Petition Tag - torture

1. Help venezuelan Willy Arteaga and his Violin to play free

Primero le rompieron su violin por tocar en las protestas pacíficas de Venezuela
Luego lo hirieron no una, sino dos veces
No les bastó con eso y lo apresaron, lo torturaron y lo aislaron sólo por estar en las protestas con su música.
A qué le temen? A un joven y a su tornado musical?

2. Abolish The Death Penalty in America

I started this petition to let America know that we believe capital punishment is barbaric.
America is the only western country to still use it.
Does America really want to be in the same box as China, Saudi Arabia and certain African and Muslim countries?
Capital punishment creates more victims, the loved ones of the condemned inmates.
We can't bring their victims back by executing people.
States that have abolished it have seen the crime rate goes down. People who implement it, have seen the crime rate increase !
Innocent people have been executed and still are. DNA tests have proven it to be so.
I think that condemned inmates should have the right to donate non life threatening organs and blood and bone marrow for the rest of their lives in return for their sentences being commuted to life or life without parole, for states who refuse to abolish it.
Many executions have been botched. One inmate took over 2 hours to die and was clearly in pain. That's called torture and is illegal under the 8th Amendment.
Please sign this petition. This draconian horror does not belong in a civilized nation!

3. Halt Flogging of Iranian Journalist Mohammad Reza Fathi

AUGUST 22, 2016: Reporters Without Borders Reports that an appeal court in the city of Saveh, in central Iran, has upheld a lower court’s decision that the Saveh-based journalist and blogger Mohammad Reza Fathi should be flogged because of his posts about city officials.

Under the original ruling handed down on 13 April, Fathi was sentenced to 444 lashes (to be administered in six sessions of 74 lashes) on charges of defamation and publishing false information. In its 12 July ruling, the appeal court confirmed the decision to flog Fathi but modified the sentence. It sentenced him to three sessions of 77 lashes for defamation and three sessions of 76 lashes for publishing false information – for an increased total of 459 lashes.

But the appeal court added that only the second sentence (three sessions of 76 lashes) will be administered in accordance with article 134 of the new Islamic penal code (as amended in 2013), which says that when a defendant is given more than one sentence on criminal charges, only the sentence corresponding to the gravest charge is implemented.

4. Reverse Jail, Flogging Sentence For Father of Saeed Zeinali, Iranian Student Missing Since 1999 Arrest

The 70-year-old father of a student who has not been heard from for 17 years since his arrest has been sentenced to 91 days in prison and 74 lashes for “disturbing public order” by allegedly participating in a gathering in support of an imprisoned spiritual leader. But Hashem Zeinali was only there to demand answers about his son and got mixed into the crowd, according to his wife.

Speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Akram Neghabi said the focus of her husband’s interrogation indicated that the authorities targeted Neghabi for seeking answers about their son rather than having any connection to the case of the spiritual leader, Mohammad Ali Taheri, who has been persecuted for his alternative spiritual beliefs.

“My husband told the judge that he respects Mr. Taheri and his followers but my husband is searching for our missing son and that’s why he was in front of Evin Prison on that day holding our son Saeed’s picture,” Neghabi told the Campaign.

“During interrogations, the Revolutionary Guards told my husband that they had not arrested our son and he should take back his accusations, therefore they knew he was not a Taheri follower,” she said.

“The judge in this case is irrelevant. It was the interrogators who wanted this punishment for my husband. They know very well that my husband is not a follower of Mr. Taheri and he was not in front of Evin Prison to defend him,” Neghabi told the Campaign.

Neghabi said the lawyer defending her husband, Hashem Zeinali, had been informed of the sentence by telephone.

“We have 20 days to object to the sentence and we will do so. But if the Appeals Court rules in favor of the sentence, my husband is 70 years old, he cannot endure 74 lashes,” she said. “They should divide the lashes between family members so that all of us can bare it.”

On November 21, 2015, Hashem Zeinali was standing among a crowd of the relatives of prisoners and civil activists who often gather in front of Evin Prison holding placards and banners. Zeinali was independently protesting the lack of attention given to the case of his missing son but was rounded up with members of the Erfan-e Halgheh spiritual group, who were simultaneously protesting the imprisonment of their leader, Mohammad Ali Taheri.

Zeinali was held for ten days in Evin’s Ward 2-A, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization, and released on 500 million Iranian rials (about $16,500) bail.

Zeinali’s trial, along with members of the spiritual group, took place on February 19, 2016 at Branch 1060 of Tehran’s Second Criminal Court and was presided by Judge Dehghani.

Zeinali’s son, Saeed Zeinali, has not been heard from since a brief phone call three months after being apprehended from his Tehran home in front of his parents on July 10, 1999, in connection with widespread student protests that occurred at Tehran University five days earlier.

He was 23 at the time and studying computer science. The authorities have never acknowledged his arrest.

On January 3, 2016, Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said no evidence had been found to show Saeed Zeinali was ever arrested. But Saeed’s parents say they witnessed his arrest and have passionately campaigned for information about their son for more than a decade.

5. Free Bahraini Photographer Sayed Ahmed Al Mousawi, Sentenced to 10 Years

Reporters Sans Frontieres November 24, 2015--A Bahraini criminal court has sentenced freelance photographer Sayed Ahmed Al Mousawi to 10 years in prison on a terrorism charge and has stripped him of his nationality. Reporters Without Borders condemns this arbitrary trial of a journalist who just covered pro-democracy demonstrations.

Accused of giving SIM cards to “terrorist” demonstrators and taking photos of anti-government protests, Mousawi was finally convicted yesterday in a trial that began nearly a year ago and had repeatedly been postponed since February. His lawyer said he would appeal against his conviction.

“The threats and intimidation campaigns against professional journalists and citizen journalists have just one aim – to use ‘terrorism’ as a pretext for suppressing all criticism of an authoritarian regime,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Middle East desk.

“It is outrageous that a journalist has been treated like a terrorist. Arbitrary arrests of peaceful dissidents, systematic torture and impunity have turned Bahrain into a dangerous country for those who speak out. We condemn Mousawi’s arbitrary detention and call on the authorities to overturn his conviction.”

Many Bahrainis have been stripped of their citizenship this year. Those targeted include not only government opponents and Islamic State members but also doctors and journalists.

The recipient of many international awards, Mousawi was arrested without a warrant at his home in the town of Diraz on 10 February 2014, when police confiscated his camera and other electronic apparatus.

His trial did not begin until December 2014 and, according to his family, he was repeatedly tortured in detention, especially during interrogation at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department.

A total of eight journalists and five citizen-journalists are currently detained in Bahrain, according to a Reporters Without Borders tally.

The trial of the leading satirical blogger known as Takrooz is scheduled to being on 25 November. Arrested on 18 June 2014 at Manama airport, he is charged with inciting anti-government hatred and using expressions liable to incite sectarianism.

The appeal of Ali Al-Mearaj, a blogger held since 6 January 2014, is due to be heard on 1 December. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison on 8 April 2014 on charges of “misusing information technology” and insulting the king in connection with his management of an opposition website.

Bahrain is ranked 115th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

6. Rescind Harsh Prison, Flogging Sentence for Iranian Filmmaker Keywan Karimi

UPDATE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2016: Iranian fimmaker Keywan Karimi said Monday that an appeals court had sentenced him to a year in prison, reducing his initial sentence of six years over "insulting sanctities" amid an ongoing crackdown on expression in the Islamic Republic. He aid he will still receive 223 lashes as stipulated in his original sentence. Both Karimi and his lawyer have said the sentence stems from unspecified "video clip" and a documentary film he directed called Writing on the City, which focuses on political graffiti in Iran from its 1979 Islamic Revolution to its contested 2009 election.

Karimi said the appeals court decision was final and could not be appealed.

"I have no intention of leaving the country and shall serve the sentence," he said.

Karimi is perhaps best known by international film critics for his 2013 black-and-white minimalist film, The Adventure of the Married Couple. It played in some 40 film festivals, winning prizes in Spain and Colombia.
An award-winning Iranian filmmaker whose work focuses on the travails of modern life and political expression in the Islamic Republic has been sentenced to six years in prison and to 223 lashes for his movies.

The conviction of Keywan Karimi follows similar punishments for other artists and journalists in Iran, even as its moderate government moves toward detente with the West over its contested nuclear program. The case underscores both the murky limits of expression in Iran and the power hard-liners still maintain in the country.

"I don't know what happened that I should go to jail for six years," Karimi told The Associated Press. "I speak about the government, I speak about society, I speak about (graffiti), I speak about a labourer.

"Watch my movies and … (then) judge me."

Both Karimi and his lawyer Amir Raeisian say a court on Saturday sentenced the filmmaker on charges of "insulting sanctities" in Iran, whose elected government is ultimately overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The footage involved both a "video clip" and a film he directed called Writing on the City, which focuses on political graffiti in Iran from its 1979 Islamic Revolution to its contested 2009 election.

Iranian state media and officials have yet to comment on Karimi's case. Both Karimi and Raeisian say they will appeal. Karimi remains free for the time being.

Karimi is perhaps best known by international film critics for his 2013 black-and-white minimalist film, The Adventure of the Married Couple. The short film, based on a story by Italian writer Italo Calvino, follows the grinding routine of a husband and wife working opposite shifts, she in a bottle factory and he at a mannequin store. Neither speaks, the only noise is the hum of the city they live in.

The film played in some 40 film festivals and won prizes in Spain and Colombia. The case against Karimi comes as hard-liners have accused moderate President Hassan Rouhani of failing to stop the spread of "decadent" Western culture in Iran.

In May 2014, authorities arrested a group of young Iranian men and women for a video of them dancing to Pharrell Williams' song Happy. While the arrests drew widespread criticism, including from the musician himself, those involved each received suspended sentences of six months in jail and 91 lashes.

Meanwhile, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, has been detained in Iran for 14 months and was recently convicted on charges that include espionage. He reportedly faces up to 20 years in prison.

For Karimi, he said his case made no sense as Tehran University had supported his work on filming and producing Writing on the City. In the time since, however, he said the university students involved in the project have shunned him over the trouble he's seen, including when authorities raided his home and destroyed some of the hard drives and a laptop holding his work.

"I don't know what will happen," he said Tuesday. "I'm really shaken about this judgment."

Karimi said another of his films, the short documentary Broken Border, also may have angered officials. That movie focuses on the smuggling of Iran's subsidized gasoline over the snowy Zagros Mountains separating the Islamic Republic from Kurdistan in Iraq.

The 18-minute movie needs only the film's one scene of dialogue in a rural classroom to explain it.

"Now what is a border?" a teacher asks.

A young student responds: "A border is where goods are smuggled."

7. Free Bahraini Prisoner of Conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace, On Hunger Strike 200 + Days

From English PEN: Wednesday, October 7 2015 marked the 200th day of Bahraini prisoner of conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace’s hunger strike. Dr al-Singace has boycotted all solid food in response to the ill-treatment of prisoners in Bahrain.

Twenty-one human rights organisations reiterate their call for his release in a joint statement published today. The NGOs ‘voice our solidarity with Dr al-Singace’s continued protest andcall on the United Kingdom and all European Union member states, the United States and the United Nations to raise his case, and the cases of all prisoners of conscience, with Bahrain, both publicly and privately.’ They call for his immediate and unconditional release.

Prison authorities appear to have finally begun to take notice of the international attention his case is attracting. Dr al-Singace recently received treatment for a nose injury he suffered during his torture in 2011. He had waited over four years to receive such treatment.

However, Dr al-Singace’s condition remains critical. He suffered damage to his ear as a result of torture, but has not received adequate medical attention for this injury. His family states that he is often dizzy, his hair is falling out, and that he is ‘on the verge of collapse.’

In the prison clinic, Dr al-Singace is not allowed to leave the building and is effectively held in solitary confinement. Though the clinic staff tends to him, he is not allowed to interact with other prison inmates and his visitation times are irregular. Authorities have now lifted an unofficial ban on Dr al-Singace receiving writing and reading materials, but access is still limited: prison staff have now given him a pen, but have still not allowed him access to any paper. The government has also denied Dr al-Singace permission to receive magazines sent to him in an English PEN-led campaign, despite promising to allow him to do so. He has no ready access to television, radio or print media.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy:

Dr al-Singace’s puts his life at risk for his belief in a torture-free and democratic Bahrain. To support democracy and reform in Bahrain, the United Kingdom and United States must call for Dr al-Singace’s immediate release.

Cat Lucas, Writers at Risk Programme Manager, English PEN:

We’re pleased and relieved that the prison authorities seem to be taking notice of the growing international support for Dr Al-Singace, having finally allowed him medical treatment and access to a pen in recent weeks. However, there is still a long way to go and the UK government has a crucial role to play. We urge them to join our call for justice for the many writers and activists detained in Bahrain.

8. Free Peaceful Syrian Activist Bassel Khartabil, At Grave Risk of Torture

Peaceful activist Bassel Khartabil has been moved to an unknown location from ‘Adra
prison, where he had been held since December 2012. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Bassel Khartabil was moved to an unknown location on 3 October, from ‘Adra prison, where he had been held since December 2012. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. He had been arrested on 15 March 2012 by Syrian Military Intelligence agents in the al-Mezzeh area of Damascus.

He was detained by Military Intelligence incommunicado and without his family being informed of his whereabouts until November 2012, when he was transferred to ‘Adra prison and from there to a Military Field Court and then Saydnaya military prison on 9 December 2012. He later said that his questioning before the Military Field Court took roughly one minute and he was not told its conclusion.

When he was returned to ‘Adra prison in late December 2012, he said that he had been tortured and otherwise ill-treated while detained at Saydnaya military prison.

It is not known why Bassel Khartabil was arrested, but it is likely to have been because of his activities as a peaceful activist and advocate for the right to freedom of expression. He had worked as a software engineer until he was arrested, specializing in open-source software development.

Bassel Khartabil was able to tell his family on 3 October that he had been told to collecthis belongings as he would be transferred, but was not told where he would be taken. His family fear that he has been moved to the al-Qaboun Branch of the Military Police to be brought before a Military Field Court again. Torture and other ill-treatment are rife in these facilities and proceedings before Military Field Courts are grossly unfair.

9. Free Critcally Ill Imprisoned Iranian Lawyer Hassan Tafah, Leukemia Patient

Hassan Tafah, 86-year-old prisoner in Rajaee Shahr prison, despite suffering from leukemia and having a punishment intolerance order, still remains in prison.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), HRANA September 6, 2015--Hassan Tafah, 86-year-old lawyer and prisoner of conscience in Rajaei-Shahr prison in spite of his critical illness and despite the passage of one year from the acceptance of punishment intolerance order, still is held in prison and is prevented from being released from prison, being sent on medical leave or even being transferred to the hospital.

An informed source about his situation told HRANA: “Although the “punishment intolerance order” for this prisoner has been upheld, and after a year of its issuance and also forensic medic’s previous request based on the necessity of releasing him because of his disease of leukemia and his age, he is still being kept in the prison.”

Hassan Tafah was arrested in 2008 by the security forces and was tried by Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 15, presided by Judge Salvati, on charges of espionage and propaganda against the regime, and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Tafah has consistently rejected the charges and denied involvement in politics.

According to Iranian labor activist and former prisoner of conscience Mansour Osanloo, who knew Mr. Tafah in prison and testified to his poor treatment, "He (Hassan Tafah) had a law office in Dubai and was considered a prominent lawyer. The [Iranian] Intelligence Ministry had asked him several times to use his office and connections in Dubai to purchase weapons and other material in violation of sanctions. He did not cooperate and for this reason they arrested him. We have lots of examples like this in prisons in Iran.”

10. Justice for Muslims in Burma

This petition is about the unlawful and inhumane killings of Muslims in Burma. Also their rights are being snacthed and they are brutally treated like they do not have a right to exist.

11. HALT The Execution of Iranian Kurdish Political Prisoner Bakhtiar Memari

A local source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Bakhtiar Memari, 35, a Marivan Kurdish citizen, who has been in prison since August 2010, is on death row on charges of "moharebeh (enmity with God) through membership in a Kurdish political party." Memari was officially informed of his sentence inside Sanandaj Prison on May 10, 2012.

According to the human rights source, security forces arrested Bakhtiar Memarimon on August 3, 2010 in Marivan and transferred him to the Sanandaj Intelligence Office. He was interrogated under torture for three weeks during which he was not allowed to visit or call his family.

In Bakhtiar Memari's defense bill, a copy of which the Campaign has been able to see, it is reflected that the court has not presented any evidence for Memari's accusations and that the ruling was entirely based on Bakhtiar Memari's confessions, which Memari said in court were extracted from him under pressure and through brutal beating and injuries by his interrogators. Bakhtiar Memari repeatedly denied his charges during the trial process.

A source close to the family of Bakhtiar Memari has stated that Bakhtiar Memari has been additionally accused of murdering two individuals based on orders from a British intelligence organization, charges which Memari repeatedly denied in court. The court has not produced any evidence, witnesses, or weapons that could substantiate or support these accusations, solely basing the charges on Bakhtiar Memari's confessions extracted under duress, which were videotaped and broadcasted on PressTV.

"After about three months, Sanandaj Intelligence Office forces took a handcuffed and footcuffed Bakhtiar Memari, along with a camera crew, to his father's home, where he was allowed to visit with his wife and children. The forces then said that because this was his last visit with his family. The intelligence forces then took Memari to the homes of two Krudish citizens who had been murdered some time before, introduced him as their murderer, and videotaped the visit. Subsequently, PressTV aired the recording in its Iran Today segment. In January 2012, Bakhtiar Memari was additionally sentenced to death for murder, based on Qisas Law."

Bakhtiar Memari is currently on death row inside Sanandaj Central Prison. He is allowed to visit with his family once a month.

Meanwhile, more than 27 Sunni Kurd prisoners are on the death row on the charge of Moharebeh, propaganda against the regime and acting against national security in Rajai Shahr prison as the reports mentioned. Six Kurdish political prisoners were hanged at dawn on March 4, 2015.

12. Free Iranian Human Rights Activist Majid Moghaddam


Majid Moghadam who was arrested in December and transferred to ward 2-A of Evin prison which is under the control of IRGC (Revolutionary Guards) is still kept in this ward and his status is uncertain and in (ILLEGAL) limbo.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Majid Moghadam was arrested at his father’s house on December 3, 2014, at 8 p.m. and was transferred to ward 2-A which is controlled by IRGC.

He is still kept in this ward and in two-person cell. He has no contact with the outside world, as he is deprived of having phone calls and regular weekly visits.

A close source to Majid Moghadam told HRANA’s reporter, “authorities did not clarify Majid’s status, or the charges and allegations against him and just responded that he has 'gone to places that he should not have.'”

This source also said, “Prison authorities intentionally prolong his detention and do not carry out any investigations. They have refgused to release him on the bail.”

It should be mentioned that Majid Moghadam was previously arrested during the 2009 presidential election’s protests and was transferred to the notorious torture and murder house of that summer, the Kahrizak detention center.

13. Saudi Arabia MUST Rescind Sentence Of 200 Lashes, Six Months In Prison For Rape Victim!

A woman who was violently gang raped in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail after being found guilty of indecency and talk to the media.

The 19-year-old was in a car with a student friend when two men got into the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area. She says she was raped by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend.

The Shia Muslim woman had initially been sentenced to 90 lashes after being convicted of violating the Kingdom's religious diktats on segregation of the sexes.

After the sentences were handed down following the rape in 2006, the woman was sentenced to 90 lashes; however her lawyer appealed to the Saudi General Court. It then doubled her sentence. At the same time, they also doubled the prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping her, according to Saudi news outlets.

Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, who defended the woman, reached out to the media after the sentences were handed down. The court has since banned him from further defending the woman, confiscating his license and summoning him to a disciplinary hearing later this month.

Saudi Arabia defended the controversial decision to punish the victim, saying that she was at fault for being out without a male family member, something which was met with international outcry.

"The Ministry of Justice welcomes constructive criticism, away from emotions," it said in a statement.

14. URGENT - Gravely Ill Iranian Blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki Is Back In Prison Where He Could DIE!

URGENT UPDATE: HOSSEIN RONAGHI MALEKI ON DANGEROUS PRISON HUNGER STRIKE SINCE MARCH 26--April 15 201i6- Prisoner of conscience Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who has been on dry and wet hunger strikes since March 26, 2016 to protest being denied crucial medical treatment, is in critical condition, but has vowed to continue until his situation changes.

His mother, who visited Maleki in Evin Prison on April 10, said that the food and liquid deprivation has made her son, who is suffering from kidney disease, dangerously weak.

“I swear to God, Hossein looked very thin,” Zoleikha Mousavi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “His skin looked yellow and pale. I’m terrified that something might happen to him.”

“On Tuesday [April 12], they transferred him out of the prison to be checked by a specialist,” she told the Campaign. “The doctor said he’s in critical condition and should end his hunger strike as soon as possible.”

“But Hossein says he won’t stop until his situation changes,” added Mousavi. “If anything happens to my son, officials will be held accountable.”

Mousavi said that she and her husband, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, had gone to the prosecutor’s office in Tehran every day for a week but the officials refused to provide a clear solution for resolving the situation.

“After seven years in prison, I want my son to be free,” said Mousavi. “He has done enough time. He has lost one kidney and is in pain from new diseases.”

“He should be conditionally released. I beg the authorities to let my son go,” she said. “I swear to God, he is not well.”

Political prisoners in Iran are singled out for particularly harsh treatment, which often includes denial of medical care, in direct violation of Iran’s own laws and prison regulations.

While in prison, Maleki has suffered digestive track, breathing and kidney problems. He has also undergone several surgeries.

He was granted medical furlough on June 14, 2015 upon posting bail in the amount of 4 billion rials (about $132,000 USD), but was returned to prison before his treatment was completed on January 20, 2016.

“I knew he would get worse when he was taken back to prison,” said Mousavi. “Even the doctors in the prison clinic repeatedly said they don’t have the necessary facilities to treat prisoners like Hossein.”

“Isn’t seven years in prison enough for a young man?” she said.

Maleki’s father began his own hunger strike in front of Evin Prison on April 9, 2016 to bring attention to his son’s plight. But Mousavi urged her elderly husband to end his strike soon after.

“After two days, I noticed my husband was in really bad shape,” she said. “It was hot outside and he’s an old man. I begged him to end his hunger strike. I told him I would be helpless if something happened to our son in prison.”

“I gave him some water and he broke his hunger strike in front of Evin Prison,” Mousavi told the Campaign. “We don’t know what else to do to make the authorities listen.”

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 30, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 by Judge Yahya Pirabbasi for his peaceful activities following Iran’s widely disputed presidential election that year. He was charged with “acting against national security” and “supporting and receiving money from foreign organizations.”

Following the recent prisoner swap between Iran and the United States, which resulted in the release of four detained Iranian-Americans, Maleki’s father asked why Iranian political prisoners who don’t hold dual citizenship remained unjustly incarcerated.

“As a father I want my son to be free, too,” Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki told the Campaign in January 2016.

“All these years I have been running around shouting for my son’s freedom so that someone might hear me,” he said.
SOURCE: International Campaign For Human Rights In Iran

HRANA News Agency – Hossein Ronaghi’s family is again appealing to the Tehran prosecutor's office based on their son's inability to withstand prison conditions and denial of medical care. In addition to having only one functioning kidney, his ailments also include: Angina, swelling of the face, stomach bleeding, blood and eye infections, lung problems and respiratory problems. On that basis, and with the findings of Iran's own Medical Examiner, the Ronaghi family has requested the issuance of the certificate of inability of tolerating punishment.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Ahmad Ronaghi, his father, visited the Tehran Prosecution Office on Saturday, March 5th, to follow up the furlough for Hussein or transferring him to the hospital, and went to meet him on Sunday.

Hossein Ronaghi, a human rights activist and blogger, was arrested in 2009.

A close relative of Hossein Ronaghi told our reporter: “Hossein Ronaghi should have gone to the hospital a week before returning to the prison for bone marrow tests which was opposed by the prosecutors and the prisoner is currently being held in Evin prison in Ward 7.”

Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years in prison after 10 months of detention in Ward 2-A of Evin prison, on October 13, 2010. The charges against him in the court were “membership in the Iran Proxy network, insulting the leader and insulting the president”.

The sentence was upheld by Branch 54 of the Appeals Court and Hossein then he was transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison.

The prisoner is now in Ward 7 in Evin Prison, being held in poor conditions and is being denied needed medical care in direct violation of Article 102 and 103 of Iran's own Prison Regulations.
SOURCE: HRANA Human Rights News Agency
URGENT UPDATE MARCH 7, 2016--HEALTH OF HOSSEIN RONAGHI CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE IN PRISON AS HE DEVELOPS LIVER DISEASE IN ADDITION TO LIFE-THREATENING KIDNEY AILMENT: The health of jailed blogger and activist Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki continues to deteriorate in prison. The young Iranian, who suffers from serious kidney problems, has now been diagnosed with liver disease too, according to his family.

Ronaghi-Maleki is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for his work as a human rights activist and blogger. He has only one functioning kidney and needs constant monitoring and access to specialized medical care, which he cannot get in prison, according to his doctors.

Since the blogger returned to Evin Prison on January 20, 2016 following medical leave, his condition has worsened further due to extreme medical negligence. Yet prison authorities have repeatedly refused to hospitalize him.

According to one of his relatives, Ronaghi-Maleki was transferred to hospital for medical tests and ultrasound on Saturday, March 5, but only for a short two-hour visit, before being sent back to Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. He was reportedly diagnosed with liver disease and is “critically ill,” the relative said.

The relative spoke to Journalism Is Not A Crime on the condition of anonymity, as talking to the media about human rights issues can have serious consequences in Iran. Ronaghi-Maleki’s father was in July 2015 sentenced to four months in prison for giving interviews to the media about his son’s situation.

Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was arrested in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election and sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges including “spreading propaganda against the regime” and “insulting the supreme leader”, allegedly in connection with articles he had posted on his blog. In June 2015, he was granted medical leave from prison after posting bail, but despite his serious condition, the prosecutor’s office ordered him back to Evin Prison last month.

“They insist I return to prison although my health is very bad,” the blogger wrote on his Instagram page on January 10, 2016. “Sending me back to prison is incomprehensible and illegal.”

In an interview with IranWire last year, Hossein’s father, Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki, expressed major concern for the treatment of his son in prison: “They want to turn him into another Sattar Beheshti,” he said, referring to a blogger and activist who died in 2012 while in custody.
SOURCE: Journalism Is Not A Crime

URGENT UPDATE SATURDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2016 -- A RELATIVE REPORTS THAT HOSSEIN, BACK IN PRISON FOR ONE MONTH, IS BEING DELIBERATELY DENIED LIFE-SAVING MEDICAL CARE: IranWire, February 19: Prison authorities are denying medical care to jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki, according to one of his relatives.

Authorities deny Ronaghi-Maleki, who suffers from serious kidney problems and other health issues, is ill and have refused to allow him to go to hospital since he returned to Evin Prison on January 20, 2016.

“Hossein has not received any medical care or any medicine since he returned to Evin Prison,” the relative said. “It seems that the Iranian authorities purposely refuse to transfer Hossein to a hospital. They want him to die slowly.”

The relative of Ronaghi-Maleki spoke to Journalism Is Not A Crime on the condition of anonymity, as speaking out on human rights issues can have serious consequences in Iran. In July 2105, Ronaghi-Maleki’s father was sentenced to four months in prison for giving interviews to media about his son’s situation.

Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was arrested in the aftermath of the disputed presidential election of 2009 and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for his work as a human rights activist and blogger. Prior to his arrest, he had been suffering from kidney problems, but his conditions worsened further while in prison due to physical abuse and severe medical negligence.

“The deputy prosecutor Hajilou denies the fact that Hossein is critically ill,” the relative said. “He told us that Hossein would be allowed to go to the prison clinic, but he won’t be transferred to hospital.”

In June 2015, Ronaghi-Maleki was granted medical leave from prison after posting bail. However, despite his deteriorating medical condition he was ordered back to Evin Prison last month – against doctors’ recommendations.

“They insist I return to prison although my health is very bad,” the blogger and activist wrote on his Instagram page on January 10, 2016. “Sending me back to prison is incomprehensible and illegal.”

In an interview with IranWire in March 2015, Hossein’s father, Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki, expressed major concern for the treatment of his son in prison: “They want to turn him into another Sattar Beheshti,” he said, referring to a blogger and activist who died in 2012 while in custody.

Read more about Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki on his profile.
SOURCE: IranWire

URGENT UPDATE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20 2016 -- On Wednesday January 20 Hossein Ronaghi turned himself in to the Prosecutor's office. His last tweet read:
"Might be last post but I'm determined to gain my freedom bec I'm innocent.
The response to opinions is not prison."

URGENT UPDATE MONDAY, JANUARY 11 2016--HOSSEIN RONAGHI MALEKI TOLD HE HAS TO RETURN TO PRISON IN 7 DAYS: On his Twitter account, Hossein Ronaghi reported on Monday that the Judiciary is ordering him back to prison by Monday, January 18--where, once again, his life will be in grave danger.

On Monday, January 11 Hossein tweeted: "In 7 days I must return to prison, but not with my own feet..." Later, he also tweeted: "I will not bow down to the baseless & groundless charges of the judiciary nor will I accept the unjust verdict."

UPDATE JUNE 28, 2015--Hossein was finally released on furlough on June 17, 2015 at the urgent insistence of his examining doctor. However, at the end of June he received a phone call telling him that he must return to prison. He turns 30 years old on July 4, and is at risk of being hauled back to prison at any moment. His life will be put in IMMINENT DANGER if he is returned yet again to the horrible conditions and medical neglect of Evin Prison!


The father of blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who, prior to a six-month medical furlough granted for severe illness had been imprisoned since 2009 for his peaceful activities following the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran, is appealing for an end to his son’s incarceration after the blogger was returned to prison.

“My son has been found unfit to serve his sentence by the state Medical Examiner because he has multiple medical problems. Therefore he should not return to prison. But I don’t know why the authorities have again summoned him to prison,” Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Dozens of prisoners remain held in Iranian prisons since the state crackdown that followed the peaceful protests over that election, six years after the events.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 29, was arrested in Malekan, East Azerbaijan Province, on December 13, 2009, for his activities in connection with the peaceful protests that followed the 2009 election and sentenced to 15 years in prison by Judge Pirabbasi for “acting against national security” and “supporting and receiving money from foreign organizations.”

Imprisoned at Evin, Maleki suffered numerous kidney and stomach illnesses for which he was transferred to the hospital several times. He was given a six-month medical furlough on September 4, 2014, and then summoned earlier this month to return to prison.

The denial of medical care is a routine practice in the Iranian prison system, especially in the case of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

Maleki’s father told the Campaign his son was falsely accused of trying to escape the country while he was on furlough.

“I myself brought my son to show them he was not running away,” he said. “When the Medical Examiner issues an order three times to end an incarceration, why are they still bothering and tormenting us?”

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, currently held at Ward 7 of Evin Prison, “is not allowed out for fresh air or to go to the library like other inmates in the section,” his father told the Campaign. “They have threatened him that if his family makes noise about his case he will be transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison [in Karaj].”
SOURCE: International Campaign For Human Rights In Iran


The following is the full text of the letter of Seyyed Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, a copy of which has been submitted to HRANA.

The Honorable Attorney General of the Public and Revolutionary Court of Tehran

Mr. Jafar Dolatabadi,

With all respects, first of all I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and those who serve our country and nation. Dear honorable Attorney General, I thank you, your assistant Mr. Yousefi, and your colleagues at the office of the attorney general as well as the agents of the intelligence service.

Dear Attorney General, I received a phone call from the office of Mr. Khodbakhsis, the deputy of the attorney general on the prisoners affairs, on Tuesday, requesting Hossein to attend the medical commission. We agreed to meet him at his office the following Saturday. We arrived at 9:00 AM but Mr. Khodabakhshi had already left his office to attend a meeting in the same . Because he was not in his office, I handed in a copy of a letter that was written in December 4th 2014 to his secretary (a copy of this letter with No. 301/13479/9001- has been submitted to Mr. Yousefi). His office staff asked me to write another letter and take it to the office of Execution of Verdicts – Shahid Ghodousi Unit and bring the response by 12:00 PM.

I took the letter to Evin, and the soldiers handed the letter to the executive committee after one hour. About half an hour later, I was contacted and told that the authorities want Hossein. I told them that Hossein was at the hospital. They asked me to call Hussein and he did. Hussein entered the courthouse but later we were told (at 3 PM) that he was arrested because he was a fugitive. I ask Mr. Khodabakhshi, “How could my son be a fugitive? He had a letter from the medical commission of Shahrak-Gharb, requesting to be exempted from spending time in jail because of health issues. Moreover, the judge and the attorney general both authorized his release because of these issues. If he was a fugitive, how could I turn him to you on Tuesday (only three days after the request we received on Saturday). Ever since his arrest on Tuesday at 3:00 PM, he has been put in the quarantine in the worst possible conditions. We have been threatened to be severely punished if we inform the media and public.

Dear Mr. Dolatabadi, the life of my child is in danger. I have informed Mr. Khodabakhsi about Hossein’s situation. Later, I was told that Hossein will be transferred to the section 350 of Evin prison, however this was a clear lie. Hussein called us around 5:30 and mentioned that he has been kept in he quarantine where there is no medical attention or medicine. He has been standing all the time. Dear Mr. Dolatabadi, the life of my child is in danger. They want to kill my child. My son deserves to be considered for the Supreme Leader’s Pardon, but our requests to review this opportunity and release Hussein have not been responded. I have contacted your office multiple times, but the operator didn’t connect me to your office staff. Is this the way to help and serve the people of Iran? I have contacted the Execution of Verdicts Unit, but every single time my calls have been intentionally disconnected. The authorities do not care about the pains and problems that Iranian citizens have to endure. It is really unfortunate that the chief of the Execution of Verdicts Unit of Shahid Ghodousi behave indifferently with respect to a sick person who has lost one of his kidneys and needs serious medical attention.

Moreover, the judiciary system is responsible to look for the security of the Iranians. But, why my family, my child and myself don’t feel secure? My son had told Mr. Khodabakhshi several times that he was feeling very sick and could die. Mr. Khodabakhshi, in response, had told him that many people had been dead and foreign media such as BBC had highlighted the news for a couple of days and the everything was forgotten.

I responded to Mr. Khodabakhshi that this kind of behavior was not acceptable. I, Seyyed Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, ask the supreme leader, the attorney general Mr. Dlatabadi, the minster of intelligence, and government officials the security and safety of my son, Seyyed Hussein Ronaghi Maleki and my family.

Yours Sincerely,

Seyyed Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki

CC: 1- The supreme leader

2- The head of the judiciary system

3- The office of security and intelligence service of Iran

4- Minister of Intelligence

5- The chief of the Execution of Verdicts Unit

6- The Security Office of the Evin Prison


The deputy of the Attorney General of the Revolutionary Courts of Tehran and Prisoners Affairs

Mr. Khodbakhsis,

Hello, I would like to inform you that I, Seyyed Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki father of Seyyed Hussein Ronaghi Maleki have submitted all medical records and documents of my son to the honorable prosecutor, the clinic of Evin prison, and the medical commission of Shahrak-Gharb. Moreover, my son has been previously introduced to the medical commission of Shahrak-Gharb. I have requested multiple times to pardon my son through the Supreme Leader’s Pardon program. I have submitted these requests to the office of the head of judiciary system and the attorney general of Tehran.

Dear Mr. Khodabakhshi, my son has had no interview with any type of media during his sick leave and is not a political activist. I ask the honorable prosecutor and the attorney general to help me rescue my son. His life is in danger and he needs to be pardoned based on the Supreme Leader Pardon program. My son has lost one kidney and is suffering from severe digestive system complications. If my son is taken back to the prison his health situation will be further deteriorated and could die. The medical commission has already submitted the results of his medical records analysis. I ask all the authorities of this country to support us; we thank you all for your service.

It should be noted that My son and I are planning meet you in your office on Saturday as coordinated before.

Yours Sincerely,

Seyyed Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki

CC: The deputy of the attorney general of the revolutionary court of Iran
SOURCE: HRANA Human Rights News Agency




When Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki speaks about his son, his voice shakes with emotion. He utters his name softly. But when it comes to the subject of Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki's imprisonment and the illegal treatment he has endured while incarcerated, Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki’s tone changes. He is angry and determined. “They want to kill my son,” he shouts. “They want to turn him into another Sattar Beheshti.” Beheshti, a blogger and activist, who died in 2012 while in custody.

Now Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki says he is willing to take drastic measures to draw attention to his son’s case. On March 2, he stated his intention to stage a sit-in outside the prosecutor’s office until he receives a response. “I will sit there wearing a shroud,” he tells IranWire. “I will bring gasoline and if they do not answer me, I will set myself on fire. If they try to prevent me, I will set them on fire as well.”

Blogger and activist Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was arrested on February 28. He had previosusly been released from prison on September 3, 2014 after the Supreme Leader pardoned him on medical grounds. It was thought that he was in such poor health that that he would not live to serve out his sentence. But soon after his release, he was re-arrested.

In recent weeks, his father has contacted the prosecutor’s office and the prison warden, hoping to get further information about his son. He has called the judge in charge of the case, but has had no reply.

“They [the authorities] took Hossein for no reason at all,” Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki says. “They even disregarded the Supreme Leader’s pardon. He was summoned to the prosecutor’s office under the pretext of a medical examination and was arrested. They accuse him of escaping his punishment. No matter how many times I tell them that he has been pardoned — and the prosecutors know this — they will not listen.”

After his latest arrest, Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was sent to Ward 8 of Evin Prison. His father says the ward is unbearably cold, and that his son has gone on hunger strike to protest against prison conditions and his arrest. He says he is determined to continue his hunger strike until he is released. As of the last week of February, he was still on strike. “What difference does it make if I die by myself or I am killed?” Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki told his father over the phone.

Prior to his initial arrest in 2009, Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki blogged under the penname Babak Khorramdin, in honor of the 9th century Iranian freedom fighter who fought against Arab occupation. He studied software engineering at university and worked with the anti-censorship cyber group Iran Proxy, which enabled Iranians to circumvent government filters. According to the Iran-based Committee for Human Rights Reporters, Maleki’s expertise was in computer programming; he was adept at setting up websites that navigated around government censorship and established ways to access blocked addresses. He was especially active in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election.

The Cyber Police unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki and his brother Hassan on December 11, 2009 at their father’s home. Both were taken to Section 2A of Evin Prison, which is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, and put under intense physical and mental pressure to sign confessions. It was believed that authorities arrested Hassan Ronaghi-Maleki, who was not politically active, in order to force Hossein to confess. Hassan was released on bail after spending a month in solitary confinement, but Hossein remained in a solitary cell for a total of 13 months.

Maleki’s case was sent to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Pir Abbasi, who sentenced him to 15 years in prison for his cyber activities and for insulting the Supreme Leader, a verdict which was upheld by the appeals court.

“He suffers from kidney problems, intestinal hemorrhaging and an uncontrollable urination problem,” his father tells IranWire. Prior to his arrest, Hossein had begun suffering from kidney problems, but his condition worsened after he was subjected to physical abuse and prison authorities failed to offer him medical care.

Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki says the family has been deceived. “They told me that if the doctor decided that the prisoner cannot withstand incarceration because of his medical condition, he would be pardoned. All the letters from the forensics team and prison officials have been presented. Despite this, he has been taken back to prison. I told them over and over that he needed medication and should not be detained, but they would not accept this, insisting that he had fled from his sentence illegally.” He insists that his son presented himself to authorities as soon as he was summoned via telephone. “We have given the prosecution a bail amount of 1.7 billion tomans [over $600,000]. But they will not budge.”

“Nobody in this country is accountable.”

When Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was first arrested in 2009, authorities warned his father not to speak to the media. But now he feels he must talk. “I do not want to create headaches for my son,” he says, “but when nobody in this country is accountable and nobody hears me, I have to speak to the media. I call on all authorities to look into my son’s case.”

But authorities have told Ahmad and Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki that speaking to the media will not work. Khoda-Bakhshi, the assistant to the prosecutor, has said, “Many have died and what happened? At most the BBC and Voice of America make noise for a few days. And then it is over.”

Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki says security agents have repeatedly issued death threats against his imprisoned son. “I know that they want to kill him; why else would they take him back to prison?”

The former blogger and prisoner is not yet 30; he has spent five years in prison. This is not the first time he has gone on hunger strike — there were fears for his life in 2012. Today, his health is fast deteriorating. “How can they behave this way?” his father asks. “Why, under the Islamic Republic? I plead with the Supreme Leader, with the head of the judiciary, with the prosecutor and MPs to look into my son’s situation.” Once again, he draws a parallel with the case of Sattar Beheshti. He bursts into tears and cannot continue.

“Hossein lost his kidneys in prison,” says Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki. “Why don’t just they let us be?”

15. Free Akbar Amini, Iranian Prisoner of Conscience, Iranian Hero

Early in the morning on February 14, 2011, the day of mass pro-democracy protests in Iran, a man climbed atop a crane in Tehran, wearing a green head band, holding a long piece of green cloth and picture of himself. He was arrested and taken to prison. That man is Akbar Amini, who in late 2013 began serving a five-year prison sentence. w

Following is an excerpt of an article on Kaleme by one of Amini’s cell mates telling the story of the man who climbed atop a crane in protest, even after having been arrested and tortured post-election in summer of 2009.

Akbar Amini’s cell mate says Akbar is known as the “Crane” among other prisoners. Even the prison football and volleyball teams that Akbar plays on is called “Crane”.

Akbar Amini, like many other Iranians, went out on the street after the rigged presidential election in June of 2009 to ask “Where Is My Vote”.

Amini says, on June 22, 2009, a young man contacted him at his store, with the pretence of buying number of computers for a government entity. The young man came to the store, talked for a few minutes about buying computers and than left to bring coworkers to buy the computers. Minutes later, the young man came back accompanied by 8 armed men. They arrested Akbar Amini, confiscated his personal computer and took him to Evin 209 (Intelligence section) and put him in solitary confinement cell 102.

Three days later they started interrogating Amini. He was beaten during the interrogations. After 45 days in solitary confinement he was transferred along with 190 other post-election detainees to ward 7 in Evin.

Early on, after their transfer to ward 7, an interrogator named Haydarifar would select a number of detainees for practice sessions for show trials that were going to be held in a few days. They were told what they had to say during the trial.

The trial practice sessions were arranged just like a real trial. During the practice sessions, there were interrogators, prosecutors and a judge in attendance. Even Judge Mortazavi (then Tehran Prosecutor) came in and checked on the practice sessions few times.

Among the detainees there were a few that were transferred in from Kahrizak. Their stories about Kahrizak were horrifying, accounts of rapes by batons, beatings with cable and lashings.

On August 12, 2009 a number of members of Parliament came to ward 7 for inspection. Alaedin Broujerdi from the National Security Commission along with Omidvar Rezaei, Ghodratollah Alikhani and Zohre Elahiyan asked the detainees questions about their condition in prison. They had a crew with them video taping the session.

The MP’s were told of long interrogation sessions, hanging prisoners from their feet for long periods of time, hanging prisoners from their feet half naked at times, throwing prisoners in water tanks and beating prisoners with shock batons which is very painful.

The MP’s got very upset at what they heard, some even cried. They promised the detainees their release and asked them to go to the Parliament after their release so they can help them. Akbar Amini along with many of the 190 detainees were released that very same day.

After release, Akbar and others went to the Parliament but the MP’s refused to see them, they were even confronted by the guards there. They left messages for MP’s Omidvar, Rezaei and Alikhani but received no response from them.

Akbar Amini was upset, felt insulted and thought to himself he will come up with a plan that would make the world listen.

He was inspired by the self emulation of the Tunisian man, thought about doing the same, then decided that would not grab as much attention in Iran considering the situation and limitations placed on the media.

He came up with the idea of climbing a crane. February 14 protest was an ideal day for him to do that.

For many, February 14, 2010 was a resurgence day for the Green Movement. There are many of our youth, women and men that feel their voice is not reaching anyone. They love their country, they are some of the same ones that fought for 8 years against Iraq and now feel they deserve a better life, they are not “Saboteurs”.

Akbar emphasizes on the word “Saboteurs” used by government to describe the protesters and says “The government must listen to us”.

Before the February 14 protest, Akbar made his plans for climbing a crane and picked a location most visible to carry out his plan.

On February 14, he filled a backpack filled with few cans of tuna fish, water, bread and warm clothes. He planned to stay up there for few days.

Early on the morning of February 14, Akbar went to the location he had picked. He took with him his backpack, a large picture of himself, a picture of his 10 year old son, a large flag with a big question mark inscribed in the middle, a 2 meter long green cloth and a green head band.

He was afraid, he was trembling and had second thoughts. He thought he may fall down to his death and did not want the media calling his death a suicide.

He climbed up the crane; it was 6 in the morning and not much traffic yet. The first person that noticed him up there was a traffic policeman. It was 7:20 when a fire truck with sirens on arrived. People were gathering at the bottom of the crane. People were taking pictures of him, cars were honking horns, people were whistling and waving at him.

At that time Akbar Amini had no idea he had become top news on news sites.

Mondays are visitation days for ward 350. That Monday, February 14, the hot news inside ward 350 was this man who had climbed a crane.

Akbar says he knew the news of him on top a crane had spread by the number of people and police that were down there.

The roof of the building closest to the crane was filled with police, guards and Plainclothes. Number of them were video taping the events.

The Plainclothes were threatening they would kill him, some were encouraging him to jump and the police were asking him to climb down.

A police Commander named Mostafanejad asked Akbar to climb down and promised he would listen to his complaints. Akbar said “where were you when they were torturing me?”.

Akbar says he could see police and people clashing on the streets, he could clearly hear chants of “No dictator either with motorcycles or camels” (referring to the then Egypt events).

It was 9 AM and he saw his mother down there crying. A policeman threatened to shoot him down. Akbar immediately tied himself to the crane with a rope he had with him. He thought if they shot him he wanted to dangle from the crane and not fall down.

Eventually police were able to arrest him by reaching up there with a hydraulic crane, and pulled Akbar down. He was being pulled and pushed, kicked and bloodied.

They pulled him to the adjacent roof top, just about every policeman there kicked him and threw insults at him. They took him to an apartment in the same building. On the way they continued kicking and hitting him.

They asked the owner of the apartment to leave and, right then and there, they started interrogating him. Akbar was bloodied, his clothes were torn. They told him to prepare himself for a TV interview. They were trying to broadcast the interview on TV before the planned mass protest in the afternoon.

That same Commander Mostafanejad told Akbar that he has to talk about having been hired by the Sedition Movement, that he has received money to do this. He also told Akbar he has to name a certain foreign country that has paid him money to do this. In his instructions he emphasized numerous times for Akbar to mention having been paid by the U.S. and Israel.

They threatened him with execution if he does not confess to receiving instructions from Monafeghin (MEK/MKO).

During the on camera interview, Akbar did not follow their instructions. He only repeated what he was protesting and said he just wanted others to hear his voice.They transferred him to security police where he was beaten again.

By than many had heard Akbar’s voice. At night time the national news program covered his crane climbing event but said he had mental problems.

That afternoon thousands of people came out to the streets. The Green Movement once again showed it’s power.

Many of the youth that were arrested that day, are in Evin ward 350 and say that Akbar climbing up the crane with a Green cloth was inspiration for them to go out and join the protest that afternoon.
(SOURCE: Kalema; TRANSLATION: Persian Banoo)

Akbar Amini has been transferred to ward 350 after being in solitary confinement in ward 209 for more than 100 days.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Akbar Amini who was arrested on June 7, 2013, was transferred to ward 350 after being in solitary confinement in ward 209 for more than 100 days.

In February, 2014 the authorities of ward 350 of Evin Prison prevented Akbar Amini from being transferred to a hospital outside of prison.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Akbar Amini, the political prisoner of ward 350, was supposed to be sent to the hospital for his jaw and dental problems on Wednesday February 26, however the authorities did not permit him.

An informed source said to HRANA’s reporter: “Momeni, the vice executive of prison, has prevented him from being transferred, because of recent tension inside the ward 350.”

Then came the notorious day, April 17, 2014. when a large group of security officials, including some in plain clothes and wearing masks, assaulted prisoners over a period of several hours after entering Section 350 early on the morning of 17 April. As a result of the assaults, many prisoners sustained injuries, such as fractures, cuts and bruises, some of which were still visible when their relatives gained access to them days later. Those carrying out the assaults included Ministry of Intelligence officials and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who, between them, control some sections of Evin Prison.

Akbar's father told Kaleme, a Persian-language news website, that he found his son wearing a cervical collar and with a cut on his head that had not been stitched. Akbar Amini reportedly told his family that he had received a blow to his head and neck and had lost hearing in his right ear.
SOURCE: HRANA Human Rights News Agency

16. Free Iranian Labor Activist Sharokh Zamani, Tortured, Serving 11-Year Prison Sentence

Sharokh Zamani is an Iranian labor activist who was sentenced 11 years in prison for his peaceful activism. He is being kept in the infamously horrible Rajai-Shahr prison, where he has taken a lead in staging protest hunger strikes from Ward 12, along with other prisoners, against the neglect and brutality of their jailers. The last hunger strike he took part in ended in October 2014. Earlier that year, he sent the following letter to Dr. Ahmad Shaheed (UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran) and Navi Pillay (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights):

Dear Mr. Ahmad Shaheed and Mrs. Navi Pillay:

Listen to my cry against injustice!

I am Shahrokh Zamani, a trade unionist living in Tehran for the past 30 years. I was arrested by armed intelligence agents when I went to Tabriz to visit my parents on June 8, 2011 without any proof or judicial order. I was subjected to psychological and physical torture while being held in solitary confinement. I was insulted and threatened with death and even rape [if I did not] confess to what the interrogator dictated. I did not answer any questions [and instead] demanded to be tried in a court in presence of my lawyer and jury. I went on hunger strike for 32 days and lost 28 kilograms of my weight.

I was tried by Judge Hamlbar in Branch Number 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Tabriz without any evidence, and sentenced to 11 years in prison. In the issued verdict, the judge himself has confessed that I have denied the charges during the investigation process; as such, he is to be held accountable for the reasoning [behind the imposition] of this heavy sentence. The verdict was confirmed by Judge Imani in Branch 6 of the Appeals Court of the East Azerbaijan Province, which is known as the Confirmation Branch. Branch 29 of the Supreme Court, which is known as the Intelligence Branch, also confirmed the sentence. Mr. Pour Faridi, who was my lawyer at the time, asked the judge of the Appeals Court to show at least one acceptable proof [that could support] the issued sentence. A judge of the Supreme Court had told my mother that there is no evidence according to which a sentence of even one day in prison could be issued.

According to Article 22 of the internal bylaws of the prisons, any military, judicial or intelligence body is expressly forbidden from interfering in the internal issues of the prisons. However, there are intelligence offices in all prisons, such as Ward 209 in Evin Prison, Ward 37 in Tabriz Central Prison, and Ward 8 of the IRGC in Rajaei Shahr Prison, which are controlling and monitoring the political prisoners on a daily basis. By the order of the intelligence officers, I was transferred to different wards in Tabriz Central Prison such as Quarantine; Ward 12, where the dangerous prisoners are kept; and Ward 15, which is known as the Methadone Ward, and is where the prisoners suffering from HIV, hepatitis and gangrene [are housed]. Then I was exiled to the Yazd Prison, and afterwards to the Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj. Finally, and despite the internal bylaws of the prisons which requires the separation of prisoners according to their crimes, I was exiled to the Ghezel Hesar Prison, where the drug-related prisoners are kept.

I was the representative of the political prisoners of Ward 12 of Rajaei Shahr Prison, trying to defend the rights of the prisoners, and complaining to the authorities about the closing of the only library of the prison, the increase in the spread of dangerous electrical noises, and the beating of prisoners. I asked the authorities to respect the prisoners’ rights in accordance with the internal bylaws of the prisons through a letter.

None of these prisons have the least legal standards, and the prisoners are deprived of their rights such as the right to nutrition; health care; education; sport; and contact with their families through telephone calls, prison visits, furloughs and letters. Further, the prisoners are subjected to systematic mental and physical torture. Despite Article 3 of the internal bylaws of the prisons, which says the aim of imprisonment is pedagogy, those chosen as the authorities of the prisons are the most violent and illiterate people, who consider the torturing of prisoners to be a key to heaven.

Dear Sirs:

As a trade unionist, I have been arrested and imprisoned illegally and have been exiled to one of the worst prisons in Iran, which is comparable to the prisons of the Middle Ages. Ghezel Hesar Prison has 10 independent wards with a [maximum] capacity of 7000 prisoners; however, there are 20,000-38,000 prisoners there. At the moment there are 21 to 22 thousand prisoners in this prison, including 3000 death row prisoners, 7000 prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment, and nearly the same number sentenced to 15 years in prison. There are 10 to 20 prisoners hanged every month. Most of the issued sentences are [based on confessions extracted] under torture and in the absence of a lawyer and jury. From the time a prisoner enters the prison, he has to be naked in 3 different points in front of 2 or 3 cameras. Between 9 and 16 prisoners are kept in rooms measuring 7.5 square meters. In Ward 3, which is known as the best one, there are only 5 bathrooms which are usable only for 40 minutes to 2 hours a day for 160 to 200 prisoners.

There is no water between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on most days. There is no proper health care system. Each prisoner is taken to the clinic once a month, and the doctors there always give some pills without examining them. The food is made of soybeans intended for animal feed, and is of such poor quality that most prisoners prefer to be hungry and not eat the food. Those who want to buy food from the restaurant have to pay 17,000 Tomans for the same chicken that is sold for 6,000 Tomans outside the prison. The bad financial condition of the prisoners makes them deal drugs and cigarettes – where it is forbidden – telephone cards, calling times etc. There is no book in the prison to read. In a place called Dar-Al-Koran, the prisoners are forced to learn Arabic and memorize the Koran, and are misused as finks. The other prisoners have renamed it Dar-Al-Sheytan (the Home of the Devil), since the prisoners are humiliated there and forced to spy on the other prisoners.

Any objection [to these conditions] will result solitary confinement, cutting the hairs, being beaten, and lashes on the soles of the feet. The prisoners are thrown in the pool and then tortured with electric shocks. Mr. Shirazi, who is responsible for the Quarantine, and his entire family, including his daughters, sons, and daughter-in-law, work in the prison as well, and are used to insult the prisoners’ families, in addition to beating the prisoners.

There are lot of prisoners suffering from HIV, hepatitis and gangrene. In Ward 1, there are 6,000 prisoners, only 400 of whom are healthy while the others are suffering from HIV, gangrene and tuberculosis. Sixty-five to seventy prisoners have died during the past four months. During the first week of the Iranian New Year, four prisoners died as a result of not having been transferred to the hospital.

In Ward 4, which is known as the Workhouse Ward, there are 15 prisoners whose HIV test was positive.

This was a summary of the situation of the prison where I am being kept.

Dear Mr. Ahmad Shaheed and Mrs. Navi Pillay;

I have been on hunger strike for the past 33 days in protest of being exiled to Ghezel Hesar Prison. I have lost 20 kilograms of my weight. Despite writing 12 letters to the authorities of Ghezel Hesar Prison asking them to return me to the political ward of the Rajaei Shahr Prison, I have not received any answer yet. Considering the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are responsible for any mental and physical harm [that might come to me], I urge you to dispatch a commission of inquiry and put pressure on the Islamic Republic to fulfill their obligations according to their own laws and return me to the political ward.

I thank you for all your efforts.

Sincerely yours,

Shahrokh Zamani

April 7, 2014

17. Doctors call for return of Shaker Aamer

Dear colleagues

In 2006, many of us put pressure on the Government to take greater issue for the medical care of British citizens and residents being held in Guantanamo with a letter in the Times

As some of you know, I have been campaigning for the return of the last British resident from Guantanamo, Shaker Aamer, to London for the last 10 years. This weeks, Sunday Times suggests that he may return imminently, but it is important to keep the pressure up.

I am proposing to submit a letter to the Daily Mail (!)- who have been vigorously calling for the return of Shaker over last weeks. In discussion with the Mail, they are interested in the medical aspects which we have raised previously.

Would you be willing to add your name to an updated version of the 2006 letter.?
I will submit when have 20 or so names.

18. Petition to have the beheading videos removed from YouTube

This is a petition, to stop the promotion of violence, that we feel YouTube is asserting, by allowing videos of woman, men, and children, being tortured, shot, and beheaded. It is illegal to allow videos of illegal acts to be broadcast.

We dont understand, how YouTube, does not recognize that by posting these horrific videos, they are promoting terrorists actions?

YouTube, is giving these terrorists another reason for this violence, an audience.

We dont feel that terrorists, and these horrific acts, should be recognized as something, that we as a people, and a country, want to see. And giving life to it in the media, is not only disturbing, but we feel, promoting more videos to be made.

We would like to see this stopped immediately.

19. Free Iranian Journalist Marzieh Rasouli, Sentenced to Two Years and 50 Lashes

An Iranian journalist has been sentenced to 50 lashes and two years in prison over charges of spreading anti-government propaganda in the latest incident of Iran's crackdown on the independent media.

Marzieh Rasouli reported to Evin prison in Tehran on Tuesday, where she became the latest of dozens of journalists imprisoned by the Islamic republic, which has been branded as one of the world's worst jailer of journalists by the New York Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Her arrest followed the detention in recent months of a number of other Iranian journalists, including Saba Azarpeik, who was being held incommunicado, and Reyhaneh Tabatabaei.

The young female journalist was jailed to endure her conviction on charges of "spreading propaganda" against the ruling system and "disturbing the public order", the Guardian has understood. On the previous day, Rasouli had also announced on her Twitter account that she had been informed of her sentence and was expected to go to jail.

Rasouli, a well-known writer on the arts and culture for a number of reformists newspapers including Shargh and Etemaad, was initially arrested in January 2012 as the authorities launched a crackdown before the parliamentary elections at the time. She was later released after posting a large bail with the prison authorities.

According to the Reporters Without Borders, Rasouli and at least two other Iranian journalists, Parastoo Dokouhaki and Sahamoldin Borghani, were accused by hardliners of collaborating with the BBC, which Iran conservatives see as a tool of British espionage.

Rasouli has previously edited the music pages of Shargh Daily, a leading reformist newspaper which has been closed down repeatedly in recent years. She has also worked for the reformist newspapers Etemaad and Roozegar.

CPJ's Jason Stern told the Guardian he was shocked by Rasouli's imprisonment.

"The sad truth is the imprisonment of journalists by the dozens has become normal for Iran ever since the government launched an unprecedented crackdown on the press after the 2009 elections," he said.

"That crackdown has not slowed in the past year, with CPJ documenting a series of arrests and prosecutions of journalists. Now Iran is on track to reclaim the title of the world's worst jailer of journalists this year."

20. Free Iranian Lawyer Negar Haeri, Held In Deplorable Conditions

UPDATE: May 19, 2015--Negar Haeri, an Iranian human rights lawyer and daughter of political prisoner Mashallah Haeri, was taken to Evin prison, having been summoned to the Revolutionary Court of Tehran on 18 May 2015.

Negar was reportedly transferred to ward 209 of Intelligence Service of the regime in Tuesday 19 May 2015 after spending two days in general women's ward of the prison.

She was released on the bail of two Milliards Tomans from Gharchak prison of Varamin city on 25 Feb 2015.

The human rights lawyer had been kept in the prison on the charge of legal advice to prisoner's relatives.

Negar was allegedly beaten by criminal inmates who were persuaded by officials of the jail. She was held alongside criminal prisoners at ward women of Gharchak prison in Varamin city.

UPDATE: On June 30, 2014 Negar Haeri was formally sentenced to one year in prison--which she is to continue serving under the horrible conditions of Gharchak Prison.

PERSIAN BANOO June 29, 2014--Negar Haeri, daughter of imprisoned political prisoner Mashallah Haeeri, is imprisoned in Gharchak Prison under harsh and deplorable conditions.

According to the Melli-Mazhabi news site, Negar Haeri was arrested for giving interviews and publicizing the poor health of her imprisoned father.

She was arrested on May 25, 2014, and on the order of Deputy Prosecutor at Evin, she was transferred to Gharchak prison.

Previously, Negar Haeri was also arrested and imprisoned in 2011 and 2012 and was released on bail. She was tried and sentenced to two years imprisonment plus five years suspended imprisonment sentence. Her law practice license was also suspended for ten years.

Gharchak prison in Varamin has a very unsanitary condition and Negar is incarcerated among the drug traffickers.

This prison holds inmates in excess of it’s maximum capacity and suffers from overcrowding. Due to this overcrowding and lack of space Negar has to sleep in the hallway near the restrooms.

Despite the very hot weather, the air conditioning system in this prison is not working, making conditions very difficult for the prisoners.

Other than Negar Haeeri, Basmeh Aljabouri, an Iraqi citizen, and Roya Saberi Nejad are the two other political prisoners that are incarcerated in Gharchak prison.

21. Free Saudi Human Rights Activst Fadhil Makki al-Manasif, Tortured and Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

Fadhil Makki al-Manasif, 26, is a photographer and a member of the Adala Center for Human Rights (Adala Center), a rights organization in the Eastern Province Fadhil city of Qatif. On April 17, 2014 al-Manasif received a harsh 15-year sentence from the Specialized Criminal Court, plus a 15-year travel ban after his prison sentence and a fine of 100,000 Saudi Riyals (US$26,666) – for charges that included “breaking allegiance with the king” and “being in contact with foreign news agencies in order to exaggerate news and harm the reputation of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people.”

As a member of the Adala Center, al-Manasif played a leading role in documenting abuses against demonstrators in the Eastern Province in 2011. He organized educational workshops on human rights in Qatif and acted as an interlocutor between the families of detainees and authorities, on several occasions approaching police officials in the Eastern Province on behalf of families to ask about the whereabouts of missing family members.

Security forces arrested al-Manasif in his home town of Awammiyah on April 15, 2009 and detained him without charge for three months at the Dammam General Prison. Officials accused him and 20 others of participating in protests, which are banned by the Ministry of Interior, and released him in June after he signed a pledge not to take part in gatherings.[81]

Authorities arrested al-Manasif again in May 2011, two days after he disseminated information to international media outlets and human rights organizations on amendments to the press law and ongoing protests in the Eastern Province. In response to a summons, al-Manasif presented himself to the Ministry of Interior’s Criminal Investigation Department in Awammiyah, where security forces immediately took him into custody.[82]

On June 4, 2011, security forces transferred al-Manasif to solitary confinement in the General Investigation Directorate (al-Mabahith) prison in Dammam. On June 6, prosecutors charged him with a series of crimes related to his first arrest in 2009, including “sowing discord,” “inciting public opinion against the state,” “damaging public property by organizing and calling for protests,” and inviting the international media to demonstrations, as well as participating in gathering information about demonstrations. Security forces released him on August 22 2011, after he signed a declaration promising to refrain from participating in further demonstrations.

On the evening of October 2, 2011, al-Manasif approached the Awammiyah police station to speak to police about their detention of two elderly persons, whose sons were wanted for participation in protests. The authorities had detained the men in order to compel their sons to turn themselves in, according to the Adala Center for Human Rights. When one of the elderly men collapsed, al-Manasif followed by car the ambulance taking the man to the hospital and was stopped and arrested at a checkpoint. Security forces transferred him to the Mabahith prison in Dammam, and placed him in solitary confinement for four months, denying him any visits from his family until August 11, 2012, 314 days after his initial arrest. He remains in detention.

On May 12, 2011 several United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders released an urgent appeal on al-Manasif’s behalf, expressing concern that his arrest violated his right to freedom of expression. The UN Secretary General on July 21, 2011 also expressed concern that his situation “may be related to his work in the defense of human rights, in particular, his involvement in the documentation and dissemination of information on human rights violations, as well as his engagement with United Nations mechanisms and other international human rights organizations.”

According to the Adala Center, al-Manasif alleges that authorities have subjected him to various forms of torture during his detention including beatings on his hands and legs, blindfolding for extended periods of time, forced standing for extended periods of time, and electrocution.

During his interrogation sessions, a colleague of al-Manasif’s at the Adala Center told Human Rights Watch, officials questioned him about his rights activism and he acknowledged being in communication with international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

22. Vikings say no to Michael Vick

Michael Vick should not be discussed as Quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. He is not worthy to wear purple and would be a disgrace to those who have been long time fans.

It isn't just the dog fighting, it is also the fact that he tortured and killed dogs on a frequent ongoing basis and only stopped when he got caught. He electrocuted, drown, hung and beat dogs to death for entertainment.

See article reprinted with permission from author

23. Free Rouhollah Tavana, Iranian Sentenced to Death for "Insulting the Prophet" In a Private Video

FEBRUARY 20, 2014: Mashhad Intelligence agents arrested Rouhollah Tavana, 34, at his home in Mashhad in October 2011. According to a court documents, Intelligence agents confiscated a private video recording of Tavana on his personal computer, in which while under the influence of alcohol he allegedly uttered a phrase the judge interpreted as insulting the Prophet of Islam, a crime under Iranian law. However, the same law explicitly notes that insulting the Prophet is not a crime punishable by death if the person is drunk.

We have asked all authorities for a pardon and for forgiveness for him. My son has repented. My son wrote a letter in prison and expressed remorse, but nothing happened. We can’t rely on anything. They are going to hang him just like that,” Tavana’s mother Fakhri Jamali said.

Branch 5 of the Razavi Khorasan Province Criminal Court sentenced Rouhallah Tavana to death, and an appeals court later upheld his death sentence. On February 14, 2014, Branch 14 of the Iranian Supreme Court also upheld his death sentence, which can now be carried out at any time.

According to Article 262 of the new Islamic Penal Code, “Whoever insults [the Prophet Mohammad] . . . shall be sentenced to death.” However, Article 263 of the Code states, “If the individual accused of [insult] claims that his statements were made reluctantly, negligently, unintentionally, or while drunk, or angry, or were verbal blunders, or were said without attention to the meaning of the words, or were quoting another individual, he will not be considered a insulter of the Prophet.” A note on this article further adds, “If the insult is uttered while drunk or angry or quoting someone else, and is considered an insult, it will be punishable by up to 74 lashes.”

Jamali said judicial authorities refused to accept a letter the family wrote requesting a retrial, saying that they only receive letters from families of those on death row for drug-related crimes, not for other crimes. She added that the basis for the death sentence is a private video Tavana recorded of himself at his home, joking privately with his brother while under the influence of alcohol. In addition to “insulting the Prophet,” Rouhollah Tavana was charged with “producing alcoholic beverages.”

In an interview with the Campaign, Fakhri Jamali appealed for help to save her son’s life. “They said they will serve the lawyer and my son with his death sentence ruling at Vakilabad Prison in Shiraz in the next two weeks. My son has no idea that the Supreme Court has confirmed his death sentence. He keeps calling from prison and asking about it, and all we do is to give him hope. We are now forced to give interviews to the media. Up until now, we were afraid my son’s situation would worsen if we gave interviews, but we have no choice anymore. We ask everyone to help stop my son’s death sentence,” she said.

Describing what led to her son’s arrest and his death sentence, Tavana’s mother told the Campaign, “Three years ago, one of my son’s friends called the Mashhad Intelligence Office and told them that my son had information at his home that was ‘anti-revolutionary’ and ‘against the Supreme Leader.’ Forces from the Mashhad Intelligence Office raided my son’s home suddenly, searching through all his books, personal items, and his computer hard disk. On his computer there was a video that my son and one of his brothers had made of themselves on the night of his birthday.

According to Jamali, “In this video, my son, who was having a drink, said a sentence that cannot even be a direct insult to Prophet Mohammad. He was holding the knife he was going to cut the cake with and he said, ‘Put this knife up your prophet’s butt.’ But this film was private and other than himself and his brother, there was no one else in it. My son was kept in solitary confinement inside the Intelligence Office for three-and-a-half months, and then they transferred him to Vakilabad Prison in Shiraz.”

Judicial authorities leveled the charge of producing alcoholic beverages against Tavana based on another personal video confiscated from his home. Rouhollah Tavana did not share these videos with anyone else at any time. “He had a file on his computer which the Intelligence forces found. Rouhollah had videotaped himself when he was all alone, concocting an alcoholic beverage in a pressure cooker in the kitchen. [In the video] he was jokingly describing the directions for making the alcoholic drink. But all of these were private files. The Intelligence forces themselves took the files and put them on CDs and entered them into his case,” Jamali said her son’s other charges.

Tavana’s mother also said that the family has a letter from the Medical Examiner’s Office confirming that Rouhollah Tavana suffers from Cluster B Personality Disorders and needs treatment.

After his arrest, Tavana spent 3.5 months in a solitary cell inside the Mashhad Intelligence Office. He has expressed remorse for cursing. His family visits him once a week.

24. Free Iranian Human Rights/Childrens' Rights Activist Mohamad Hassan Yousefpour Seifi

Imprisoned Human Rights and children rights activist, Mohamad Hassan Yousefpour Seifi, is in dire need of an urgent back surgery.

According to Kaleme, this political prisoner who was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison, has been serving his prison term in Ward 350 of Evin prison since about a year ago. Three of his vertebra have been displaced due to the impact and trauma, and he was scheduled and supposed to be transferred to a medical center outside of the Evin prison to have an MRI scan, but his medical examination and treatment outside of the Evin prison has been denied by the prosecutor and the prison authorities.

Also, he has been suffering from damagees to his cornea of both eyes which has significantly compromised his vision.

Prison authorities and the prosecutor have denied him of family visitation throughout his imprisonment in the past one year.

In desperation, Mr. Yousefpour Seifi has now launched a hunger strike. He has already suffered two minor strokes while in prison, but has been denied necessary medical care.

25. Free Iranian Kurdish Labor Activists Afshin Medimi and Mehrdar Sabori

Two Iranian Kurdish labor activists, Afshin Nedimi and Mehrdar Sabori, visited Iraqi Kurdistan in October 2013. Kurdish labor organizations state that both men mysteriously disappeared when they returned to Iranian Kurdistan from Iraqi Kurdistan.

It became clear on November 18 that Iran’s intelligence agency had arrested the two labor activists. The two men were members of a Kurdish labor organization, visited Iraqi Kurdistan to find work.

Kurdish cultural, political, human rights and other activists are singled out by the Intelligence Ministry, Revolutionary Guards and other repressive organs of the Islamic Republic of Iran for especially harsh persecutions, including imprisonment, torture, and death sentences after flagrantly unfair trials.

26. Immediate release Ethiopian journalists Reeyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye, Eskinder Nega, Yusuf Getachew and Solomon Kebede

This letter will be sent to the International Federation of Journalists.

You can add your signature to letter through this petition.

Sign and share widely!


27. Free Reza Pourhaydar, Evin Prison Doctor Arrested For Honest Report On Torture Death of Iranian Blogger Sattar Beheshti

November 11, 2013--Evin prison physician who had examined the injured Sattar Beheshti (the blogger who died under torture while in custody) has been arrested and detained in the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 in Evin prison.

According to Kaleme site, Dr. Reza Pourhaydar, the Evin physician was the doctor on duty at the medical clinic in Evin on the day that Sattar Beheshti was taken there.

According to prison’s regulations, every new prisoner arrived at the prison must be sent to the prison clinic for examination and a medical file is created for that prisoner.

When Sattar Beheshti arrived at Evin, according to the regulations he was sent to the infirmary and was examined by Dr. Pourhaydar. His report of the examination indicated the signs of beatings and torture on Beheshti’s body.

After this report was prepared by Dr. Pourhaydar he no longer was permitted to examine other Ward 350 political prisoners and was transferred to the ward for prisoners convicted on financial charges.

Dr. Pourhaydar was arrested last week and imprisoned in the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 at Evin prison.

Last week it was reported that an informed source in the case of Sattar Beheshti has said that the family of Sattar Beheshti have recently found out that the forensic report indicated bleeding of the lungs, liver, kidney and cerebellum. According to this informed source the coroner’s report that is included in Sattar’s file leaves no doubts that the cause of Sattar Beheshti’s death was due to internal bleeding and brain hemorrhaging.

In September of last year, the coroner’s report claimed that Sattar Beheshti’s death was caused due to stress. At the same time, political prisoner Abolfazl Abedini, who was incarcerated in Ward 350 and had seen Sattar’s condition, was summoned to the special prosecutor’s office as a witness and interrogated and threatened to be exiled several times. Ultimately this threat was carried out and Abedini was exiled to Ahvaz Karoon prison.

This form of confronting and dealing with witnesses has a long history. The most famous persecution and illegal actions against a witness was the case of Dr. Ramin Pourandarjani, the physician who had examined victims of the torture deaths in Kahrizak detention center prior to their death. This 26 year old physician died under suspicious circumstances at his place of work in November of 2009.

Initially, the officials announced this young physician’s cause of death as a heart attack, then as suicide, and ultimately, the coroner’s office announced the cause of death as poisoning. Dr. Ramin Pourandarjani was buried without his family being allowed an autopsy.

Sources close to Dr. Pournandarjani say that, prior to his death, he had disclosed details of the torture death of the Kahrizak detention center’s victims. According to these sources, Dr. Pournandarjani had testified as a witness before Parliament’s Special Committee members formed to deal with the status and situation of the victims of the post-election events.

It seems that putting pressure on the witnesses and doctors is one of the methods that the intelligence officials resort to for escaping the crisis they create.

The Intelligence and Judicial authorities, instead of prosecuting the people responsible for the torture death of Sattar Beheshti, have put on their agenda persecuting the people who exposed this crime, and arresting of Dr. Pourhaydar fits this agenda.

The arrest of Dr. Pourhaydar has created much concerns for the other Evin prison physicians, that in the event they report on the torture of prisoners the same fate awaits them.

According to the political prisoners in Evin, Dr. Pourhaydar despite the existence of security atmosphere at Evin prison’s medical clinic had not forgotten his oath and despite the efforts by some of the clinic’s personnel to stop him from doing his job properly always provided care and treatment for the sick prisoners.

SOURCE: Kaleme, translated by Persian Banoo

28. STOP The Execution of Iranian Kurd Politcal Prisoner Mohammad Abdullahi!

Mohammad Abdullahi who has been charged on collaboration with Komala party, has been sentenced to execution by branch 1 of Mahabad revolutionary court.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency in Iran (HRANA), this political prisoner who was arrested in 2010 in Mahabad, has been tortured severely during his interrogation sessions.

Due to the severity of the torture, his leg and hand were broken. After suffering these brutal injuries, he was further tortured by deliberate (and illegal) medical neglect, as a result of which his leg bone realigned crookedly.

Evidently some of his teeth have been broken in the course of torture and this has affected his digestive system in the past three years.

It is worth noting he is the brother of Mohammad Amin Abdullahi, another political prisoner. After being summoned to court eleven times, of his original sentence of imprisonment was changed in early October 2013 to a death sentenceon charges of "enmity against God" (mohabareh) through membership in Komala party.

Apparently he was deprived of access to lawyer in all of his trial sessions.

One of his fellow prisoners testified: said “Mohammad has not given any confessions of guilt during the course of theinterrogations, and that is why trial was held eleven times. And still, afterall of that, they delivered the news of his death sentence to him verbally in prison.”

29. Free Mikhail Kosenko (Михаил Косенко), Russian Confined to a Mental Hospital for Paricipating in Anti-Putin Rally

MOSCOW, Oct 8 (Reuters) - A Russian court on Tuesday ordered a critic of President Vladimir Putin confined to a psychiatric ward indefinitely over clashes with police at a protest, a ruling likened by rights activists to abuses of psychiatry during the Soviet era to jail dissidents.

Mikhail Kosenko, who had undergone outpatient psychiatric treatment before his arrest, was among more than two dozen accused of rioting at a protest in Moscow on May 6, 2012, the eve of Putin's inauguration to a new six-year term.

They are held up by the opposition as victims of a Kremlin crackdown on dissent. Critics accuse Putin of using the courts to sideline opponents since he rose to power in 2000, citing the imprisonment of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of punk group Pussy Riot.

A Russian judge sentenced Kosenko, who has been in pre-trial detention for 16 months, to indefinite detention and compulsory treatment in a psychiatric institution.

He was accused of assaulting a police officer - although the officer testified that he did not recognise Kosenko and did not want him punished. Kosenko denies the charges.

"The court has come to the conclusion that at the time the action was committed by Kosenko... he was in a state of insanity," Judge Ludmila Moskalenko told the court.

Protesters demonstrating outside the courthouse chanted "Shame!" They at times drowned out her reading of the ruling. Police detained nine protesters, activists said.

"This is a clear case of a return to punitive psychiatry in Russia," said Alexander Podrabinek, a human-rights activist and Soviet-era dissident who authored a book on the political abuse of psychiatry under the Soviet Union. "This is the first such clear and obvious instance in the post-Soviet period."

Kosenko's family says he takes medication for a psychiatric disorder after a trauma sustained during military service, but was non-violent and has no prior police record.

Locked in the defendant's cage, the moustachioed 38-year-old greeted the verdict in silence.

"The most valued thing in the country is freedom," he wrote in comments published by Novaya Gazeta on Tuesday.

"Demonstrators (on May 6 2012) took to the streets in protest of unfair elections... The authorities are against fair and just elections because then they would be no more."

Human rights activists say video evidence presented in courts shows Kosenko standing by while other protesters scuffle with police. They say reports of violence at the May protest were exaggerated by the police and prosecution.

"The guilty slant (and) the political character of this process is completely obvious," said rights activist Oleg Orlov.

30. Save the animals. We want justice in this country. Not only for us but for animals too.

“Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. ” - César Chávez

One day, I happened to see a video of how the government servants in Malaysia tortured stray dogs, which according to them, they were just removing the stray dogs from the streets. The dogs were bleeding but the people did not care. I am an animal lover and my heart ached when I watched it..

I know there are people outside there who loves animals as much as I do and hate how these dogs are treated, as much as I do but may not have done something to stop this. I don't know what's the chance of me to win this, but I know that if I don't try, I'll never know.

P.S. this is the video I watched