Wednesday, February 13, 2008

IRAN: Death sentence for yet another journalist

Yagoub Mehrnahad, journalist and director of a youth association called "Voice of Justice" (Sedaye Edalat) has been sentenced to death in a court in Sistan Baluchestan province (southeastern Iran).

The so called court held a session behind closed doors, and its decision was delivered to Mr.Mehrnahads' family on 7 February.

Apparently the "Voice of Justice"" association was a legally established entity, and had been registered in the "National Youth Organization" which is a governmental organization as an NGO engaged in promoting literacy amongst the poor and also providing fundamental aid to the poverty stricken province of Sistan Baluchestan.

Mr. Mehrnahad has also been director to "Mardom Salary" news paper in Sistan Baluchestan province.

After the last yearly "Questioner and Responsive youth" convention, which was organized 10 months ago, some members of the central committee of the" Voice of Justice" association were arrested, including Yagoub Mehrnahad. Five of the arrested were released after a while, where as Mr. Mehrnahad is still undergoing pressure after 10 months of captivity.

During this period, he spent five months in the Intelligence Ministry torture center, and later was continued to be held for another two months in the central Zahedan Prison, with no official court verdict.

Last month, a court session was held, but no verdict was released, instead Mr. Mehrnahad was transferred to the Intelligence Ministry detention torture centre once again.

A relative, who had visited Mr. Mehrnahad two months ago, had reporter apparent signs of severe physical torture and loss of weight.

The death sentenced has not been officially declared by judiciary or any other government official. His family believes the real verdict has not been the death sentence. They also believe that Yaghoub Mehrnahad, has been forced to admit to uncommitted crimes under a lot of pressure.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Iranian Intelligent services torture a dissident Clergy

Mamousta Ayoub Ganji, a clergy and tutor and also Friday prayer Imam of Geba mosque, was arrested by unknown agents on 27 January 2008, and held captive. On 8 February, at 5 am, he was dropped off by an unidentified car. He was dropped off by an unidentified car in front of the Friday prayers of Sannadaj, while he could barely stand on his feet. Witnesses say that he had been severely tortured. They transferred him to hospital.

His relatives say he is extremely weak and fragile after being tortured. His psychological situation is deteriorating at the moment he can not even distinguish his wife and children. He is heard to constantly cry out about "beatings, serum, electricity" and he keeps shouting "No no…they are coming!".

According to close relatives, he has lost considerable weight, and torture signs are apparent on his face and all over his body.

Although officials of the judiciary and Intelligence Ministry have not commented on Ayoub Ganji's arrest but it appears that his detainers have been from the Intelligence Ministry.

It is said that his arrest is due to his Friday prayer' speech which had lashed out against the Government.

Ayoub Ganji had in his Friday prayers speech condemned the death of the Law student Ebrahim Lotfaollahi while in the Intelligence Ministry detention and had described it as a crime. He had also denounced the rejection of the so called "reformist candidates" for the coming Parliament elections by the Government.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Students tortured in 209

According top reports released by the Students Committee of Human Rights Reporters, and also testimony of recently released victims, students are being violently tortured in the notorious 209 section of Evin prison.

According to these testimonies, methods used to pressure students to go through TV staged confessions against their friends, are not only physical ones but include psychological ones. After long and continuous sessions of interrogation and torture they are left with bruised personalities and zero self respect and self confidence. At intervals they are under physical attacks being punched, kicked and whipped by heavy weighed cables.

Prior to this, Behrouz Karimi Zadeh, former Tehran University student was reported by his family to have had a deep cut from his wrist to his elbow.

During the past weeks, some students have paid incredible sums to be released temporarily; the price has ranged between 53000 to 107 thousand dollars. According to some, the Intelligence ministry has used fake TV confessions to link the students' movement to outside opposition forces.

After 21 days of illegal detention of students, there is yet no news concerning their condition.Some of the other students have had their families visiting them on 5 February for the first time in Evin prison. Saiid Habibi is one of the students who is barred from any visits and is under constant torture.

Sixty students have been arrested by the Intelligence Ministry in the past 3 months and forty are still pending results in prison. They were detained while trying to commemorate the Students day in Iran.