November 25th is a special day marked by women’s rights activists worldwide to bring awareness and take action against violence against women.

On this very important day I’d like to take a moment to remember my female comrades in Iran who take great risks in fighting for their rights as well as the rights of others in the Iranian society. Today Iranian women are at the frontline of fight against injustice, women are running campaigns to end discriminatory laws against women, they are running organizations to defend the rights of ethnic and religious minorities just to name a few...They can be seen at most major protests and gatherings, not in the back but on the front line shoulder to shoulder with their male comrades.

On this special day I would like to announce my solidarity with female activists in Iran who fight relentless against injustice, regardless of any personal consequence to themselves.

Long Live Freedom

Negin Sheykhol Al-Islami who is the founder of the Azar Mehr Women's Social and Cultural Society of Kurdistan was released today (Sunday November 23rd 2008) from Section 2009 of the Evin Prison where she was imprisoned for 49 days.

Three weeks before her arrest Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami had undergone a serious medical surgery which caused great concern for her health and well being in Prison. This led numerous national and international human rights organizations to voice concern for Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami's health and well being and ask for her immediate and unconditional release.

Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami a human rights activist, founder of Azar Mehr Women's Social and Cultural Society of Kurdistan and a journalist was arrested on September 5th 2007 and transferred to solitary cells in Section 209 of the Evin Prison. No trial date has been set for Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami.

By: Ahmad Andaryari
Translation: Sayeh Hassan

Name: Fasih ( Fateh) Yasmini.
Date of Birth: 1360 Iranian Calendar.
National Identity Number: 613

Conviction: Death Sentence.
Health: Suffering from Neurological disorder and epilepsy.
Seven months ago in his Village, ( Hendawan) part of Khoy County was arrested with his father by the Iranian authorities. His father Mr Hussein Yasmini, 65 years old has been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.

Mr. Yasmini has been accused of being a member one of the Kurdish political parties, and fighting against the national security of Iran. Fasih Yasmini was convicted and sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court in Khoy, Court room one. According to some sources his conviction had been issued 10-15 days before the Trial.

His Case has been sent to the Court of Appeal in West Azerbayjan Province, Court of Appeal, Branch 10.

His case reference number in the Court of Appeal: 870975/87/10

Defendant: Iranian Intelligent services (ETelaiat)

He has been sentenced on bases of documents that were provided by the Iranian Intelligent service on trial date. Mr. Yasmini claims that he has been repeatedly under the brutal torture in order to sign Etelaits document.

His family is extremely worried about their sons well being and health situation.

By: Ahmad Andaryari

Peter MacKay’s vow to seek justice for a tortured and murdered Canadian was decisive and explicitly clear. “Mark my words,” he said as minister of foreign affairs in June 2006. “This individual is on notice. If there is any way Canada can bring this person to justice, we’ll do it.”

The individual supposedly on notice was Saeed Mortazavi, the prosecutor general of Tehran. Mortazavi supervised and may have taken part in the violent interrogations of Canadian Zahra Kazemi, who, in 2003, was arrested for taking photographs of a vigil outside Tehran’s Evin prison, where most Iranian political prisoners are held. She was tortured and brutally raped while in custody, and died of her injuries. No one in Iran has ever been convicted for the murder. But upon hearing that Mortazavi would be part of Iran’s delegation to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, MacKay asked German authorities to arrest Mortazavi if he stopped in Germany. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada had requested Mortazavi be detained so he could be prosecuted for “crimes against humanity.”

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the adoption of a resolution on the human rights situation in Iran, following a vote at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly earlier today.

"The adoption of this resolution is a clear signal of the international community's concern for the human rights of people in Iran. It sends a message of hope to the victims of state-sponsored brutality and to the human rights defenders who seek to effect positive change in Iran," said Minister Cannon. "At the same time, the Iranian regime is called upon to respect fully its human rights obligations, in law and in practice."

With the passing of this resolution, Canada continues its leadership in the world by serving as the lead coordinator for this resolution, which expresses serious concern about the systemic human rights violations committed by the Government of Iran. The resolution was co-sponsored by 42 other UN member states and was supported by 70 in the vote earlier today. As in previous years, the Iranian delegation attempted to use procedural manoeuvres to block the Committee from considering the resolution on its merits. Yet again, the Iranian efforts to hide their abuses failed.

Pursuant to the resolution adopted last year, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a report highlighting serious violations of human rights in Iran, such as the execution of juveniles, stoning and amputation, widespread discrimination against cultural, religious and linguistic minorities, censorship, and harassment of human rights defenders and women's rights activists.

"With this resolution, and those presented in previous years, international attention has been drawn to the flagrant human rights abuses in Iran," said Minister Cannon. "We continue to call on the Iranian government to take concrete steps to respect the human rights of all people in Iran.

"We will continue to promote Canadian values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, on the world stage. All Canadians can be proud of Canada's principled foreign policy."

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Hi Everyone,

I have been extremely busy with work for the past 2 weeks and it looks like it will get worse before it gets better, so just a note to my readers that I may not be able to update my blog as often as I would like for the next two weeks.

If the meanwhile please feel free to check out websites and blogs I have linked to for reliable and uptodate information.

As always I am available by email and would love to hear from you.

AI Index: MDE 13/167/2008
13 November 2008
Further Information on UA 74/08 (MDE 13/050/2008, 17 March 2008) Prisoner of conscience / Torture


Abbas Lisani (or Leysani) (m), activist

Prisoner of conscience, Abbas Lisani, was released from Yazd Prison in central Iran, on 29 October 2008 after serving two consecutive sentences totalling 30 months’ imprisonment.

A prominent activist for the rights of the Iranian Azerbaijani minority, Abbas Lisani was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and 50 lashes after he was convicted of taking part in a May 2006 demonstration by Iranian Azerbaijanis in his home town of Ardabil. The demonstration was staged to protest against a cartoon published in an Iranian newspaper which many Iranian Azerbaijanis found offensive. His sentence was confirmed on appeal in October 2006. The flogging sentence has not been yet carried out.

Abbas Lisani's second prison sentence of one year was passed in August 2006 and confirmed later on appeal, in connection with his participation in a peaceful cultural gathering at Babek Castle in 2003. In April 2008 he also received a fine of 50,000 Toman (about US $50,125) by a court in Tabriz, north-western Iran, on charges of “disturbing public order” during another gathering in Tabriz in June 2005.

During his detention Abbas Lisani went on several hunger strikes including in protest against his transfer to Yazd Prison and his harsh treatment there. He was then deprived of temporary prison leave as permitted in Iranian law.

On 7 October 2008, Abbas Lisani was taken to the offices of the Intelligence Services in Yazd where he was subjected to 10 hours’ interrogation during which he was questioned about his plans after his release. The interrogation took place in presence of members of the Security force from his north western hometown, Ardebil. A few days prior to his release, the General Prosecutor and the Intelligence Services of Ardebil threatened Abbas Lisani's family that he would be arrested again should he take part in any event or movement in an Azerbaijani city.

Ever since Ahmab Batebi’s arrival to the United States there has been great controversy in regards to Mr. Batebi’s personal life. This I believe has been a great distraction from his political/human rights activities.

On his arrival to the United States Mr. Batebi announced that he had become the spokesperson for an organization called “Human Rights Activists in Iran” This group is made up of four (4) known individuals including Mr. Batebi. There maybe other members however that is not very clear.

“Human Rights Activists in Iran” has conceded that they are an organization that work within the legal frame work of the Islamic Regime. Please see their letter addressed to me from their general secretary Mr. Esfandiyar Bahaar. Not only have they openly admitted that they work within the Islamic Regime’s legal framework they have also clearly stated that their organization was created based on Section 26 of the Islamic Regime Constitution. Not to mention all other questionable activity this group has been involved with in the past year…

Many people including myself thought once free and able, that Mr. Batebi would start fighting against the Islamic Regime, a Regime he claims he has been fighting against for the past 9 years. It is therefore puzzling to see him work for an organization whose executive members are all OUTSIDE OF IRAN, yet the organization itself works within the legal frame work of the Islamic Regime.

If Mr. Batebi’s goal was to work within the legal framework of the Islamic Regime why did he feel the need to leave Iran? He could have very easily continued his activities from inside the borders of Iran. To come to a free and democratic country after 9 years of supposedly fighting against the Islamic Regime, and then to become a spokesperson for a group that is working within the legal framework of the Islamic Regime is at the very least puzzling…

Mr. Masoud Hossein Panahi, a political activist residing in the city of Dehgolan was arrested on October 29th 2008. He was arrested in his home by security forces and taken to a detention center in the city of Ghorveh.

Mr. Panahi was previously arrested and imprisoned for one month in 2007 and again for 10 days in 2008, for his participation in a gathering protesting against the death sentence against Mr. Anwar Hossein Panahi.

There is no information about why Mr. Panahi has been arrested or what he has been charged with. His family has tried to obtain information about his whereabouts adn the reason for his arrest however they have not been successful. Mr. Panahi's family is extremely concerned about his safety and well being.

By: Ahmad Andaryari
Translation: Sayeh Hassan

On November 8th 2008 Mr. Ismail Gorgi, a political activists who had previously been sentenced to two (2) years imprisonment by teh Revolutionary Courts in the City of Mahabad was re-arrested.

According to news recieved Mr. Gorgi had prevoiusly been charged with working with various Kurdish organizations and as a result was sentenced to two years imprisonment. He had also been arrested on similar charges in the city of Bukan and subjected to physical torture for months before being released on bail.

He is currently in custody.

Ahmad Andaryari

In the past few days and through different sources we have received very troubling news in regards to the oppression of Kurdish students in Iran. Currently at least one student Mr. Habiblollah Lotfi who is a student at the “Payame Nour” University has been sentenced to death.

Further from “Razi” University in Kermanshah Mr. Sattar Parvizi has been sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment, Mr. Khabat Yousefi to 13 years of imprisonment and Mr. Hosseing Rahmani to 6 years of imprisonment.

In further disturbing news the Revolutionary Court in the City of Sanandaj sentenced Mr. Yaser Goli to 10 years of imprisonment. Mr. Goli is a student at a private university in the City of Sanandaj. Mr. Goli is also a social work Major, the president of The “Democratic Organization of Kurdish Students in Iran.” He is also an editor for a Farsi Kurdish Student newsletter in the University of Sanandaj.

Further the 3 year prison sentence agasint Mr. Khazur Rasoulmorut has been confirmed by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Appeal. Mr. Morut was a literature major in the University of Sanandaj, he resided in the village of “Talavo” where the residents are mostly of Kurdish ethnicity. Mr. Mourt also taught Kurdish language.

Also news received from the Evin Prison indicates that two Kurdish students Mr. Sabah Nasri and Mr. Hedayat Ghazali were taken to solitary cells and have been subjected to continuous interrogation for the past 20 days. The reason behind this is their involvement in a hunger strike.

The arrest of Kurdish Students also continues. A student named Varya Moruti was arrested in the city of Sanandaj and take to an unknown location. Mr. Moruti is a 25 year old student at “Payame Nour” University. He is also a member of a group called “Jiyareveh”. He was arrested at his home.

Two other Kurdish students Mr. Pejman Zafari and Mr. Peyman Hosseini who had been arrested a few months ago were released on a 30 million toman bail.

Currently there are at least 15 Kurdish students in Islamic Regime Prisons. These individuals are:

1. Habbibollah Lotfi- death sentence
2. Yaser Goli- 10 years imprisonment
3. Sattar Parvizi- 16 years imprisonment
4. Khebat Yousefi- 13 years imprisonment
5. Hossein Rahmani- 6 years imprisonment
6. Sabah Nasri- Originally sentenced to 2 years, court of appeal reduced it to 1.5 years
7. Hedayat Ghazali- Originally sentenced to 2 years, court of appeal reduced it to 1.5 years.
8. Khodro Rasoul Morut- 3 years imprisonment
9. Jamal Rahmani- 6 years imprisonment
10. Amir Reza Ardalan- Originally sentenced to 1 year imprisonment, court of appeal reduced it to 6 months.
11. Rashid Abdollahi- 3 years imprisonment.
12. Ms. Hanna Abdi-Originally sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, it was reduced to 1.5 years.
13. Ms. Ronak Safarzadeh- She is in custody, no conviction or sentencing as of yet.
14. Siyvan Farokhnejad- In custody, no conviction or sentence as of yet
15. Varya Moruti- In custody, no conviction or sentence as of yet.

The following news report was recieved by the organizers of Berxodan, Zendan va Mobareze.

Translated by: Sayeh Hassan

Last Thursday October 30th 2008 three political activists who had been charged with communicating with a Kurdish political organization were sentenced by the Revolutionary Courts in the City of Sanandaj.

Mr. Lotfollah Lotfipour was sentenced to two (2) years of imprisonment, Mr. Shamsollah Lotfipour to six (6) years of imprisonment, Mr. Shafigh Morad Veysi to one (1) year imprisonment and an individual only known as Jalal to five (5) years of imprisonment.

Further Mohammad Kaabi, who was arrested a few months earlier and was incarcerated in the main prison in the City of Sanandaj, in a specific section which is under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence was released on a 50 Million Toman bail.

Majid Vaysi (25, M), the son of Karim, from a small village called Mirananmak, close to the city of Salat Babajani, in the province of Kermanshah was arrested by the Regime Agents last week and taken to the detention centre for Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Kermanshah. He has been charged with working with Kurdish opposition groups. Since his arrest Mr. Vaysi has not been able to make any phone calls to his family or have any visitations with them. He has also been prevented from using his right to counsel.

By: Ahmad Andaryari

An individual named Mohammad Sadiq Mohammadi, from a small village called Ghasaryan, close to the city of Sanandaj was arrested on October 22nd 2008 by Islamic Regime Agents, without an arrest warrant. He was taken to an un-known location, and so far there has been no news about his whereabouts or health condition. His family is extremely concerned about his well being.

By: Ahmad Andaryari

Mr. Afshin Shams has been sentenced to one year imprisonment by the Revolutionary Courts in the City of Esfehan. he has been convicted of advertising against the Islamic Regime and being in contact with opposition groups outside of the country.

He has been sentenced based on Section 500 of the Islamic Iranian Criminal Code which states: Anyone who advertises agaisnt the Islamic Regime or in support of any opposition group working against the Islamic Regime will be sentenced to anywhere between three months (3) to one year imprisonment.

On Sunday October 26th 2008 two Kurdish political activists Mr. Vriya Eskandari and Mr. Diyako Ghobadi were arrested in the city of Kamyaran, by the secret police and transferred to an unknown location.

There is no information in regards to the charges against these two individuals. The families of these activists have tried to obtain information about their whereabouts both from the police and the judiciary, however they have not been successful. The families of these individuals are extremely concerned about their safety and well being.

درخواست فوری برنامه نظارت بر حمايت مدافعان حقوق بشر
در باره دستگيری نگين شيخ الاسلامی، فعال عرصه حقوق زنان
برنامه نظارت بر حمايت مدافعان حقوق بشر، به عنوان برنامه ای مشترک از "سازمان جهانی مبارزه با شکنجه" (OMCT) و "فدراسيون بين المللی جامعه های حقوق بشر" (FIDH) اطلاعات جديدی را دريافت کرده و از شما درخواست می کند که سريعا درخصوص موارد زير در جمهوری اسلامی ايران اقدام نماييد.
اطلاعات جديد:
برنامه نظارت از سوی منابع قابل اطمينان مطلع شده که خانم نگين شيخ الاسلامی، مؤسس و رييس سازمان غيردولتی "آذرمهر" و يکی از اعضای فعال کمپين "يک ميليون امضاء"، به طور خودسرانه دستگير و در حبس بسر می برد.
برنامه نظارت از سوی منابع قابل اطمينان مطلع شده که خانم نگين شيخ الاسلامی، مؤسس و رييس سازمان غيردولتی "آذرمهر" و يکی از اعضای فعال کمپين "يک ميليون امضاء"، به طور خودسرانه دستگير و در حبس بسر می برد.
با توجه به اطلاعات به دست آمده، خانم نگين شيخ الاسلامی در تاريخ ۴ اکتبر ۲۰۰۸ توسط مأموران امنيتی در منزل خود دستگير شد. در زمان انتشار اين درخواست فوری، وی همچنان در زندان اوين بسر می برد. اين درحالی است که نمی توان هيچ اطلاعاتی در مورد اتهامات وارده بر او به دست آورد.
برنامه نظارت مراتب نگرانی عميق خود را در مورد بازداشت خودسرانه خانم نگين شيخ الاسلامی و اينکه وی يک ماه پيش عمل قلب انجام داده و در زمان بازداشت دوره نقاهت خود را سپری می کرده اعلام می دارد. به طور کلی، برنامه نظارت افزايش سرکوب ها از سوی دولتمردان جمهوری اسلامی در قبال مدافعان حقوق بشر، به ويژه فعالان حقوق زنان که در کمپين "يک ميليون امضاء" فعاليت دارند را، به شدت محکوم می کند...
برنامه نظارت همچنين خاطرنشان می سازد که ايران با ارائه نامزدی خود در انتخابات شورای حقوق بشر سال ۲۰۰۶ متعهد شده است تا "بالاترين سطح استانداردها را در ارتقاء و حمايت از مقوله حقوق بشر حفظ کند". قابل ذکر است که ايران روی اين واقعيت تأکيد نموده که "تلاش هايی را به طور مستمر در زمينه حفظ شئونات انسانی و ارتقاء و حمايت از مقوله حقوق بشر و آزادی های اصلی انجام می دهد". برنامه نظارت به منظور اطمينان بخشيدن به واقعيت ادامه اين تلاش ها، از جمهوری اسلامی ايران می خواهد تا براساس استانداردهای بين المللی حقوق بشر عمل کند.
اقدامات فوری مورد درخواست:
از شما خواهشمنديم که هر چه سريعتر دولتمردان جمهوری اسلامی را از درخواست های زير باخبر سازيد:
۱. تحت هر شرايطی، سلامت روحی و جسمانی خانم نگين شيخ الاسلامی و ديگر اعضای فعال در کمپين "يک ميليون امضاء" را تضمين کنند.
۲. اطمينان دهند که خانم شيخ الاسلامی هرچه سريعتر و بدون هيچ گونه قيد و شرطی آزاد خواهد شد، زيرا حبس او خودسرانه بوده و کاملاً مشخص است که صرفاً به دليل فعاليت های وی در زمينه حقوق زنان صورت گرفته.
۳. اطمينان دهند که هرگونه اتهام خودسرانه برضد مدافعان حقوق زنان که در کمپين "يک ميليون امضاء" فعاليت می کنند رفع خواهد شد.
۴. سريعا به هرگونه اقدام تهديدآميز و آزاردهنده در قبال تمامی مدافعان حقوق بشر در ايران پايان دهند.
۵. به مواد اعلاميه مدافعان حقوق بشر، تصويب شده توسط مجمع کل سازمان ملل در تاريخ ۹ دسامبر ۱۹۹۸، احترام گذاشته و آن را رعايت کنند. به ويژه ماده اول آن که می گويد: "هر شخصی به صورت فردی يا گروهی اين حق را دارد که در سطوح ملی و يا بين المللی اقدام به حمايت از حقوق بشر کند و آزادی های اصلی را تحقق بخشد" و همچنين ماده ۶ قسمت دوم که می گويد: "هر شخصی اين حق را دارد (...) تا به شکلی آزادانه به افشا، اشاعه يا نشر نظريات ديگران و اطلاعات مربوط به حقوق بشر و آزادی های اصلی اقدام کند" و همچنين ماده ۱۲.۲ که می گويد: "دولت بايد کليه تدابير لازم را انجام دهد تا حمايت فردی و گروهی همه کس در برابر خشونت، تهديد، تعقيب، اقدامات تلافی جويانه، فشار، تبعيض های منفی شخصی و يا قانونی و هرگونه اقدام مستبدانه ديگری که به دنبال اقدامات مشروع و قانونی اين اشخاص براساس اين اعلاميه انجام شده، توسط مراجع ذيصلاح تضمين گردد".
۶. به طور کلی، تحت هر شرايطی اطمينان دهند که مفاد حقوق بشر و آزادی های اصلی در ايران مطابق با اعلاميه جهانی حقوق بشر و ديگر عهدنامه های بين المللی و منطقه ای که در زمينه حقوق بشر فعاليت می کنند و ايران نيز آنها را به رسميت می شناسد رعايت خواهند شد.
- رهبر انقلاب اسلامی، جناب آيت الله سيدعلی خامنه ای.
- رياست جمهوری، جناب آقای محمود احمدی نژاد.
- رياست دادگستری، جناب آقای محمود هاشمی شاهرودی.
- وزير امور خارجه، جناب آقای منوچهر متکی.
- دبير ستاد حقوق بشر قوه قضاييه، جناب آقای محمد جواد لاريجانی.
- نماينده جمهوری اسلامی ايران در سوئيس.
- سفير ايران در فرانسه، جناب آقای علی آهنی.
لطفا رونوشت اين نامه را به ديگر نمايندگان ديپلماتيک جمهوری اسلامی در ديگر کشورها نيز ارسال فرماييد.
پاريس – ژنو، ۳۱ اکتبر ۲۰۰۸
لطفا در پاسخ خود ما را از هرگونه اقدام انجام شده درخصوص اين درخواست ها مطلع فرماييد.
برنامه نظارت، برنامه مشترکی است از "فدراسيون بين المللی جامعه های حقوق بشر" (FIDH) و "سازمان جهانی مبارزه با شکنجه" (OMCT) که به حمايت از مدافعان حقوق بشر اختصاص داشته و هدف اصلی آن، پشتيبانی همه جانبه از اين افراد در زمان نياز می باشد.
برنامه نظارت، همچنين برنده جايزه حقوق بشر در سال ۱۹۹۸ از کشور فرانسه است.

Mohammad Saleh Ayomand who is a Kurdish student studying social sciences in Tehran University was arrested on December 18th 2007. he was one of the four (4) students arrested as a result of organizing an event to commemorate student day. He was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials and sent to Evin Prison.

After 92 days of imprisonment he was released on a 150 Million Toman bail, which was later reduced to 80 Million Toman. On October 29th 2008 he was sentenced to four (4) years of imprisonment by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Courts and his sentence was announced by his lawyer.

It is worth mentioning that Mr. Oyamand’s trial was adjourned on August 31st 2008 due to the absence of the prosecutor. On October 4th the Court proceeded with the trial behind closed doors and without a jury. Further Mr. Saleh Oyamand has also been permanently expelled from University and will not be allowed to continue his education.

Mr. Oyamand was charged with the following and convicted of the first four (4) charges:

1. Being present at a gathering commemorating Student Day on December 18th 2007
2. Acting against national security through advertisement against the Regime
3. Communication with Kurdish groups and organizations
4. Organizing gatherings with the purpose of overthrowing the Regime
5. Earning an illegal income
6. Leaving and re-entering the country illegally.

The Revolutionary Courts have announced that they do not have jurisdiction over charge #5-6 and have traversed the charges to an ordinary court to be dealt with accordingly.

As a result of charge #1-4 Mr. Saleh Oyamand has been sentenced to four (4) years of imprisonment by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Courts.

Sayeh Hassan