Human Rights Violations Report | Part 2: Week of January 3, 2011January 10, 2011
“Where else in the world does [a government] hold a mother with two children in solitary confinement for five months?” – Nasrin Sotoudeh, beloved jailed lawyer who has spent a significant amount of her time behind bars on hunger strike in protest to her illegal detention.
January 8th: The Isfahan Prosecutor reported that four individuals were executed for “smuggling and distributing drugs”. Judge Mohammad Reza Habibi stated that they were charged with “possession of 940 grams of crack, sale of 10 grams of crack, transportation of 9.2 kilograms of crack, possession and transportation of 775.580 kilograms of opium, and possession and transportation of 56.2 kilograms of crack”. The Attorney General confirmed the sentences and they were hanged after their case went through the necessary judicial proceedings.
January 8th: Judge Pirabbasi has sentenced Mehdi Gholizadeh to 6 years in prison for “membership in the Freedom Movement of Iran”, “attempting to dishonor the Islamic Republic”, “participating in Ashura protests”, “disrespecting the sacred”, and “acting against national security by assembly and conspiracy”. He was arrested during the Ashura protests last year and spent 65 days in the security ward of Evin prison. The Revolutionary Court has sentenced reformist journalists and political activists to heavy sentences since the disputed 2009 Presidential election. Some examples include Emad Bahavar’s 10 year prison term and 10 year ban from activities in groups, media, and web; 7 years imprisonment and 74 lashes for Amir Khorram; 6 years imprisonment and 74 lashes for Sara Tavasoli; 3 years imprisonment for Farid Taheri; 3 year prison term for Amir Hossein Kazemi; and 2 years imprisonment for Leila Tavassoli. The aforementioned individuals are all members of the Freedom Movement of Iran. The Secretary General of the Freedom Movement of Iran, Ebrahim Yazdi is currently in detention and awaiting his court hearing.
January 9th: Jafar Kazemi’s lawyer stated that the Appeals Court has upheld the death sentence for her client and branch 31 of the Supreme Court has denied the request for reviewing the case. Branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court presided by Judge Hojjatoleslam Zargar upheld the sentence. His lawyer added that her client has been held in solitary confinement for a long time but she was not aware whether he or his family has been put under any other type of pressure. Jafar Kazemi, a 46-year-old lithographer for textbooks and pamphlets at Amirkabir University was arrested September 2009. He was held in the solitary confinement unit of ward 209 and was transferred to ward 350 after 74 days. Kazemi was also imprisoned for 9 years in the 1980’s for political reasons. Jafar Kazemi’s wife, Roudabeh Akbari wrote a letter to the United Nations Secretary General, urging him to make every effort to stop his execution. He had been tried in branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court. Kazemi’s lawyer, Nasim Ghanavi reports that her client is accused of Moharebeh (Enmity with God) through sympathy for the People’s Mujahedin of Iran Organization.” He has denied all charges.
January 9th: Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi has issued the heavy verdict and Sotoudeh’s lawyers have been delivered the court’s verdict. In an interview with RAHANA, her husband Reza Khandan stated, “My wife has been convicted of “anti-regime propaganda”, “acting against national security”, and “failing to wear the Islamic hijab in a video”. Membership in CDHR and some interviews she has given to the media are among the reasons for her heavy sentence.” He explained, “Her lawyers have not received the complete decision of the court yet and when they receive it in the upcoming days, they would be able to provide us with more information. The majority of the discussions in the court revolved around Nasrin’s interviews and statements. However, they were unable to make any major objections to the content of the statements and their main issue was that she had frequent interviews. Otherwise, the content of her speech had not been offensive and did not include anything that showed she was culpable.” Khandan described the verdict as unbelievable and mentioned, “It is shocking and terrifying for us, for her attorneys and for those who hear about it.” He further stated, “Nasrin contacted me after the court hearing. She said she could not imagine such a heavy sentence. She asked ‘where else in the world does [a government] hold a mother with two children in solitary confinement for five months?’ To the extent that I am aware, she had not been informed of the verdict, at least up until Thursday, but I will let her know as soon as she contacts me and it is obvious what her reaction is going to be.” The interrogators had previously warned Sotoudeh of such a heavy sentence. Khandan told RAHANA, “We are still in shock, even though the interrogators told Nasrin that they were not allowing her to receive less than a 10 year prison term. We did not believe that it was actually going to happen. Such a verdict is shocking for anyone who was familiar with her thoughts, beliefs and actions.” Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, a 20 year ban from exiting the country and a 20 year ban from practicing law. Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court issued the verdict.
January 5th: Journalist Keyvan Samimi was taken to the Revolutionary Court and retried. Keyvan Samimi and several other prisoners had requested in a letter that an international investigation committee be formed, and this is the reason for his retrial. Keyvan Samimi was a political prisoner during the Shah’s regime and the editor in chief of a banned monthly magazine. He was also a member of the Civil Rights Protection Committee, the Committee to Follow-up on Arbitrary Arrests, and the Education Rights Committee. Keyvan Samimi was arrested on June 13, 2009. He spent four months in solitary confinement and was later sentenced to six years in prison and received a lifetime ban from political activities.
January 8th: Journalist and cultural activist Nasour Naghipour has been sentenced to seven years in prison by branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi. He has been convicted of “membership in the Human Rights Activists in Iran” and “anti-regime propaganda”. However, he has never been a member of the aforementioned group and has strongly denied membership in the group. According to RAHANA, he was arrested on March 2, 2009 by the cyber unit of IRGC and was released on a $100,000 bail after 110 days of detention. He is the director of a cultural website that has been active for many years. His lawyers Yalda Mozafarian and Amir Raeisian have objected the verdict and are hoping that the sentence will be reduced.
January 7th: Nabiollah Bastan-Farsani, a Teacher’s Union activist in Shahrekord, was arrested on his way back from school. The Appeals Court in the province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari has upheld a one year prison sentence for Nabiollah Bastan, who was ill and hospitalized. He was summoned to serve his sentence over the phone but he refused to appear in prison and stated that they can come and detain him if they want to transfer him to prison. The security forces detained the literature teacher on his way back from school. His children took his personal belongings to the prison the next day. Currently, the Secretary General of the Teacher’s Organization, Alireza Hashemi, the Secretary General of the Teacher’s Union, Ali Akbar Baghani, the spokesperson for the Tehran Teacher’s Union, Mahmoud Beheshti-Langaroudi, the Tehran Teacher’s Union member, Mahmoud Bagheri, and Kurdistan Teacher’s Union member, Mokhtar Asadi have all spent time in solitary confinement. They are awaiting their court hearing. Mohammad Davari, Rasoul Bodaghi, Abdolreza Ghanbari and Abdollah Momeni are also among the teachers who are currently imprisoned.
January 8th: Branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court acquitted Shiva Nazar Ahari from the charge of “assembly and conspiracy against the regime” and reduced her prison term to four years and changed her exile location from the city of Izeh to a prison in Karaj. She had been sentenced to 6 years in prison, 74 lashes and exile to Izeh Prison by branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. The case was appealed by her lawyers. Shiva was arrested and sent to Evin prison on June 13, 2009, one day after the disputed Presidential election. She was released after three months on a $200 thousand USD bail, but was later arrested again on December 20, 2009 in Tehran on her way to attend Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral in Qom. After nine months, she was released on a $500 thousand USD bail on September 12th. Since the 2009 Presidential election, she has been in prison for over a year and has spent three months of her detention in solitary confinement.
January 8th: A citizen was executed in Shirvan prison on January 5th on drug trafficking charges. The Esfarayen Prosecutor reported that a citizen by the name of “A.A.” was executed. Ahmad Erfanian added that “the individual had a history of transportation and distribution of drugs and had been sentenced to life in prison in another case which is now closed after his execution. The Prosecutor stated that his sentence was carried out after it had gone through the necessary judicial proceedings and was upheld on January 5, 2010.
January 5th: Hassan Jolani, a top mathematics student at the University of Tehran was arrested on November 2nd by plainclothes agents and he is currently being held in prison limbo. He had previously been detained on December 7, 2009, and released after four months. He was threatened and harassed by authorities several times and deprived of pursuing his PhD.
January 7th: Branch 36 of the Appeals Court has upheld the one year prison sentence for journalist Ehsan Mehrabi. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghiseh sentenced him to one year in prison for “anti-regime propaganda” by giving interviews to BBC and Raido Farda. The sentence was upheld by the Appeals Court. According to RAHANA, Mehrabi has been released on a $50 thousand USD bail after spending three months in ward 240 and 209 of Evin prison. He was a reporter for the Etemadeh-Melli and Farhikhtegan publications.
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.
Special thank you to RAHANA.ORG for their tireless efforts to report on Iran human rights news.
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