Human Rights Violations Report | Part 2: Week of January 17, 2011January 25, 2011
January 22nd: Following a complaint filed against the Ministry of Intelligence, three attorneys, Farshid Yadollahi, Amir Eslami, and Mostafa Daneshjoo have been sentenced to prison for “Disturbing public opinion and libel”. Farshid Yadollahi and Amir Eslami who were lawyers for many cases related to Dervishes [Sufi nomads] in Kish Island have been sentenced to six months in prison while their clients have been acquitted of their charges. Mostafa Daneshjoo had also been sentenced to seven months in prison. The sentence was upheld by the Mazandaran Appeals Court. The three lawyers had filed a complaint against the unlawful behavior of the Ministry of Intelligence authorities, but it went ignored. Farshid Yadollahi and Amir Eslami are members of the Human Rights Commission of the Iranian Bar Association and Mostafa Daneshjoo was disbarred along with Omid Behrouzi while defending the rights of Dervishes.
January 20th: Political activist Shahin Zeinali, who was arrested two days before the day he was supposed to begin serving his sentence, has been transferred to the General Ward of Evin prison. Pan-Iranist party member and political activist Shahin Zeinali was arrested in Karaj along with Reza Kermani, Arash Keikhosravi, and Hojjat Kalashi and transferred to the security ward of Evin prison. According to RAHANA, he was supposed to appear at Evin prison on January 10th but he was arrested two days earlier at Reza Kermani’s house. Zeinali was detained during the 2009 Ashura protests (December 27, 2009) and sentenced to two years and three months in prison for “Acting against national security” and “Membership in the Pan-Iranist party”. Kermani and Keikhosravi are still held in the Security Ward of Rajai Shahr ‘Gohardasht’prison. Kalashi was released one day after his arrest. Kermani is a former member of the executive board of the Pan-Iranist Party. This is the fourth time he has been arrested in the past year and he does not have access to needed medication. Keikhosravi, who is an attorney, is still held in Rajai Shahr ‘Gohardasht’ prison and there is no information on his condition.
January 19th: The Supreme Court has overturned Farah Vazehan’s death sentence and her case has been sent for review to branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court. Judge Salavati had previously sentenced her to death for “Waging war against God by collaborating with the PMOI.” The new verdict will be issued by branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court. She is in critical condition since she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment before her arrest. There is a lump in her foot which has deteriorated her health further. On December 7th, she was transferred to the Methadone Ward of Evin prison along with Bahareh Hedayat and Mahdieh Golroo, despite her heart condition. This ward, which is normally reserved for dangerous criminals like drug addicts, is a closed hall no larger than 30 to 35 meters. The prisoners in this ward are only allowed to be outside for less than one hour per day. They are also excluded from other facilities such as the library and are not given the right to use the phone like other prisoners. They are only allowed cabin visits and are prohibited from face-to-face meetings. Vazehan had returned to Iran to visit her 19 year-old daughter after living abroad for many years. Even though her death sentence has been overturned, since she is suffering from an illness, being in prison is comparable to a slow death sentence for her. In September, she was transferred to a hospital outside the prison due to heart problems.
January 21st: Abolfazl Abedini Nasr, a journalist and a human rights activist, who has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for “Membership in the Pan-Iranist party”, “Anti-regime propaganda”, and “Collaborating with hostile regimes and human rights activities” is currently being held in ward 350 of Evin prison. According to RAHANA, he has been deprived of face-to-face prison visits since September when he was transferred to Evin prison. Their requests for furlough [prison leave] and face-to-face prison visits have been denied. Abedini was arrested in February for the second time and was transferred to ward 2A of Evin prison. After the issuance of the court verdict, he was transferred to Karoun prison in Ahvaz and endured harsh prison conditions until September. He was banned from prison visits and using the phone and was also beaten in the prison. 29 year old Abedini, who has a heart condition, was arrested on March 3, 2010. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison. The sentence was upheld by the Appeals Court.
January 22nd: Ehsan Mehrabi, a 35 year old journalist who had been detained and convicted based on unfounded charges, was summoned to the court in Evin prison today in order to begin serving his one year sentence. According to RAHANA, Mehrabi who has been a reporter for Etemad Melli and Farhikhtegan newspapers and a contributor to many reformist publications, was detained last February. He was later released on a $50 thousand USD bail after spending three months in ward 209 and ward 240. He was held in solitary confinement for most of his time in detention and was sentenced to one year in prison by Judge Moghiseh of the branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court for “Anti-regime propaganda by giving interviews to BBC Persian and Radio Farda”. His sentence was upheld by branch 36 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Zargar. Surprisingly, his sentence was immediately confirmed by the Appeals Court and he was summoned to the executive branch of the court in Evin prison a few weeks later to begin serving his sentence. He appeared at the court on Saturday based on his summons order and began serving his one year prison term. The number of imprisoned journalists has risen and include: Ahmad Zeidabadi, Isa Saharkhiz, Massoud Bastani, Bahman Ahmadi Amouei, Keyvan Samimi, Ali Malihi, Mehdi Mahmoudian, and several other bloggers and journalists. Numerous other journalists are in temporary detention and some have been temporary released on bail.
January 22nd: The court session was held for attorney Mohammad Reza Faghihi in the presence of his lawyer Saleh Nikbakht. He was indicted on the charges of “Insulting the heads of the judiciary and the legislature” and “libel in order to disturb public opinion”. He denied all the charges. According to RAHANA, the court’s opinion was that it does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the case since the article had been published online and an electronic publication should be tried in a press court as opposed to a criminal court.
January 22nd: Esmaeil Sahabeh-Tabrizi, a member of the Youth Branch of the Islamic National Front, who had been arrested in September and released two months later, was summoned to Evin prison on January 22nd to begin serving his four year sentence. Esmaeil Sahabeh was arrested during the Komeil Prayers ceremony at the house of Shahab Tabatabaei’s wife. Esmaeil Sahabeh was sentenced to four and a half years in prison by Judge Salavati in August for being one of the organizers of the Komeil Prayers ceremony. Shockingly, Judge Salavati was absent during the hearing and had issued the verdict without listening to Sahabeh’s defense. The Appeals Court reduced his sentence to four years in prison. Saeid Nourmohammadi, another member of the Islamic National Front, was convicted for his participation in the ceremony and began serving his one year prison term in Evin prison in September.
January 22nd: According to Daneshjoo News, student activist Hooman Nemati was summoned right before his final exams. It is mentioned that after being summoned, Hooman Nemati was arrested on January 19th, by IRGC security agents at Mazandaran University and was threatened and interrogated by the head of security.
January 22nd: Mohammad Ali Ehali, a student at Islamic Azad University South Tehran Branch, was fined 30 million rials (approx. $3,000 USD). His trial was held after spending three months in solitary confinement and being interrogated several times. According to the Green Voice of Freedom, Mohammad Ali Ehali was arrested by security forces at his relative’s home, Fatemeh AlSadat Shahidi, the sister of a martyr’s spouse. He was arrested and sent to ward 209 of Evin prison and was ordered to pay a fine of 30 million rials.
“Student Activist Hooman Nemati of Mazandaran University Arrested” and “Political Activist Mohammad Ali Elahi Fined 30 Million Rials” was translated by Roya Irani, Persian2English.
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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