Human Rights Violations Report | Full Week of December 6, 2010December 14, 2010
Security forces raided the house of reporter and journalist Reyhaneh Tabatabaei and arrested her. Tabatabaei has worked for the Sina News Agency, Chelcheragh magazine and Shargh newspaper. During the disputed presidential elections in 2009, she was out of the country pursuing her education. Keyvan Mehregan, Ahmad Gholami, Farzaneh Roustaei, Ali Khodabaskh and Amir Hadi Anvari are several other journalists who worked for the Shargh newspaper and have been arrested in the past week.
Mehran Faraji has been a social issues reporter for Hamshahri, Etemadeh Melli and Kargozaran newspapers. He has been a member of the youth section of the National Trust Party. He is the 7th journalist arrested this week. Reyhaneh Tabatabei, , Keyvan Mehregan, Ahmad Gholami, Farzaneh Roustaei, Ali Khodabaskh and Amir Hadi Anvari are several other journalists who worked for the Shargh Newspaper and have been arrested in the past week.
Amir Hadi Anvari is a reporter for the economics section who has previously worked for Etemad and other several reformist newspapers. On December 7th, security forces arrested Anvari along with a number of other Shargh reporters. Farzaneh Roustaei, Keyvan Mehregan, Ahmad Gholami and Ali Khodabakhsh were detained after raiding the raid on the newspaper’s office. There has been no information as to the reason for his arrest but the prosecutor has stated that security reasons were why the newspaper has been banned. The newspaper had previously been banned several times.
A week has passed since labor activist Reza Shahabi has gone on a hunger strike and he has stated that he will remain on hunger strike until his status is clarified by the judiciary. Detained labor activist, Reza Shahabi is in critical health condition in Iranian prison after starting on a dry hunger strike on December 4. Zohreh Rezai, Shahabi’s wife has reported that her husband has gone on a hunger strike in protest to his undetermined judicial case and has emphasized that he will remain on hunger strike until his status is clarified by the judiciary. Shahabi who is a member of the Tehran and Suburbs Public Transit Bus Drivers Union was fired from his job for his labour activities four years ago. He was arrested on June 12 of this year and spent 40 days in solitary confinement. So far no charges have been laid against him. His wife reported: “When I went to visit him today, I noticed that he can no longer walk. He didn’t have the strength to talk, either. He was in terrible shape. Many of his friends and co-workers asked me to ask him today to break his hunger strike, but he said ‘I will continue my hunger strike until my judicial status is clarified.’ He has been in detention for seven months, but his charges are still unknown.” She added: “He has been in prison for close to seven months. They agreed to release him on bail two months ago. First they said [his bail amount was] $60,000, but then they said we had to post bail at $100,000. Though we raised the money, they have not yet released him.” The imprisonment of Shahabi has thrown the family in dire straits as he is the sole breadwinner of the family. Two other members of the Sherkat-e Vahed bus drivers union, Manour Osanlou and Saeed Aboutorabian, have also been imprisoned by the Islamic Republic authorities for their labor activism.
Isa Saharkhiz, detained Iranian journalist is in critical condition after undergoing surgery to stop internal bleeding. The jailed journalist’s blood pressure rose dramatically yesterday but the prosecutor refused to give permission for his transfer to a hospital. Isa Saharkhiz underwent surgery at Rajai Shahr Prison infirmary after being diagnosed with internal bleeding six days ago. Reportedly, the incision has become infected and he is in need of critical medical care. Isa Saharkhiz has been jailed by the Islamic Republic authorities for over a year. He suffers from severe health complications which have gone unattended for long periods of time while detained and all of his lawyer’s applications to get him a temporary leave from prison to receive medical care have been turned down. Saharkhiz is one of the founders of Society for the Defense of Free Press in Iran and was arrested in summer of 2009 during the widespread protests to the disputed presidential elections. In the course of his imprisonment he has spoken out against being subjected to torture and has accused the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, for allowing the “tortures” to go on in Iranian prisons.
Javad Vafaei who is in charge of the Youth branch of the Iranian Civil Society, was detained on Wednesday December 8th, by the Hamadan Intelligence Ministry authorities at his workplace. The agents searched Javad Vafaei’s house and took his books, computer and personal belongings. He is suffering from Rheumatism. In the recent years, he has been summoned and interrogated several times. He was sentenced to 6 years of suspended imprisonment with 3 other members of the group including Hossein Mojahed following the disputed presidential election. There has been no information as to his condition or whereabouts.
Ghazvin University student Arsalan Abadi arrested during last year’s Ashura events is currently being held in Ward 350 of Evin Prison and was originally charged with “Moharebeh” (waging war against God). He was first sentenced to 9 ½ years in prison which was later changed to 6 years. His sentence has now been reduced to 3 years because of the amnesties granted after Eid al-Ghadeer (a festive day observed by Shia Muslims). Even though a year has passed since his detention, his mother is not willing to interview the media since the Prosecutor has promised that her son will be released. Sometime after his arrest, agents detained Abadi’s 2 sisters and his wife in order to put pressure on the student activist. He is in poor physical and psychological condition.
Amir Khorram, a Freedom Movement of Iran member, has been sentenced to 7 years in prison and 74 lashes for acting against “national security by membership in Freedom Movement of Iran, writing articles, interviewing foreign media and participating in illegal gatherings”. The verdict has been served to his lawyer on December 7th. He was arrested after being summoned to the Intelligence Ministry following Ashura day events. He was held in Ward 209 of Evin Prison for 50 days. In 2001, he was also arrested along with 80 other members of the Freedom Movement of Iran and was held in the solitary confinement units of the IRGC detention center for 135 days. He was later sentenced to 4 years and 8 months of imprisonment. His previous sentence is still in the appeals process.
On December 7th, Afshin Keshtgari was summoned to Intelligence Ministry along with 9 other students. The students were interrogated. According to RAHANA, 8 students were released after a few hours but Keshtgari has been in detention since then and there is no information as to his condition. Mahmoud Mokhtari, Mohammad Sadeghi, Mohammadreza Mohammad-Shahi, Mohammad Dehdari, Morteza Zanvezi, Massoud Soleiman-Dehkordi, Amir johari and Ehsan Khajavi are the 8 other students who were summoned.
There is no information as to the condition of the students arrested in Tehran University School of Art after Student Day on Dec 7th. Vahid Nosrati, Hooman Jafari, Savin Shiva, Majid Sadeghi, Hojjat Sahraei and Saeidi are the students detained by the security forces on December 7th. Vahid Nosrati’s brother stated that his brother has contacted home and has said that he is held in Evin Prison. There is also no information as to the condition of the Amir Kabir and Razi University students who were detained on December 6th and 7th.
Jamal Rasoulpour was arrested on September 19th in Sardasht by the security forces and there are reports that he is in critical condition after 6 days of hunger strike. His hunger strike is to protest the lack of medical attention and the failure of the authorities to follow-up on his case. There are concerns as to the condition of this 28 year old prisoner.
Ali Shakourirad, member of Iranian reformist party, Islamic Iran Participation Front, was arrested again by the Islamic Republic authorities for implicating Iran’s head of judiciary in supporting reformists. Tehran Revolutionary and Public Court reported that Ali Shakourirad was arrested today over the charge of attributing falsehoods to Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, head of Iran’s judiciary. Shakourirad, who was released only over a month ago, recently participated in a discussion with former head of state news agency IRNA and published the contents in his personal website. Shakourirad who had taken the position that violations had occurred in the process of the last presidential elections in 2009, stated: “Your own media reported that Ali Larijani had congratulated Mr. Mousavi on phone…Such statements also exist regarding Mr. Sadegh Larijani which for one reason or another has not been covered by the media and they will surface when it’s necessary.”
Hossein Derakhshan, Iranian blogger who was detained in Iran since two years ago was finally released last night on a short furlough [temporary leave]. Derakhshan was released on a $1.5 million-dollar bail, a precedent amount, and the family is remaining hopeful that with the verdict of the appellate court he would not have to return to prison. In September, Hossein Derakhshan was convicted of “collaboration with enemy states, propaganda against the Islamic regime, propagation of anti-Revolutionary groups, insulting sanctities, launching and managing obscene websites” and sentenced to 19.5 years in prison. His sentence also included five years ban from membership in political parties and journalistic activities as well as return of 30, 750 euros, $2,900 US and 200 pounds sterling. Derakhshan’s lawyer has appealed the verdict but the appellate courts ruling has not been announced yet.
Mokhtar Houshmand had been sentenced to 16 years in prison for “espionage”, “anti-regime propaganda” and “collaborating with anti-regime groups”. The appeals court has reduced the sentence to 7 years in prison. According to Kurdish news sources, he was detained on May 23rd by Marivan security forces. Authorities took his computer, personal belongings and several of his books. They had told his family not to contact the media or disclose the news of his arrest. Mokhtar Houshmand is a cultural activist, painter, head of Marivan Visual Arts Society and secretary of the Annual Drawing Exhibition of Western Iran. He had organized several visual arts shows in Marivan and several other cities in the Province of Kurdistan.
Former secretary of the Islamic Student Association at Lorestan University Hossein Mahdavi was detained on December 4th for the second time in the past year after being summoned to the Khorramabad Intelligence Ministry. He was arrested after the authorities called his house and asked him to appear at the Intelligence Ministry in order to get back his computer which had been confiscated when his house was searched in February of last year. According to RAHANA, Hossein Mahdavi is a political activist in Lorestan and has been summoned to the security organizations several times and has a number of cases pending in the Lorestan court.
Jafar Eghdami was detained on July 31, 2008, and was under intense psychological torture in the solitary confinement unit of Ward 209. According to RAHANA, he has recently been transferred to the Quarantine Ward of the Rajai Shahr Prison. He had been sentenced to 5 years in prison by the lower court which was changed to 10 years in the appeals court. He was among the prisoners who went on a hunger strike a few months ago and was subsequently transferred to solitary confinement. His transfer to the Rajaei Shahr Prison is unlawful since the prison is a place for dangerous criminals, murderers and death row detainees.
Journalist Massoud Lavasani has been summoned to Evin Prison to serve the rest of his sentence after 4 months of prison leave. Lavasani was arrested in September 2009 and sentenced to 6 years in prison. According to RAHANA , on Monday, Lavasani was summoned to prison over the phone. The lower court had previously sentenced him to 8 ½ years in prison and a 10 year ban from journalism. In the recent days, many people who were released on bail such as Emaddedin Baghi, Arash Sadeghi and Leila Tavasoli, have been summoned to the prison. Update: Lavasani was transferred to Ward 350 of Evin prison.
Weekly Report by Roya Irani for Persian2English
This report is being compiled from human rights websites each week in honor of all the university students, mothers, fathers, human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and minorities in Iran being unjustly detained, tortured, raped and killed by their government. Don’t be afraid, we are all together.
A copy of this report was sent to: United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International, and all Iran Embassies.
- Menschenrechtsbericht (Persian2English) | Woche vom 6. Dezember 2010 | Julias Blog
- Human Rights Violation Report | Part 1: Week of December 13, 2010 | Persian2English
- Editor-in-Chief of Shargh Newspaper Released and Resigns, Rather Than Succumb to Government Pressure | Persian2English
- Human Rights Violations Report | Part 2: Week of January 10, 2011 | Persian2English