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Petition Tag - islamic republic of iran
On January 18, 2012 security forces arrested Iranian labor activist Mohammad Jarrahi in his home in Tabriz.
He was sentenced to five years in Tabriz prison based solely on politically-motivated charges brought against him as a result of his peaceful political and labor activism.
There are growing fears for the life of imprisoned labour activist Mohammad Jarahi, who is now known to be suffering from thyroid cancer. Jarahi, who is a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations, was arrested last year and sentenced to five years in prison. He is now in the second year of his sentence.
Jarahi underwent surgery on 16th February this year. However, the results of the tests following the operation show that he has thyroid cancer. According to his doctors, Jarahi should begin his treatment as soon as possible. Despite the efforts of his family for him to be referred for immediate medical treatment outside prison, Jarahi continues to be jailed.
On April 20, 2013 the Committee for Human Rights Reporters reported that Islamic Republic judicial authorities in Tabriz and the judge in charge of his court files have rejected medical furlough for Mohammad Jarahi.
According to CHRR, Mohammad Jarahi who is serving a 5-year prison term is suffering from thyroid cancer has been denied medical furlough despite the fact that for the safety of others, cancer patients who receive radiation therapy are quarantined for a week. The laws of the country stipulate that authorities are required to grant medical furlough to prisoners who are in need of treatment for their illness outside of prison.
April 13, 2013--Committee of Human Rights Reporters – According to received reports, student, blogger and cyber activist Pouria Farazmand was detained in Kermanshah on April 7th.
According to CHRR, last Sunday when the student from Kermanshah province went to his university to follow up on matters regarding his graduation, he was handed a summons by the university security. As Farazmand was exiting the university, plain clothed officials who were equipped with walkie-talkies and pistols accosted and detained the student.
Students who witnessed the clash reported that the officials engaged in a brutal confrontation with Pouria Farazmand, beating him up and insulting him as they detained him.
After Pouria Farazmand was violently taken away, one of the security officials, M. Seyedi, appeared in front of the university’s gate and hurled insults while threatening the group of students who had converged at the scene. He lashed denigrating remarks and called the detained student and blogger a “spy” who is associated with “foreign entities.”
Pouria Farazmand is the writer for the blog Azadi Baraye Hamegan (freedom for all) and served on the editorial board of Mosht (fist), a banned student newspaper. Witness students said Farazmand never wrote anything pointing to foreign associations and that he only wrote about internal politics in Iran.
There is still no news of the whereabouts or condition of the student blogger.
During the past months an increasing number of bloggers, Internet activists and citizens taking part in social networks critical of the ruling regime have been arrested in various provinces in the country including Tehran, Alborz, Fars, Kurdistan and Razavi Khorasan.
Ghasem Ahmadi (pictured on right) is an Iranian Kurdish journalist who is one of the editors of the Rojav Quarterly. Rojav is a political, cultural and social quarterly which published by the Kurdish students of Tehran university. The quarterly published 13 volumes and it's releasing stopped by disciplinary and cultural committee of Tehran university on April 9th of 2011.
Ghasem Ahmadi was arrested in Mahabad on Thursday, March 7--the same day as fellow Kurdish journalist Khosrow Kurdpour. The brother of Khosrow Kurdpour, Masoud Kurdpour (also a journalist) was subsequently reported arrested as well.
These three arrests indicate an escalation of the persecution against Iran's Kurdish minority by the Islamic Republic regime, as well as a further intensification of the regime's campaign of persecution against Iran's independent journalists. This campaign has been ongoing since January and is transparently related to the up-coming presidential elections in June.
Mrs. Zohreh Nikaeen (Tebyanian) is also serving her 23 months sentence in prison in Semnan, Iran with her 11 months son, Resam Tebyanian. Her sole "crime" is the peaceful practice of her Baha'i faith, which is viciously peresecuted under the Islamic Republic regime.
At this time her baby is known to be ill and need monthly check-up. For example Zohreh’s son, Resam, has a ear infections and needs urgent care.
Mrs. Nikaeen is one of at least three women imprisoned in Semnan solely for their Baha'i faith who are currently locked up together with their infants in the terrible Semnan prison. All together, there are known to be seven infants locked up with their mothers in that prison. THESE BABIES ARE ALL KNOWN TO BE SUFFERING FROM MEDICAL NEGLECT.
The Kaleme website reported that 20 relief workers were sentenced in Tabriz Revolutionary Court. Their prison sentences range from six months to two years.
A deadly earthquake in northwest Iran in August left hundreds dead and thosands homeless prompting volunteer relieft efforts by activists and ordinary citizens around the country.
The detained relief workers were arrested at an independent relief camp in Sarand when government security insisted on taking control of all relief efforts.
The detainees, who included many prominent civil activists, wrote an open letter to the head of the judiciary, condemning the security forces' misrepresentation of their humanitarian efforts.
The court has found the relief workers guilty of "collaboration in assembly and collusion to commit crimes against national security."
The judiciary had accused the relief workers of "trying to distribute expired food", but the relief workers have stressed there is no evidence that any expired food had been in the camp and they have denied all the charges brought against them.
UPDATE, JANUARY 16, 2013: Tabriz judicial authorities today also accused the group that was sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison, of drinking homemade alcohol, use of illegal satellite equipment, and non-religious mix of the opposite sexes.
NOTE: PLEASE ALSO SIGN THE SISTER PETITION FOR THE RELEASE OF THE TWO MOST PROMINENT HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IMPRISONED FOR THE "CRIME" OF VOLUNTEER EARTHQUAKE RELIEF, HOSSEIN RONAGHI MALEKI AND NAVID KHANJANI:
Ahmad Reza Hashempour, a 40-year-old Ph.D., was arrested in 2007. A lower court had sentenced him to death, and in January 2012 the Supreme Court upheld Hashempour's death sentence on charges of "membership in anti-religion and blasphemous websites."
During his four-year detention, Ahmad Reza Hashemour spent a long time inside the Revolutionary Guards' solitary cells, where he was physically and psychologically tortured to make television confessions against himself. The Revolutionary Guards Gordab.com website, published an article in April 2009, referring to Ahmad Reza Hashempour as "a sixth suspect in the case of 'Mozelleen 3.'" This refers to a case fabricated against several bloggers by the Organized Crime Surveillance Center of the Revolutionary Guards, which has played an active role in tracking down and arresting outspoken netizens.
Many of the suspects in this case, who were arrested by the Revolutionary Guards and its Gordab.com website, were forced to make television confessions against themselves and to accept the charges leveled against them.
Several individuals implicated in this case released open letters several months after their arrests, speaking up about unbearable torture during their detention period. Another suspect in this case, Vahid Asghari, was also sentenced to death in January 2012, after four years in prison.
To sign the petition for Vahid Asghari, Please see:
On December 1, 2012 it was reported that Dr. Ali Rashidi, an eminent Iranian economist and political activist, had been sentenced to two years imprisonment and 5 years ban of activity.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Dr. Ali Rashidi, Member of board of National Front, eminent economist, founding member of Iranian Economists Association, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment and 5 years ban of activity for writing about Iran's economic situation.
Dr. Rashidi was arrested on November 3, 2011 after being summoned to the Intelligence Ministry. He was sent to the notorious Evin Prison on November 15, 2011. In February 2012 he was reportedly released on bail pending his trial.
Zahra Mansouri, an epileptic prisoner, has been denied access to her medication in prison. Zahra Mansouri, 60, began serving her two-year prison sentence on October 27, 2012.
Zahra Mansouri's physician has warned against conditions that would bring on epileptic seizures for Mansouri, but prison authorities refuse to allow her access to medication provided by her family. Mansouri suffers from serious health problems caused by a recent intestinal operation.
Ms. Mansouri needs to regularly take her medicine and live in a stress-free environment, according to her doctors. Both are being denied her in the Islamic Republic's prison.
Security forces first arrested Zahra Mansouri on June 1, 2011. She spent 90 days in solitary cells inside the Intelligence Ministry's Ward 209 at Evin Prison. During her detention, she underwent surgery due to breast cancer, and immediately after her operation, authorities transferred her back to her solitary cell. She was released on bail on August 19, 2011.
Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Pirabbasi initially sentenced Zahra Mansouri to five years in prison on charges of "acting against national security." Due to Mansouri's ill health, her sentence was reduced to two years in prison and an additional five years' suspended imprisonment.
Zahra Mansouri's brother, Mohammad Ali Mansouri, is a political prison who has been serving a 17-year prison sentence in exile in Rajai Shahr Prison on charges of "relations with groups hostile to the regime". Zahra Mansouri has been exposed to a lot of pressure due to her familial ties.
Maryam Salehi, 24, a university student and resident of Tehran and a member of Mothers in Support of Human Rights in Iran in addition to several other human rights campaigns, was arrested early Wednesday, August 15 at her father's home in Arak.
Maryam Salehi's mother, Sedigheh Mahouri, told Melli-Mazhabi website that the forces who entered the Salehi home did not present a warrant or any form of identification. They treated the family in a very humiliating way and took some of the family's personal belongings with them.
Since her arrest, despite efforts made by Maryam Salehi's family and friends, no information about her detention location has emerged. Maryam Salehi's family remain concerned about her conditions and ask for help from human rights organizations.
Behnam Irani, an imprisoned Christian convert, is in deteriorating health and prison authorities are denying hismmedical care.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Behnam Irani has a blood infection , and he might be sent to a hospital for a surgeryto remove part of his intestines, which are source of infection.
Behnam Irani has been arrested and tried for “crimes” against national security twice, first in December 2006 and second April 2010. Basically, in this instance, "crimes against national security" meant holding house church services leading Muslims to convert to the Christan faith.
The first time he was arrested was in December 2006. He was released on bail in January 2007. On February 23, 2008 Branch 30 of the Appellate Court in Tehran gave him a five year suspended sentence. Since it was a suspended sentence he was not required to go to prison, but was free on a five-year probation.
On April 14, 2010 Intelligence Ministry officers burst into a house church service, assaulted him and took him into custody. A service was taking place at the time and the security officials interrogated those attending as well as confiscating Bibles, Christian literature and DVD’s. Behnam was in prison for two months then he was released on bail in June 2010. In January 2011 he was tried for and convicted of crimes against national security.
On May 31, 2011 a warrant was issued for his arrest so he turned himself into the prison and began serving a one year sentence plus his five year suspended sentence.
Free Iranian Student Siavash Hatam, Suffering Psychologically During Second Prison Term For Peaceful Activism.
Siavash Hatam, an imprisoned student now serving his second prison term and who was banned from continuing his education, is in dire psychological state at Evin Prison’s Ward 350, according to the human rights watch group International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Siavash Hatam, a former student activist and director of the Islamic Association of Students at Bu-Ali Sina University of Hamadan, was arrested on June 15, 2009. He was released a month later on bail of $100,000. Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Hatam to four months in prison and 74 lashes. At the request of security forces, Hatam was transferred from Hamadan’s Buali University to Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University.
Intelligence Ministry forces arrested him again in December 2009 during an examination session at Shahin Beheshti University. Branch 28 of Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced him to one year in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime,” but Siavash Hatam and his lawyer were uninformed of the case and the trial date and, therefore, did not present a defense.
After his release from his first one-year prison sentence, Siavash was visited at his home on several occasions by security agents, according to his father Mahmoud Hatam. “I don’t know what they said; I only know that they wanted Siavash to have no activities. When they showed up this morning (June 12, 2012), we thought like previous times they would talk a little and go. But this time they had Siavash’s arrest warrant and took him with them,” Hatam’s father said.
Indeed, on June 12, 2012 security forces raided their home and this time they took Siavash with them when they left. That was the day he learned that he had been sentenced to one year in prison for his second case, and the four-month prison term from his first case has also been upheld,” according to a source close to Siavash.
Imprisoned in Evin Prison’s Ward 350 since June 2012, Siavash is now reported to be in a very dire psychological state.
“Siavash has lost a lot of weight and does not have a good psychological state. He is 24. He was a graduate student when he was abruptly banned from continuing his education, and then he was imprisoned. The month-long solitary confinement, loneliness, his education ban, and his uncertain future have all made him depressed. He was taken to prison without knowing that he had been tried or sentenced. Siavash and his lawyer were unaware of a trial date; therefore they offered no defense, either," according to the same source.
Hatam’s father told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he objects to this ruling and plans to file a complaint. “They told us that he was accused of ‘participating in illegal gatherings,’ but he was not arrested in any gatherings. He was arrested at home and on campus. Which gathering? Today we wish to file a complaint against our son’s transfer to prison and his sentence,” Hatam’s father said.
“Siavash shares a room with 30 other political prisoners, many of whom don’t have a bed and are forced to sleep on the floor. His visits with his family are all through the booth and only last a few minutes. This isn’t only Siavash’s problem; all prisoners have to deal with this. His family said that they were only able to visit with him through a booth for four minutes this week, because at visitation hour they bring in a group of prisoners into a hall where the number of booths does not match the number of prisoners present,” the source told the Campaign.
Describing the situation of family visitations at Evin Prison, the source said, “Fifty prisoners arrive at a visitation hall with 15 booths. Several of the cabins have disconnected telephone sets. Prisoner families, therefore, are aware of others waiting in line and quickly give their chair to another, so that they, too, can say a few words to their imprisoned kin. Families object to prison guards, and they respond that they have reported the broken telephones to prison authorities, asking them to replace them many times.”
Zoroastrian faith Iranian citizen Mohsen (Bahman) Sadeghipour was detained during the Ashura protests of December 2009 along with his wife Negar Shahpari and his brother in laws Abolfazl and Mohammad Javad Shahpari. They were transferred to Evin Prison.
Mohsen Sadeghipour is the founder of the Iran Zoroastrian Committee
Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, under Judge Pirabbasi, tried Mohsen Sadeghipour on charges of "assembly and collusion," "insulting Islamic sanctities," "insulting the Supreme Leader," and "propagating activities against the Islamic Republic regime through propagation of Zoroastrianism and holding Iranian celebrations such as Mehregan and Norooz next to Cyrus tomb," and "disrupting the country's public order," and was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in prison and 74 lashes and cash fines. Branch 54 of Tehran Appeals Court upheld the sentence in its entirety.
His brother in laws were each sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and 74 lashes.
Sadeghipour’s cousin Mojtaba Ahmadi has also been sentenced to 6 years in prison and has been held in prison since last year without prison visits or prison leaves. He has been sentenced for blasphemy, gathering, conspiracy and anti-regime propaganda.
In late August, 2011 Abolfazl (Pouria) Shahpari, Zoroastrian citizen and member of the Iran Zoroastrian Committee, was summoned to Evin Prison in order to serve his 2.5 year prison sentence.
In February of 2009, Pouria Shahpari was arrested along with his brother Dariush Shahpari by the Intelligence Ministry. They were transferred to Ward 240 of Evin Prison.
According to the Human Rights House of Iran, his charges included anti-regime propaganda, gathering and conspiracy, insulting the Supreme Leader, membership in the Iran Zoroastrian Committee, and blasphemy by propaganda for Zoroastrianism.
He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and 74 lashes. The appeals court upheld the sentence.
He has been transferred to Evin Prison in order to serve his sentence. His brother in law, Mohsen(Bahman) Sadeghi Nour is currently held in Ward 350 of Evin prison and the execution branch of Evin Prison has told him that the prison sentence will be carried out for his brother Mohammad Javad (Dariush) Shahpari in the next a few days.
His mother had a heart attack in 2009 after the raid on her house and the arrest of her family members including her husband Abbas Shahpari, her sons Pouria, Jafar and Dariush and her only daughter Negar Shahpari along with her son in law Bahman Sadeghipour.
Mohsen Sadeghipor is the founder of Iran Zoroastrian Committee and was transferred to prison in July in order to serve his 4.5 year prison sentence.
Furthermore, Mojtaba Ahmadi, Mohsen’s cousin, who has been sentenced to 6 years in prison is serving his sentence since May of 2010 without furlough and prison visits. Ahmadi has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for blasphemy and 3 years of imprisonment for gathering, conspiracy and engaging in propaganda which adds up to a total of 6 years.
Masoud Hosseinzadeh is an engineer and civic activist of the Azeri minority in Iran. Previously he had been one of the leading Azeri student activists.
Masoud was arrested on July 9, 2012 by security forces in front of his home, after they beat him very violently. He then spent 70 days in temporary detention at the Intelligence Ministry detention centre in Tabriz.
Information which leaked out of jail indicated that his physical condition had deteriorated significantly. The ban on phone conversations with his relatives only worsened his family's concerns.
In October 2012, Masoud was sentenced to two years in prison by Branch One of Tabriz Revolutionary Court charged with "Propaganda against the regime" and "Insulting the Supreme Leader".
The parents of Iranian student Behnoud Ramezani, who was brutally murdered by Islamic Republic regime agents during the Fire Festival of 2011, have been sentenced to eight months in prison--for the "crime" of openly mourning for their son!! Similarly, his aunt has received a prison sentence of four months for the same "crime."
Behnoud Ramezani, born in 1992 and a second-term student at Noshirvani University of Technology in Babol, was killed on the night of the Iranian Fire Festival (ChaharShanbe Soori’s night) at the hands of the Basij forces in Tehran. His body was eventually delivered to his family two days after his death, under the condition that he be buried outside of Tehran. The two initial forensic reports described the cause of death as “multiple blows to the head by a hard object”. The “final” cause of death, however, was announced as a result of an “explosion of a hand grenade”. Security forces banned any burial ceremonies for Behnoud Ramezani in Tehran. He was finally buried on March 18, in his native village of Gharakhil in the province of Ghaem Shahr.
BEHNOUD'S FATHER RECOUNTS THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HIS SON'S MURDER:
“Basiji thugs had broken my son’s legs and arms.…
They had crushed one of his testicle. All parts of his body was bruised. My son was beaten to death by Basiji thugs. They had hit him with club and baton. My son was a freshman in Babol University. He was studing Mechanical Engineering there. He had gone home for Nowruz. He was killed in the Narmak Square (22nd Sq.). His friends told me that motorbike riders came and without asking any question, they began to hit all of us. Behnoud was saying why?, and they hit him more than others. The Basiji bastards should say why they hit my son. The Basiji bastards should say why they killed my son. My son was a student of “Exceptional Talent” school. His mother has become mad. She could not accept what has happened. We were Muslim. We were Iranian. But the Basiji thugs killed our son. Their motorbikes had no registered number. The regime should tell us why they allow Basiji thugs to have unregistered motorbikes. Why do they kill Iranians? Why did they kill my son? why? why? “
A CLOSE FRIEND OF BEHNOUD'S RECALLS CONVERSATIONS WITH HIM ABOUT THE FUTURE OF IRAN:
"We both believed that everything should be based on humanity. Neither of us were particularly religious. In our discussions, we came to the conclusion that we want behave like decent human beings without harming anyone [in our actions]. Whenever we had discussions, we came to the conclusion that in this country we will never be able to do the things we like. There will always be obstacles and problems. There are always people who won’t allow us to live how we like to live. All in all, it is impossible to do anything here. Our thought was to study for four years and then leave the country. Behnoud and I had differing political views. Behnoud was completely against the current ruling government. He always watched the programs on satellite, even though I personally disliked some of these programs. There were times when we had lots of discussions. For example, we would argue every day for two weeks in a row. We would discuss how we should change this corrupt regime. We would talk about how lives would have to be sacrificed. My friend and I would explain that we were not willing to die for this cause. We wondered whether people would stand by us and follow in our path if we paid such a price. What if we paved the way and the people did not follow? Behnoud did not agree with our analysis and would say: “You may be right, but in the end lives have to be sacrificed, there has to be bloodshed…”
THIS SAME FRIEND RECALLS THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF BEHNOUD'S BRUTAL MURDER THE NIGHT OF THE 2011 FIRE FESTIVAL:
"The security atmosphere in Tehran was undoubtedly tense. At around 4:00pm, when we left Iran Pars Square, you could see security agents every step of the way. We later went to Narmak, because that neighborhood has approximately 150 to 200 squares and even if they placed 10 agents at every square they would need to deploy tons of agents. In any event, there were lots of motorcycle-riding security agents watching the neighborhood. We didn’t witness any particular political protests in the square. We had no intention of holding political rallies, not because we were against the idea of protesting, but rather because we saw our Iranian Fire Festival as a night for happiness, celebrations, and festivities.
At around 6:00pm, a number of motorcycle-riding agents filled the square. Those in front were fully equipped Basij’s, followed by special security forces who were covered in gear and also well equipped. We all ran away and about fifteen minutes later, we returned to the square. At around 8:00pm, the security agents once again attacked the square. The 22nd Square was very busy. There were approximately 40-50 of us young men in the square. Later on in the night, when the crowd dispersed and Behnoud and I were standing with a few others in the middle of the square, we noticed that a group of motorcycle-riding agents had entered the main street. They revved their motorcycles and drove towards us causing us to flee. After a few seconds, I turned around and saw a boy with a short beard running away. At first I didn’t think he was a Basij, but then I heard a women at the end of the street shouting: “They have killed someone! The Basij’s have attacked and killed someone!” Initially, I had no idea that it was Behnoud she was talking about. I saw two of the neighborhood boys running after the Basij who had jumped into a White Samand with the license plate “44-Iran-246S61″ and had fled the scene....
"A few of our friends who had witnessed what happened, explained that they first hit Behnoud from afar with an electric shocker (I must say that I am sure of this fact) and later Behnoud slipped. When I went to stand above him, I saw that Behnoud’s body and face were black and bruised. He had not even shed a drop of blood...
" I saw Behnoud’s body. Later the forensic experts confirmed the details in their report. The bone in his right thigh was crushed. One of his testes had exploded. His right or left hand was broken. His neck was broken, but an injury to the spinal cord does not lead to death. The cause of his death was the heavy blows to his head. It is unclear what caused the head trauma that led to the rupturing of an artery in his brain and cerebral hemorrhaging. He was taken to the Alghadir hospital by ambulance where he was declared dead."
Afshin Osanloo is prison of conscience and brother to Mansour Osanloo, President of the Tehran Bus Workers' Union (Vahed Syndicate), who has also been prosecuted and imprisoned for his union-related activities.
Security forces arrested Afshin Osanloo in the main Tehran bus terminal in December 2010 without any specified charges. He spent three months inside Evin Prison's Security Ward 209 without his family's knowledge. He was sentenced to five years in prison in May 2011 on charges of "acting against national security" and "propagating against the state" without access to a lawyer, and his sentence was upheld by an appeals court.
On Wednesday, June 6, 2012 Afshin Osanloo was abruptly transferred to the Special Security Ward of Rajaee Shahr Prison on orders from Evin Prison's Disciplinary Council and without any explanation. Prior to his abrupt transfer, Osanloo had been serving a five-year prison term at Evin Prison.
Describing his torture at the hands of Islamic Republic regime henchmen, Afshin Osanloo issued the following appeal to the world community on August 7, 2012 from the horrible Rajai Shahr Prison:
"I am Afshin Osanloo of the labor movement in Iran; I drive a transport truck between cities and am now in Gohardasht (Rajaei Shahr) prison in Iran. In the autumn of 2010, while resting in the dormitory for drivers in the passenger terminal, I was arrested by armed persons wearing casual clothing – not uniforms – and was taken to Section 209 of Evin prison. For five months I was kept in solitary confinement and was interrogated and tortured. The tortures included beatings of the soles of my feet with cables; forcing me to run on the beaten feet which were covered in sores and cuts; gross verbal insults and swearing; week-long interrogations, 18 hours at a time, while being beaten by a group of men which resulted in my ribs and some teeth being broken. During these five months, my family had no information about me whatsoever, and their inquiries were not answered. I was not even permitted one phone call to my elderly mother who also was suffering from my brother’s imprisonment (Mansour Osanloo, Chairman of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company).
"I am married and have two sons. When I first started my family, I began working at the Construction Base at Khatam, in the isolated, war-torn provinces of Southern Iran on important projects in the name of a driver for 2 years. The work was hard labor, such as building dirt roads through the Karkhe River, making docks out of rocks in the Port of Mahshahr, and building water pipes from the Karkhe River all the way to Hamideh in Ahwaz. The love for my country helped me endure being so far away from my family, and I dismissed the sorrow.
"After 2 years, all the drivers, whether they were temporary hires or contract workers, were let go. In 1997, I was hired by the bus Company of Tehran and worked 12 hour shifts both during the day and night on the busiest routes in the city. During the time that I worked at the unit, along with my most experienced and truly sincere co-workers, we tried to improve and modernize our working conditions and tried to prevent corruption at the expense of being humiliated and ridiculed by management and bosses from different sectors and regions and even the representatives of the Islamic Labor Council. Nevertheless, we pursued our outstanding arrears, bonuses, uniforms, and prevention of hard, harmful and unsafe labor, along with abolishment of temporary contracts, some of which had lasted 4-5 years.
"Although we were not successful in many issues, and were seen as greedy, ungrateful workers by the higher-ups, we still tried in any way we could. We were threatened with the loss of our jobs by the management.
"Unfortunately, in 2001, while I was transferring passengers during my shift at work, I had an accident that sadly caused the death of another person. I asked my company’s insurance for assistance in the matter but after some talks between the insurance company and the family of the deceased, the sum I was asked to pay was changed from 10 million to 18 million Toumans (Iranian currency). The insurance company from work was deemed legally exempt and not responsible.
"My complaints to the Department of Labor were of no use until the bosses of the company agreed to pay the entire sum, conditional on my resignation. And since I did not have such a large sum of money I was forced to resign, which caused me to lose the 4 years of seniority and experience I had in the field, not to mention the years of enduring hard labor and harsh conditions. This also dealt a large blow to my family. My wife, who was pregnant at the time, suffered from a nervous breakdown. From that time onwards, I was busy working in Transportation and Shipping. The fact that this sector was owned privately, along with the lack of strong, independent unions and late paychecks, made it hard for the drivers to make ends meet, and they suffered from so many different work-related issues. As a result, all of us were communicating about how to better our work situation.
"I had four rules in my life for myself which I have lived by all my life: I was proud of my work, I tried to respect all my peers, I loved my country and its people and I served society by bringing up my children well so that they could be useful.
"After one year of being in prison in sections 209 and 380, without knowing my fate, I was sentenced to 5 years in prison by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, led by Judge Salavati (The Hanging Judge). In just a few minutes I was accused of being “a threat to national security” and was denied the right to be represented by a lawyer. I objected to the proceedings, but there was no way at all for me or my family to review or even see my file or my charges.
"I was sentenced on baseless accusations and charges to five years in prison, two of which I have already served. What did I do against national security? I had no political affiliations and did not belong to any organizations or groups and all my actions were legal and had to do with trade workers. The only crime I committed was pursuing workers’ rights and unions, and arresting us is not going to stop us from wanting our rights. It is necessary to create legitimate, independent labor unions for legal rights that are in accordance with the Ministry of Labor.
"And to provide job security, improved wages commensurate with the inflation rate, to prevent late payment of salary, permanent contracts between worker and employer, payment of social security by the government, insurance coverage for workers and to stop privatization of the transportation and shipping trade which are all privately owned in order to stop employers from taking advantage of the workers. If such issues are pursued by the police force and the Ministry of Transportation, it will allow the trade business to run in accordance with the law. If these laws are implemented, it will benefit public safety and increase productivity, and the industry as a whole will be more profitable. My crime and that of all others like me are the same and repetitive on this issue.
"These issues and problems are discussed among drivers and workers, and even amongst some honest and competent transport managers who work for the industry.
"These issues should be first addressed to The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and also the International Labor Organization (ILO), who have always been sympathetic and have supported their brothers all across the world, and who understand our pain and suffering. We want them to take this issue to the international bodies and communities and also to the human rights organizations. We want all other workers, especially those in transportation, to hear how I and so many other workers have been unfairly and illegally convicted. We want you to tell them how in our country, we have no labor or human rights, and how unjust and illegal it all is, and how the smallest complaint about our working conditions causes us to be severely tortured and imprisoned."
In September, he along with three other prisoners of conscience being held in the horrible Rajai Shahr prison-- Reza Sharifi Bokani (Kurdish human rights activist) and Khalid Hardani (Ahwazi Arab activist)--signed an open appeal to UN General Secretary Ban ki-Moon asking him, among other considerations, to understand the following about conditions in Iran:
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has never allowed any opposition political party, even peaceful ones, has never allowed political activism and the leaders and members of opposition political parties have been severely tortured, detained and executed....
"In this country, poverty, inflation, unemployment, discrimination and corruption are rife. Every year, thousands of workers have lost their jobs, factories have closed and companies have gone bankrupt. Iranian people are forced to accept and tolerate the economic effects of a corrupt totalitarian government, mismanagement and international sanctions against the government. And nobody is allowed to criticise corruption because they are oppressed."
Iranian teacher and labor activist Mehdi Farahi Shandiz was arrested in the first week of Januar, 2012 to serve a three-year jail term.
Mr. Shandiz had been previously detained on May 1, 2010 and had spent more than eight months in solitary confinement in the notorious Evin prison before being released on January 26, 2011.
Intelligence Ministry agents have arrested the 51-year-old teacher and labour activist Shandiz numerous times before.
While the ostensible basis for the conviction and prison sentence of Mr. Shandiz remain unclear, the fact that is that he is doubly vulnerable to persecution at the hands of the Islamic Republic regime's war against Iran's civil society by simple virtue of being both a teacher and a labor activist.
As for as labor activists are concerned, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has called for urgent action regarding the arrests of and acts of harassment against several Iranian trade unionists, including Shandiz, Shahrokh Zamani, Mohammad Jarrahi, Nima Pouryaghoub, Sassan Vahebivash, Sheys Amani, Sadiq Karimi, Sharif Sa’ed-Panah, Mozaffar Salehnia, Maysam Nejati-Aref, Ebrahim Madadi, Reza Shahabi, Mohammad Hosseini and Mehdi Farahi Shandiz.
As far as the plight of teachers, Zamaneh has recently reported:
Iran’s “Campaign to Support Jailed Teachers” has issued an announcement in protest against the “worrying situation” of teachers in Iran’s prisons.
Zamaneh reports that the Campaign made its announcement at the start of the academic year and in the run-up to World Teachers’ Day, aiming to be the voice of incarcerated teachers in Iran and rallying the public to demonstrate against how teachers are treated in the country.
The announcement calls on the Islamic Republic to heed the demands of teachers and urges all civil activists to become in every way possible the voice of “jailed teachers” between September 20 and October 5, World Teachers’ Day.
While pointing out the arrest of many teachers and the execution of Farzad Kamangar in 2010, the Campaign adds that many teachers are also being subjected to expulsion and exile, and being denied the right to participate in union activities.
In addition to the stated political persecution, the statement also indicates that many teachers in the provinces will be facing cuts to their salaries in the coming year, while nowhere in the country will educators be granted a raise.
Following the 2009 presidential elections, the government began a widespread crackdown on civil and political activists all across the country. Teachers have been one of the chief targets of government pressure including arrests, interrogations and prison sentences.
Names of some of the jailed Iranian teachers are: Mehdi Farahi Shandiz, Rasoul Badaghi, Abdolreza Ghanbari, Mohammad Davari, Abdollah Momeni, Ali Poursoleiman, Hashem Shabaninejad, and Hadi Rashedi.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 29, 2012
A further number of relief workers who were arrested while helping victims of the recent earthquake in Iran's East Azerbaijan province have been released on bail. Among these are: Behrouz Alavi, Esmaeil Salmanpour, Esmaeil Salmanpour, Hamidreza Mosayebian and Houman Taheri. We are seeking confirmation of the total number of volunteer relief workers still imprisoned, in addition to Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and Navid Khanjani.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 12, 2012:
Hossein Ronaghi, blogger and human rights activist who was among the detained earthquake aid volunteers, is suffering from dangerous internal bleeding of his kidneys. Hossein is being held in a facility in Eastern Azerbaijan and despite his dangerous condition, his release and medical care have been denied.
Hossein Ronaghi who suffers from a severe kidney ailment and has undergone several surgeries, required hospitalization in the past days to receive emergency care for his deteriorating heath. Judicial authorities and security agents in charge have refused to acknowledge Hossein’s medical needs despite the fact that his life his in danger as a result of severe internal bleeding in his kidneys.
On August 22, 2012 Hossein Ronaghi was detained along with his father and brother, Ahmad and Hasan Ronagi Maleki, along with 33 other volunteers and social activists who had gone to the aid of earthquake victims in the province of Azerbaijan. The volunteers were violently detained at their campsite at Sarande by security agents. Some of the volunteers [including Hossein's father Ahmad and brother Hasan] have since been released on bail but judicial authorities have not disclosed any information regarding a possibility of release for Hossein Ronaghi and a number of other detainees.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 5, 2012:
Navid Khanjani, who was among those arrested in Azerbaijan 2 weeks ago while helping earthquake victims, has been transferred to Rajai Shahr prison, near Tehran. He spent the previous day in Evin prison’s Ward 2-A, which is under the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Navid Khanjani was arrested in March 2010 and spent about 2 months in prison before being released on bail. Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court handed down a 12-year prison sentence, which was later upheld by the appellate court.Government-affiliated media have published several negative articles about the activities of Baha’i citizens recently, using Navid Khanjani as an example.
Some of the volunteers arrested while helping earthquake victims have been released on bail but most are still being held: there is no news of their condition. Some of them are being held at Evin prison.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2, 2012:
HOSSEIN RONAGHI MALEKI HAS CONTACTED HIS FAMILY BY PHONE, INFORMING THEM THAT HE IS IN POOR PHYSICAL CONDITION AS A RESULT OF EXTREME BLEEDING OF THE KIDNEYS.
On August 22, 2012, security forces of the Islamic Republic regime in Iran arrested 35 nongovernmental volutneer earthquake relief workers in the East Azerbaijan province. They violently raided relief camps containing supplies for victims of the recent earthquakes in the region. According to close sources, the activists demanded to see the security forces’ warrant and attempted to stand in the way of them confiscating the supplies.
The following are the known names of activists arrested for helping Iran’s earthquake victims: Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, Navid Khanjani, Vahed Kholoosi, Shayan Vahdati, Shima Ghousheh, Misagh Afshar, Vahid Rouhani, Maziar Esmaeilpour, Morteza Esmaeilpour, Hamid Reza Mossayebian, Ali Mohammadi, Mohsen Saemi, Masoud Vafabakhsh, Houman Taheri, Danial Hosseini, Nafiseh Shahidfar, Bahram Shojaie, Mohammad Arjmandi Rad, Esmael Salmanpour, Baghban Bashi, Narges Kheirollahi, Mehdi Salehi, Behrouz Alavi, Milad Panahipour, Sepehrdad Saheban, Esmael Rafati, Amir Ronaghi, Hassan Ronaghi, Jafar Gholami, Kiana Karimpour, Farnaz Ahmadzadeh, Artemiz Varzandeh, Mehrnaz Ahmadzadeh, Amin Ronaghi, Reyhaneh Hesami, Ali Taghdiri, and Sadegh Rezaie Giglu.
Most of the them were subsequently released. However, several remain in custody. Those remaining in custody were transferred from the quarantine ward at Tabriz prison to the intelligence ministry where according to a source close to one of the detainees they were subjected to interrogation for a period of five days.
Prominent among them are blogger and furloughed prisoner of conscience Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, and Navid Khanjani, a human rights activist and student of Baha’i faith who was out of jail pending an appeal against his 12-year prison sentence.
There are rising concerns over Hossein Ronaghi Maleki's deteriorating physical condition given that the judicial and intelligence authorities have denied Ronaghi Maleki access to any medication and medical treatment (see below for details of the extremely perilous state of his health due to acute kidney failure).
Hossein's father Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki was also arrested, and subsequently suffered a minor heart attack and was taken to the hospital. He has since been released.
Navid Khanjani, a human rights activist and student of Baha’i faith who was out of jail pending an appeal against his 12-year prison sentence.
Hossein and Navid are locked up in Ward 1 of Tabriz Prison, where they declared a dry hunger strike on Saturday, August 25. They were officially charged with "handing out contaminated goods".
The following is background information on these two brave sons of Iran:
HOSSEIN RONAGHI MALEKI
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki is a 25year old blogger who used the name Babak Khorramdin for his blogs. He was also involved in writing computer programs and used his expertise in bypassing filters to combat the censorship environment in Iran’s cyberspace. He was born in the city of Tabriz in Iran and speaks th…e Azari language.
Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was arrested on December 13, 2009. Hossein endured relentless intimidation and abuse in an attempt to coerce him into making a confession during the televised trials.
On October 4, 2010, after 10 months of temporary detention in Ward 2A of Evin prison, holding this human rights activist under an unknown condition, finally his verdict was issued. Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court issued a sentence of 15years in prison. Hossein was given the ruling by the head officer of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, who used threats to force Hossein into signing the verdict. When he refused to sign the verdict, the head of the office and his officers savagely attacked and beat Hossein. So on October 7, 2010, Hossein went on his third hunger strike in protest of the brutal assault against him.
On November 20, 2010, Hossein’s file went to the appeal court despite the protests of his lawyers. On December 1, 2010, the 15year sentence for Hossein Maleki was upheld by branch 54 of the appeal court. The charges announced against him in court were “membership in Iran Proxy Network” and “insulting the leadership and insulting the president.”
At the time the devastating earthquakes struck, Hossein was on medical furlough from Evin Prison after a prolonged hungerstrike to demand medical treatment for his failing kidneys. Despite the precarious situation of both his health and his tenuous "freedom", Hossein Ronaghi was one of the true sons and daughters of Iran who did not hesitate to rush to the scene of the earthquakes to begin immediate relief efforts.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki had just undergone a 7th kidney operation and a number of other detainees are said to have launched a dry hunger strike, an act that exasperated Ronaghi Maleki's physical condition and led to further bleeding of his kidneys.
On December 20, 2010, Navid Khanjani, a human rights activist and student of Baha’i faith banned from higher education was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined by Judge Pirabbasi of branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court.
Navid Khanjani was charged with “Acting against national security”, “Propaganda against the regime”, “Disturbing public order”, “Libel”, “Founding the Baha’i Education Rights Committee”, and “Membership in [two human rights organizations], the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) and Human Rights Activists (HRA)”.
While awaiting appeal of his sentence, Navid has been out of prison on bail.
His sentence of 12 years and fine was upheld by the appeals court on August 22, 2012....And then he was arrested while volunteering to assist earthquake victims.
The mass arrest of Iranian volunteer (non-regime) relief workers must be viewed against the backdrop of the regime's dismal record in response to the earthquakes.
As Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, in a joint statement with Karim Lahidji (vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights ) observed:
"Two weeks since the earthquake in the Azerbaijan province of Iran, the authorities of the Islamic Republic are still pursuing a policy of silence and secrecy. They have not published the real figures of the casualties, the demolished villages and residential units or the financial damages. Furthermore, they have failed to provide adequate basic aid to the people. To make matters worse, by despatching the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to the area, they have established a reign of fear and intimidation by arresting scores of civic activists and volunteer relief workers and trying to disrupt the work of the people who are endeavouring to help our quake-struck compatriots."
The International Federation for Human Rights provides further details:
"Ever since the earthquake, the authorities have tried to impose restrictions on popular and non-governmental aid to the victims and have failed to supply adequate aid to them. Furthermore, by deploying the IRGC and confiscating the privately collected supplies, they have tried to disrupt the flow of aid to the earthquake victims. The government has blocked bank accounts set up by non-governmental groups to aid the victims. Some groups of social workers specialised in helping children as well as psychologists who had travelled to the area to help the people have been forced to leave in the face of threats by the security and intelligence departments of the provincial capital Tabriz and the city of Ahar. The IRGC forces have been searching the trucks and other vehicles on the roads and partially confiscating private supplies donated by the people.
The earthquake victims are in pressing need for food, medicine, health, medical and psychiatric assistance. Shortage of medical staff and nurses has increased the likelihood of the spread of infectious diseases including cholera. People in the earthquake-struck regions have complained of improper distribution of food by the IRGC, which has reportedly been storing the aid received. Even representatives of the state Red Crescent Organisation have been facing impediments to their work caused by the IRGC. There have been reports of favouritism displayed by government agents in distributing aid to some families....Civic activists and other compatriots have rushed to aid the earthquake victims. However, the authorities are trying to monopolise all contact with the victims and do not shy away from deploying security and military forces to achieve their goal."
“IRELI” Public Union operating in Baku, Azerbaijan, consisting 12 member organizations and over 25.000 young activists is submitting petition to the broad audience, NGOs, human rights defenders and young activists all over the world calling for the help to release two young Azerbaijani poets who were groundlessly accused and detained in the Islamic Republic of Iran more than two months.
“On 29th of April 2012 two Azerbaijani poets Farid Huseysn and Shahriyar Hajizade visited Islamic Republic of Iran in order to participate at the poetry festival. Soon after when they were planning to come back Azerbaijan on the 2nd of May in Tabriz city they were kidnapped and detained by persons in civilian clothes.
Two months has passed since unjustified detainment of Azerbaijani poets. In spite of the fact that within this period of time the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan has already gave 5 letters of notes to the Iranian side but yet it has not given desired outcomes. Unfortunately Iranian authorities have not yet provided reasonable information about the reasons of detainment of Farid Huseyn and Shahriyar Hajizade.
Moreover, each attempt of meeting with detained citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran and Consulate of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tabriz was declined by Iranian officials. We would like to emphasize the fact that behavior of Iranian authorities is contradicting internationally admitted conventions and taking into consideration the fact that Iran is the member of UN and is part of the globally admitted civilization we find such behavior unreasonable and unjustified.
According to the information spread in Iranian mass media two Azerbaijani poets were detained because of accusation in illegal drug smuggling and in espionage to Israel. Furthermore, these media agencies also claim that two Azerbaijani poets made a confession regarding above mentioned accusations and Iranian officials has given related documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan found these claims groundless and denied the fact of getting any documents by Iranian officials.
We also turn to such organizations as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and to the human rights defenders who based in Azerbaijan to draw more precise attention to the current issue. The curios fact is that till this moment none of above mentioned organizations have not drawn up any protocol and document regarding violation of human rights of the citizens of Azerbaijan in Iran. We also would like to see any kind of appeal by local human rights defenders to the global area, foreign media representatives, and international organizations with their true voice of justice.
We wish to see Azerbaijani human rights defenders more active and sensitive in the case when it comes to protect the rights of two Azerbaijani citizens who were unreasonably detained in other country. We make an open call to everyone who cares destiny of innocent people in Azerbaijan and across the globe to join our appeal in order to protect rights of humanity in the face of Farid Huseysn and Shahriyar Hajizade and require their soonest release.
The time is ripe for this approach because for too long Islamic Republic of Iran has not only refused release of two Azerbaijani citizens, it has also continued to ignore and repeatedly reject attempts of Consulate of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tabriz to meet with detained Azerbaijani citizens.”
Arash Honarvar Shojayee, a dissident blogger and cleric, returned to Evin Prison on Saturday, June 30, after his furlough leave ended. Hours before returning to prison, in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, he said that he will be put on trial on new charges of “propagating falsehoods with the intent to create public anxiety” on July 11.
He told the Campaign during this interview that during his interrogations he developed epilepsy after he was severely beaten. He also provided details about his arrest and his charges, as well as the glaring shortcomings of his trial process.
He told the Campaign:
“Two days after my arrest, they arrested my wife, too. In order to arrest my wife, they had raided her father’s house. My father-in-law never recovered from the shock of these actions and his daughter’s arrest; a short while later he had a heart attack and died. They kept my wife in solitary confinement for four days. Everyday they brought her to my interrogation sessions as a way to threaten me. They told me, ‘we will snatch your wife from you.’ They told me that they had arrested my brother. All these news and the fact that I was not allowed to contact my family for eight whole months, it was very hard. They put handcuffs and footcuffs on me and they would attach them together; then they would keep me for long periods of time during the coldest nights of the winter in the fresh air area of Ward 209 at Evin. I received a blow to my head that led to my developing epilepsy as is evident in my medical records. I was threatened numerous times that if I didn’t confess, I would be executed. They said, ‘we will hang you ourselves,’” said Arash Honarvar Shojayee about how he and his family were treated following his October 2010 arrest by security forces.”
Shojayee told the Campaign:
“I was arrested on October 28, 2010. I was sentenced to 4 years in prison, 50 lashes, and $800 in cash fines, and lifetime defrocking as a cleric on charges of ‘espionage,’ ‘propagating against the regime,’ ‘acting against national security,’ and ‘disrespecting the clergy. I spent five months in a solitary cell inside Evin Prison’s Ward 209, and another three months inside a two-person cell. Later I was transferred to the General Ward 350 until my ruling was issued. Beginning on October 5, 2011, I was transferred to the Special Clerics Ward. I received a medical furlough to seek treatment for my ailments and I gave an interview with Kaleme Website about how I was treated during my detention, as well as answering questions about statements made against me in the newspapers. I also wrote an open letter, criticizing the Special Court for Clergy. After these my furlough was not extended and I returned to prison. But when I returned to prison, I protested having to return while my medical treatment was incomplete, so I stepped on a wet hunger strike for nine days. I have a heart condition and epilepsy and according to a Medical Examiner’s letter, I had to undergo further treatment and more tests, but they returned me to prison half-way through my treatment. On the ninth day of my hunger strike, Hojjat-ol-Islam Montazeri, who was head of the Administrative Justice Courts at the time, came to visit me as a representative from Mr. Khamenei. He said that my hunger strike was an excuse for foreign media propaganda. He said no clergy has ever gone on a hunger strike. He insisted that I end the hunger strike and promised that in less than 15 days I would be given medical furlough again. I ended my hunger strike and he gave me medical leave, on the condition that I would not interview with the media. On May 4, there was talk about a general pardon and Mr. Ghadyani, the Prosecutor at the Tehran Special Court for the Clergy said that he would put my name on the pardon list and the Judge in my case also agreed with the pardon. It appeared that my pardon was final, but in the end, against the common process of Special Court for the Clergy, the pardon did not apply to me. The reason I say this was against the common process is that according to the process, if someone does not have a plaintiff and there is no monetary claim, he could qualify for a degree of pardon, for example 1/3 of their prison sentence, or their flogging or cash fines could be eliminated through the pardon. But none of these applied to me.”
Arash Honarvar Shojayee provided the Campaign with details of what he called “psychological and physical pressure” during his detention:
“On October 28, 2010, I was at home with my mother. The two of us were not in a good psychological state because my father had just passed away. All of a sudden, two armed forces, along with several other forces, broke down the door to our house and entered. They made my mother lie down on the floor and they pointed a rifle at her. Before I could make a move, they beat me and threw me to the ground. My ribs broke as a result of their blows. They then blindfolded us and searched our home until midnight. They confiscated all the things I had written for the past 15 years. They took a lot of items with them, items that belonged to the family and were not related to my charges, such as family albums. They arrested my wife two days after me. They put pressure on me for television interviews. They wanted to call the broadcast “Confessions of A God-less Arash.” In a completely illegal move, prior to holding my trial court, they stated on IRIB that I was a spy and a seditionist fake cleric. They asked on Kayhan Newspaper whether I was really a cleric. During my furlough leave, in order to prove that I was a cleric I published the hand writings of 25 Grand Ayatollah’s who had confirmed me during the years. I went to visit them and took photographs with them. I put the photographs on RASA website, which belongs to the traditional clerics,” he said. “I will have a new court trial on July 11 on charges of “propagating falsehoods.” Their evidence for this charge is my interview with Kaleme Website. I view this new trial as completely illegal, because according to the law, they must first review whether what I said was the truth or not, and [if not,] then try me on charges of “propagating falsehoods.” What I said is the absolute truth. I spoke in my interview about how the forces attacked my home, how I was interrogated, and how I was put under pressure. Therefore, according to Article 727 of Islamic Penal Code, this is one of the crimes that needs a plaintiff, and I don’t have a plaintiff. They also did not allow me to choose a lawyer. Therefore I consider this court as illegal and I am sure that it will convict me just like the other court did.”
The cleric blogger told the Campaign that he never accepted the charges waged against him. “During my very long interrogation phase I was under a lot of pressure. There was pressure on me to accept the charges of espionage and cooperating with anti-religion websites and to accept that I wrote internet content under the name of Godless Arash,” he said. Asked whether he had written any letters to the authorities to request a retrial, he said, “I didn’t do this because I thought that if I maintained silence for a while, the circumstances might change. But when I was not granted a pardon and they set up a new trial for me, I felt that their stance against me has become harsher. They even disrupted my medical treatment. The Special Court for the Clergy took my original letters from the Medical Examiner, which ordered my hospitalization, so that they may make some photocopies of them and attach them to my case. But they never returned them.” The Campaign asked Arash Honarvar Shojayee based on what evidence the charges of espionage were raised against him in the case. “I grew up in Germany until I was 11 years old. Apparently, their issue was why would someone who grew up in Germany and who does not belong to a religious family, want to become a Seminary student. I also translated German texts. They accused me of promoting the German culture and literature, but what I was doing was purely cultural. I taught German at Goethe Institute from 2001 until 2004. Of course I had no problems at the time that I was doing these things, and I even worked as an IRIB anchor, too. But after my return, everything I did was seen as espionage and they tried to show that my presence at the Seminary had come as a result of orders by Germans to collect information for them and to infiltrate the clerical community through me.” He added:
“Maybe one of the reasons was that I entered the Seminary when I was very young and I became a Mujtahid (source of emulation) very quickly. The Grand Ayatollahs represent different social spectra of revolutionary, dissident, and critical-of-the-government ways of thinking. I interacted with the whole spectrum and knew a lot about each of them. Until I was arrested, I reflected the thinking and writing of Grand Ayatollahs who thought differently and criticized the concept of Velayat-e Faghih (Supreme Jurist/Leader) and actions of Ayatollah Khomeini in my blogs, “Yad-daasht ha va bardaasht ha” (Notes and Perceptions). In my blogs, the concept of Velayat-e Faghigh has been frequently critiqued, not politically, but theologically. And now it’s funny that they would use all of this to charge me with ‘propagating against the regime through weakening Velayat-e Faghih,’ because it is a Seminary student’s job to critique and express his opinions. It was my right as a student to reflect my findings, so that others could point out its deficiencies. The other thing is that a book I wrote about the life and thinking of deceased Grand Ayatollah Shariatmadari caused a lot of sensitivity…I also defended Grand Ayatollah’s under house arrest, such as Seyed Mohammad Shirazi, Seyed Hassan Ghomi, Seyed Sadegh Rohani, and other dissident Grand Ayatollahs. I also oppose the state’s interference in the Seminary affairs. Along with some other students, I boycotted the Qom Seminary Management Council examinations. When the Council was set up, the traditional Grand Ayatollahs believed that it was meant for the rulers to interfere in the affairs of the Seminary. In his statements about this Council in 1995, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the goal was that all Seminary students had to be tested through the Council examination, and that if the Council did not select them, they could not be students. During these years, students like me, who favored the Seminary’s independence, have boycotted the Council examinations. To summarize, because they couldn’t state that a cleric and teacher of the Seminary has been arrested for his critique of the Velayat-e Faghih concept and his support of critical Grand Ayatollahs, they leveled such charges against me.”
In fact, if a Seminary student does not participate in the Council examinations, he cannot receive his diploma, but according to Arash Honarvar Shojayee, he can take the traditional route to the point where the Grand Ayatollah’s would confirm him. “[Once confirmed,] you will be confirmed by all other clerics. That is how it was for me. I didn’t have a diploma, and I was not using government funds during my Seminary studies. But after I became a Mujtahid, my teacher requested permission for me to wear the cleric frock,” he said. The dissident cleric blogger told the Campaign that he believes the Special Court for the Clergy to be illegal. “See, the Clerics Court was formed based only on a procedures manual. According to Articles 159 and 172 of the Iranian Constitution, the the courts of justice are the only official bodies to which all grievances and complaints are to be referred, and Special Military Courts only attend to special crimes committed by military personnel. Also, according to Article 173 of the Constitution, the Administrative Justice Court is also authorized to review the people’s grievances. The legislator only recognizes these three bodies as qualified for review of cases according to the law and does not recognize other bodies as legal. Therefore, the Revolutionary Court and the Special Court for the Clergy are fundamentally illegal and their rulings are not legal. This is why I do not recognize my court and its ruling as valid. Especially where it pertains to the defrocking ruling handed to me. This issue is related to the clerics and the Grand Ayatollahs and is a clear example of the interference of the rulers in the affairs of the Seminary and the clerics. When I was served with my sentence, I told them that you did not frock me to defrock me now, the Grand Ayatollah’s frocked me.”
On Friday, June 15, 2012, about 60 members of the "Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations" were arrested by the agents of the Intelligence Ministry after they raided a house in city of Karaj while an annual meeting of the coordinating committee was underway.
Participants in the meeting were severely beaten by the security agents and transferred to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. The majority of detainees were released on June 16th with the exception of two women and seven men who have been detained incommunicado.
Their colleagues and family members are seriously concerned about their safety.
UPDATE APRIL 22, 2013: BEHNAM EBRAHIMZADEH, HAD ONLY A SHORT PRISON FURLOUGH TO VISIT HIS SON NIMA, WHO HAS CANCER. ON BEING FORCED TO RETURN TO PRISON AT SUCH A CRITICAL TIME, HE HAS ISSUED THE FOLLOWING APPEAL: "HOW CAN I GO BACK TO PRISON KNOWING THAT MY CHILD IS VERY ILL--AND THAT THIS INHUMANE INATTENTION TO A VERY SICK CHILD MAY EVEN SHORTEN HIS LIFE?!"
UPDATE: JANUARY 14, 2013 BEHNAM EBRAHIMZADEH, SITTING IN PRISON, HAS JUST FOUND OUT THAT HIS 13-YEAR-OLD SON, HIS BELOVED NIMA, IS IN A HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER. HE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF PRISON NOW! PLEASE SEE HIS APPEAL BELOW:
don’t know when it was, maybe eight to nine days ago, when I heard that my only child, my 13-year old Nima, already overcome by the pain of separation from his father and all kinds of deprivation, has been admitted to Mahak Hospital, a hospital for children with cancer; a bitter experience and a shocking moment, which have pierced deep into my soul.
I don’t know about the condition of my darling child. My wife doesn’t clearly tell me, but she hopes that I would soon be given leave to come and see them. I have therefore asked for leave, which if granted would certainly have a great impact on me and my sick child. This is the only moment in the life of a father, which he doesn’t want to lose under any circumstances. So, thanks to my friends, I have come up with a property surety, and like in the past when I have asked for things, I have been given a favourable answer. But maybe this time too it will turn out to be just words.
Under these circumstances, with thousands of thoughts in my mind about my son Nima, remembering the empty promises of those in charge has turned my suffering into an excruciating pain. I have to be at the side of my sick child. This is my right. I am a political prisoner, whose anguish over his son’s illness has made everything look dark. There are several courses of action open to me, one of which is to go on a dry hunger strike. Maybe I’ll get an answer that way.
I want to choose patience and endurance, while resisting and putting pressure; however, anything can happen. First, deprivation from food, leave, proper visits, telephone, medical care, etc., and now deprivation from the right to be at the side of my sick child is what is going to break me down.
I insist on my demand for leave to visit my child; at the same time, I appeal to everyone to support the rights of my child and to help his recovery. Who would have thought that someone who for years has fought for children’s and workers’ rights, would one day be in prison for his beliefs and defence of children, and then hear that groups of compassionate people, friends and comrades are visiting his sick child, but he himself isn’t able to stroke the feverish head of his child?
I will defy and resist, as I have done up to now, but who is answerable for all this injustice and suffering? Who is responsible for the condition that my child Nima is in?
I have hope in the strong and kind hands of the doctors and nurses, hope in the support of friends, comrades, colleagues and the good and caring people of the country. I am most grateful to all those who over these past days have been asking about my child and who have visited my family and son.
I thank all the doctors and nurses of Mahak Hospital and all those who have been helping to aid the recovery of my son. In the hope of a speedy recovery for my son Nima Ebrahimzadeh and all sick children.
Behnam (As’ad) Ebrahimzadeh
Ward 35, Evin Prison
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a worker at a polyethylene pipe-manufacturing factory in the outskirts of Tehran, is a member of the Follow Up Committee to Set Up Free Trade Associations and a children’s rights defender.
He reportedly suffered two broken ribs as a result of beatings during his arrest in June 2010, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was initially sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in December 2010 on national security charges.
This was overturned by the Supreme Court, and after a retrial he was sentenced to five years in prison after conviction of “gathering and colluding with intent to harm state security”, apparently in connection with his trade unionist activities on behalf of the Follow Up Committee to Set up Free Trade Associations. This sentence was upheld on appeal in October 2011.
Rasoul Bodaghi, a member of the Tehran Iran Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA), which is affiliated to European International (EI), an international union representing education workers, was arrested in September 2009.
A teacher for 20 years, he was later sentenced to six years in prison for the vaguely worded charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “gathering and colluding against national security” in connection with his activities for the association. In January 2011, an appeals court confirmed Rasoul Bodaghi’s sentence and banned him from taking part in any civil society activities for five years.
According to reports, he was severely beaten by two prison officers in May 2010.
Zhila Karamzadeh Makvandi, one of the supporters of The Mothers of Laleh Park (Mourning Mothers), was arrested by the security forces on Tuesday, December 7 2011 and has been serving a 2 year prison sentence at the notorious Evin Prison.
She had previously been arrested on February 8, 2009, while at home and spend 34 days in ward 209 of the Evin prison and was later released with a 50 million toman bond. On January 2010, Karamzadeh Makvandi had been sentenced on vague charges by a preliminary court to four years unsuspended term which was later reduced to two years unsuspended term and two years suspended term by an appeal court.
Arrest and imprisonment of Zhila Karamzadeh Makvandi, not only shows the ruling class› disregard for freedom of thought and speech and international agreements, but in addition, not permitting prisoners medical leave and or denying them needed medical attention is clear disregard for human rights agreements, including section two, paragraph 22 of The Prisoners Rights Convention, which indicates the transfer of sick prisoners in need of special care to non military specialty hospitals.
Mothers of Laaleh Park (Mourning Mothers of Iran) was founded in response to 33 years of killings and crimes committed by Islamic Republic, and to show solidarity and sympathy with Grieving Mothers. In response the regime has subjected these brave women with pressures, threats, detentions, and heavy handed prison sentences. By continually handing prison sentences for Mothers of Laaleh Park, the Islamic Republic is clearly demonstrating its high level of violation of human rights, and its disregard for freedom and justice. Not yet through with the news of prison sentences for Jila Karmzadeh Makvandi, Leila Seyfollahi, Nader Ahsani, Omolbanain Ebrahimi, Jila Mahdavian, Maryam Najafi, and Mansoureh Behkish, we have received news that prison sentences have also been ordered for three other individuals by the names of Hakimeh Shokri, Neda Mostaghimi, and Mr. Ramezani (the father of Ramin Ramezani, killed on the street in 2009), as well as another individual by the name of Seyed Mohammad Ebrahimi, charged with helping Mothers of Laaleh Park.
Prison sentences for Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi, Leila Seyfolahi, and Nader Ahsani have been affirmed in the Appeals Court and Jila Karmzadeh has been detained as of Dec 27, 2011. The sentences for other mothers from Mothers of Laaleh Park are in preliminary stages.
The chief editor of the suspended weekly Sobhe Azadi, Reza Jelodarzadeh was sentenced by the revolutionary court to one year in prison on charges of anti-regime propaganda. Jelodarzade was also accused of harming national security and plotting the downfall of the regime but was aquitted of these charges.
On May 26, 2012, he turned himself in to the notorious Evin Prison to begin serving his unjust prison sentence. In a final appeal to people of goodwill around the world, he simply asked: "PRAY FOR ME". Full text of his farewell to freedom:
' "We” or maybe I should say: “I” am crazy. When I used to argue with my father (god bless his soul) saying “Dad … I don’t want to become a doctor, I like Hafez … I want to become a poet …” At the time, I hadn’t thought about this side of the story. Swear the god … and afterwards … when I was only a kid, who still hadn’t had a bloody single hair grown on his face, I went to the war front. Instead of wanting to become a poet, now I wanted to become a martyr! And Instead of becoming a martyr I got wounded in the battle and got totally wrecked. For this reason I got my diploma with 2 years of delay because I wasn’t feeling well at all. My poor mother suffered so much. I did not become a poet, and I became a so called “journalist”! How miserable I was. It was the god damn John Stuart Mill’s fault. I don’t know… perhaps my brother in law is to be blamed for having left a copy of the book On Liberty in our house ….
'It’s time to get ready now and go to have a one-year rest … I thank everyone who became the promoters and the cause of my upcoming one-year rest. From the good old “Mash Nabi” in our neighbourhood who always used to give political speeches to me and others in my age group, to my uncle god bless his soul, even though he only used to criticize and swear at things. From our local butcher Karbalayi Mahmoud who used to tell me “if you ever become a journalist, write a protest in your paper asking why they constantly increase the price of meat?” to the British John Stuart Mill with his old book. From my brother in law with his distracted mind to the judge assigned on my case with his religious duties and his punishing sentence. I thank everyone all and all. Now I have to get up and get my injections and my medicines before heading for Evin. It wouldn’t be correct to have the “brothers” take the trouble to come all the way to my home to arrest me and take me away with them.
'Farewell to all of you my dear friends until round about this time next year. Hopefully I will return and we meet up again on this very same page. Oh god … Pray for me' …
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In Iran, a court has sentenced four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy.
Four men named ‘Saadat Arefi’, ‘Vahid Akbari’, ‘Javid Akbari’ and ‘Houshmand Akbari’ are due to be executed shortly after their verdict was approved recently by high court judges, according to a report from the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) in Iran.
The four men are said to be from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province of Iran.
According to HRANA and JOOPEA, these four men will be hanged for sodomy according Shari’a law.
A gay activist based in Iran said: ‘Although being gay is not a crime based on Iranian criminal law but this is the most clear statement against same sex-acts in past months.’
He added that ‘there wereof our other men hanged in past five months.’
London based Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, Mehri Jafari said: ‘I am horrified and saddened to have heard the news about these four men. Not only with regards to the execution which is about to take place, but the fact that is beyond our control.
‘There are two important issues in this case; the location of the alleged occurrence and the interpretation of the Sharia’ law that a Hodud (strict Sharia punishment) is eminent. Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad is one of the most undeveloped provinces in Iran and it is obvious that a lack of access to lawyers and fair trial can be considered a serious issue in this case. After this announcement it is very likely that the execution will be carried out soon, and the remote location makes it difficult to exert any influence on the process.’
Mehri further pleaded: ‘I hope international organisations act quickly and effectively on this specific case.’
Gorji Marzban chairperson of the Austrian-based Oriental Queer Organization (ORQOA) said: ‘The recent death sentence for the four Iranian men is a shocking reality and demonstrates the discrepancy between Western and Islamic perception of queer life. The rhetoric of announcement makes the link between same-sex sexual activity, or sodomy with corporal punishment very clear. Last month the Iranian authorities hanged a young man and the local news agencies/authorities were intentionally unclear about the reason for the death penalty. In the case of these four men we have a clear text attributing the reason for hanging is sodomy.
‘The judicial denial of same-sex relationships in Iran stems from its relationship to Shari’a law and patriarchy. This is a warning signal not only for the queer population of Iran but also for all types of gender inclusive the heterosexuals who have sexual relations outside marriage.
‘The death penalty has failed to eradicate homosexuality from Iran but it was successful to force queer people into the closets. Sooner or later any Islamic community is obliged to integrate queer people. We believe that Iranians should gain more gender equality and rights and wholly condemn such an archaic sentence to murder which is inherently unislamic!’
Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2011 - We are a Buried Generation: Discrimination and Violence Against Sexual Minorities in Iran - stated that because trials on moral charges in Iran are usually held in closed sessions, it is difficult to determine what proportion of those charged and executed for same-sex conduct are gay and in what proportion the alleged offense was consensual.
Because of the lack of transparency, Human Rights Watch said: ‘It cannot be ruled out that Iran is sentencing sexual minorities who engage in consensual same-sex relations to death under the guise that they have committed forcible sodomy or rape.’
The issue of the death penalty for same-sex acts is further compounded by the fact that the Iranian legal code does not differentiate between rape and homosexual acts.
Furthermore, in many cases, it is often unclear whether the accused has actually committed a sexual act or it is a mere accusation based on some dispute. Even in the cases where the same-sex act has happened, often it is not clear whether the individuals involved are actually gay or it is an occasional act of sexual gratification.
Iranian Human Rights activists constantly note the fact that the two genders are strictly segregated increases the tendency for same-sex acts among the youth, in a phenomena that is also similarly known in single gender prisons. Indeed this phenomenon happens throughout highly segregated societies in the Middle East and North Africa.
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Mohammad Tavassoli, imprisoned head the political bureau of the outlawed Freedom Movement of Iran is said to be in dire physical conditions. On May 15 he will celebrate his 75th birthday in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison
Mohammad Tavassoli, Tehran’s first post-revolution mayor, was arrested on 3 November after he and 140 other activists wrote a letter to former President Mohammad Khatami, warning him that there was little hope the authorities would submit to free and fair elections. In that letter, he - among 143 fellow activists who signed - warned that “There will not be the smallest glimmer of hope for protecting the people’s vote and for holding free and fair elections”.
The 74-year-old is currently being held in section 209 of the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. According to sources, he is not being allowed fresh air and that he has developed shivering as a result of prison duress. He was transferred to the prison infirmary a number of times after his health deteriorated. Instead of receiving medical attention, Tavassoli reportedly received death threats from an official working there.
This past week (May 7-12) Mr. Tavassoli’s family were able to meet with their frail loved one, whose hands were shaking from weakness due to loss of weight and mistreatment.
Tavassoli has spent many years, both before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, behind bars where he was also subjected to torture. In early 2001, he was imprisoned along with other FMI members and spent eleven months in solitary confinement before being released on bail.
He was arrested again following Iran’s disputed June 2009 presidential election. He was released after spending 43 days in solitary confinement.
Tavassoli’s daughter (Leila) and son-in-law (Mohammad Navid Taheri), both detained following opposition protests in late December 2009, are also in prison serving lengthy jail terms.
Since his arrest in November, Tavassoli has only been given a 36-hour leave to attend his daughter’s wedding. He spent the New Iranian Year in prison, despite his family’s letters to the Head of the Judiciary and Intelligence Minister requesting his release during the festivities.
Please see also: http://nedayeazadi.org/english.php?id=91
May 3, 2012--Branch 31 of the Supreme Court has sentenced Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani, a political prisoner incarcerated in Evin prison, to death.
On April 21, 2012, Branch 31 of the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of political prisoner Gholamreza Khosravi and forwarded the death sentence to the Enforcement Division.
According to human rights reports, on March 7, 2012, Khosravi’s case No. 9009980002013634, carrying a death sentence, was forwarded to Branch 31 of the Supreme Court. This sentence was upheld jointly by the head of the Brach Mr. Jafari & by a Mr. Tabatabaei.
This former 80′s political prisoner, was arrested in 2006 on charges of donating money to an opposition satellite TV station. In 2007, he was tried in a Court in Rafsanjan on charges of espionage and donating money to Mojahedin Khalgh Organization and was sentenced to three years in prison plus three years suspended sentence.
According to reports by the Human Rights and Democracy Activists, this sentence was objected to by the Intelligence Ministry and therefore it was changed to six years in prison.
Upon additional charges pressed by the Defense Ministry, the case of this political prisoner entered a new phase, and after a one year incarceration in Intelligence Ministry’s solitary confinement, he was transferred to the Defense Ministry’s prison 64.
After going through long periods of interrogations, he was put on trial in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi, on charges of Moharebeh (Enmity against God). Judge Pirabbasi ruled the charges beyond the scope of his court’s jurisdiction.
The ruling issued by Branch 26 was overturned by the Supreme Court, and the case was returned to the same court for retrial, which resulted in a death sentence issued in 2010.
This last verdict was also overturned by the Supreme Court and sent back to Branch 26 in November of 2011 for retrial, which ultimately resulted in a death sentence for the defendant.
It must be noted that Gholamreza Khosravi was incarcerated in solitary confinement in Ward 240 of Evin prison during this entire time, in addition to the solitary confinements in Kerman prison.
Many political and rights activists have in the past been executed after being falsely accused of having ties to the PMOI, also known as MEK or MKO.
In March, Amnesty International’s annual report on capital punishment listed Iran as a leading executioner in 2011. The organisation said it had received “credible reports of a large number of unconfirmed or even secret executions which would almost double the levels officially acknowledged” by Iranian authorities.
Javad Alikhani, Veterinary Medicine student at Ahvaz's Chamran University, was first arrested in 2007 along with five other members of Ahvaz University’s Islamic Association. In September 2008, after spending eleven months in Sepidar Prison, Alikhani was released on a $50,000 bail.
Shortly thereafter, authorities sentenced Alikhani to five years in prison on the charges of “propagating against the regime,” “acting against national security,” and “blasphemy” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.” An appeals court later reduced his sentence to three years in prison.
On Monday, April 23, 2012 The parents of imprisoned student Javad Alikhani reported that they watched the guards at Evin Prison beat up their son. Authorities also prevented the family from having an in-person visit.
“We had taken heavy duty glue for Hossein to fix his broken eyeglasses. They give us so much hassle, so I hid the glue. They found it and told me that they would not allow us to have in-person visitation with him. They beat up my son, too, because he didn’t allow the guards to give him a body search. I am so upset. I have been crying since then,” Alikhani’s mother said about her visit on Monday, 23 April.
Alikhani’s mother passed out when she saw her son beaten inside Evin Prison’s visiting hall.
Javad Alikhani’s father, Zolfaghar Alikhani, told the Campaign that his son’s physical condition has deteriorated.
“Javad has lost a lot of weight during the recent months due to his illness. His conditions are dire. When he came to the visitation cabin, his mother and sister started crying at the sight of his conditions. I was so upset I did not go to see him. His mother was so upset and cried so much, she passed out. Families of other prisoners can testify to this. We were supposed to see Javad in person today, but because of a package of liquid glue, only his mother and sister were allowed to see him for eight minutes through a booth.”
Alikhani’s father alsoexplained to the Campaign that his family’s mistreatment in prison seemed to be a result of them speaking out about Javad’s arrest and condition:
When we entered the visitation hall, the head of the prison Intelligence Unit asked us, ‘Why do you keep interviewing and jeopardizing our reputation?’ I asked him, ‘Which of the things I said were lies? They called and asked me about my son’s conditions. And I spoke about his conditions, that he is ill and they would not take him to the doctor’s.’ I said, ‘I only spoke about my son to have someone take notice of our suffering.’ They then searched our belongings and found the glue. The guard called and all of a sudden a lot of forces came down on my head. I said, ‘What crime have we committed? Our only crime is possessing glue. Do we have alcohol on us? Do we have drugs? My son’s glasses were broken six months ago and you refuse to fix them. He is using a rope to hold it together. Now I have brought glue for him to fix the handle of his glasses.
On 28 May 2010, authorities arrested Javad Alikhani, a student activist and veterinary medicine student at Chamran University in Ahvaz. According to his family, he developed kidney disease several months ago and suffers from bladder bleeding, and his repeated requests for medical treatment outside prison have not been approved.
Zolfaghar Alikhani described the authorities preventing his son from seeing his family. “They had kept Javad behind the door of the visitation hall since 11:00 a.m. He was eventually told that he had to strip his clothes for an inspection. He told them that, ‘I would not allow a strip search. What could I possibly have inside the prison, which I would like to hand to my family? My hands are empty and my clothes have no pockets.’ They kept him there until 2:00 p.m. Then, when he realized that visitation time was ending and his family must be waiting for him downstairs, worried, he got into an argument with them and they threaten to send him to court and beat him up.”
“When they attacked me, I told them, ‘I am a 60-year-old man. I don’t have enough strength to engage with you. If you want to send me to prison, we are already in prison. If you want to send me to court, show me which court to go to. I am now your prisoner and you have power, you can prosecute me as you wish. But my only crime is possessing glue to fix the handle of my son’s glasses. I am so tired. My son has been in prison since 2007, and I have suffered so much, I don’t want to live any more,” Zolfaghar Alikhani added.
Zolfaghar Alikhani told the Campaign that his son will complete his three-year sentence on 25 June. “It appears they are looking for an excuse to keep Javad longer.”
“I am very worried for him. We have written several letters to Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, the Prosecutor General, and the Head of the Judiciary, we made suggestions, we criticized, we begged, we asked and insisted, but nobody answered us. We have nowhere to go but to God. I said, ‘On whatever religion you follow, please give my son furlough on bail, or send him to a doctor with a guard, we will pay for all the costs.’ But they didn’t do it. They only send him to the prison infirmary, and they only prescribe painkillers for him there, and then his pain resumes,” said Javad Alikhani’s father about his son’s illness.
Behrouz Ala Khani, born in 1985, was arrested on 7 February 2009 by security forces in Salma. According to local sources in the context of collaboration with the Pjak.
Behrouz has been questioned for months, but after that time he was charged with involvement in a murder by the prosecution.
Although, according to local sources, in all phases of the interrogation of prisoners, accused those involved in the killing, but the prosecutors and judges concluded to support only one, the one on speculation. Based on the testimony of a friend, because Behrouz was worried and saddened in the night of the murder.
Thus, He was charged with waging war through effective collaboration and participation in the PKK's temper and additional sentenced to death for murder. After protests of his lawyer, the case is submitted to the Supreme Court.