Poor Prison Conditions Cause Infection for Detained Student Activist

Reports from Iran indicate prison conditions are deteriorating for Ali Bikas, a member of the Student Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners. Ali Bikas has contracted a gum and mouth infection after enduring severe pressures in an unhygienic prison environment. He requires immediate medical treatment outside of Evin prison.

Ali Bikas was arrested by security forces on June 14, 2009, two days after the Iranian presidential election. He was issued a seven-year prison sentence by branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. Ali Bikas does not have permission for parole and he is currently waiting on the decision of the appeals court.

According to the Student Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners, Ali Bikas has requested a [temporary] prison leave to receive medical treatment. However, since he has been issued a seven-year prison sentence, a prison leave is not possible. The limited access to medical care in ward 350 has caused Ali Bikasi’s health to deteriorate and there is a fear that he may face irreversible [health] conditions. Ali Bikas’s parents are extremely worried and have requested urgent action to be taken for their son to receive medical treatment.

Ali Bikas is a journalist and holds a PhD in History. He is one of the leaders in the student movement in Tabriz. On July 9, 1999, the same day of the dormitory attacks [at the University of Tehran], Ali Bikas [helped] organized a protest at the University of Tabriz. Currently he faces increased pressure for his active involvement in aiding lesser-known political prisoners and for his membership in the Student Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners.

During the Ministry of Intelligence interrogation sessions, the [interrogators] accused Ali Bikas of being a Monafeghin (hypocrite) [the derogatory term used to refer to the Mujahedin Khalgh Organization].

Despite the severe pressures in prison, Ali Bikas has high hopes that his request to the appeals court will be accepted. The Student Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners demands the immediate release of Ali Bikas. The organization has committed no crimes and has only defended human rights

TEHRAN — A bomb explosion outside a prison in Iran on Saturday wounded 19 people and allowed two prisoners to escape, Mehr news agency cited a local police official as saying.

The blast was in front of the facility in Ilam in western Iran, the city’s deputy police chief Colonel Aziz Abdi told the agency.

“Nineteen people have been wounded, including three prison guards,” he said, adding that three prisoners tried to escape” but one of them has been recaptured and two are still at large.”

The official IRNA news agency quoted Ilam governor Nurullah Arjomandi as saying a rocket-propelled grenade had been fired at the prison, damaging a wall and shattering windows. He did not mention casualties or give further details

TEHRAN — A bomb explosion outside a prison in Iran on Saturday wounded 19 people and allowed two prisoners to escape, Mehr news agency cited a local police official as saying.

The blast was in front of the facility in Ilam in western Iran, the city’s deputy police chief Colonel Aziz Abdi told the agency.

“Nineteen people have been wounded, including three prison guards,” he said, adding that three prisoners tried to escape” but one of them has been recaptured and two are still at large.”

The official IRNA news agency quoted Ilam governor Nurullah Arjomandi as saying a rocket-propelled grenade had been fired at the prison, damaging a wall and shattering windows. He did not mention casualties or give further details


University student and civil rights activist Navid Khanjani remains detained in the ward reserved for members of the IRGC. He is under intense interrogation to accept the heavy charges against him. According to his family, Khanjani calls home twice a week while in the presence of an interrogator and is not allowed prison visits.

Additionally, on April 8, 2010, Evin prison officials prevented Koohyar Goodarzi’s mother from visiting him. It has been 100 days since his arrest but prison officials have not allowed Goodarzi to receive any clothing, books or other basic needs from his family. Goodarzi was recently transferred to ward 350 of Evin prison. In the past few weeks, Goodarzi has been moved from one cell to another a total of seven times. His mother Parvin Mokhtareh regards the act a form of torture.

Committee of Human Rights Reporters member Koohyar Goodarzi was arrested on December 20, 2009. Since then, he has had three telephone conversations with his mother.

Navid Khanjani, member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters and the Population of Combat against Educational Discrimination, was arrested on March 3, 2010 while at his father’s house. Due to his belief in the Baha’i faith, Khanjani was banned from attending university.

Translation by: Ramin Joubin | Persian2English.com
Regardless of the fact that I am a feminist myself, BUT, I deeply feel irritated by this nomination as I think of Behrouz Javid Tehrani who has been in prison since he was a student in the past several years and has been the focal point of resisting inhumane tortures in the most barbaric situations so far!

Radio Zamaneh

Iranian student activist Bahareh Hedayat has been nominated for the 2010 Student Peace Prize by the European Students’ Union, an umbrella organization of 45 national unions comprised of students from 35 different countries.

European Students’ Union has announced that they are monitoring the situation of students in Iran and that they have condemned the Islamic Republic’s crackdown on student activists on several occasions.

The statement issued by the European Students’ Union commends Bahareh Hedayat for her persistent struggle against oppression despite her repeated arrests and solitary confinements.

Bahareh Hedayat, who has been arrested on several occasions for her union activities, was last arrested in December 2009 and is currently facing 16 counts of charges including “propagating a negative image of the regime, taking part in post-election protests, talking to foreign media, and insulting the Supreme Leader and the President.”

She is also active in the Iranian women’s rights movement and a founding member of the One Million Signatures Campaign. Bahareh Hedayat has also been instrumental in promoting the Campaign throughout Iranian universities.

She was arrested in 2006 in a protest against unequal rights of women and sentenced to a two-year suspended jail term. She was arrested in the nationwide protests against the allegedly fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 and later released on a heavy bail.

She was arrested again in December during a gathering in front of Evin prison to stand in solidarity with the families of recent political detainees. Hedayat is currently imprisoned.

The Islamic Republic has arrested numerous Iranian dissidents in an attempt to quell the post-election protests. The student movement has been a major target of these arrests.

Since February 3, 2010, human rights activist Kaveh Ghasem Kermanshahi, who has been detained in a centre run by the office of the Kermanshah Ministry of Intelligence (in western Iran), is under “pressure and [endures] physical and mental torture” to confess to the charge of “espionage.”

Kermanshahi’s mother Farangis Davoodi was able to visit her son briefly on April 8, 2010, with the presence of the interrogator. After the visit, Farangis Davoodi described her son’s physical and psychological condition as “very unfavourable.” Kaveh informed his mother that he is under “the most severe pressure to confess to the charge of espionage.” Kaveh stated that he “has repeatedly denied the charge and considers all his activities civil, peaceful, and legal.”

Shirzadi, the magistrate of the case, has announced that the charge against Kermanshahi is “propaganda against the regime.” Sources close to Kermanshahi have stated they believe the serious charge of espionage has surfaced as a way to “further increase pressures on Kaveh.”

Farangis Davoodi has expressed grave concern over son’s health and has stressed that he requires to see a specialist physician. In the past [prior to his arrest], Kermanshahi had several surgical procedures performed on his mouth and teeth, and therefore, he requires the constant supervision of a doctor.

Earlier, the case judge issued two letters to Kermanshah’s Intelligence Office to grant permission for an in-person visit [between Kaveh and his mother] before the New Year (March 21, 2010]. However, the visit did not occur until April 8, 2010, and only after the detention sentence was extended.

Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi has been detained in solitary confinement for the past 66 days. He is a member of One Million Signatures Campaign, member of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, and member of the Office of Tahkim Vahdat student organization.

Translation by: Siavosh J. | Persian2English.com
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Peik-e-Iran website

Fatemeh Khoram Lu was arrested on February 6, 2010 on charges of espionage and giving interviews to foreign radios.
Despite paying a bail of 100 million tomans (about 100,000 dollars), officials have not accepted her bail and she is still kept in a state of limbo in prison.
She was transferred to cellblock 209 after her arrest and was then transferred to the women's cellblock. She has been deprived of a lawyer in all this time.
This jailed mother is the guardian of her family and her eldest son is mentally disabled and needs his mother's care. She also has a divorced daughter who along with her 6 year old child, is under her care.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran

On Wednesday April 7, the drinking water of prisoners at Gohardasht Prison in Karaj was cut off for a few hours and after being connected again, it was severely polluted, had a very foul smell and resembled sewage water. Defenseless prisoners are forced to use this water (out of desperation). According to reports, a number of prisoners have come down with digestive problems after using the polluted water and have side effects like diarrhea, nausea, headaches and weakness.
The prisoners' water supply in this prison comes from water wells and prisoners are deprived of using purified water from the municipal systems of the city. In the past few weeks, the prison sewage has seeped into the water wells and this condition has continued for a few weeks. Because of the water shortage and cold water, prisoners have also been deprived of bathing and this has led to skin diseases among them.
Simultaneous with the water pollution and the water shortage, mineral water and other drinks in the prison shop have been gathered from the shop and prisoners have no way of providing their needs.
The sanitary condition of cellblocks in this prison is very bad. Currently a number of the bathrooms are out of order and more than 600 people have to use 3 to 4 bathrooms.
Human Rights Activists in Iran
The Intelligence Agency of Mazandaran has severely subjected Dr. Ali-Akbar Sorush to torture to force this member of Moussavi's election campaign in Mazandaran to confess against himself.
According to those close to him, this university professor is in a very poor health and has been held in a solitary cell under bad conditions but he has so far resisted from giving false confessions.
An official in the Babol Science University who asked not to be named also said that on orders of the Ministry of Intelligence, Dr. Sorush has been expelled from this university.
Dr. Ali-Akbar Sorush is a history professor on Islam who is also a member of the Science Department at the Babol Science University. He was arrested about 25 days ago by intelligence agents after answering a summons to the Babol Prosecutor's Office. Dr. Sorush was taken to the Sari Intelligence Detention Center and his family and lawyer have not been able to visit him since his arrest.
Human Rights Activists in Iran

Shir Mohammad Sheh Bakhsh, a Baluch political prisoner died for unknown reasons in a detention center in the Zahedan intelligence agency. Another prisoner also died a few weeks ago in this prison and the condition of other prisoners in this detention center is alarming.
According to our reporters, Shir Mohammad Sheh Bakhsh, son of Mirza, who was reportedly only jailed because he was a relative of a member of the Baluchistan opposition, died in this detention center. His family has confirmed this report saying that he was buried in an unknown location without their knowledge and security forces only informed them of his death.
In the past few weeks, another young man identified as Shapure Sheh Bakhsh, son of Gholam-Ali, who was jailed for similar charges died in this detention center. His family has claimed that there were signs of beatings and torture on their son's body.

Revolutionary Court Announces Mahdieh Golroo’s Charges

Committee of Human Rights Reporters

On Sunday April 4, 2010, The court hearing for student activist Mahdieh Golroo took place in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court with judge PirAbassi.

Golroo did not have prior notice of the court order and her lawyer was not present during the hearing.

Mahdieh Golroo was charged with “propaganda against the system,” “assembly and conspiracy to disrupt national security,” and “connections and involvement with *hypocrites.” Mahdieh Golroo has denied any ties to the MKO.
[*the regime's deregatory term for the Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization]

Reliable sources report judge PirAbassi did not allow Mahdieh Golroo to defend herself against the “connections and involvement with hypocrites” charge. Golroo did defend herself on the other two charges. She stated that her interview with foreign media was a result of a “lack of resources” [to freely express herself in Iran].

On the charge of “assembly and conspiracy to disrupt national security,” Golroo said that the gatherings held by the Council to Defend the Right to Education “were organized as a group and their [goal] of seeking justice for students deprived of education was in line [with the laws of the country].”

Mahdieh Golroo’s husband Vahid Lalipour pointed out that the court hearings for his wife, Zia Nabavi, and Majid Dorri were very similar. Zia Nabavi and Majid Dorri are also members of the Council to Defend the Right to Education. Their sentences were issued earlier also by branch 26 (Nabavi received 15 years and Dorri received 11 years).

Lalipour had also protested against the secretary of the court’s “rude conduct” toward Golroo’s family. [the secretary] did not allow the family to enter the court, even when they presented their authorization forms.

Mahdieh Golroo is a banned Allameh University student. On December 3, 2009. Golroo and her husband were arrested in their home.

Last year, Mahdieh Golroo participated in a sit-in protest against the banning of students. She was consequently arrested and taken to Evin prison.

Mahdieh Golroo is also a member of the Committee for Civil Defense, the headquarters of Mehdi Karroubi’s campaign during the election. Currently Zia Nabavi, Majid Dori, Shiva Nazar Ahari, Peyman Aref, and Mahdieh Golroo are the imprisoned members of the Council to Defend the Right to Education.

Translation by: Maneli M. | Persian2English.com
Post-election protester Abtin Ghaffari was arrested on February 10, 2010, after being summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence. In the days leading to the New Year (March 21, 2010), a court hearing took place for Ghaffari that lasted two minutes and took place without the presence of his lawyer. Ghaffari was issued a three-year prison sentence by judge Moghiseh.

According to Kaleme, on March 19, 2010, Ghaffari’s family was summoned to the prosecutor’s office. In complete disbelief, the family witnessed the two minute court hearing

Judge Moghiseh announced that starting from the day of the sentence, Ghaffari has the opportunity to appeal the verdict. However, due to the New Year holidays (businesses are closed during the New Year holiday), Ghaffari technically only had two days to appeal the case.

Ghaffari was detained in a solitary confinement cell in ward 240 of [Evin prison]¸for two months.

Ghaffari is currently detained in Evin prison’s ward 350.
Post-election protester Abtin Ghaffari was arrested on February 10, 2010, after being summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence. In the days leading to the New Year (March 21, 2010), a court hearing took place for Ghaffari that lasted two minutes and took place without the presence of his lawyer. Ghaffari was issued a three-year prison sentence by judge Moghiseh.

According to Kaleme, on March 19, 2010, Ghaffari’s family was summoned to the prosecutor’s office. In complete disbelief, the family witnessed the two minute court hearing

Judge Moghiseh announced that starting from the day of the sentence, Ghaffari has the opportunity to appeal the verdict. However, due to the New Year holidays (businesses are closed during the New Year holiday), Ghaffari technically only had two days to appeal the case.

Ghaffari was detained in a solitary confinement cell in ward 240 of [Evin prison]¸for two months.

Ghaffari is currently detained in Evin prison’s ward 350.
Madreseye Feministi/Feminist School Website

An informed source in the Physical Training Organization announced that in coordination with other organizations and centers, this organization has identified 436 male athletes who have female appearances…
"The Physical Training Organization is looking to deal with transgressors as they did last year and based on the Moral Sports Charter, if they continue their unconventional actions they will be prevented from participating in that sport", he said.
According to reports, 30 male athletes have so far been fined or expelled for their appearance.
The kind of appearance that the Physical Training Organization considers illegal is the way men wear their beards, long fingernails, their hairstyles and thinning out their eyebrows.
Student Committee in Defense of Political Prisoners

There are reports that a member of the Student Committee in Defense of Political Prisoners is in critical condition in prison. Ali Bikas is suffering from a serious illness because of the pressure and unsanitary conditions in prison and according to medics, he needs urgent treatment outside of prison.
Bikas was arrested on June 14, 2009, only two days after the presidential elections in Iran by security forces and was sentenced to 7 years of prison by the 24th branch of the Revolutionary Court.
This human rights activist is currently waiting on the sentence of a court of review and has not been allowed a leave from prison as yet.
Ali Bikas has a PhD in history and was also active in the journalistic field. He has helped political prisoners who were less well known in the past few years and has been under severe pressure for cooperating with the Student Committee in Defense of Political Prisoners.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 35 journalists are in prison in Iran after a nearly yearlong crackdown on the news media in the Middle Eastern country.
The organization said Tuesday that an additional 18 journalists were free on short-term furloughs granted for the Iranian New Year and were expected to report back to prison.
They say many of the jailed journalists are under immense physical and psychological pressure to confess to crimes they have not committed, including crimes that carry the death penalty.
CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon says they will continue to monitor the situation closely.
The organization has been conducting monthly surveys of journalists imprisoned in Iran

Former government spokesman sentenced to 5 years of prison


The spokesman of the Khatami government and head of the Participation Front, Ramezanzadeh, was sentenced to 5 years of prison by the 54th branch of the Tehran court of review.
Tabnak state-run website

Morteza Mardiha, a philosophy professor at the Alameh University was fired from this university.
He received his expulsion sentence yesterday morning.
Mardiha was previously banned from teaching at this university by the Sadroddin Shari'ati, the head of this university.
ILNA state-run news agency

Political prisoner sentenced to 5 years of prison on charges of assembling
Shahab Tabatabayi was sentenced to 5 years of prison by a court of review.
"The court of review upheld the exact sentence of the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court", he said confirming his 5 year prison sentence.
Tabatabayi who was arrested after the elections was sentenced to 5 years of prison by the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court by Judge Salavati on charges of acting against national security, spreading propaganda against the government and assembling and conspiring to disrupt national security and has been on a furlough since February 17, 2010.
Human Rights Activists in Iran

Mostafa Nurouzi who passed Enqelab Square on December 7, 2009 (Student's Day in Iran) to receive a dept that was owned to him, was arrested after police forces raided his home in the middle of the night.
According to reports, he realized in prison that the person that owned him money was a relative of a high ranking police chief and therefore he was arrested on December 7 for the false charge of being near Enqelab Street (on student's day). He has been charged with blasphemy and acting against national security by attending a student's day gathering.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran

There is no news on the whereabouts and condition of Rasoul Hardani, a young man who was severely beaten and arrested on the day of the Fire Festival (March 16, 2010).
His family said that Rasoul has not made any phone calls since his arrest and that they do not know where he is jailed and what his present condition is.
Rasoul Hardani, 27, was arrested on the Fire Festival along with two of his friends and after being taken to the Shapure Detention Center, was tortured with electric clubs and electric shocks.
According to one his cellmates who was recently released, Rasoul, who had severe injuries because security forces had pulled his body on the asphalt, was taken to an unknown location after 24 hours.
Human Rights Activists in Iran

There is no news on the whereabouts of Somayeh Ojaqlu who was arrested during the organized raids against human rights activists, despite constant pursues by her family.
Ojaqlu was arrested on March 5 by security forces in Isfahan and has only called her family once from an unknown location in Tehran
Associated Press

Light snow was falling when the two young men set out on horseback for the border to flee Iran. By the time they were deep in the mountains, it had become a blinding blizzard, the temperature had dropped below freezing, and they were barely alive.
Hesam Misaghi and Sepehr Atefi were joining what has become an exodus of dissidents fleeing Iran's political turmoil. For them that meant a harrowing journey through the country's rugged northwest in the dead of winter, with the help of Kurdish smugglers….
At least 4,200 Iranians have fled their homeland since disputed presidential elections in June, according to a list compiled by activist Aida Saadat, who herself slipped across the border into Turkey in December. These refugees have scattered to the United States, Europe and Gulf nations like the United Arab Emirates.
Most of all, they have come to Turkey - around 1,150 of them, according to the U.N. refugee agency - taking advantage of the porous border and Turkey's policy of not requiring a visa. Most of the new arrivals fled for political reasons, including those who took part in OPPOSITION protests after the vote. They bring the number of Iranians in Turkey to 4,440, as of February - including 'undesirables' in the eyes of the clerical regime, such as homosexuals or members of the Bahai religion.
The danger these Iranians face back home is clear. A month after Atefi and Misaghi's January escape, police raided their homes in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Among the charges against them: 'moharebeh,' or 'waging war against God,' a crime punishable by death.
Police arrested their friend and colleague, Navid Khanjani, who was supposed to have fled with them but changed his mind at the last minute. With Khanjani's arrest, eight people in the independent Committee of Human Rights Reporters have been jailed, and three remain in prison and could face execution.
In Turkey, the refugees are safer, but they live in limbo. Almost all brought little money and cannot work because of Turkish restrictions, so they cram into small, coal-heated apartments with minimal furniture.
Political activist Mahdis, 35, who once worked for a dissident cleric in the holy city of Qom, said she fled Iran more than a year ago after having been repeatedly raped in jail. Mahdis spoke on condition her last name not be used to avoid public embarrassment.
When she arrived in Turkey she was again raped, this time by a fellow Iranian refugee. She said police would not allow her to transfer to Kayseri unless she paid $200, which she didn't have.
'I was sobbing, saying 'I swear to God' I don't have the money,' recalled Mahdis. It took her 40 days to come up with the money that she borrowed from fellow refugees.
Another refugee, Mehrdad Eshghi, was the official singer for the state-run Iranian TV and Radio, known as Seda va Sima. Then authorities questioned his loyalty because he worked in the election campaign of President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad's top rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
After he refused to perform for Ahamdinejad's campaign, security forces began harassing him. He was detained and threatened with worse consequences.
'I was surprised by the way they treated me,' said Eshghi, 40. 'I was one of them. When I had the mike in my hand doing live programs, it meant they trusted me with their lives,' he said in his apartment in Kayseri.
After security men began staking out his home around the clock, Eshghi went into hiding. He took a bus to Turkey six months ago, and his wife and daughter joined him a couple of months later.
'They could have done something terrible to me. You never know,' Eshghi said of his pursuers. 'The survival of the Islamic Republic is so important to them that they will not give up at any price'.
Eshghi, a singer, calligrapher, painter and composer, mourns his former life in his homeland…
Some refugees claim they have been harassed by Iranian intelligence agents while in Turkey, with threatening phone calls or even physical attacks. Human rights officials say Iranian intelligence agents have infiltrated the refugee community here, leading to widespread suspicion.
Iran News Agency

According to reports, Abolfazl Abedini, a journalist who worked with the Human Rights Activists in Iran and was arrested on March 2 after Revolutionary Guards Corp forces raided his home in Ahwaz, was sentenced to 11 years of prison by the first branch of the Revolutionary Court in Ahwaz despite the fact that he was acquitted before
Committee of Human Rights Reporters
Mahdieh Golro was tried on Sunday April 4 in the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Pir Abasi.
The trial of this student activist was held without prior notice and without the presence of her lawyer. She was charged with 'spreading propaganda against the government, assembling and conspiring to disrupt national security and working with and having communications with the Monafeghin (PMOI)'.
The judge did not allow Golro to defend herself for the charge of having 'communications with the Monafeghin'…
Her husband Vahid La'lipour said that his wife's trial was much like that of Zia Nabavi and Majid Dori (both students activists sentenced to heavy prison terms). He also protested the 'offensive treatment' of the court clerk with the Golro family and said that despite the fact that her family had an 'entrance permit' they were prevented from entering court.
Human Rights Activists in Iran
Kurdistan news sources reported in the past few weeks that another man identified as Ribvar, son of Maref was killed after armed forced of the Islamic Republic shot him in the Pitush area in Kurdistan's Sardasht.
The weekly report of the Kurdistan Human Rights Activists also reported that a tradesman from Sanandaj named Sirvan Abolmohammadi was shot by security forces in the Mahabad – Sanandaj road on February 2, 2010.
Cyrus News Agency

This report was disclosed by a group of Iranians working in a medical center in a former Soviet country.
There is evidence that shows that women in Iranian prisons are used for Gamma ray research. The Iranian regime rapes these prisoners and then subjects them and their unborn babies to medium to high doses of gamma rays (1.4 to 4.2 Gy). Some of these women have died and regime forces have tried to hide their crimes by (burning) the bodies…
In the summer of 2009, there were many reports from Iran about the medical condition of political prisoners who had severe and rapid hair-loss, blood in their excrement and nose bleeds. There were also reports that prisoners had unusual nausea and vomiting spells. All these side effects can show that that particular person has been subjected to radiation. These reports came mostly from Tehran, Arak and Amol.
In 2008, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards Corps was tasked with testing the effects of high doses of radiation on the liver, brain, breasts, reproductive organs and blood circulation. Two scientists from White Russia were appointed for this project…
In a number of cases (in the five cases that we know of) women ranging from 21 to 40 years old were burned after their arrest or were eliminated. There are reports of the rape of men and women in Iranian jails but the treatment that was carried out on these women after the rape was a special kind of treatment of which the nature is not known to us.
Despite the fact that a number of women were released between October to December 2009 and we have had access to them, no one has announced their willingness to talk about this issue. What is certain for us is that a number of women had chronic vomiting spells and nausea, bleeding and hair loss and even their eyelashes fell off, signs that were all seen in Ukraine after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. In the past 8 months there have been many cases of people who were killed in prison. In some cases, their bodies were acid washed after their deaths. And all these cases were that of women whose reproductive organs were deformed with acid and completely burned to wipe out all the evidence showing the existence of such tests

Several journalists held in Evin prison are seriously ill

Reporters Sans Frontières

Reporters Without Borders is extremely worried about the appalling conditions in which Iranian prisoners of conscience, including many journalists, are being held. The authorities continue to detain them arbitrarily even when they are ailing and in very poor physical or psychological health.
"The lives of many journalists are now in danger,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Emadoldin Baghi, Badrolssadat Mofidi, Mehdi Mahmudian and Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand are seriously ill. We call for their unconditional and definitive release. We appeal to the Iranian authorities to act so that these lives are no longer at risk. We will hold them responsible for any misfortune".
After visiting her husband, Emadoldin Baghi, in Tehran’s Evin prison on 30 March, Fatemeh Kamali Ahmad Sarai reported that he was taken to a Tehran hospital with a respiratory problem on 18 March before being returned to the prison later the same day.
A journalist and active campaigner against the death penalty, Baghi, 46, has been held since his arrest in Tehran on 28 December. He has been jailed several times since 2000 and was hospitalised on several occasions during his last spell in prison. Despite paying a large amount in bail, he was not allowed to spend the Persian New Year at home with his family on 21 March.
The family of Badrolssadat Mofidi, the head of the Association of Journalists and a contributor to several reformist newspapers, describe her condition as critical. “She has heart problems,” one of her daughters said after a prison visit. “She is being given very strong tranquilisers as the interrogations are causing her a great deal of stress.” Mofidi has been held in Evin prison’s Section 209 since her arrest on 28 December.
Mehdi Mahmudian, the journalist who exposed the inhuman treatment of prisoners at the Kahrizak detention centre, told his family by phone that he has been suffering from acute asthma. He has also suffered other kinds of attacks, losing consciousness in his cell on one occasion. He has been held for the past seven months.
Held since July 2007, Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand, who heads the Kurdistan Human Rights Organisation as well as being a journalist, has had several undiagnosed attacks in his cell. His state of health is worrying but he is being denied treatment and the prison authorities have systematically refused his requests for medical parole.
There are other detained journalists with health problems. They include Henghameh Shahidi, Issa Saharkhiz, Nader Karimi and Mojtaba Lotfi, a cleric and website editor who was sentenced to four years in prison followed by five years of banishment on charges of anti-government propaganda and disseminating the views of Hossein Ali Montazeri, a dissident ayatollah.

Radio Farda Website

Hesam Firuzi, blogger and human rights activist is under physical and psychological pressure in prison.
Prison officials are trying to force him to make false confessions and accept charges made against him.
According to this report, he has only called his family once since his arrest and his wife only visited him once on March 22 with the presence of security forces.
Human Rights Activists in Iran

According to reports, human rights activist Marjan Safari who was arrested on March 2, 2010 and taken to cellblock A2 which is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards Corps is still kept in solitary after more than one month.
She has been charged with having committed internet crimes by the Tehran Prosecutor and has only been allowed one visit by her family.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran

According to reports, a woman who was arrested on Ashura has been kept in a solitary cell in cellblock 209 in Evin Prison for more than 3 months and has been denied visitation rights.
Zahra Bahrami, 45, was arrested in the Ashura protests (December 27, 2009) after a violent attack by security forces and was transferred to cellblock 209 in Evin Prison. She has been kept in solitary since her arrest and has been interrogated numerously in this time. She is sexually harassed and physically and psychologically tortured in these hours long interrogations.
Intelligence interrogators try to forces this prisoner to make false confessions and give televised interviews. Bahrami has been subjected to the worst physical and psychological torture because she was unknown in prison. According to reports, a large number of unknown men and women are currently under severe torture in cellblocks 209, 240 and 2A in Evin Prison.
Bahrami has been banned from receiving visits by her family and has only made controlled phone calls with the presence of intelligence interrogators. These phone calls were between 2 to 3 minutes and they were aimed at preventing her family from taking any actions for her release and better conditions. Intelligence interrogators have threatened her family that if they publish news on her arrest and condition in prison, her situation in prison will worsen. Her family says that Bahrami lived in Holland and was only in Iran for a family visit.
Committee of Human Rights Reporters

Jahangir Abdollahi, a master's degree political science student at Tehran University is under physical torture to accept charges made against him.
According to an informed source, interrogators have forced this Kurd student 'to sit on the ground' in long interrogation sessions and this has caused muscles problems for him. He has been taken to the Evin Prison infirmary 'on several occasions' for this reason.
Prison officials have also given him pills as medicine which has caused him to have 'severe insomnia' and Abdollahi has not been able to sleep for 'three days'.
On the other, he has been threatened to execution many times and interrogators have told him that they would 'execute him like Ehsan Fatahian'.
This Kurd student is a Sunni and interrogators have also insulted his religious beliefs on several occasions.
Jahangir Abdollahi was arrested on January 26, 2010 while boarding a university bus.
This student has only stated in a short visit with his family that he is under pressure to accept the charge of having had 'communications with the Kurdistan Democratic Party'.
Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran

According to reports, political prisoner Reza Jushan was thrown in a solitary cell in the Sepah cellblock after his family gave interviews to international Farsi media about the critical condition of the mother of this family and the inhumane condition of political prisoners in this prison. This family was also threatened by Mohebi, the head interrogator of the intelligence agency.
On Monday March 29, political prisoner Reza Jushan was transferred to a solitary cell in the Sepah cellblock controlled by interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence. His transfer was ordered by Mohebi. In the 2 months that Jushan was jailed in the Sepah cellblock, he was under severe psychological and physical torture by intelligence interrogators. He was tortured with electric batons by Mohebi for a long period of time while handcuffed.
According to reports, after his family talked to the media describing the critical condition of the mother of this family, political prisoner Zahra Asadpour Gorji and the inhumane condition in which her son, Reza Jushan, was kept in, Mohebi called this family and threatened them using profane language. He told them that they will 'see the consequences of their actions'. After this threat, Mohebi transferred Jushan to solitary.
Reza Jushan, 25, was arrested on December 1, 2009 after intelligence agents raided his home. He was taken to solitary in the Sepah cellblock and was then taken to cellblock 4 after two months. On December 7, agents once again stormed his home and arrested Zahra Asadpour Gorji, his mother and transferred her to a solitary cell in the Sepah cellblock. She was taken to the women's cellblocks after weeks of interrogation and physical and psychological torture. Asadpour and her son were arrested before this for visiting their loved ones in Camp Ashraf in Iraq and were released after 16 months after serving their sentence. They were sentenced to 1 year of prison to be served in exile in Zanjan Prison and 4 years of exile to the Qeilar Village in Zanjan on February 8, 2010 by the first branch of the Revolutionary Court.
Iran Press News Website
On Sunday April 4, 2010, a tradesman identified as Osman Yusefi, 41, from the Bijveh Village was killed by security forces. The people of Sardasht held widespread protests outside the governor's office in this city after this killing. Security forces opened fire on the protesters. There is still no news on the fatalities.

Student activist, Payman Aref was taken to a Tehran hospital yesterday after he suffered a heart attack.
On Tuesday, April 6, Payamn Aref was taken to the Modarres Hospital in Tehran after he suffered a heart attack. Aref has spent the Nowrooz holiday in jail and his requests for prison leave have been turned down.

According to a RAHANA reporter, Aref was released from the hospital and taken back to Evin today, at his own request and against the advice of the staff cardiologist who recommended his hospitalization. Aref was taken to the hospital handcuffed and shackled like a dangerous convict.
His release from the hospital can be life threatening, but the student activist refused to be handcuffed and shackled to the hospital bed.
Clandestine clip from Iran!
Let us just praise the courage of those who are under these circumstances firm in confronting such brutalities

5 students activists in Mazandaran suspended from education

Human Rights Activists in Iran
After a students of the Nunshirvani Babol University held a session and protest march to escort two students activists who were suspended from university, Iman Sediqi (former political secretary of this university's Islamic Associaiton) and Mohsen Barzegar (former cultural secretary of this association), this university's Disciplinary Committee issued heavy sentences for five students.
In addition to suspending these students, Qorbani, the head of this university has banned these five students from entering the university grounds therefore preventing them from going to the Disciplinary Committee to protest their initial sentences.
According to this report, the issued sentences for these five students are as follows:
1- Jalaloddin Sadeqi - suspended for one semester
2- Mohamamd Asgari - suspended for one semester
3- Moien Islami Jam (former Organizational Secretary of the Islamic Association) - suspended for one semester
4- Farshid Satari Far - suspended for one semester
5- Mohammad Elmi (former member of the Islamic Association) - suspended for one semester (Human Rights Activists in Iran – April 4, 2010)
A letter by a reader :

The Regime has ventured into strange attampts to curb numerous and endless wall graffiti written by youth and people against the illegitimate government, such as "Death to Khamenei" and " Down with the principal of Velayat Faghih" .. by organizing special municipality teams to paint over them and hang Quranic verses!
This is an attempt to prevent over-writing of the slogans , since taking down the Quranic verses would imply a waging of war against God!

Reader from Bandar Abas

Parisa Kakaee is a women’s and human rights activist and a member the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. She was arrested on November 3, 2009 and detained for a month and a half.
The following is an article written by Parisa Kakaee
Mr. Interrogator! Please read it!
A week has elapsed since the day when the gentleman who would refer to himself as Seyed was sitting behind his desk, and you, who had introduced yourself as Ebrahimi, were on the chair to my right. With his far-off and nonchalant look, Seyed apparently wished to constantly remind us of the distance between the two sides of the desk. You, however, were courteously trying to convey the message that we are of the same homeland earth. Do you recall? You said we were compatriots to which I replied “Unless we find ourselves against one another.”
I and you have both passed courses on psychology; for me, it was the field of my education at the university; for you, a necessity of the profession. We both know why you did not sit on the other side of the table. Seyed was not as experienced as you were, and that’s why you took charge; that’s why you skillfully tried to break the ice first.
The conversation began with the subject of “Equality” and your questioning that why it is that when the best people who were the frontline warriors (during the Iran-Iraq war) are being atrociously assassinated in Sistan and Baluchistan1, why is it that we – the social activists – who are bragging about human rights, have not even made a single statement in support of the martyrs; why it is that we do not protest against the bombing that happened in Shiraz. You then named people like Arash2, about whom “You know things that we do not”. You talked about the bombings and other charges that they’ve had. You said that the execution sentence is based upon such charges and also you are certain that this court decision (Arash’s execution) will be revised and changed.
Then I told you about Hamed3 and his disease; about execution, torture, and human rights; about equality and that there is no difference for me that whose human rights with what social status are violated. What is significant is that a right from a human being is violated. What is significant is the pain that a human being suffers.
A week passed from those interrogations, answers and writings. From friendly gestures, indirect threats and the last words of Seyed which depict me as somebody who is wiser than others, which gave me a strange feeling, reminding me of those damned high school principles.
Aida and Zohreh were waiting in the next room. Khadijeh and Maryam were also waiting outside, while I passed them with my inked finger.
Yes, Mr. Ebrahimi! One week passed that very day. It was about the time when Ehsan Fattahi4 wrote “the last ray of light in the night, shows the way I am about to write about; the rustle of autumn leaves under my steps, telling me: let yourself fall, you will find the way to freedom then.”
He was hung one early morning. You might say he was a Komala5, or he was a separatist. You might say he was a Kurd and a separatist. But I say, once and for all: he was a Kurd, Komala, and a human. I never managed to see him, but as one wise man said “it would be a gift in a thousand years that a mother can give birth to such a person.”
And this is the point upon which I cry. I shout loudly against a history whose values were those of blinding eyes, mocking, scalding, flogging, and castrating men. A history that now celebrates executions and shooting of its arrows in our chests.
This is where I stop shedding tears. I gaze into a space and ask you, Mr. Ebrahimi, a question: When you talk about your friends being killed in Sistan and Baluchestan, I do feel pain, but have you ever, just for a second, tried to imagine the pain Ehsan’s mom has been suffering?
Have you ever wondered how easy you make the killing when you kill someone’s beloved ones so easily and without giving them a chance to defend? Mr. Ebrahimi! Violence has a strangely vast domain. There is always someone with a reason to kill and the one who is killed is the next reason. The enemy is not far away as you say.
The enemy is right here, sitting in our heart, flying like a hyena over the minds of those who kill your people, and over the minds of you who kill theirs.
You see Mr. Ebrahimi! Even when we are sitting next to each other on a same table there is a distance between us. What keeps you there is your power, and what keeps me here are the victims of your power.

This translation is a courtesy of the individuals listed below:

Call for Solidarity: Freedom and Gender Equality in Iran
We, thirty members of the Iranian green movement, have translated these three narratives of Iranian women in order to:
1- To celebrate March 8th, the International Women’s Day, calling for gender equality and freedom for Iran.
2- Show our solidarity with all Iranian imprisoned women and those women whose husbands and family members are still in jail.
3- Show our great respect for Iranian women, their courage and constant efforts for democracy and human rights.
We are:
Mehrnoosh J., Golnaz B., Amir Hossein K., Amir Hossein I., Pantea E., Mahshid K., Hossein S., Hossein A., Sahar G., Peyman M., Mahshid K., Roja B., Alireza G., Mahsa T., Bahareh, Marzye A., Mojtaba S., Khashayar X., Azadeh A., Sepideh S., Atefeh Y., Yeganeh I., Leila T., Sulmaz F., Ramin R., Nahal Sh., Yasaman S., Mohsen M., Ali A, Sohaela S.

Mohammad Kazem Bahrami, in response to the question whether the case of Kahrizak Detention doctor (Ramin Pourandarjani) is investigated together with that of Kahrizak’s defendants said: “The case of Kahrizak’s doctor is being investigated at the court separately from the case of Kahrizak’s defendants.

According to ILNA, two hearing sessions have been held for the Kahrizak’s defendants so far, and the head of Judicial Organization of Armed Forces said “This organization’s public relation will launch the news of the aforementioned case.”

Shahrzad news:
According to Officially released statistics , unemployment rate of women in Iran has doubled since 3 years ago to 23.3 from 13.3 .
This is while literacy levels have risen from 27.5 , in 1995 to 36/7 , by the year 2005 .

Research indicates the rise has been driven by the urge of women to become more independent financially as a pivotal factor to gain Rights.
Moukerian- Kurdish source
3 Kurd from Ashnavieh district; Farough Azizi , Edris Azizi, Sadegh Firouzi have been arrested and are now in Orumieh detention center.
They are accused of co-operationg with opposition groups and sentenced to 15 months imprsonment!.
Iranian regime at its weakest!! despite all the rattle-tattle in its State controlled media, and extensive suppressive measures.

in Samen-al-A Ememh sports stadium of Mashhad, the 1000 fans were faced with amazing suppressive organization of the security forces, who hadbeen installed in and out of the stadium. According to the report in IranPressNews, the security forces had brough armed carrieres to the stadium, prventing people from carrying things that could help protests : such as news papers, and even pens and bottles!

All cameras were prevented from entering the stadium!

Maryam Zia has begun a hunger strike to protest her illegal imprisonment. A women’s and children’s rights activist and the Director of the Struggle for a World Deserving of Children, Zia has been detained in Evin prison since December 27, 2009, following widespread arrests of civil and political activists that took place during Ashura Day.

Masoumeh Zia, Maryam’s sister, described her sister’s condition as worrisome. Following is the interview of Masoumeh Zia with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran:

Campaign: Mrs. Zia, has any news of your sister’s hunger strike been published? Is there any news with regard to her physical and mental condition?

Masoumeh: Maryam has been on hunger strike ever since March 17, 2010, following her illegal arrest. She in very weak, takes medicine, suffers from severe physical conditions, headaches, and low blood pressure. At the same time, because of the hunger strike, the medications that she must take will have severe effects on her health. Her physical condition is worrisome, but she insists on continuing the hunger strike in protest to the illegality and uncertainty of her imprisonment. Despite of this, she has maintained her spirit and her mental state is favorable. She says under these conditions she is experiencing a different aspect of life.

Campaign: What charges have been brought up against Mrs. Zia, and what are the results of your follow-ups on her case?

Masoumeh: The charges brought up against my sister in the first stages of interrogation have been accusations of collaboration with the MKO. Considering the new year holidays, at this time there is no possibility to following up her case file, and we must wait until the end of the new year holidays. Prior to the holidays we did not receive any accurate and satisfactory replies to our questions either, and Maryam herself has no information about her case file situation or any possibility that she might released, and so she is in a limbo.

A few days ago, from a telephone contact with my sister’s husband, we were told that with a bail of $30,000 she would be released. But, even though with much hardship we put together this bail and despite fulfilling all the official conditions and document approvals in the Branch 11 of the Revolutionary Court in Shahr’e Ray, in the last moment the interrogators from the Ministry of Intelligence prepared a new petition and referred her case file to the Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, and prevented her release. In fact, despite holding the house documents for bail, which is worth more that the actual amount of the bail itself, they are still keeping her in detention.
Maryam was the director of the Struggle for a World Deserving of Children and she did not have political activities. As a social and active volunteer, she spent all of her energy educating deprived-of-education immigrant children, but unfortunately in our country even cultural and humanitarian works are considered political crimes.

Campaign: When was her last contact and what is her prison condition now?

Masoumeh: She has been transferred from Section 209 to the non-political financial fraud section of the general prison population after her interrogations were complete. Some people who have committed murder are Maryam’s cellmates and even though she tries to have a good relationship with them, an unsuitable atmosphere in the cell governs, and we are certain that this kind of atmosphere is not the a favorable environment for a civil activist.

News background:

Maryam Zia, a women and children’s rights activist and the director of the Struggle for a World Deserving of Children, was arrested in the morning on December 27, 2009, following the widespread arrests of civil and political activists that took place during Ashura Day. Security forces went to Maryam Zia’s house for search of her property and her arrest. Since she was not there, they forced her children to contact her and ask her to come back. Upon return, she was arrested and sent to an unidentified place. Previously, she was arrested during a women’s rights gathering to protest unequal laws that took place on June 12, 2006 in Haft Tir Square in Tehran. Zia’s husband, Mansour Hayat Gheibi, is an executive director of syndicated labor organization, and a member of the Bus Drivers Union in Tehran and vicinity who has been arrested several times, with Mansour Osanloo and other groups of trade activists, and several times has been attacked and insulted.

A note for our readers:
We try to reflect HR violations and Women Rights violations in uprising, without political reprisals. We don not necessarily represent those who's news we portray in this blog.

Journalist Issa Saharkhiz’s health has taken a turn for the worse after going on a hunger strike in March. In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, his son, Mehdi Saharkhiz, said that his father has lost 20 Kg over the past few months and that solitary confinement and hard prison conditions have seriously threatened his health. Eight months after his arrest, Issa Saharkhiz’s legal case remains in limbo and his family and attorney’s efforts to follow up on his case have been fruitless.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran expresses concern over the health of Issa Saharkhiz and believes continuation of his imprisonment is illegal, and considers the lack attention to his legal case and his medical condition to be an instrument in exerting physical and mental pressure on him. He has been deprived of his due judiciary process, and nine months after his arrest his lawyer does not yet know what illegal activities he has been charged with that deserve such severe prison treatment.

Mehdi Saharkhiz told the Campaign that his father’s hunger strike has caused a lot of worries for his family. In relation to the accusations levied against his father he said: “He has been in prison for 275 days, and has not had a prison leave since July 3, 2009. No case file against him has been prepared yet and there are no charges. Of course the kinds of accusations that are brought against him are baseless. These kinds of accusations have been brought up against many and there is no investigation of his situation. In regard to his condition, since the time of his imprisonment he has lost 20 kg. Of course emotionally he is in a good spirit.”

Referring to his father’s five-day hunger strike, Mehdi Saharkhiz said: “He went on a hunger strike for 5 days for the new year, which caused him to collapse on the ground on the first day of the new year because of the drop in his blood pressure. When he was transferred to a medical clinic it was said that it was a dangerous case and the drop in blood pressure must be looked into. My mother who visited him for the new year said he looked very weak physically.”

Referring to the fruitless efforts of his family to follow up on his father’s case, Mehdi Saharkhiz said: “We have been following his legal case for a long time. He himself has asked for a leave but has never received a reply, and they have not said what they want to do. We are still waiting, because he has been held without any reason. His lawyer says he has also been waiting to see what will happen. He hasn’t been interrogated; he has been held in limbo, proving innocence has been denied to all, and his is not an unusual case, but there has not been any answer to his request for a leave, and this is worrisome. He was sent to solitary confinement for a while and then after 70 days he was transferred to another section but again he was sent to solitary confinement. But for some time now he has been transferred to section 350 of the prison. Visitations depend on the week, day, or prison’s programs at the time. There have been visits but they have been very short and difficult; he has also been allowed to call some times. Visitations have to do with outside situations and whether he is in solitary confinement or not. Requests for the possibility of weekly visits have not been fruitful yet.”


Issa Saharkhiz is a prominent political and press activist and a founding member of the Defense of Freedom of Press Association, and he was the Executive Director of Domestic Press of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance during the reform era. He was arrested on July 3, 2009. He spent the first 40 days of his incarceration in solitary confinement in section 2-A of the IRGC detention center without any contact with outside world. Forty days after Saharkhiz’s arrest his lawyer, Nasrin Sotoodeh, succeeded in visiting him, and she announced that his rib was broken. Saharkhiz suffers from a particular illness that requires a special kind of diet, and he has not been allowed to use any kind of medication. On the other hand he also suffers from high blood pressure. In early September his temporary detention was extended for another two months. After passage of several months no court has been convened yet to review the accusations levied against him. He lives under dire physical conditions. After nine months of imprisonment in the Security Ward 209 of Evin prison and after spending several periods of solitary confinement, he announced that if he is not released from solitary confinement he would go on an unlimited hunger strike. Saharkhiz’s is kept under poor physical conditions and in uncertainty at General Ward 305 which holds more than one hundred political prisoners.

Acting as court officers, Iranian Police, Ministry of Information, and the Intelligence Unit of IRGC have always interfered to varying degrees in the Iranian Judiciary’s different activities such as arrests, interrogations, and trials, and have been known to harass prisoner families. But after the presidential elections last year, the interference has entered a new level. In many arrest cases after the elections, though the case judge has ordered bail or has given he prisoner families permission to visit with the prisoner,court officers have refused to carry out the orders and complaints filed by families have not been addressed.

While Iranian Judiciary’s Prisons Organization has full responsibility for Iran’s prisons and the way the prisoners are kept, the court officers seem to have the last word in prisons. For example, Ward 240 at Evin Prison is under complete control of Ministry of Information and the Chief Warden of Evin Prison does not have much influence there. The same is true for wards which are under the control of IRGC. The domination and interference of court officers in the Iranian judicial system has faced fair trials with serious danger.

In September 2009, when Jafari Dolatabadi replaced Saeed Mortazavi as Tehran’s General and Revolutionary Courts Prosecutor, he made a reference to this subject and demanded the Prosecutor’s oversight on court officers’ work. However, after he took office, not only court officers and particularly IRGC, Police Intelligence Unit, and Minisitry of Information court officers continued their activities, they increased their interference and control on judicial cases. In his introduction ceremony, Dolatabadi said: “The Prosecutor’s oversight on court officers and those attending investigation sessions is a serious thing to me. If some people expect me to determine my moves based on their orders, I will not oblige.” He also said: “We will strongly confront court officers who dictate whom to arrest, release, or convict, and I won’t stand for this.” Jafari Dolatabadi who was previously Khouzestan Prosecutor, said that he is responsible for detentions and releases. “Court officers and interrogators must carry out their duties within legal frameworks and policies and under full supervision of the Prosecutor, and I accept the responsibility for releases and detentions and judicial orders, because I have to be accountable.”

Even so, families of several prisoners told International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that court officers have violated laws, acting beyond their duties during arrests, visitations, and in carrying out bail orders issued by judges. In at least five cases, while prisoners were authorized by judge’s orders to have in-person visitations, “case analysts,” or interrogators, refused to allow in-person visitations. In other cases, it has been observed that though bail amounts have been set, court officers refuse to release the suspects. In many cases, prisoners’ listed personal belongings are not returned to them according to the list and their personal computers with all their files including their unpublished articles, family photographs, etc. have been erased and families know that their objections would not be heard. Interrogation methods are also outside the supervision of the judicial system and behind closed doors of prison cells, court officers can do whatever they wish with suspects, and particularly political suspects.

In an interview with ILNA News Agency, former Minister of Information during Khatami era, Ali Younesi has expressed his concern about this issue. Younesi who is currently an adviser to Iran’s Head of Judiciary, has said: “Court officers are not allowed to interfere in the judicial process and must only present their reports and acceptance or refusal of the report is upon the judge.” Ali Younesi’s statements come at a time when there is growing concern about security and intelligence organizations’ interference in their capacity as court officers. In many cases, judges act in a fashion entirely coordinated with the wishes of information organizations. It is a bitter truth that Iranian Judiciary has fallen victim to political and non-judicial decisions. Prolonged “temporary detentions,” mistreatment of prisoners, lack of attention to health conditions of prisoners who need serious medical care, willful actions with respect to visitation privileges and releases, and contacting prisoner families as a means to apply pressure on prisoners and their families to keep them from talking about political cases, are only some of the instances of widely used practices of court officers.

Regarding the interference of court officers in the Judiciary’s affairs, Younesi said: “A court officer’s job is to carry out orders from the Judiciary, therefore a court officer is not permitted to interfere in judicial affairs and must only present his report and the judge is entitled to take the report under advisement or not.” Referring to facts which have practically departed from the Iranian Judiciary for a long time, he added: “By virtue of its independence, The Judiciary must not allow infiltration into the court officer system, whether from the police or security organizations. When I was at the Ministry of Information, I controlled this seriously and would never allow security officers to interfere in a judge’s work; I developed guidelines about this and personally oversaw their implementation.”

He provided an example, indicative of the interference by court officers in the judicial process, a subject which is highly visible now. “I told the judicial authorities at the time that if security officers attempted to interfere in a case, they were to inform me immediately. If they reported that a security officer was following up on a case from this branch to that, I confronted that officer and issued him a warning reminding him that since the case has been delivered to the judicial authorities, it is no longer a concern of Ministry of Information what the judge’s ruling would be.”

The power and authorities of court officers are now important factors in the deteriorating condition of processes leading to a fair trial and implementation of the law, due to the increased power of intelligence and police forces post-elections. Show trials, extraction of forced confessions as evidence to convict political prisoners against whom there is no crime evidence, sentences which are disproportionate with the crimes, and outrageous bail amounts for political prisoners are all results of the influence of court officers and their complete infiltration of the judicial system. Though authorities such as Mr. Younesi or Jafari Dolatabadi have expressed the importance of the Judiciary’s independence from intelligence operations, the concept has unfortunately never been implemented.

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Saeed Malekpour was arrested October 2008. He has been detained in Evin prison since.

Malekpour was born in May 1975. He graduated from Sharif University of Technology with a metrology engineering degree. He has worked as an expert in Iran Khodro (Iran’s biggest car manufacturer) and as an inspector in Garma Felez corporation. He has also worked for the Razi Research Centre. Last year, he was admitted to a master’s program at the University of Victoria (in the province of British Columbia, Canada).

Saeed Malekpour was arrested in October 2008 upon returning to Iran. He had been working as a website designer in Canada since 2005.

This political prisoner was arrested in relation to a case of Internet offences. The case was titled “Mozzelin 2″ (The Strayed 2). In winter 2009, a report was published by a group that introduced itself as part of the IRGC. In this report, it was alleged that certain individuals were responsible for being part of a “network of decadence on the Internet.”

A similar scenario was repeated in winter 2010 during the time widespread arrests of human rights activists across Iran were taking place. This time, two reports were published with the titles “Cyber Fights of the Revolutionary Guards against Destabilizing Groups,” and “The Arrest of American Cyber War Network Members.” The state media also aired reports regarding these reports.

The following is Saeed Malekpour’s letter. He has spent more than 17 months in Evin prison. His family has been informed the next court date will be on April 18th and 19th.

My name is Saeed Malekpour. I was arrested on October 4th, 2008, near Vanak Square (in northern Tehran) by plainclothes agents who did not present an arrest warrant or identification. The arrest resembled an abduction. Afterwards, I was handcuffed, blindfolded and placed at the back of a Sedan. A heavy-set agent leaned his weight on me by positioning his elbow on my neck, and forcing my head down throughout the ride. They transferred me to an undisclosed location which they called the “technical office.” When we arrived, a few agents physically beat me severely and verbally abused me, while I remained handcuffed and blindfolded, They forced me to sign a few forms, but I was not able to read the contents. As a result of the physical assault, my neck was aching for several days and my face was swollen from the punches, slaps, and kicks I received. That night, I was transferred to ward 2-A of Evin prison. I was placed in a solitary cell 2m X 1.7m (6′2″ X 5′8″). I was only allowed to leave the cell twice a day at specified times for a break of fresh air. However, during the times I left the cell, I was blindfolded. The only time I was allowed to remove the blindfold was in my cell.

I spent 320 days (from October 4, 2008 to August 16, 2009) in solitary confinement without access to books, newspapers, or any contact with the outside world. In the cell, there was only a copy of the Qur’an, a water bottle, three blankets, and a “mohr” [Shiites perform their daily prayers on a piece of clay called "mohr" in Iran]. Until December 21, 2009, I spent 124 days in the general ward of 2-A. I was never granted weekly visits with my family during my detention. During the 444 days of my detention in ward 2-A. I was allowed a few restricted visits with my family, while a Revolutionary Guards officer listened in. The agents were always present during the visits. I was never granted the right to make weekly calls. Prison staff and interrogators listened in on any call I was able to make. Anytime I discussed the content of my case with my family, the calls were disconnected. During the 444 days I spent in ward 2-A, my life was under constant threat, and I never felt safe.

On December 21, 2009, I was transferred once again to solitary confinement, this time in ward 240 of Evin prison. I spent another 48 days (until February 8, 2010) in solitude and without the right to access the outside world. Since February 8th, I have been detained in the general wards of Evin, first in ward 7 and then ward 350. So far, 12 months of the total 17 months of my detention have been spent in solitary confinement, and not once was I allowed to visit my lawyer. During this time, and particularly in the first months, I was subject to various forms of physical and psychological torture by the “Revolutionary Guards Cyber Counterattack” team. Some of the torture procedures were performed in the presence of Mr. Moussavi, the magistrate of the case. A large portion of my confession was extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture, threats to myself and my family, and false promises of immediate release upon giving a false confession to whatever the interrogators dictated.

I have to add that the confession in front of the magistrate was extracted with the presence of interrogators. To prevent me from informing the magistrate that my confession was received under pressure, the interrogators threatened that the torture would worsen. Sometimes they threatened that they would arrest my wife and torture her in front of me. In the first few months following my arrest, I would be interrogated various hours both during the day and night. The interrogations also included severe beatings. The tortures were carried out either in the “technical office” outside the prison or in the interrogations office in ward 2-A.

Most of the time the tortures were performed by a group. While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and their fists struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck. Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios. Sometimes, they used extremely painful electrical shock that would paralyze me temporarily. Once in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water.

One of those very days, as a result of being kicked, punched, and lashed with cables on my head and face, my face became very swollen. I lost consciousness several times, but each time they would wake me up by splashing water on my face [and continued with the torture]. That night, they returned me to my cell. At the end of the night, I realized my ear was bleeding. I banged on the door of my cell, but nobody came. The next day, while half of my body was paralyzed, and I was unable to move, they took me to Evin prison’s clinic. The doctor, after seeing my condition, emphasized that I should be transferred to a hospital. However, I was returned to my cell instead, and I was left on my own until 9:00pm. Three guards eventually transferred me to Baghiatollah hospital. On our way to the hospital, the guards told me I was not allowed to give my real name, and ordered me to use the alias Mohammad Saeedi. They threatened me with severe torture if I did not follow their orders.

Before I was able to be examined by the doctor, one of the guards met with the doctor on duty in the emergency room, then I entered a few minutes later. The doctor without performing any examinations, radiography, or tests simply stated that my problem was stress related. He wrote his diagnosis on the medical report and prescribed a few pills. When I asked him to at least wash my ear the doctor said it was not necessary. I was returned to the detention centre with the blood clot remaining in my ear. For 20 days, the left side of my body was paralyzed, and I had little control over my left arm and leg muscles. I also had difficulty walking.

On January 24, 2009, after being subject to severe beatings, one of the interrogators threatened to pull out my tooth with a pair of tongs. One of my tooth broke and my jaw was displaced after I was kicked in the face by him. However, the physical tortures were nothing compared to the psychological torments. I endured long solitary confinement time (totalling to more than one year) without phone calls or the possibility of visiting my loved ones, constant threats to arrest and torture my wife and family if I did not cooperate, threats to kill me. They also provided me with false news of arresting my wife. My mental health was severely threatened. I had no acces to any books or journals in the solitary cells, and at times, I would not speak to anybody for days.

Restrictions and psychological pressures on me and my family grew so much that after my father’s passing on March 16, 2009, and despite the fact that the officials were aware of his death, kept the news from me for approximately 40 days. When I had a five minute (supervised) phone call with home, I learned of my father’s death.

Masoud, one of the interrogators, burst into laughter and mocked me once he saw me crying about the news of my father’s death. Despite my pleas, they did not allow me to attend my father’s memorial service. In addition to the psychological tortures, the Revolutionary Guards interrogation team illegally, and contrary to religious principles, withdrew some funds from my credit card account. They also have my Paypal account. I am not sure what they have done with it.

Another example of psychological torture involved forcing me to perform scenarios dictated by the Revolutionary Guards interrogators in front of the camera. Although the interrogation team had promised me these films would never be aired on TV, and they would only be shown to regime officials to receive a larger budget for their “Gerdaab” project. However, I found out later on that the films were shown numerous times on state television during the seventh day funeral service for my father. This resulted in severe emotional pain for my family. My mother suffered from a heart attack after seeing my picture and false confessions on television. Some of the confession they forced me to make were so ridiculous and far-fetched that they are not even possible.

For example, they asked me to falsely confess to purchasing software from the UK and then posting on my website for sale. I was forced to add that when somebody visited my website, the software would be, without his/her knowledge, installed on their computer and would take control of their webcam, even when their webcam is turned off. Although I told them that what they were suggesting was impossible from a technological point of view, they responded that I should not concern myself with such things.

I was promised in the presence of the magistrate assigned to the case that if I participate in their false televised confession, they would release me conditionally or on bail until the court date. They also promised that I will enjoy the maximum leniancy in the prosecution case. I was promised I would receive a maximum of two years in prison. These promises were repeated many times, however, after the end of the filming sessions, they did not honour any of their promises.

Based on the above information, I have been subject to various forms of psychological and physical torture in violation of sections 1-9, 14-17 and article 1 of the “Ban the Torture Act.” [The act] was passed by parliament in 2004. According to article 4 of the act, the confessions I made are not admissible, and I made the majority of the confessions to alleviate the pressure on my family and friends.

After 17 months of “temporary” detention, I am still in a state of limbo. I have never been allowed to meet with my lawyer. Given the size of the case, and the nature of the accusations against me, I need a computer expert trusted by the judiciary with access to my lawyer. I also need a place equipped with technical facilities (such as internet) to prepare my defense. Therefore, I would like to ask that my request regarding release on bail or bond be granted, and that I will be provided with the above-mentioned facilities.

Saeed Malekpour

March 13, 2010

Special thanks to Siavosh J. for translation | Persian2English.com

Radio Zamaneh
Iranian Shiite leader Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani condemned the continued incarceration of Iranian political and social activists and called it a strategy [by the regime] to “hold on to power.”

In a meeting with families of recent detainees, the reformist cleric maintained that there are some who struggle to hold on to power “at all costs.” He stated that the continued arrest of Iranian activists is a sign of this struggle.

In the past ten months, the Islamic Republic of Iran has arrested thousands of dissidents in disputes over the outcome of the June 2009 presidential election.

While some election protesters have been temporarily released on heavy bails, many still languish in Iranian prisons.

Ayatollah Bayat Zanajani has repeatedly spoken out against the outcome of the elections and the violent crackdown on election protesters.

He accused the Islamic Republic of committing the same mistakes against Iranians as the previous regime did.

Ayatollah Zanjani told the families of political prisoners: “Your loved ones are among the purest members of society and you should not lose hope over their imprisonment.”

The Iranian clergy has become heavily divided in the aftermath of the June presidential election. A group of Iranian senior clerics have spoken out against post-election government suppression and lent their support to the reform movement.

Translation by: Persian2English.com
Zanjan University student Sourena Hashemi was released on bail on April 4, 2010 after spending more than three months of detention in Evin prison’s ward 209. Hashemi was arrested on January 1, 2010, together with Alireza Firouzi during a trip to Orumiyeh (capital of the province of West Azerbaijan, northwest Iran).

Before February 10, 2010, regime officials denied reports that the two friends were detained. Their families also had no information on their location or condition.

Alireza Firouzi’s case still remains unknown. Based on reports processed by security agencies, it seems Firouzi’s continuing arrest is linked to [his work in] human rights activism.


Independent journalist Abolfazl Abedini has been sentenced to eleven years in prison by branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz. Abedini is charged with association with foreign governments (five years in prison), membership in Human Right Activists in Iran (HRAI) (five years in prison), and propaganda against the regime for interviews with foreign media (one year in prison).

The court order for Abolfazl Abedini was issued in late May 2009, but it was not announced to his lawyer Mohammad Oliyaifard until March 28, 2010. The court order is related to a previous case which led to Abedini’s arrest in July 2009. In November 2009, he was released on a bail in the $300,000 range.

On February 1, 2010, Abedini was badly beaten and arrested in his home in Ramhormoz, Iran. He was then transferred to ward 2A solitary confinement in Evin prison. Now, more than a month [of imprisonment], the reason for Abedini’s arrest has yet to be announced to his lawyer.

Translation by Persiian2English.com

Abolfazl Abedini’s Mother Writes Open Letter to Sadegh Larijani

The mother of journalist and human rights activist Abolfazl Abedini Nasr wrote an open letter to the minister of Iran’s judiciary, requesting a fair resolve to the tormenting situation of Abolfazl Abedini in prison.

Abolfazl Abedini Nasr’s home was raided and he was brutally beaten and subdued on March 3, 2010 in the city of Ahvaz. He was later transferred to Evin prison.

Open Letter from Asareh Eyvazi to Sadegh Larijani :

Honorable Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, head of the judicial system in the Islamic Republic of Iran:

With regards and wishing you a happy New Year. I am the mother of journalist Abolfazl Abedini. I have been witness to his imprisonment while he [continues to suffer] from poor health. His physical and emotional condition is questionable.

For five years, Abolfazl has been arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and detained in solitary confinement. [Each time] he has posted bail for his freedom with the help of compassionate individuals. In the court hearings, Abolfazl was never found guilty and he was always cleared of all charges.

What crime has he committed that he deserves to be tortured? Is defending the rights of Haft Tapeh factory workers, drivers union workers, and other organizations a crime? Is highlighting the problems in our country a crime?

I want you, the Supreme judge, with all fairness and in the presence of God, to pay special attention to my 28 year old child who suffers from a severe heart problem as a result of being held captive for the past five years. I would like you to resolve the abeyance.

I want you to be advised that if anything happens to [my son], you will be held responsible before God, the merciful.

I should also mention that Abolfazl is [currently] held in solitary confinement in ward 2A of the IRGC section of Evin prison. He has been denied the right to meet with a lawyer. It has been a month now that Abolfazl is being interrogated.

With respect,

Asareh Eyvazi, the suffering mother of detained journalist Abolfazl Abedini Nasr.