asked to see my family and asked for a lawyer. I was told that the lawyer I had requested was a spy working against the government and that in any event I would not need a lawyer, and if it was necessary for me to have a lawyer they would assign one for me. They also did not allow me to call my family.

Because of my requests the prison officials were not happy with me and once again I was taken to the same interrogation place on 17 October 2006 and was further charged with organizing and participating in protests, after which I was taken to solitary confinement again.

On 6 December 2006 I was taken to court and without the presence of my lawyer, or the crown the trial proceeded with the judge reading the charges against me and giving me 10 minutes to defend myself. During these 10 minutes I only had time to ask to see the evidence they had against me. I was not shown any evidence and taken back to my cell. A month later I was told that my case was under review and they did not know when there would be a verdict on my case.

On 11 January 2007after 190 days of imprisonment most of which had been in solitary confinement with severe psychological torture I was taken to the general ward in s. 209 of the Evin Prison which was an extremely small room and housing 19 prisoners. I was finally given permission to call my family after 6 months and was able to tell them that I was alive.

At this time there was a virus going around the prison and due to lack of medical attention and dirty air most of us including myself were suffering from it. I myself was coughing blood and suffering from this virus for more then 2 months without being able to get any medical attention.

Every week we had about 2 hours of “fresh air” time, where we were taken into another cell with the only different being that this cell had windows on its ceilings. We also had 10 minutes a week to call our families. The days kept passing by. Later I learned that my father had been summoned to court and ordered to speak with me and try to talk me out of my beliefs and my human rights activities.

However I cannot and will not stop my human rights activities. We celebrated the New Year in our small cell with great hope for the future and thinking about our beloved country Iran and our countrymen.

Once the prison officials realized that they would not be able to break me or change my beliefs and ideas I was taken out of s. 209 of the prison and into s. 6 of the Evin Prison. On 18 April 2007 once again I was taken to court, however due to non cooperation of the crown and the intelligence ministry officials once again my trial was postponed and all I was left with was the pain and pressure of waiting.

On 20 may 2007 I learned that once again the Intelligence Ministry had continued its cruel and inhuman behavior by going to my fathers house and after going through their personal belongings, arresting my father and sister, as well as my brother an hour later. The only possible purpose of these arrests was to put further pressure on me and try to break my will. My family members were released at 10 pm that night after being interrogated and threatened.

On 22 may 2007 I was once again taken to court for my trial however due to the absence of the Crown as well as the Ministry of Intelligence Officials my trial was postponed once again.

On 3 Juan 2007my family was summoned to court once again and this situation still continues. In the past year I have not been able to visit with my family even once. Also 11 other members of the Human Rights Activists have been summoned to court, interrogated and threatened.

My only “crime” is being a human rights activist who strongly believes in equality and other basic rights for everyone. Although I am subjected to severe physical and psychological pressures in prison I am not willing to stop for even one second from defending human rights and fighting against human rights violations in Iran. I will cope with the injustice done against me in the hopes of the rise of justice and support of all other human rights activists in the world.
Long Live Freedom and Equality,
Keyvan Rafiee
Human Rights Activist Evin Prison

Sepideh Pouraghaei contacting family from prison

Human right activist and journalist, Sepideh Pouraghaei has contacted with her family from 209 prisons.

Her mother has expressed concern over her dismayed tone of voice over the, line.

She has said that her daughter reiterated that she is under investigation and her charges are not yet clear, and that she is in 209 Evin prison.

Sepideh Pouragahei has been active in the Student committee of Human Rights Reporters . She was also involved as a volunteer in the campaign to collect 1 million signatures against gender discrimination and apartheid.

She was arrested along with 5 other activists on 9 September. Those arrested along with her were, Abbas KHorsandi, Meisam roudaki, Bahram Rasekhifar, Mansour Faraji, Ghasem Shirzadian.

Her mother said that Sepideh left her house at 3 pm and was not seen there after. Security forces attacked their house at 11 pm and confiscated all her work papers, computer and floppy drives.

Sepideh Pouraghaei and her friends have been denied to have a lawyer in Evin prison.

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+ 6 Human right activists in solitary confinement

Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Boutimar relocated

Saleh Nikbakht, attorney to Adnan Hassanpour and Hiwa Boutimar has informed the relocation of his clients to the public section of the prison.

The lawyer said that the 2 prisoners having received a death sentence by the first branch of the “revolutionary court” and having been transferred to solitary confinement, had began a hunger strike.

According to Mr. Nikbakht, after endeavoring to encourage the prisoners to eat and after having their families wrote to the Director of the Judiciary, the detainees broke their hunger strike.

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