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.