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.