AI Index: MDE 13/089/2008


27 June 2008

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


Mahboubeh Karami (f), aged 40, journalist and women’s rights defender

and about 200 others

Mahboubeh Karami is currently held in the women’s section of Evin Prison in Tehran. According to women's rights organization, the Campaign for Equality ( Mahboubeh telephoned her mother, Sedigheh Mosa’ebi, on 25 June. She told her mother that she had been transferred from Section 209 of the Prison (run by the Ministry of Intelligence) to the women’s section, and was held in a cell with about 25 other women arrested on the same day.

According to her mother, Mahboubeh Karami, a member of the Campaign for Equality, said that about 90 women had been 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 the mass arrests, but they had been ill-treated by security officers and arrested. Some of the women had been freed, while bail sums had been set for others. Mahboubeh Karami told her mother that there had been no decision about her own case. She said that all the women arrested had been accused of “acting against national security”.

In an interview carried by the Iranian website on women's issues, Feminist School, dated 21 June, Sedigheh Mosa’ebi said that her daughter had called her twice since her arrest. The first time, Mahboubeh Karami had enquired about an operation her mother had undergone; the second time, she had said that she was being interrogated about her activities on behalf of the Campaign for Equality. Sedigheh Mosa’ebi went to Evin Prison to try to find out news about her daughter, and was eventually told that she was being held in Section 209.

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. At another demonstration in Mashhad, over at least 230 people were reportedly arrested. Their fate is unknown. On 27 June, a human rights group, Human Rights Activists in Iran, reported that up to 80 women aged between 16 and 60, who had been arrested in the aftermath of the demonstration in Mellat Park, were still being held.


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