PUBLIC
AI Index: MDE 13/097/2008
UPDATE
25 July 2008

Further Information on UA 169/08 (MDE 13/084/2008, 17 June 2008 and Follow up MDE 13/089/2008, 27 June 2008) Arbitrary arrest / Fear of torture or ill-treatment

IRAN

Mahboubeh Karami (f), aged 40, journalist and women’s rights defender
And about 200 others

Mahboubeh Karami has been held in Evin Prison in Tehran since 13 June. Bail of 1,000 billion rials (approximately US$110,000) was set on 12 July, but her family have been unable to raise such a large amount.

Mahboubeh Karami’s mother, Sedigheh Mosa’ebi, said that her daughter had told her by telephone on 25 June that about 90 women were arrested on 13 June, most of whom, like her, had nothing to do with the demonstration in Mellat Park which had been the trigger for mass arrests, and that those arrested had been ill-treated by security officers.

On 6 July, Mahboubeh Karami and nine other women who were arrested at the same time began a hunger strike in protest at their continued detention without charge or trial and the lack of facilities in prison. This hunger strike has ended, and all the women are reported to have been released, with the exception of Mahboubeh Karami.

On 21 July, her lawyer had still not been allowed to see her file, but he had heard from judicial officials that it might be possible to reduce the bail amount, or for it to be changed to some other form of guarantee. Mahboubeh Karami has spoken briefly with her lawyer by telephone.

Those demonstrating in Mellat Park were protesting about the arrest on 11 June of Abbas Palizdar, who had accused several senior Iranian officials of financial corruption in speeches he made at universities in Hamedan and Shiraz in May. He had been involved in a parliamentary Judicial Inquiry and Review Committee that had conducted an investigation into affairs of the judiciary.

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