Friday, October 31, 2008

American-Iranian student in solitary confinement in Iran

Gholamreza Momeni, in an interview with Rooz Online expressed deep concern about her daughter's wellbeing.

Esha Monein is a graduate student at the School of Communications, Media and Arts at California State University, Northridge, and an active participant of the 1 million campaign signature collection in support of basic women's rights in Iran, said his efforts to ensure the safety and freedom of her daughter has been ineffective so far.

"We have not been able to do a thing. They simply won't answer. They keep saying go away. We will call you as soon as her interrogation is over". He nevertheless expressed his hopes that Iranian officials would realize the misunderstanding concerning her daughter and set her free.

"In any case, when a student, institutions or even an organization wishes to have social activities, it should be supported by the government, and not be imprisoned for trying to improve situations. My daughter was a volunteer and was helping people. My daughter returned to Iran for her thesis. She had interviewed respected and known people in the society. All exchanged contents and comments have been already released publicly in the media. The subject was about women and women's rights. Neither the questions posed not the content replied has been out of the unusual framework permitted in the media. It was concentrating on women's rights' was Mr. Momeni's comments n his daughters charges.

"I believe Iranian officials have to face the issue concerning women's rights one day.
There is a lot to be defended here. Is it right to imprison some one for talking about his rights and the rights of his kind? Women's right is not a political issue. It has nothing to do with regime change! It is not a political issue" expressed Mr. Momeni emphasizing on her daughters principles on civil rights.

" I am ashamed of this situation and that I live in this country under these conditions. I have served this country for years. It is 10 am and I still am engaged on Esha's situation. Her mother is in a wreck. Is there no justice?' exclaimed Mr. Momeni.

As Mr. Momeni highlights the effect of Esha's arrest on other people around them he says "The effect has been simply this: I and many of my colleagues have opened a new interest on the issue concerning women. Women's issues are not to be dodged. Imagine a lady having married a madman. And later when she wishes to divorce the madman, who would support her? It would be practically impossible for her to divorce the Guy.! So it turns out that, if my daughter has such concerns she has to go to prison! My daughter had a good life in the US, but her hear beats with Iran and her fellow Iranians and their problems. Is it fair to treat her like this? If someone tries to produce a University documentary about social problems so that even government officially could use to develop the issues, should she be arrested? This kind of research would have to finally be done at the expense of the government, while she is doing it now foe them.'

Esha's father asks; "why should anyone be arrested for having a camera? She was not loose in public places taking photos. On the contrary, she had taken shots of people with a prior agreement. Why is there no comprehension of charges before any one is arrested without notice in this country? My daughter has not committed any crime to be imprisoned for it. I had no intention of talking to the media, because I was hopeful that officials would realize the misunderstanding and release my daughter. But unfortunately this is what happens" you are suddenly faced with a sudden search and confiscation of your belongings! My daughter lives with her parents. Why have they poured into our house with no notification and searched our house? My wife was seriously hurt in the raid and my other daughter had to leave school for a couple of days for the shock she received. Is this how they should treat citizens whose hear beats for the sake of their country's well fare? We have under gone a revolution in our country and it is time that things follow legal procedures here. They surge some one while he is driving then it turns out that they are themselves members of the security forces. If the case is judicial, then they should summon her for the court. The normal legal procedure of questioning and self defense in the court would guarantee that both sides have had their rights preserved.

Mr. Momeni while expressing deep concern of his daughter's well being in solitary confinement said "Any statement made by my daughter in solitary confinement is void of any credibility. Talking under stress and fear has no validity. Mr. Ahmadinejad who claims to defend Freedom, had gone to the US and spoke out. Did his reflections hurt the US? On the contrary, everyone praises the US democracy. Now my daughter has interviewed a couple of civil right activists as a researcher, but she is sent to prison. Is there any justice in this? Where is justice?

Mr. Momeni stressed that her daughters concerns are his and said: We should re think over women's issues. They should talk to spiritual leaders here and solve the problems.
It is not right to allow all rights for men and none for women. My daughter is saying the same thing. What I leaned from my daughters arrest is that our government should take women's issues seriously. It is nit a good idea to imprison the one who is trying to point to shortcomings that have to be looked over. This is not good for the Islamic Republics image! Where is Islamic justice?

Esha Momeni, producer and photographer, student activist on women's issues and a volunteer of the 1 million signature campaign. She was arrested in Modaress highway on 15 October by the camouflaged police. She was illegally arrested. Her car was stopped for speed, but she was transferred to 209 Evin prison ward. Before she was arrested, her house was searched and her belongings had been confiscated, which included her computer, the films she had recorded for her theses.

Her parents approached the Court to clarify her situation after 5 days. They were told not to approach the court any more until her interrogations are over.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, declared Esha's arrest illegal. Mr. Dadkhah officially declared in the "Equality" Internet site, that she is representing the Momeni family for Esha. "As far as I have been told by the family, Eshas arrest has been for filming for a University thesis. According to article 23 f the Constitution, photography and taking film of public places which are not listed as illegal does not constitute a crime and therefore is subject to inquiry prior to any attempt for guilt. The aforementioned films had been taken in homes of the subjects interviewed, which does not fit the category of public places and buildings.

Being a member of the Human rights society, Mr.Dadkhah said; "Iran has accepted the general framework of the Human Rights charter. Article 27 of this Charter reiterates that no government can, under the pretext of respecting its own rules, undermine internationally respected rules. According to basic civil rights mentioned in the charter, and article 3 of Nations rights in the constitution, guarantees individual freedoms of citizens. Therefore this arrest is illegal and in violation of all international covenants" .

Hassan Ghashgaii, spokesman for Foreign affairs said in a press conference, on Monday 27 October 2008; "Institutions concerning this issue are following up the persons arrest, the foreign office has not yet received any news of the investigation so far."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

9 years prison sentence for two Isfahan University students

Jamal Rahmani of the industry faculty and Rashed Abdollahi of the political science faculty of Isfahan University were arrested on 12 June 2008 by the security guards in Isfahan. They were first taken to Kermanshah security centre and later transferred to Sanandaj prison centre (Situated in the western Kurdish region of Iran).

They have been put on trial by Judge "Tiary" and charged for having contacts with Kurdish opposition groups.

Kamal Rahmani has been sentenced to 6 years conditional imprisonment and exile to Izeh prison in a small village.

Mr.Abdollahi has also been sentenced to exile, but in a separate district of Masjid Soleiman, along with 3 years conditional imprisonment.

Relatives to the two students have reported that both have been subjected to torture and psychological pressure while under interrogation.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

17 years imprisonment for ceremony

According to Amirkabir news site, political activist, Mr. Mohammad Ali Mansouri has been sentence 17 years prison and exile to Gohardasht prison, for having participated in a ceremony marking the great massacre of more than 5000 political prisoners in 1988 by Khomeini's orders.

Mr. Mansouri was arrested in September 2007, at his home. This arrest was only three days after the memorial held in remembrance of the massacred political prisoners. In the attack, his belongings were confiscated, his house searched and Mr. Mansoori was scuffled and transferred to the notorious 209 solitary confinement.

It is unclear, how ever, why the Intelligence Ministry has removed the first applied charges against him, which entailed his participation in the mentioned memorial services, and later charged under other pretexts.

During the six month of his detention, Mr. Mansouri had spent four months in the notorious 209 Evin section and in solitary confinement. According to family members and eyewitnesses he has been subjected to violence during his detention.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Concerns over situation of Al Alam sacked journalist

Mohammad Hassan Falahi Zade, former journalist working in Al Alam TV channel, has gone on hunger strike. He was said to have been dismissed for refusing to work with the Intelligence Ministry agents at work and hence sacked, and later arrested.

Prisoners rights group; Activists in support of Human Rights and Democracy, has reported that Mr. Falahi Zadeh has been protesting against ethnic prejudice used against him has been demanding for his basic rights.

Considering his blood disorder and also previous cases of political prisoners murdered under various pretexts while on hunger strike, such as Akbar Mohammadi and Valiollah Feiz Mahdavi , activists are extremely worried of Mr. Falahie Zades situation.

On his second day of hunger strike, Mr. Falahi Zade was summoned to prison security and threatened by a known " Koorgal".

Mr.Falahi Zade is demanding for his basic rights such as, the right to council, the right to defense and clarification of his charges and an end to psychological torture.

According to reports released by Activists in support for Human Rights and Democracy, Mr. Falahi Zade had revealed news on execution of those charged with bombing attacks in Southern Iran in an interview with Dubai TV and various other Arab media.

Mr. Falahi Zade was arrested on 1 November 2006, transferred to Evin prison and under went White torture. His trial was only a few minutes in which he was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment along with 30 thousand dollars for compensation.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baghi is freed

The one year prison sentence of Emadeddin Baghi, a renown Human Right activist has officially terminated .

Mr. Baghi approached the First Branch of the prosecutor on 14 October 2007, to account for his accusations regarding activities in defense of freedom of press, when he was arrested.

He had protested his deteriorating conditions in the 209 Evin sections, where he was kept in complete isolation by the Intelligence Ministry. He suffered two heart attacks and was transferred to public ward and later to Hospital and eventually was allowed temporary leave for his health conditions.

During his leaf, Mr.Baghi was interrogated 5 times, for which he was transferred to and from Evin. Despite his Doctors' prescription which emphasized on his deteriorating heart condition and suggested a peaceful atmosphere for his recovery, he was again transferred to solitary confinement in 209 Evin. This prompted much protest.

His wife, in the meantime printed an open letter addressed to the Public prosecutor, protesting to 24 restrictions imposed on his husband. In this letter she had also pointed out that Mr. Baghis' family members were also called by the prosecutors' office at least 77 times during his detention.
Although confiding prisoners strictly to solitary confinement and blindfolding them are supposedly illegal, Mr. Baghi had claimed, he was not allowed to leave his cell for 4 days, not even for the bathroom, which lead to severe kidney disorders later on.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Osanlou's transfere to Rajaii prison: He talks

Parvaneh, spouse to Osanlou, a prominent leader of the independent Transport Syndicate of Tehran and the suburbs, has said her husband is in prison because he has been striving for the rights of workers within Iran's legal framework.

Parvaneh's interview has appeared in the "Shahregan" site.

"here eyes all filled with stress and anxiety, as she speaks of her husbands heart problems or the recent stitches of his eyes. She tries very hard to hide her troubled mind but her trembling voice gives way to her stressful life.

She complains of Iranian official conduct which contradicts the Iranian President's comments in New York, while he had told a reporter that in Iran, prisoners are trialed with presence of their attorney and have a fair and open trial.

As far as she is concerned, her husband has never had these advantages.

She is aware of the "Right to have Leave" for prisoners, but is puzzled as to why her husband has never been allowed to leave the prison , during the last painful 25 months, even for his heart problems and medical care, let alone for any "Leave".

Parvaneh speaks with much complaint, as she explains how her husband was harassed and handcuffed, when he was being taken to hospital once, for a heart failure, and tears run down her worrisome eyes.

Shahregan reporter: Mrs. Osanlou, according to information received your husband was taken to hospital in hand cuffs and chains?

Mrs.Osanlou: Yes! After several months of delay they finally allowed my husband to be visited in LabfiNejad hospital on 21 September. The way he was transferred was shocking in hand cuffs and chains. Seeing this only caused more pain. One of his stitches had gone bad and apparently his blood pressure was exceptionally high (it had reached nearly 14). Drs prescribed new medication for his heart and looked over his stitches.

Shahregan reporter: What did the Doctors say about his condition?

Mrs.Osanlou: They emphasized Mansour should be under treatment and his conditions to be controlled and checked. It seems that two of his arteries are blocked and to treat this situation he has to be kept in a hygiene and peaceful atmosphere. One of the Drs. had also written a letter to prison officials, highlighting the fact that handcuffs and chains and so forth will cause much stress and should not be used on this patient.

Shahregan reporter: Mrs. Osanlou, how have officials in charge of this case, explained this transfer?

Mrs.Osanlou: I along with his mother and sister approached the judge responsible for his case on 25 August. He claimed he knew nothing of the situation but would follow it up. The next day we approached the judge and after several hours of waiting finally were received. He said the decision had been taken by the Security Council of Tehran and Prison Organizations, and the only reason is that Mr. Osanlou "Talks". I replied "any living man "talks". When you hold some one in prison, his reaction to talk and release his stress or even protest, is very natural".

Shahregan reporter: You are defiant to Mr.Osanlous transfer to Rajaii Shahr prison and seek his hospitalization. Could you tall us about his conditions in that prison?

Mrs.Osanlou: Osanlou should never, under any conditions be kept there. Firstly, he should not be held in the non political ward. He should be kept in the political wing, even if he is to be imprisoned. At the moment, we are worried at all times, (because f the threats posed to political prisoners moved to these wards). Our life is shattered. For example fo reach call, he has to wait in a long queue (with his conditions) and finally when his turn comes, we are never able to confer with him all the problems and hazards.

On the other hand the atmosphere and environment of that prison is in sharp contrast to conditions necessary for his treatment. As my husband had said several times, the inmates in that ward often have knife fights and the place is very dangerous. Most people smoke and there is no ventilation. It is practically airless. Apart from the conditions, apparently from two in the afternoon onwards, they are not allowed to have fresh air. Smoke and stress is the worst thing for Mansour's heart and eye conditions.