Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two years sentence for Kurdish students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

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

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

Ms Bayazidi , 26 , and an activist of the 1 million campaign petition and a graduate of computer engineering , was summoned to the Intelligence offices of Mahabad (Iranian western Kurdish region). She was "trialed "with no attorney presence and exiled to Zanajan. She is passing her eight day of hunger strike at the moment.

Zinab had owned a health shop in Mahabad called "Zeylan", named after a known plant used for medical treatment. She threatened a number of times by the Intelligence offices of Mahabad to change the name claiming that the aforementioned name is being used by the insurgent group "PKK" and represented a "code". Since the name was a regular official Kurdish name and legally used by the registry offices of Kurdistan, she had decided to ignore the warnings.
A member of Ms. Bayazidi's family had informed the Iranian Women's Guild site that, the Intelligence Ministry of Mahabad had summoned her in a telephone contact for an interrogation 40 days ago. After being interrogated for 2 hours she was released and told to return in the next 2 days. She was arrested the second time.
According to this information, "She was refused an attorney and was sentenced with the charges almost immediately". They have claimed they were tricked by the court and Intelligence office, and have asked for an attorney.

All human right and gender equality activities in the Kurdish region have been hampered under the excuse of the presence of opposition groups and have grounded all activists. They are very easily charged and their files are tempered with, to make any legal defense, or support by other civil activists, difficult.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

8 Kurdish political activist sentenced to death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Political Activist Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran


(7 August 2008) Abbas Khorsandi, a political activist, has been sentenced to eight years in prison by an appeals court, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. The only evidence in his prosecution is apparently based on his political beliefs and internet writings.

Branch 36 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court confirmed Khorsandi’s sentence on 12 July 2008. The appeals court decision was issued by Judges Salimi and Zargar. Khorsandi is currently held in Evin Prison.

“Given Khorsandi’s activities, there is no justification for his lengthy imprisonment. The Judiciary must be held accountable as to why Khorsandi is being locked up for eight years,” the Campaign stated.

According to information received by the Campaign, Khorsandi’s activities involved only expressing his peaceful opinions on the internet and his sentencing is not justified under any circumstance.

Plainclothes intelligence agents detained Khorsandi at his shop in Firoozkooh, a town outside Tehran, on 9 September 2007. On the same day, intelligence agents raided and searched his home but could not find any incriminating evidence to confiscate.

He was held in incommunicado detention for three months in Evin prison. The authorities subsequently charged him with “acting against national security through formation of an illegal association.” Khorsandi founded the Iran Democratic Party, whose activities were limited to publishing internet writings and involved only five other people who communicated their political views.

He was put on trial on 4 March 2007 at Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. The presiding Judge Salavati announced an eight- year prison sentence on 17 March 2007.
According to his associates, he is in ill health. The Campaign called on the Iranian Judiciary to hold a public trial adhering to international standards of due process, in which a fair assessment of Khorsandi’s guilt or innocence could obtain.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Arbitrary Detention and Ill-Treatment of human rights defenders Hemid Valai, Sejjad Radmehr and Vedud Esedi

Front Line:

Iran: Arbitrary Detention and Ill-Treatment of human rights defenders Hemid Valai, Sejjad Radmehr and Vedud Esedi
Front Line is concerned following reports that human rights defenders Hemid Valai, Sejjad Radmehr and Vedud Esedi have been arbitrarily detained and subjected to ill-treatment and torture. Hemid Valai is a human rights lawyer. Hemid Valai, Sejjad Radmehr and Vedud Esedi are all activists working to promote the rights of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran.

Further Information
Posted 08/08/2008 Hemid Valai was reportedly detained on 15 July 2008, after being summoned to the interrogation unit of the Ministry of Information in Tabriz. While in custody, Hemid Valai has reportedly been subjected to ill-treatment and torture. Following repeated requests from his family, he was transferred to a prison hospital to receive treatment for injuries allegedly sustained during his detention and was permitted to receive family visits. Reports indicate that Hemid Valai's two front teeth are broken, as are several of his ribs and his right leg, and that his jaw has been damaged. He also reportedly lost consciousness several times while in detention as a result of the beatings inflicted by authorities.

Sejjad Radmehr was arrested by security agents on 17 July 2008 at the entrance of Tabriz University following his defence of his graduate thesis. It is believed that the arrest was in connection with Sejjad Radmehr's conducting a peaceful sit-in of university students on 11 May 2008 in protest against his treatment by the university authorities, who had initially banned him from defending his thesis and in protest against arrests of human rights activists. Sejjad Radmehr is reportedly in incommunicado detention and no charges against him have as yet been made public.

Vedud Esedi was arrested on 22 July 2008 at his home in Rasht. Four security agents reportedly entered Vedud Esedi's home, conducted a search of the residence and confiscated his computer, several CDs and other personal belongings. Vedud Esedi's current whereabouts have not been confirmed by authorities but reports have indicated that it is probable that he has been transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. According to information received, no charges have been publicly brought against him.

Front Line believes that the arrest and detention of Hemid Valai, Sejjad Radmehr and Vedud Esedi is directly related to their activities in defence of human rights, particularly in defence of the rights of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran. In light of reports of the ill-treatment and torture of Hemid Valai, Front Line fears for the physical and psychological integrity of Hemid Valai, Sejjad Radmehr and Vedud Esedi, and believes that their continued detention may form part of a campaign to restrict the work of ethnic Azerbaijani human rights defenders in Iran.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

7 members of the Bahaii Faith in solitary confinement of 209

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

All are being detained in solitary confinement of the 209 section of the notorious Evin prison.

Six of the detainees were arrested at their homes after a night raid by the Intelligence agents on 14 May 2008.

Hassan Haddad , deputy Prosecutor of Tehran- known as the butcher by most students – announced on 2 August that the detainees are charged for founding an illegal groups and being in contact with Israel.

Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham had accused the six members 'of a group working together "against national interest." And that it was "an organized establishment linked to foreigners, the Zionists in particular."
In reaction to these allegations, Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations, called Iran's assertion "utterly baseless."
"The allegations are not new, and the Iranian government knows well that they are untrue," he had said.
He had categorically denied accusations implying that the Bahaiis have been involved in attempts to overthrow the Iranian government, and asserted that "The Bahai community is not involved in political matters. Their only 'crime' is their belief in the (Bahai) faith."
In an interview Bani Dugal had stressed: "The argument for a ploy with Israel is a bald-faced lie and deception. The Iranian government is taking advantage of the fact that the Bahai community's governing council is based in Israel," (August 4 1980)
The Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize the followers of the Bahaii faith. This was particularly obvious during the 1980s open.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Human right activist under torture in Tabriz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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