On the second anniversary of Akbar Mohammadi's murder by the Islamic Regime, I'd like to take this time to remember him and to send my love and respect to his family. Akbar Mohammadi, his strength and courage will never be forgotten. Long Live his memory...
A number of political prisoners in Iran have written a statement for this occasion. The statement was published by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran and translated by me.
Statement of Number of Political Prisoners in Memory of Akbar Mohammadi on the Second Anniversary of His Murder:
In the Name of the Creator of Freedom,
Two years has passed since the murder of our cell mate and comrade, long live his memory Akbar Mohammadi. He who said no to dictatorship and yes to freedom and had to pay the price of his beliefs with his life.
He thought us that even when the brutal dictators want to bring everything to a deadlock and make life a living hell, the innocent lives of men and women that is lost on the road to freedom can break that deadlock.
The dictators of the Regime thought by removing the physical presence of young freedom fighters, they would be able to keep the Iranian people captive. However today we see that the blood of Akbar, Valliallah, Hebat and thousands of other freedom fighters is still boiling and surging.
Their blood runs in the veins of university students who are singing songs of freedom, their blood runs in the veins of workers who are protesting and asking for justice all over Iran, their blood runs in the veins of women who are fighting for equal rights, their blood runs in the veins of young people asking for freedom all over Iran.
But the dictator Mullah’s frustrated by the battle and strength of students, women, youth and workers, and trying to keep their unwanted hold on the society are swimming in the blood of young Iranians.
Akbar was an individual who when dictators increased the pressure on him in order to make him surrender, he went on a hunger strike instead. When the dictators realized they were not going to accomplish their goal of beating him they killed him.
Two years has passed since the murder of Akbar Mohammadi, long live his memory, however there has been no justice and those responsible for his murder have not been brought to Justice.
We, a number of political prisoners in Iran honour long live his memory Akbar Mohammadi on the second anniversary of his murder. We urge the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon to create a special commission to investigate the murder of Akbar Mohammadi and to bring those responsible to justice.
Number of Political Prisoners in Iran
July 28th 2008
1. Amir Hossein Heshmat Saran
2. Arjang Davoudi
3. Afshin Baymani
4. Behrouz Javid Tehrani
5. Saleh Kohandel
6. Mansour Radpour
7. Hamid Banazadeh
8. Asghar Banazadeh
9. Shahla Zarin Far
10. Shahnaz Kipour
11. Azadeh Gerayi
12. Alijan Gerayi
13. Mohsen Gerayi
14. Mostafa Alavi
15. Alireza Karimi Kheyrabadi
16. Karim Marouf Aziz
17. Arkan Goltekin
18. Saber Mamdy
19. Rafigh Amuzade
20. Ahmad Yousefi
21. Nader Yousefi
22. Reza Moghadam
23. Karim Ghaderi
24. Kaveh Mdafar
25. Taleghan Jalibaghu
26. Saeed Sangar
27. Mohammad Nikbakht
28. Babak Dadbakhsh
29. Naser Khyrollahi
Published by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
tel. : 0031620720193
Below is President George Bush's speech on "The Freedom Agenda" Maouchehr Mohammadi one of the most prominent pro-democracy Iranian activists was present and was able to meet Mr. President Bush briefly. You can also watch the video by clicking on the orginal link.
Remarks by President George W. Bush
On The Freedom Agenda
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
July 24, 2008
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please be seated. Henrietta, thank you for the kind introduction. I am honored to join you all today to express America's solidarity with those who yearn for liberty around the world.
Captive Nations Week was first observed in 1959, at a time when Soviet Communism seemed ascendant. Few people at that first gathering could have envisioned then what the -- that the Cold War would end the way it did -- with the triumph of the shipyard workers in Poland, a Velvet Revolution in Prague, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union. Captive Nations Week is a chance for us to reflect on that remarkable history, and to honor the brave dissidents and democracy activists who helped secure freedom's victory in the great ideological struggle of the 20th century.
Captive Nation Week is also a chance to reflect on the challenges we face in the 21st century -- the challenge of the new ideological struggle against violent extremism. In this struggle, we can go forward with confidence -- free nations have faced determined enemies before and have prevailed, and we will prevail again.
I appreciate your leadership of USAID, Henrietta; and I want to thank all those who work for this very important Agency. I appreciate you being on the front lines of compassion and decency and liberty.
I'm honored to be here with the Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez. The Cuban dissidents have no better friend than Carlos Gutierrez. Think about America -- Carlos was raised, born in Cuba. Today he sits in the Cabinet of the President of the United States. I love what our country represents. And Carlos, I thank you for serving.
I'm proud to be here with Ambassador John Negroponte. He's the Deputy Secretary of the Department of State. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon England, is with us. Ambassador Mark Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. Thanks for coming, Mark. Other members of the administration -- a lot of members from the Diplomatic Corps. Thank you for coming. I'm proud to be in your presence.
I believe America is the hope for the world because we are a nation that stands strongly for freedom. We believe every man, woman, and child is given the gift of liberty by our Creator. That's a fundamental belief of the United States. This cherished belief has guided our leaders from America's earliest days.
We see this belief in George Washington's assertion that freedom's cause, as he put it, the cause is "the cause of mankind."
We see it in Lincoln's summoning of "the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere."
We see it in Wilson's pledge to make the world "safe for democracy" in World War I, and FDR's determination to make America "the arsenal of democracy" in World War II.
We see it in Kennedy's promise to "pay any price ¼ to assure the survival and success of liberty," and Ronald Reagan's call to "move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny."
Over the years, different Presidents, from different eras, and different political parties, have acted to defend and advance the cause of liberty. These actions included bold policies such as the Lend-Lease Act, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, the creation of NATO and the Voice of America, support for freedom fighters in Central America, and the liberation of Grenada and Panama. And because we were steadfast in liberty's defense, the cause of freedom prevailed.
At the dawn of a new century, our belief in the universality of freedom is being challenged once again. We saw the challenge on September the 11th, 2001. On that day terrorists, harbored by a tyrannical regime thousands of miles from America, brought death and destruction to our shores. We learned important lessons: To protect America, we must fight the enemy abroad so we don't have to face them here at home. And to protect America, we must defeat the ideology of hatred by spreading the hope of freedom.
Over the past seven years, this is exactly what we have done. Since 9/11, we recognized that we're at war and we must stop new attacks before they happen -- not wait until after they happen. So we're giving our intelligence and law enforcement and homeland security professionals the tools they need to stop terrorists before they strike again. We're transforming our military to meet the threats of a new century. We're putting pressure on the enemy. We've captured or killed thousands of terrorists -- including most of those responsible for the September the 11th attacks. We've removed regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq that threatened our citizens and the peace in the world. And now we're helping the people of those two nations fight the terrorists who want to establish new safe havens from which to launch attacks on America and our friends.
In the long run, though, the best way to defeat the terrorists is to offer a hopeful alternative to their murderous ideology -- and that alternative is based on human liberty. We've seen a hopeful beginning for the cause of liberty at the start of the 21st century. Over the last seven years, we've seen the citizens in Afghanistan and Iraq emerge from tyranny to establish representative governments. We've seen citizens in Georgia and Ukraine stand up for their right to free and fair elections. We've seen people in Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. We've seen strides toward democracy taken by nations such as Kuwait and Liberia, Mauritania and Morocco, and Pakistan.
It's in our national interest to continue liberty's advance -- because we know from history that the advance of freedom is necessary for our security and for world peace. Just think about World War II. During that conflict Japan and Germany were enemies of America who invaded their neighbors and destabilized the world. And today, Japan and Germany are strong democracies and good friends and strong allies in the cause of peace.
During the Cold War, the nations of Central and Eastern Europe were part of the Warsaw Pact alliance that was poised to attack Western Europe. Today, most of those nations are members of the NATO alliance, who are using their freedom to aid the rise of other young democracies. In these experiences, we have seen the transformative power of freedom. We've seen that free societies don't harbor terrorists, or launch unprovoked attacks on their neighbors. Free societies are peaceful societies. And that is why the United States of America must continue to cause -- to lead the cause of freedom.
Over the past seven years, we've learned that leading the cause of freedom requires combating hopelessness in struggling nations. Combating hopelessness is in America's security interests, because the only way our enemies can recruit people to their dark ideology is to exploit distress and despair. Combating hopelessness is in our moral interests -- Americans believe that to whom much is given, much is required. So the challenge for America in the years ahead is to continue to help people in struggling nations achieve freedom from corruption, freedom from disease, freedom from poverty, freedom from hunger and freedom from tyranny.
In the years ahead America must continue to use our foreign assistance to promote democracy and good government. Increased aid alone will not help nations overcome institutional challenges that hold entire societies back. To be effective, our aid must be targeted to encourage the development of free and accountable institutions.
In the past seven years we've more than doubled the federal budget for democracy and governance and human rights programs. We've increased the budget for the National Endowment of Democracy by more than 150 percent since 2001. We've transformed the way we deliver aid by creating the Millennium Challenge Account, which is a new approach to foreign assistance, which offers support to developing nations that fight corruption, and govern justly, and open their economies, and invest in the health and education of their people. The challenge for future presidents and future Congresses will be to ensure that America's generosity remains tied to the promotion of transparency and accountability and prosperity.
In the years ahead, America must continue to promote free trade and open investment. Over the long term, trade and investment are the best ways to fight poverty and build strong and prosperous societies. Over the past seven years, we expanded the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is spreading prosperity by dramatically increasing trade between the United States and Africa; implemented free trade agreements with 11 countries, creating hope and opportunity for both our citizens and the citizens of these nations. We're striving to make this the year that the world completes an ambitious Doha trade agreement -- will open up new markets for Americans' goods and services and help alleviate poverty around the world. The challenge for future presidents and future Congresses is to reject the false temptation of protectionism and keep the world open for trade.
In the years ahead, America must continue to fight against disease. Nations afflicted with debilitating public health crises cannot build strong and prosperous societies for their citizens. America is helping these nations replace disease and despair with healing and hope. We're working in 15 African nations to cut the number of malaria-related deaths in half. Our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, is supporting the treatment of more than 1.7 million people. And Congress will soon pass legislation to significantly expand this vital initiative. We're expanding our efforts to train health workers for the poorest countries, to treat key neglected tropical diseases such as river blindness and hookworm. The challenge for future presidents and future Congresses will be to continue this commitment, so that we can lift the shadow of malaria and HIV/AIDS and other diseases once and for all.
In the years ahead, America must continue to lead the fight against global hunger. Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug once said: "You can't build peace on empty stomachs." Americans are answering the call to feed the hungry. This year, the United States has provided more than $1.8 billion in new funds to bolster global food security. We're the world's largest provider of food aid. I strongly believe we must transform the way that our food aid is delivered. One innovative proposal is to purchase up to 25 percent of our food assistance directly from farmers in developing world. This would help build up local agriculture; it will help break the cycle of famine. And I ask the United States Congress to approve this measure as soon as possible. The challenge for future presidents and future Congresses will be to find still other innovative ways to alleviate hunger while promoting greater self-reliance in developing nations.
In the years ahead, America must continue to lead the cause of human rights. The Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik once compared a tyrannical state to a soldier who holds a rifle on his enemy, until his arms finally tire and the prisoner escapes. It's important we never strengthen the arms. The role of free nations like ours is to put pressure on the arms of the world's tyrants and strengthen the prisoners who are striving for their liberty.
Over the past seven years, we've spoken out against human rights abuses by tyrannical regimes like those in Iran, Sudan, and Syria and Zimbabwe. We've spoken candidly about human rights with nations with whom we've got good relations, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia and China. In keeping with this commitment, today I renew my call for the release of all prisoners of conscience around the world -- including Ayman Nour of Egypt, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Oscar Biscet of Cuba, Riad Seif of Syria.
To ensure our government continues to speak out for those who have no other voice, I recently issued a directive instructing all senior U.S. officials serving in undemocratic countries to maintain regular contact with political dissidents and democracy activists. The challenge for future presidents and future Congresses is to ensure that America always stands with those seeking freedom -- and never hesitates to shine the light of conscience on abuses of human rights across the world.
As Henrietta mentioned, with us today are individuals who suffered terribly in the cause of freedom, and whose stories inspire our country, and their examples of resilience and resolve should give us courage. I'm not going to mention all the ones I met, but I'd like to make -– mention some.
First, we stand with Blanca Gonzalez. Her son, Normando Hernandez Gonzalez, remains in Castro's gulag for speaking the truth about the Cuban regime. Bienvenidos. (Applause.)
We stand with Olga Kozulina. Her father, Alexander Kozulin, remains in prison in Belarus for the "crime" of running for President. Welcome. (Applause.)
We stand with Manouchehr Mohammedi. Both he and his brother were viciously tortured by the Iranian authorities. He was the only one who survived and escaped. Welcome to America. (Applause.)
We stand with Cho Jin Hae, who witnessed several of her family members starve to death in North Korea. She herself was tortured by the communist authorities. (Applause.)
Thank you all for coming. I thank the others who took time out of their day to meet me, as well. I appreciate your testament to the universal desire for freedom.
This morning, I have a message for all those throughout the world who languish in tyranny: I know there are moments when it feels like you're alone in your struggle. And you're not alone. America hears you. Millions of our citizens stand with you, and hope still lives -- even in bleak places and in dark moments.
Even now, change is stirring in places like Havana and Damascus and Tehran. The people of these nations dream of a free future, hope for a free future, and believe that a free future will come. And it will. May God be with them in their struggle. America always will be.
Thank you for letting me come by, and may God bless you all. (Applause.)
Farhad Hajmirzayi who is a children’s rights activist( in particular focusing on street children) in the city of Sanandaj was arrested on January 2nd 2008 while he was at the dentists office, and his family was unaware of his whereabouts for 3 months.
At the same time I Mehieldin Hajmirzayi (75 years old), Farhad’s father was arrested and detained for 48 hours. I was detained under the most brutal conditions in an extremely cold cell.
According to what I have heard Farhad was also detained under the most brutal conditions and was subjected to the most inhumane types of torture. His liver has been damaged as a result of torture, as well his eye has been damaged due to beatings and torture which has led to internal bleeding of the eye.
Farhad was imprisoned in the Evin Prison for 6 months without access to his lawyer. His lawyer who is Mr. Ramezan Haji Mashadi (According to designation and lawyer appointment documents) has not been able to see Farhad or work on his case yet.
Torture is contrary to the Iranian Constitution as well as human rights statutes in Iran. We request the immediate release of Farhad Hajmirzayi. We further request the presence of Mr. Hajmirzayi’s lawyer in court as well as permission for him to have access to Mr. Hajmirzayi’s file for the purposes of preparing a defence. We also request that Farhad Hajmirzayi be tried in an open court before a jury according to Section 168 of the Iranian Constitution.
Mr. Hajmirzayi has been charged with communication with communist groups outside of Iran as well as general communication with outside groups (outside of Iran). We deny these charges and reiterate that Mr. Hajmirzayi i a children’s rights activist and his beliefs and activities have always been honourable.
We urge Ms. Louise Arbour, United Nations-Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the United Nations and international human rights organizations to help our family and take immediate steps to help free our son Farhad Hajmirzayi.
July 28th 2009
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
29th July 2008
tel. : 0031620720193
According to news received from the Youth Ward (ward 4 section 12) of the Gohardasht Prison Mr. Mosib Shariat was transferred to solitary cells on Monday July 28th 2008 to wait his execution.
It is very difficult to have communication from this ward to get any news. There are about 100 prisoners in this section, many of them are under 18 years or were under 18 years when committing the crimes they are charged with. Many of these young individuals have been sentenced to death.
Mr. Mosib Sharif was born in 1986 and has been imprisoned for a very long time. He has been convicted of getting into a physical altercation with the Basij Army members and has been sentenced to death.
The names of number of prisoners who were hanged on Sunday Jul 27th 2008 include:
1. Bagher- Ward 6, Section 2- Gohardasht Karaj Prison
2. Nayati- Ward 5, section 2- Gohardasht Karaj Prison
3. Sami- Section 2- Gohardasht Karaj Prison
4. Kahani- Ward 6, Section 2- Gohardasht Karaj Prison
5. Ali Mazlum- Ward 4-Gohardasht Karaj Prison
6. Reza Soltani-Ward 6- Gohardasht Karaj Prison
There has been further news that a 22 years old prisoner named yaser Kiyani who has been imprisoned for the past 3 years in Section 4 of the Central Esfehan Prison has been transferred to solitary cells to await execution.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in \Iran condemn the mass executions carried out by the Islamic Regime and urge all human rights organizations to take immediate steps to help stop the mass executions in Iran.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
28th July 2008
tel. : 0031620720193
Transfer of Farzad Kamangar to the Evin Prison, Transfer of 10 Prisoners in Rajaishahr Prison to Solitary Cells to Await Execution:0 comments - published on Sunday, July 27, 2008
According to news received from Section 5 of the Gohardasht Prison, this afternoon Mr. Farzad Kamangar (a political prisoner sentenced to death) was transferred to the Evin Prison.
Transfer of Mr. Kamangar which comes at the same time as the recent mass executions at the Gohardasht Prison has caused great worry and concern among political and non political prisoners.
Also today about 10 prisoners were transferred to solitary cells in Gohardasht Prison to await their execution. One of these prisoners is Mr. Mohammad Namdari (31 years old) from Section 6 of the Gohardasht Prison.
The prisoners from Section 6 of the Gohardasht Prison who were executed today are Mr. Alli Mazlum who had been imprisoned for 10 years and Reza Soltani who had been imprisoned for 5 years.
Further according to news received from Ward 1 section 2 of the Central Esfehan Prison, Mr. Mahmoud Mehrabi (24 years old) was transferred to solitary confinement to await his execution.
It should be noted that barbaric practices such as stoning, execution of political prisoners and cutting off body parts must be carried out under the order of and with the Signature of an individual called Shahroudi who is the head of Office of Prosecution. These types of barbaric punishments are against international law and can be seen as crimes against humanity. Those responsible for these crimes must be held responsible by the international community for the crimes they have commited.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran condemn the mass executions which took place in Gohardasht Prison today. Further Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran urge the international community to take this Regime’s human rights violations before the Security Council of the United Nations.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
27th July 2008
tel. : 0031620720193
AI Index: MDE 13/100/2008
25 July 2008
Further Information on UA 146/08 (MDE 13/074/2008, 30 May 2008) and follow-up (MDE 13/082/2008, 12 June 2008) Imminent execution / Legal concern
Mohammad Feda’i (m), aged 21, juvenile offender
The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, has granted juvenile offender Mohammad Feda'i a further one-month stay of execution, to allow further negotiations to take place between his family and relatives of the boy he was convicted of killing. The families are negotiating over the payment of diyeh, or financial compensation, in exchange for a pardon. Mohammad Feda'i is now facing execution on or around 12 August.
Iran is a state party to international treaties including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which expressly prohibit the execution of those below the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the offence.
Mohammad Feda’i was sentenced to death for the murder of a boy named Said during a fight. The crime was committed in 2004, when Mohammad Feda'i was 17 years old. The five judges who sentenced him acknowledged that he had not been adequately represented at his trial, as his first legal representative was not an accredited lawyer, and two lawyers hired later had only submitted one written defence statement to the court during his trial. Nevertheless, the death sentence against Mohammad Feda’i was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Mohammad Feda’i had been due to be executed on 18 April 2007. However, the execution was stayed on the basis of the inadequate legal representation during his trial. A subsequent request to the Attorney General for a retrial was rejected, and a new execution date was set for 11 June 2008. He received a second reprieve the day before his scheduled execution to allow talks between his relatives and Said's family over diyeh.
AI Index: MDE 13/099/2008
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
25 July 2008
Further Information on UA 263/07 (MDE 13/116/2007, 16 October 2007) and follow-ups (MDE 13/146/2007, 11 December 2007; MDE 13/152/2007, 21 December 2007) - Death penalty / Fear of imminent execution / Unfair trial concern
Ali Mahin Torabi (m), aged about 21, juvenile offender
Following a review ordered by the head of Iran's judiciary, Ali Mahin Torabi’s death sentence has been quashed and he will be retried.
Ali Mahin Torabi was convicted of a murder committed when he was 16 years old. He was detained on 3 February 2003 in connection with a playground fight which resulted in the fatal stabbing of a schoolmate named Mazdak Khodadian. At the time, Ali Mahin Torabi repeatedly stated that he had not intended to stab Mazdak Khodadian, and only realized that the latter was injured when he heard shouting from children who had gathered around them. Ali Mahin Torabi was sentenced to qesas (retribution) on 8 February 2003.
Ali Mahin Torabi's lawyer has repeatedly drawn attention to the lack of clarity and doubts surrounding the events leading to the death of Mazdak Khodadian, noting for example that the coroner reported that the dead boy's injuries did not seem to have been inflicted intentionally.
In December 2007, the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, ordered a review of the case. On 25 July, he announced that he had quashed the verdict of qesas (retribution). Ali Mahin Torabi's case has been passed to the judiciary in Tehran for retrial.
AI Index: MDE13/098/2008
25 July 2008
Further Information on 271/07 (MDE/124/2007, 23 October 2007) Death Penalty / Fear of Imminent Execution
Soghra Najafpour (f), aged 31
Soghra Najafpour has been sentenced to death, for the second time, for a murder which took place when she was only 13 years old. She is in prison in the northern city of Rasht, where she has spent most of the last 19 years.
Soghra Najafpour was released on bail of 600 million Iranian rials (almost US$66,000) on 1 October 2007. She returned to prison later that month to comply with a summons which followed a new demand by the family of the murder victim for her execution to be carried out after they heard of her release.
On 23 October 2007, Soghra Najafpour's lawyer petitioned the Office of the Head of the Judiciary to reinvestigate her case on account of serious flaws, following which her sentence of qesas (retribution) was overturned by the Supreme Court. The case was sent back for retrial in another branch of the General Court in Rasht. At the second trial, she was again found guilty and sentenced to qesas and remains at risk of execution.
At the age of nine, Soghra Najafpour was sent by her family to work as a servant in a doctor's home in the city of Rasht. After Soghra Najafpour had been working for the family for four years, the eight-year-old son of the family went missing. She was accused of the boy's murder when his body was found in a well a few days later. Soghra Najafpour initially denied the murder, but after repeated interrogation, confessed to committing it. Her confession was taken as proof of her guilt and she was sentenced to qesas.
In Soghra Najafpour's appeal against her sentence she wrote, “I didn't kill the eight-year-old boy, but I know who killed him and because of his request, I had to be silent. He had promised to get the victim’s mother to forgive me and to save me.” She added, “When I was nine, I was raped, and with the threats I received, I was forced to be silent, and on the day of the accident, I had a storeroom to clean and the same man who abused me came looking for me, and the boy, who was playing, came into the storeroom all of a sudden and saw me being abused. That man threw the boy against the wall and, in one instant, his head hit the wall and he lost consciousness. I couldn't move the boy’s corpse, but that man wanted me to throw the body in the well.”
Her appeal was rejected and following a medical examination, Soghra Najafpour also received a sentence of flogging for fornication, despite her claim to have been raped. The man she had claimed was her abuser was acquitted because he did not confess to raping her and there was no other evidence to prove he was the perpetrator.
On two occasions, when Soghra Najafpour was 17 and 21, she was taken to be executed but the family of the victim changed their minds at the last minute. Soghra Najafpour will continue to seek to prove her innocence.
Although Amnesty International believes that all the other women are free, Mahboubeh Karami remains in custody.0 comments - published on Friday, July 25, 2008
AI Index: MDE 13/097/2008
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
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.
The Recent Summons and Arrest of Family Members of Political Prisoners who were Mass Murdered in the Summer of 19880 comments - published on Thursday, July 24, 2008
As the 20th anniversary of the 1988 mass murder of Iranian political prisoners approaches, the Regime has started summoning and arresting family members of prisoners who were murdered, in order to create a general atmosphere of fear and to prevent any participation in the commemoration services of this tragedy.
For example Mr. Mohsen Naderi (50 years old) who had been summoned to the Revolutionary Courts on Tuesday July 22nd 2008 was arrested and placed in a temporary holding cell in the Evin Prison.
Last year in the month of September Mr. Nadri who had lost a loved one (Mohammad Hossein Davoud Abadi Farahani, long live his memory) participated in an event commemorating the 19th anniversary of the mass murder of political prisoners in 1988
Following his participation in this event on September 9th 2007 he was attacked by about 12 Ministry of Intelligence guards who arrested and transferred him to Section 209 of the Evin Prison. He was interrogated for 21 days in solitary cells, by two interrogators named Saeed and Rahmati.
During the 21 days of interrogations he was subjected to brutal physical and psychological torture by his interrogators. He was released after 21 days on bail and was eventually tried in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Courts before a Judge called Mousavi.
Mr. Naderi is one of the many political prisoners who were arrested in the early 1980’s. He was imprisoned from 1981 to 1986 on the charges of being a supporter of Mojahedin’e Khalq. During his time in prison he was subjected to inhumane torture.
It should be mentioned that those family members who had participated in the 19th commemoration ceremonies of the 1988 Mass Murders were attacked by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials and taken to Section 209 of the Evin Prison. They were subjected to the most inhumane physical and psychological torture for more than 4 months, and were kept in solitary confinement.
Later they were transferred to Section 350 of the Evin Prison where a number of them still remain imprisoned to this day. The names of the family members who are still imprisoned include Mr. Ali Saremi (60 years old), Mr. Mohammad Ali Mansouri, Ms. Misagh Yazdan Nejad and Mr. Naser Sudagari.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran condemn the continuation of arrests, new wave of arrests and the summons of the families of political prisoners who were mass murdered in 1988. Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran urge the International Community to form a commission to investigate the mass murders of 1988 and to bring to justice those who were responsible for this great tragedy.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
23rd July 2008
tel. : 0031620720193
New Charges have been Brougth Agaisnt Mr. Behrouz Javid Tehrani Due to His Disclosure of the New Torture Chambers in Section 1 of the Rajaishahr (Gohardasht) Prison:
According to news received from Section 2 of the Gohardasht Prison on Sunday July 20th 2008 Mr. Behrouz Javid Tehrani was taken to the Revolutionary Court in the city of Karaj for the second time.
In addition to previous charges Mr. Tehrani has also been charged with further offences. The person who has filed a complaint against him is Mahmoud Maghniyan who is the warden of Section 4 of the Gohardasht Prison.
The reason behind these new charges is Mr. Tehrani’s disclosure of the conditions in the new solitary cell/torture chambers in Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison.
Laying new charges against already imprisoned individuals is a technique used by the Regime to put further pressure on political prisoners. Until now new charges have been laid against Mr. Amir Hosseing Heshmatsaran, Afshin Baymani, Arjang Davoudi and Behrouz Javid Tehrani who are already serving long prison terms. Some of these individuals have been sentenced to further jail time.
Mahmoud Maghniyan was the former warden for Section 2 of the Gohardasht Prison. This individual holds a serious grudge against political prisoners. While he was the warden of Section 2 of the prison, he carried out brutal attacks against political prisoners in that ward, as a result of which many political prisoners and in particular Mr. Javid Tehrani were seriously injured.
However Mahmoud Maghniyan has never been held responsible or prosecuted for these brutal attacks on political prisoners. It should be mentioned that those prisoners who suffered injuries as a result of these brutal attacks were not allowed to seek medical attention for their injuries.
Both Maghniyan and another individual Ismaili who is the senior guard in Section 2 of the prison had recently transferred Mr. Tehrani to the new solitary cells in Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison and subjected him to brutal torture.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran condemn new charges being laid against political prisoners who are already serving long prison sentences and whom in many cases have been deprived of even the most basic human rights such as the right to having a lawyer. Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran urge all human rights organizations to act immediately to prevent the inhumane treatment of political prisoners in Iran.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
22nd July 2008
tel. : 0031620720193
Yaghub Mehrnehad a 28 years old activist has been sentenced to death and maybe executed at any moment!
Mr. Yaghub Mehrenhad is a journalist and a human rights activist. According to an Amnesty International report he was arrested on May 6th 2007 in the city of Zahedan, the capital city of the province of Baluchestan.
Mr. Mehrnehad was a journalist for a reformist newspaper Mardomsalar (Democracy) as well as the founder and president of an NGO called Sedaye Edalat (voice of Justice). Mr. Mehrnehad is also a Nationalist with strong Nationalist ties, according to reliable sources.
According to the same Amnesty International Report Mr. Mehrnehad was sentenced to death on February 9th 2008 after an unfair trial, behind closed doors without the presence of his lawyer and after being subjected to cruel torture for many months. He had been charged with being a risk to national security.
According to the latest news I have received from very credible sources who wish to remain anonymous Mr. Mehrnehad has not been executed and remains in prison.
It is also important to point out that one of the most common techniques used by the Islamic Regime to justify executions is accusing minority activists such as Kurds or Balooch individuals of being involved in armed opposition groups, where as many of these individuals are peaceful activists with strong nationalist beliefs.
According to news received from Section 6 of the Gohardasht Prison, Mr. Davoudi was taken to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts on Sunday July 20th 2008.
Judge Salavati who is the Senior Judge in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court charged Mr. Davoudi with new offences and tried him. Mr. Davoudi has been further charged with insulting the religious leaders as well as religion. These new charges have been brought forward even though Mr. Davoudi is already in jail and has been serving his jail sentence for almost 5 years.
Mr. Davoudi was arrested in October of 2003 and taken to the Evin Prison. Later on he was transferred to numerous prisoners including Rajaishahr (Gohardasht) Prision, Bandar Abbas Prison and once again back to the Evin Prison. Mr. Davoudi had gone on a hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment he was facing in jail. A few days into the hunger strike once again he was transferred to the Rajaishahr (Gohardasht) Prison.
Mr. Davoudi has previously been tried by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Courts before Judge Hassan Zare Dahnavy also known as Judge Hadad. However he was not given a sentence, therefore his lawyer and family have been unable to appeal the trial decision.
The Interrogator of Mr. Davoudi is an individual named Mostafa. It has been reported that Mostafa has told Mr. Davoudi “if we had killed you outside of prison you would not have become so well know.” The interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence have a very important role in findings of guilt against prisoners and their sentencing. It is also based on the orders of the interrogators that it is decided from the very beginning how a prisoner will be treated.
Further it has been reported that a senior guard in Section 6 of the Prison named Bakhshi (who is believed to have had a role in the death of Canadian Iranian Journalist Zahra Kazemi) and was recently transferred from Evin to Gohardasht Prison, along with his second in command, an individual called Hedayati have been physically and psychologically abusing political prisoners in Section 6 of the Prison. Two of the prisoners who were beaten recently are Nima Ismailiyan and Hamid (no last name), as a result of severe beatings with batons they have suffered from very serious injuries.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran condemn new charges being laid against political prisoners who are already serving jail sentences, as well as use of violence against them. Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran urge all human rights organizations to act immediately against the systematic violation of human rights in Iran.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
July 21st 2008
The Interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence have Threatened to Arrest the Children of the Gerayi Family0 comments - published on Sunday, July 20, 2008
According to news received from Gohardasht (Rajaishahr) Prison Mr. Alijan Gerayi (50) and his son Mohsen Gerayi, two political prisoners were taken to solitary confinement Section of the Prison on July 6th 2008. This section is under the direct control of the Ministry of Intelligence. They were taken to solitary confinement by an individual named Reza Arefi who had a direct role in their arrest and torture.
Both Mr. Gerayi and his son Mohsen Gerayi were subjected to 8 hours of interrogation by the Ministry of Intelligence interrogators. Raza Arefi subjected Mr. Gerayi to both physical and psychological torture before the eyes of his son. When Mohsen Gerayi objected to the treatment of his father, he was also subjected to brutal torture.
After interrogation these two political prisoners were turned over to Navid Khoyavi who is in charge of Security and Intelligence Service of the Prison. Khoyavi transferred Mr. Alijan and Mohsen Gerayi to solitary cells in the new Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison, which is the new torture chambers ran by the new prison warden Haj Kazem. Since their transfer to Section 1 there has been no news about the whereabouts of these two political prisoners. This has caused a great amount of concern for Mr. Gerayi’s two other younger children.
Before their transfer to the torture chambers in Section 1 of the Prison Mahmoud Naghziyan, who was recently put in charge of Section 4 of the Prison, had gathered non-political and dangerous prisoners encouraging them to turn against political prisoners, shouting slogans such as “death to non-believers, death to those who don’t believe in the religious government,” he had also encouraged these prisoners to engage in physical altercations with political prisoners. Before his post in Section 4 of the Pirson Mahmoud Naghziyan was in charge of Section 2 of the prison and had a direct role in physical and brutal attacks on political prisoners.
Reza Arefi the interrogator of the Gerayi Family has threatened Ms. Shahanz Keypour who is the mother of the family with arrest and imprisonment of her two younger children Ehsan Gerayi (17) and Atna Gerayi (13) if she tries to raise awareness about the situation of Mr. Alijan and Mohsen Gerayi.
Four members of the Gerayi Family are currently in Gohardahst Prison serving long prison terms. Both Mr. Alijan Gerayi (Father) and Ms. Shahnaz Keypour are serving 5 year prison terms. Ms. Azadeh Gerayi (daughter) who also has a 4 years old daughter as well as Mr. Mohsen Gerayi (Son) are both serving 10 year jail sentences. Two younger children of the family Ehsan (17) and Atna (13) have been left without any adult supervision.
The Conditions of Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison, where above noted two prisoners are currently being held.
1. This section has 40 solitary cells which is used for the torture of the prisoners.
2. The inmates are held in very small cells, each one of which has a small window.
3. Prisoners are hand cuffed and their feet are also cuffed for days at a time, in different positions.
a. For example handcuffing one’s hands one from behind and one from around the neck together.
b. Cuffing the feet to poles which are in the cells, these types of restraints cause extreme pain and also enable the prisoner from standing up or moving.
c. The prisoners are also sometimes handcuffed from behind which prevents them from being able to do even the most basic things for themselves.
d. The prisoner can also be handcuffed from the front.
4. Different types of torture:
a. Blindfolding, handcuffing and cuffing the prisoners feet, after which 7-8 interrogators attack the prisoner with different types of baton’s torturing him for long periods of time. On many occasions these types of beatings lead to broken bones in different parts of the prisoner’s body.
b. The prisoner is not allowed to receive medical attention or any type of medication
c. The Prisoner is allowed to use the washroom only 3 times a day
d. The prisoner is not allowed to get any fresh air
e. The conditions in this section of the prison are so inhumane and intolerable that many prisoners in this section have attempted suicide.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists condemn the transfer of political prisoners to Section 1 of the Gohardasth Prison. As well they condemn the threats of arrest and imprisonment of children of political prisoners. Human Rights and Democracy Activists urge all human rights organizations to act immediately to help stop the inhumane treatment of political prisoners and their families in Iran.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
July 20th 2008
As many of you may know Manouchehr Mohammadi, one of the most well known Iranian Political Activists has started a bicycle tour of the United States, travelling to different cities and attempting to speak to different government officials and human rights organizations. I am a big supporter of this movement and sincerely hope that it will lead to some positive results. I will post daily updates about him as they are forwarded to me him. I have also been advised that both Radio Farda and Voice of America will be giving coverage to Mr. Mohammadi and anyone interested will be able to get updates through these radios.
According to news received from the central prison in the city of Esfehan, the physical and psychological pressure on MR. Mohammad Nikbakht has been increased under the order of the new prison warden Mr. Hashemi.
For some time now Mr. Nikhbakht has been subjected to great physical and psychological pressure by the former prison warden Babayi, Hashemi (the current warden) as well as two (2) other individuals Banayi and Garji who are in charge of “discipline and intelligence” section of the prison.
Under the orders of above mentioned individuals Mr. Nikbakht was transferred from Section 2 to Section 3 of the Prison. Section 3 is where drug dealers and drug addicts are imprisoned, and the living conditions in this section is intolerable and inhumane.
This ward is extremely crowded and some prisoners are forced to sleep in the hallways or under the stairs. The individuals named above have ordered the prisoners not to allow Mr. Nikbakht in their cells and have encouraged other prisoners to start physical altercations with him in exchange for certain privileges. Hashemi and Gerji are trying to create a “war like” environment against Mr. Nikbakht in Section 3 of the prison in order to increase the pressure on him.
Since Hashemi has become the new warden in Esfehan Prison about 18 prisoners have tried to commit suicide and unfortunately many of these attempts have been successful.
Most recently new individuals have been assigned to the most important positions in the prison. This can be seen in the appointment of a new warden, Hashemi who replaced Babayi. It is through that the purpose behind this change is the further oppression of political prisoners.
It has further been reported that an individual named Hamid Moghareb Abed who is famous for his brutal behavior towards prisoners has been promoted to be the head of disciplinary section in Section of the of the Prison. Hamid Moghareb Abed does not hesitate in the brutal treatment of prisoners for any reason.
In the past few days many young activists in the city of Esfehan have been arrested due to their participation in demonstrations against dictatorship. There individuals are being held in custody in Section A-T (solitary cells) of the prison which is under direct control of the Ministry of Intelligence. About 60 individuals are currently being held in solitary cells.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran condemn the recent arrests as well as the increase physical and psychological pressure on political prisoners. They urge all human rights organizations to act immediately to put a stop to the inhumane treatment of political prisoners in Iran.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
July 17th 2008
Below is the translation of most recent letter of Behrouz Javid Tehrani, describing what he went through for 50 days in the new Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison. Original letter in Farsi can be found at http://pejvakzendanyan.blogfa.com/post-397.aspx
Memoir of Behrouz Javid Tehrani- 50 Days of Torture and Solitary Confinement in Rajaishahr Prison
In the Name of Prosperity of Iran,
50 Days in the Inhumane Dungeons of Rajaishahr (Gohardasht) Prison.
May 3rd 2008 of this year, which was the anniversary of my mothers’ passing away, the prison officials had promised my father that I would be allowed to participate in my mothers’ memorial services this year (for the very first time), either by putting up home ownership papers as bail or by being accompanied by police officers.
The Court had not allowed me to attend at my mothers’ death bed, when she was very ill and her last wish was to be able to see me one last time. They also refused to allow me to participate in my mothers’ memorial services when she passed away.
On April 27th 2008 of this year I was in the medical clinic of Rajaishahr Prison when by total coincidence I came across a very mean looking individual who introduced himself as Navid Khodyavi, the new Warden in charge of "protection and intelligence services" of Rajaishahr Prison. I took this opportunity to ask him why during all these years that I had been imprisoned in Rajaishahr Prison I had not even once been allowed to leave, even to attend at my mother's memorial service. However instead of answering my questions, he started telling me about his harsh management techniques, he even mentioned that he had just acquired this post and that he intended to keep it at any cost.
I don't know which part of my speech got this angry Warden so upset. When I left the medical clinic and got to my own ward, a guard Mr. Ismaili stood in front of the door and told me that I could not enter, I was going to be taken to solitary confinement. I asked Mr. Ismaili the reason for being taken to solitary, however he told me that it was “confidential.” Thinking back I find it very interesting that the reason behind solitary confinement and essentially my torture was "confidential", I asked how long I would be in solitary, once again he stated that it was "confidential."
I did not ask any more questions. I just asked to enter my cell to take along a few essential necessities and to let my friends i.e. other political prisoners know that I was being taken to solitary confinement. However my request was refused by Mr. Ismaili as well as Mahmoud Magniyan, the warden for our ward who had just arrived. I would have gone to solitary without my personal belongings and bare necessities; however there was no way I was going without informing other prisoners of what was going on. Because of this I refused to leave before letting other political prisoners know what was going on. Ismaili, Mahmoud Mogniyan as well as three (3) other large soldiers did everything they could do to take me to solitary confinement by force. They even started punching and kicking me. because informing the other political prisoners was extremely important for me I held on to the bars on the door's and refused to let go, at the same time repeating my request to at least see one of my friends before being taken away.
It was very necessary for me to inform my friends of what was happening and in particular to inform them about the new prison warden Navid Khodyavi, however it looked like the guards did not want me to (or maybe they had been ordered) not to allow me to inform anyone. All five guards were not able to take me to solitary confinement by force. My requests were small, just and fair. Once they realized they could not drag me away each one grabbed a baton and all five (5) started beating me with their batons. It must be mentioned that in these circumstances the guards must inform the special security officers rather than attacking the prisoners . The reason the security officials were not called was because they would have allowed me to take my personal belongings (tooth brush, tooth paste, towel and soap) and to inform two of my friends Afshin and Saran.
Although my requests were just and logical these murderess that had started beating me severely with these batons were not going to stop until I was in solitary confinement. They beat me to a point where I lost consciousness. I just remember until the very last moment I was shouting slogans such as "long live freedom, down with religious dictatorship…" When I gained consciousness I was on the floor of a solitary cell and my entire body had been bruised. A voice from behind the door kept saying "Javid are you alive? Javid are you ok?" I tried to move or at least to say something, but I couldn't even speak, and lost consciousness again.
At this point I would like to say a few things about the police batons used at Rajaiishahr Prison. The guards who are in charge of disciplinary issues use a number of different batons. There are white batons that are about a meter long. There are also similar batons that are a half a meter long. These are the types of batons which were used before the revolution as well, and although being beaten by them is extremely painful it can be tolerated. For example being beaten by these batons does not lead to broken bones.
However there are two other kinds of batons used in the prison. One is made of plastic, it’s about half a meter long and is green coloured. These batons lead to broken bones during beatings, and also leave a green mark on the prisoners’ clothes after each blow. Because of this, if a prisoner is wearing bright coloured clothing, because of the green marks, the number of blows as well as where the prisoner was hit can clearly be seen. The other kind of baton is made of wood and one side is thicker than the other.
Lucky for me I was beaten with the first type of baton and did not have any broken bones. I don't know how much time had passed, when I realized someone was trying to move me by dragging the blanket I was lying on. I did not want to be transferred anywhere lying on a blanket, so I managed to pick myself up with great difficulty and followed the soldier who was one of the five (5) that had beaten me. I was taken to Section 1 of the prison, where first they shaved off all of my hair. Then they took away whatever I had and gave me one plastic cup and two dirty black blankets. While I was still in shock of what had just taken place, they took me to a room where about 15-20 other people were imprisoned. All of these people had some sort of serious health problem, some had hepatitis, and some were drug addicts, addicted either to pills or injectible drugs.
The very first thing that caught my attention was the lack of medication and medical attention in this ward. The doctor at the prison clinic had prescribed 4 pills for me, however when I asked the guard for my medication he came back after five minutes telling me I was not allowed any medication. I asked the guard “is a person's health and medication something that can be used to torture that person?" However that sad, pathetic guard did not have an answer to this question.
Something even more interesting than the lack of education was the fact that reading was not allowed in this ward. I asked the guards for a book, newspaper or a magazine and when I was really desperate for something to read for a Quran, however I was informed that reading was not allowed in this ward. After being in that room for 7 days they transferred me to a solitary cell. I wanted to know why I was being taken to solitary and insisted upon an answer, however nobody answered my question. My persistence upset the guard, who blind folded me; hand cuffed my hands from behind and also cuffed my feet and started beating me with the plastic baton, in a place where there were no cameras.
Generally it is tradition among prisoners that whoever does not yell or scream during a beating is the strongest. However I screamed as much as I could "Stop hitting me you murderers, long live freedom, down with dictatorship..." Why should I hide the pain of torture behind silence?
In this ward there was one common room, a shower, a bathroom and 40 solitary cells which were equipped with cameras. This ward is completely separated from the rest of the prison. Even when the entire prison loses electricity, this ward does not, and the cameras and microphones keep on working.
Because of the beatings although I had not been hit on the head I lost consciousness again, when I gained consciousness I was in the medical clinic of the prison. Later on I learned that I had a broken bone in my hand. In the clinic they only gave me a needle (which I still don’t know what it was for) and they took me back to my solitary cell, later on no matter how much I tried I could not convince the prison officials to allow me to seek medical attention for my broken hand.
I was in my cell with my hands and feet cuffed for three days. This was the doing of that brutal guard who had beaten me. While in the cells we were allowed to use the washrooms three (3) times a day only. Besides the plastic cup and two blankets they also gave me a black plastic bag to store bread in, as well as a empty water bottle to fill with water and keep in the cell.
At 11 pm at night they would take us to the washroom for the last time and then the guards would leave, and under no circumstance would the doors open until the next day, unless someone was attempting to commit suicide. If a prisoner needed to use the washroom during the night they would be forced to use their water bottle. The guards would not come until 8:00 am the next day to take the prisoners to the washroom again. I should also mention that while in solitary I witnessed more than 23 suicide attempts from people cutting their veins to trying to hang themselves or even swallowing razors.
Until about 6-7 months ago the prison guards would work 24 shift and would be off for 24 hours. We attributed the harshness and brutality of the guards to the fact that they were over worked and did not get enough rest. When the work schedules were changed to 24 hour shifts with 48 hours off we the prisoners were happy, we thought this way the guards would get more rest and be in a better mood, and treat the prisoners better. Unfortunately the exact opposite happened. The guards became extremely lazy due to the shift change and their behavior towards prisoners became even worse.
I spent 50 days in solitary confinement, even though I had not been sentenced to solitary confinement by the Disciplinary Committee, and lost my phone and visitation privileges. My family came to the prison on numerous occasions however they were not allowed to see me.
At this point I’d like to say a few words about a friendly cheerful old man who was in the common room with me during the first 7 days. We called him Reza Penguin, because he walked like a penguin. All of us prisoners really liked him. One Friday afternoon when a lot of prisoners were sad and feeling down, we decided to fill up the black plastic bags with water and use them as drums to make music. Reza Penguin was the first person to volunteer to get in the middle and start dancing. Five minutes had not gone by that two guards came in with their green plastic baton looking in particular for Reza Penguin.
One of the guards angrily asked him whether he was Reza Panguin or Reza Jamile (a famous female dancer) and started beating him to the point where his hand broke in 3 different places. Right now I don’t remember whether it was his left or right hand. I should also mention that the old man was not able to convince prison officials to pay for a crutch for his hand. Not only that, they threatened and told him if anyone asked he better say he fell off the stairs and broke his hand.
All other people who were involved in playing music or dancing were also beaten until they were all on the ground and could not move. Then one of the guards threw water on them, and then by using electrical batons started giving them electric shock. Other guards were standing around and laughing. I don’t understand what kind of pleasure they could have gotten out of this situation. The guards who cuffed my hands and feet and beat me, how could they get pleasure out of that? Maybe they need to see a psychiatrist.
As I was leaving the solitary confinement I saw something very interesting. Behind the entrance door a place where we had not seen before, (because we were taken there with blindfolds on) they had posted the rules for the common area. According to the rules we were allowed to take a shower 2 times a week where as they would barely allow us to take a shower once a week, sometimes even that would not be allowed. There was also allowance for fresh air two times a week which in reality we had not been allowed, not even once. Of course these rules were posted only for the benefit of prison visitors and the Warden’s visitors. It was at this moment that I realized that the prison disciplinary committee consists of 4 things.
3. Cuffs for the feet
Behrouz Javid Tehrani
The last remaining prisoner from July 9th 1999 pro-democracy student demonstrations
Rajaishahr (Gohardasht) Prison, ward 2 section 5
July 10th 2008
In another news report by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran, they report on the brutal torture of an un-named political prisoner, to the point where he may have gone blind (according to unconfirmed news)
There are further reports about the new solitary confinement cells in the new Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison, where political prisoners are taken to be tortured. This section is under direct supervision of the Ministry of Intelligence, and is currently operating on a trial basis. Behrouz Javid Tehrani spent about 50 days in Section 1 of this prison recently. Most recently a father and son Mr. Alijan Gerayi and his Son Mohsen Gerayi were taken to Section 1 of the prison and nobody has been able to obtain any news about their well being since their transfer to that section.
I would urge all human rights activists and bloggers to start writing about this new wing in Gohardasht Prison and try to bring attention to this matter as soon as possible. Let's remember that these cells are currently operating on a trial basis, however if we all continue to remain silent they may become permanent...
Human Rights and Democracy Activist website reports " two prisoners in Dastgerd Prison, in the City of Esfehan were taken to solitary cells in order to await their executions. The names of these prisoners are Mr. Ali Jamalvand (24 years old) and Mohammad Jamalvand (26 years old). These two individuals were held in custody for the past two years." The article goes on to state that the reason behind these types of executions, which have become relatively common in Iran, as well as other barbaric punishments such as stoning, execution of political prisoners, children under the age of 18, women as well as non-political prisoners, as well as cutting off of hands and feet, or gouging people's eyes out are techniques used by the Islamic Regime to instill fear in people." They go on to talk about the recent death sentences of three political prisoners Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, which has recently been upheld by the Supreme Court in Iran.
They finish the article by condemning the death sentence of these three prisoners, as well as the increase in executions in the past months, and ask the international community to refer Islamic Regime's human rights violations to the United Nations Security Council.
I've just recently come across a very useful and informative blog
http://pejvakzendanyan.blogfa.com/ Faalane Hoghughe Bashar va Democracy (Human Rights and Democracy Activists) They have up to date, first hand and very accurate information about political prisoners in Iran, there is in particular a lot of information coming from Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) and Evin Prison. Unfortunately currently the weblog is in Farsi only, however I will try to translate some of the news and post it on my blog. I really urge all of you who can read Farsi and want to keep up to date about human rights in Iran to check it out.
Five years has passed since the Murder of Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian/Canadian Journalist in Evin Prison. Five years later and still noone has been held responsible or punished for her brutal murder.
It's unfortunate that the Canadian Government has completely forgotten about her, as have many others. There is one individual who still remembers... Behrouz Javid Tehrani, a political prisoner from Gohardasht prison issued a statement today remembering the 5th anniversary of her death. Mr. Tehrani's statement can be found at the following link http://pejvakzendanyan.blogfa.com/post-393.aspx in farsi. In his statement he reminds not only the Iranian nation but the whole world of the brutal murder of Ms. Kazemi and reminding us of the kind of barbaric and brutal Regime we are faced with.
Hoping for a day when the murderes of Zahra Kazemi and many like her will have to face up to their crimes and be punished for what they have done. In the hopes of a day when Behrouz Javid Tehrani and all other political prisoners are free...
According to the latest news from Amnesty International the death sentence for Farzad Kamangar has been approved by the Supreme Court. This is quite upsetting as Farzad Kamangar has always maintained his innocence and has denied that he has ever had any ties with PKK. I really don't know what can be done at this point, but certainly we cannot remain silent...
The Supreme Court has confirmed the sentences of death against three Iranian Kurds.
AI Index: MDE 13/094/2008
11 July 2008
Further Information on UA 147/08 (MDE 13/075/2008, 30 May 2008) Death Penalty / Torture / Ill-treatment
Iranian citizens of Kurdish ethnic origin:
Farzad Kamangar (alias Siamand) (m), aged 32, teacher
Ali Heydariyan (m)
Farhad Vakili (m)
According to the non-governmental organization Human Rights Activists in Iran, the Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentences of Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili.
All three were sentenced to death in February 2008 after conviction of “moharebeh”, (enmity against God), a charge levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state, apparently in connection with their alleged membership of the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which carries out attacks in Turkey. Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili were also sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, apparently for forging documents. Under Iranian law, they must serve their prison sentences before being executed.
Human Rights Activists in Iran also reported that when prison authorities at Raja'I Shahr prison in Tehran province told Farzad Kamangar of the Supreme Court's decision, they asked him to write a letter seeking clemency. He refused to do this, as it would have been an acknowledgement of guilt, and he has always denied committing any crime. As a result, his death sentence will be sent for approval to the Head of the Judiciary, after which it could be carried out at any time.
Farzad Kamangar was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other ethnic Kurds, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006.
Farzad Kamangar has been held incommunicado at a series of locations, including in the cities of Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Tehran, and has been tortured, including by being beaten, flogged and electrocuted. As a result of this torture, his arms and legs have started to tremble involuntarily.
Kurds, who are one of Iran’s many ethnic groups, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. For many years, Kurdish organizations such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala have taken up arms against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Another armed group, the Kurdistan Independent Life Party (PJAK), continues to carry out armed attacks against Iranian security and government. Iran has accused foreign governments of fomenting unrest among the country's ethnic minorities.
The scope of capital crimes in Iran remains extremely broad. Judges have discretionary powers to impose the death penalty for certain offences, including those relating to national security. According to Farzad Kamangar’s lawyer, no other person convicted of membership of the PKK has been sentenced to death.
Manouchehr Mohammadi, one of the most well known political activist who also happens to be a good friend of mine (yes I am bragging) is having a press conference on July 16th 2008, at 12:00pm at the Murrow Room at National Press club. Further details could be found at http://www.press.org/
As many of you may know Manouchehr Mohammadi and his brother Akbar Mohammadi were very active during the 18 tir 1999 student demonstrations. They were arrested and spent many years in prison under severe torture. Unfortunately Akbar Mohammadi was killed in prison in August of 2006. Manouchehr was able to escape from Iran and is currently continuing his fight for democracy in Iran.
To learn more about him please visit his blog at manmohammadi.blogspot.com
I hope those of you who can attend will, he is an excellent speaker and a joy to listen to. Please spread the word.
Like Rajaiee Shahr(Gohardasht) Prison wasn't one of the worst in Iran, now they are testing new torture chamber/solitary confinement cells. I have been reading about this on a number of different human rights sites. This is the first time Gohardasht prison is trying out something like this. The solitary cells are very much like Section 209 of the Evin Prison, under direct supervision of the Ministry of Intelligence.
The cells are extremely small,the inmates can only use the washroom 3 times a day,while in solitary confinement cells they are not allowed to get any medical attention and they are regularly interrogated by Intelligence Ministry Officials. Interrogations include severe physical torture. The prisoners are usually handcuffed and their feet are cuffed as well. They are blindfolded and beaten by police clubs, mostly in the sensitive areas of their bodies for very long periods of time.
These special torture cells are used for political prisoners only and are right now just for trial basis. Most recently two political prisoners Mr. Alijan Gerayi(50) and his son Mohsen Gerayi were taken to these cells, interrogated and tortured.
Also recently Behrouz Javid Tehrani, the only prisoner remaining from 18 tir 1999 protests was taken to these solitary cells and kept there and tortured for a number of week.
This is all the information I have right now, but given the fact that the prison is just at a trial stage right now, I think that's something all of us bloggers and human rights activists should look into, maybe there is a way of stopping it, or atleast bringing attention to it before its too late. I will do some digging in the next few days and see what I can find.
If anyone else has any information please keep me informed as well.
In June 2008, authorities executed the “spy” featured in a June 2007 Action.
AI Index: MDE 13/092/2008
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
8 July 2008
Further Information on UA 164/07 (MDE 13/080/2007, 29 June 2007) Death penalty / Torture
Davoud Abdollahi Moghadam (m), aged 41, army colonel
Davoud Abdollahi Moghadam is now known to have been executed, possibly on 22 June, in Tehran's Evin Prison.
He had been sentenced to death in February 2007 by a military court, after an unfair trial, for spying. He had confessed under torture.
No further action is requested from the UA Network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.
The original article could be found on the site of Faalane hoghughe bashar va democracy dar iran.
The translation, once again by no other than myself.
Farhad Hajmirzayi’s Health is Suffering Greatly in Section 209 of the Evin Prison
According to news received from Section 209 of the Evin Prison Mr. Farhad Hajmirzayi who was kidnapped by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials in the city of Sanadaj 7 months ago was detained in solitary confinement for 11 days, in the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre in the city of Sanandaj.
After being subjected to torture for 11 days he was transferred to Section 209 of the Evin Prison in Tehran. He spent 90 days in solitary confinement in Section 209 where he was interrogated by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials and was subjected to both physical and psychological torture.
The torture Mr. Hajmirzayi was subjected to included electric shock, beatings with electrical cables, being hand cuffed for days at a time, threats of rape, threats of infecting him with AIDS or Hepatitis just to name a few.
The purpose of this torture was to force Farhad into false confessions including theft of an automobile, preparation of fake documents, as well as ownership of illegal firearms, however even under these very difficult conditions Farhad refused to confess.
The interrogator who tortured Mr. Hajmirzayi is named Haj Saeed which is a nick name for Saeed Sheykhan who is an interrogator who works for the Ministry of Intelligence.
As a result of torture he is suffering from heart and vision problems, and was unable to walk for a long period of time, forced to use a wheelchair. After seven months of imprisonment Mr. Hajmirzayi is still imprisoned in Section 209 of the Evin Prison.
The file of Mr. Hajmirzayi is in Branch 2 of the Revolutionary court under the supervision of a Mullah named Mousavi. The family of Mr. Hajmirzayi have gone to this court on numerous occasions, however Mullha Mousavi refuses to meet this family in person. Their inquiries are answered only by phone by an individual called Zarghami who works for Mousavi. Mousavi had a close working relationship with Lajevardi who was the infamous “butcher” of the Evin Prison.
Zarghami’s dealings with Mr. Hajmirzayi’s family has been insulting and inhumane. They have not been told what Mr. Hajmirzyi has been charged with.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran condemn the kidnapping, solitary confinemtn as well as inhumane torture of Mr. Hajmirzayi and ask all human rights organizations to act quickly to help prevent the inhumane treatment of political prisoners in Iran.
On July 8th 1999 Iran saw the largest pro-democracy student demonstration, since the overthrow of the Shah's Regime. Thousands of student activists and student leaders were arrested, some were sentenced to death, many to lengthy prison sentences. In the past 9 years everyone has been released except one prisoner, BEHROUZ JAVID TEHRANI. He is a 30 year old man who has fought against the Regime within the prison walls, has always stood tall and strong and no amount of torture or ill treatment has ever silenced him.
Below is a translation of his statement from prison in memory of July 8th 1999 pro-democracy student demonstrations.
Keeping in mind that the translation was done by me and that I am by no means a professional translator, however I believe we should try to spread Behrouz's message as wide and far as possible
The original farsi article could be found at http://pejvakzendanyan.blogfa.com/post-388.aspx
Saturday July 5th 2008-07-08
Published by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
The message of Behrouz Javid Tehrani for the anniversary of July 8th 1999 (18 Tir) Pro-democracy Student Demonstrations.
In the Name of Iran’s Prosperity,
I don’t think anyone could forget the summer of 1999. It had been two years since the Reformists had come to power, and almost all of those who originally had any hope in the Reformists and reformation of this Regime realized that reform was impossible. Anyone that still supported or spoke of reform was one way or another related to the Regime.
It was during that time that the tragedy of the death of the Foruhar’s as well as the chain murders of activists by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials made the people and in particular students so angry that it made their blood boil.
At that time the closing down of a newspaper was enough to lead to a major student protest. The best time of my life was during the months of June and July of 1999. It was during this time that the Iranian youth cried out against the frustration of 100 years of dictatorship. We showed the world that we recognized dictatorship under the disguise of religion.
On July 8th 1999 we showed the Mullah’s who thought by creating a police state they could silence the people, how powerful we were. The Regime at this time became very corrupt. In order to act innocent Khamenei (the Supreme Leader) cried on television screens, while his employees and supporters hired many thugs to mix among students and create a bad impression of the students and activists within the society. I have seen and met many of these thugs in prison in the past 9 years, and have spoken to them and learned about the fact that under the order of the Regime and the Basij army they mixed among the students in order to create a bad impression of the students and activists within the society.
On July 8th 1999 we started on a path which unfortunately has not been completed to this day. We have seen and familiarized ourselves with all the tactics of the enemy. It is time for us to finally complete the job we started 9 years ago.
Dear Students, Youth and the Iranian People, Please commemorate the 9th anniversary of the pro-democracy student demonstrations by gathering in front of “Kuye Daneshgah”, Tehran University, lighting candles and bringing red flowers, in protest of a day where the Iranian students were brutally oppressed. Do not allow the Regime to create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety and prevent the Iranian people from commemorating this very important day.
Long Live Iran Always
Behrouz Javid Tehrani
The only political prisoner remaining from July 8th 1999
Raji Shahr Prison (Gohardasht)
July 5th 2008
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 (http://www.change4equality.info/spip.php?article2276) 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.
AI Index: MDE 13/087/2008
26 June 2008
Fear of torture or other ill-treatment / Medical concern / Prisoner of conscience
Arzhang Davoodi (m), aged 56, teacher and writer
Political activist Arzhang Davoodi has been prevented from appealing to the Supreme Court against a 15-year sentence handed down as punishment for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. He has been tortured.
Arzhang Davoodi, a writer and the Director of the Parto-e Hekmat Cultural Education Center in Tehran, was arrested in October 2003 for being involved in the production of a TV documentary called Forbidden Iran in which he spoke out about human rights violations in Iran. He was held in a detention facility run by the Revolutionary Guards until March 2004, spending over three months in solitary confinement. He was then moved to Evin Prison in Tehran, where he was severely beaten and tortured: his jaw and shoulder were broken. Arzhang Davoodi was not charged for at least a year. In a letter from prison dated July 2005, he said that he had been sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment and 70 lashes by a Revolutionary Court, which deals with crimes against national security. His appeal was rejected. He was convicted on charges of establishing and directing an organisation opposed to the government; writing and publishing a book opposed to Iran's system of government, called Manifesto for a Secular Iran; organizing action to undermine the state; and involvement in the production of the TV documentary. On 20 September 2005 he was sent into internal exile in Bandar Abbas Prison, Hormozgan Province, 1500 km south of his home in Tehran. He was told of his sentence, but never given a written copy of his sentencing order, though this is required by law. His sentenced was passed behind closed doors and his lawyers, who have yet to see the court’s sentencing order, were not allowed in. Arzhang Davoodi's appeal is now due to be heard by the Supreme Court, but this cannot be done without the sentencing order, which he is also obliged to sign.
Arzhang Davoodi was sent back to Evin Prison in December 2007, for questioning. On 14 April 2008 he was put into solitary confinement, for reasons unknown, and began a hunger strike on 18 April. Ten days later he was transferred to Section 6 of Reja'i Shahr Prison in the city of Karaj, 20 km west of Tehran; this section of the prison is for violent criminals, including murderers. In a DATE radio interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle his wife, Nazanin Davoodi, said that she had last been allowed to visit him in May 2008, when he was in Reja'i Shahr Prison. On 6 June she had spoken to him by phone, and found that he was too weak to talk for long. The Evin prison authorities have threatened to move Arzhang Davoodi back to Bandar Abbas unless he stops his hunger strike.
The TV documentary Forbidden Iran was filmed secretly and illegally. It was widely broadcast in northern Europe in December 2003 and in North America in January 2004. Arzhang Davoodi had assisted in the making of the documentary and was one of those interviewed on film. During his interview he spoke about political prisoners and the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. The documentary can be seen at http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iran.
Arzhand Davoodi was the subject of UA 87/04 (MDE 13/016/2004, 27 February 2004 and follow-ups).
Iranian legislation severely restricts freedom of expression and association, and human rights defenders often face harassment, imprisonment and torture. The Iranian Constitution protects freedom of expression: Article 24 provides for freedom of expression in press and publications. Iran is a state party to international human rights treaties that enshrine these rights, notably the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Penal Code contains a number of vaguely worded provisions relating to association and "national security" which prohibit a range of activities, many of them connected with journalism or public discourse, which are permitted under international human rights law. Human rights defenders are often imprisoned on politically motivated criminal charges. Many are subject to travel bans that prevent them from leaving the country.
Campaign for Equality members Ronak Safarzadeh and Hana Abdi remain behind bars even though Amnesty International deems them to be prisoners of consci0 comments - published on Sunday, July 06, 2008
AI Index: MDE 13/085/2008
20 June 2008
Further Information on UA 297/07 (MDE 13/130/2007, 07 November 2007) and follow-up (MDE 13/063/2008, 14 April 2008) - Prisoner of conscience / Fear of torture or other ill-treatment
Ronak Safarzadeh (f)
Hana Abdi (f), aged 21
Hana Abdi has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment, to be served in exile in West Azerbaijan province, in the small town of Germi, on the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan, while Ronak Safarzadeh is in custody awaiting a further trial session. Amnesty International believes both women are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association, and that the charges brought against them are politically motivated.
According to Hana Abdi’s lawyer, Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj convicted her of "gathering and colluding to commit a crime against national security." The lawyer representing both women expressed further shock and dismay at this sentence, the maximum for this offence, which he believes is inappropriate, but said that the trial judge has often given inappropriate sentences. He said he would appeal, and hoped this might lead to the sentence being overturned.
Ronak Safarzadeh has been charged with moharebeh (enmity against God), which can carry the death penalty, in connection with bomb attacks in Sanandaj. According to the lawyer, Ronak Safarzadeh's "confessions" were made under duress during the three months she spent in solitary confinement at a detention facility run by the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj, and were therefore inadmissible in court. He has also said that prison guards were present at all his meetings with the women, despite his objections.
Both women are active members of the Campaign for Equality, which is seeking an end to legalised discrimination against women, and of the NGO Azar Mehr Women's Organization of Sanandaj, which is affiliated to the Campaign for Equality.
In February 2008, the Head of Azar Mehr, Negin Sheikholeslami, said that in a phone call to the two women, "[they] stressed that they had not committed any crime. They had only sought justice and their only crime was to work for the equality of human beings - human beings who are discriminated against in this country because of their gender or ethnicity.” She said they had told her, "We are only seeking our human rights, and as citizens we are asking that our rights be respected … we have spent several months under intolerable conditions for crimes which we have not committed, and despite all the false accusations against us … based on what we have witnessed during our time in prison and in our discussions with female prisoners [we] have come to believe more than ever before in the justness of our demands and our cause… we are not terrorists, and our activities were only intended to address and rectify gender and ethnic discrimination, and our aim is to bring peace and reconciliation to our country and between our people. Don’t forget about us."
Dozens of Campaign for Equality activists and supporters have been arrested because of their activities for the Campaign, some while collecting signatures for the petition aiming to end legal discrimination against women in Iran. The authorities have frequently refused permission to hold public meetings, and Campaign activists usually hold their meetings in the homes of sympathizers. The Campaign's website, and other websites associated with the women’s movement in Iran, have often been blocked by the authorities.
AI Index: MDE 13/084/2008
Arbitrary arrest / Fear of torture or ill-treatment
17 June 2008
Mahboubeh Karami (f), aged 40, journalist and women’s rights defender
and about 200 others
Mahboubeh Karami, journalist and women’s rights defender, was removed from a bus and arrested by plain clothed security forces on 13 June. The bus that Mahboubeh Karami was on travelled past Mellat Park, Tehran shortly after a demonstration had been held there. About 200 other people are known to have been arrested in connection to the demonstration. Amnesty International is not aware of any violence on the part of the protesters. The current whereabouts of all, including Mahboubeh Karami, are unknown and they are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
The Campaign for Equality website (in Persian at https://www.we-change.org/spip.php?article2209), quoting Iranian news agencies, reported that security forces used tear gas and electric shock batons to disperse the protestors. Check points were set up by security forces in Vali Asr Street which runs alongside the park. Car drivers were told to keep their vehicles moving and their windows up. Several public buses were stopped and boarded by plain clothed officers including the one Mahboubeh Karami was travelling on.
Prior to her bus being boarded Mahboubeh Karami used her cell phone to call her mother, Ms Mosa'edi, and tell her that she was on a bus coming from Tajrish Square (north-east of Mellat Park), but was stuck in traffic. Twenty minutes later, Mahboubeh Karami called again and, as it was happening, told her mother that she was being removed from the bus and that her coat had been pulled off. The cell phone was then disconnected and her family have been unable to reach her on it since.
Ms Mosa’edi told the Campaign for Equality that her daughter’s bag was found in the street by a fellow passenger who returned it to her family and informed them that all the women passengers had been taken off the bus even though, as far as he could see, none had been part of the demonstration as they were all sitting on the bus.
Mahboubeh Karami's brother visited the Vozara detention centre to enquire about his sister. At the centre many relatives of those who had been arrested were there to find out about their relatives’ location and welfare, but all were told that there was no information. Rezvan Moghaddam, a friend of Mahboubeh Karami, visited Vanak Square to see if she was in a detention centre there. She was also unable to uncover any news of Mahboubeh Karami’s whereabouts.
At a news conference on 14 June, the Head of the Tehran Judiciary, Ali Reza Avaie, confirmed that 200 people had been arrested. According to the Campaign for Equality, he said that those who were innocent or suspected of minor crimes would hear about the status of their cases within a week.
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 was a member of a parliamentary Judicial Inquiry and Review Committee that had conducted an investigation into affairs of the Judiciary.