Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence has Sa'id Metinpour in custody. He has been a victim of torture, his health is fragile and his rights to judicial and medical assistance have been denied.
AI Index: MDE 13/106/2007
23 August 2007
Further Information on UA 137/07 (MDE 13/068/2007, 7 June 2007)
Fear of torture or ill-treatment/ Possible prisoner of conscience
Sa'id Metinpour (m), journalist, Azerbaijani cultural rights activist
Sa’id Metinpour is now known to be held in Section 209 of Evin prison in Tehran, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence. He has reportedly been tortured, apparently to try to force him to make a videotaped “confession”. He is believed to be held mainly in solitary confinement. According to other detainees, his health is poor as a result of the treatment he has suffered.
He was arrested on 25 May in the north-western city of Zenjan. Amnesty International believes that he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of his peaceful activities on behalf of the Iranian Azerbaijani community. He has not been allowed to meet his family or his lawyer, and his sole contact with the outside world has been a few extremely brief telephone calls to his family.
Prior his arrest in May, Sa’id Metinpour had been detained in February 2007 and held for 10 days in connection with his participation in peaceful demonstrations marking International Mother Language Day, an annual event initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on 21 February.
Iranian Azerbaijanis demonstrated throughout May 2007 to mark the first anniversary of protests during which the security forces reportedly killed up to 19 people and arrested hundreds. The May 2006 protests were organised against the publication in a national newspaper of a cartoon which was offensive to many Iranian Azerbaijanis.