Iran: Music journalists among those held in Iran
January 22, 2010
UA: 21/10 Index: MDE 13/011/2010 Iran Date: 22 January 2010
Behrang Tonekaboni, a male music journalist, and his mother Lily Farhadpour, along with Behrang Tonekaboni’s male colleague Kayvan Farzin, have been detained at an unknown location since their arrests in Iran’s capital, Tehran, earlier this month. They appear to have been subjected to enforced disappearance and are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
The reason for their arrests is unknown, although it may be connected to the ongoing protests against the government in Iran, as the authorities have arrested many journalists, human rights defenders, students and others in recent weeks.
Behrang Tonekaboni,who is in his mid-20s, is the editor of Farhang va Arhang, a monthly music journal. He was arrested from his office with his colleague Kayvan Farzin, the journal’s music critic, on 5 January. There has been no news of Kayvan Farzin’s whereabouts since then. Behrang Tonekaboni was taken to the home he shares with his mother, which was searched and had items confiscated from it, including his mother’s computer. His family have received no information on his whereabouts since his arrest. He has asthma and also a heart condition. He requires regular medication.
Lily Farhadpour, aged 47, a journalist and a member of Iranian NGO Mothers for Peace, was arrested at her home on 20 January. Earlier in the day she had been summoned to an office belonging to the Ministry of Intelligence, but was sent home without being questioned after waiting for five hours. Her whereabouts are unknown. She suffers from diabetes for which she needs to take tablets regularly.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 MARCH 2010 TO:
Head of the Provincial Judiciary in Tehran
Ali Reza Avaei
Karimkhan Zand Avenue
Sana’i Avenue, Corner of Alley 17, No. 152
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Via website: http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/75/Default.aspxFirst starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Director, Human Rights Headquarters
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
Salutation: Dear Mr Larijani
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
MUSIC JOURNALISTS AMONG THOSE HELD IN IRAN
Mothers for Peace is a group of Iranian women who campaign against possible military intervention in Iran over its nuclear programme, seek “viable solutions” to the region’s instability and campaign against the arrest, detention and harassment of ordinary Iranians.
Demonstrations in Iran in June and July against the disputed presidential election result of June 2009 were violently repressed, by police and the paramilitary Basij militia, who used excessive force. Since then, demonstrations have continued to take place on days of national importance when public demonstrations are permitted, such as Qods Day (18 September), the anniversary of the seizure of the American Embassy (4 November), National Student Day (7 December), and around the religious festival of Ashoura (27 December). During these protests, thousands of protestors were arrested, although many were later released.
Many of those arrested in the summer were tortured or otherwise ill-treated. At least three died as a result of torture in the Kahrizak detention centre near Tehran. On 19 December 2009, a military court in Tehran announced that 12 people had been charged in connection with abuses, three of whom had been charged with murder.
The security forces’ response to the demonstrations on or following Ashoura was the most violent since the early days of the protests. The opposition website Jaras estimates that at least 1,300 were arrested across Iran, including 600 in Esfahan and 200 in Najafabad, along with 500 who were acknowledged by the authorities to have been arrested in Tehran. Human rights groups say at least 300 detainees were held in Evin Prison in Tehran and unconfirmed reports suggest others may have been taken to a reopened detention facility under the control of the Revolutionary Guards in the Eshratabad complex in central Tehran. The Iranian authorities have made statements suggesting that protestors who “riot” or commit violent acts such as arson will be charged with moharebeh (enmity against God) which can carry the death penalty. On 18 January, five unnamed people went on trial charged with moharebeh in connection with the demonstrations on Ashoura.
Since the demonstrations, well over 180 journalists, human rights activists, students and members of political parties linked to Mir Hossein Mousavi and former President Khatami are reported by Jaras and other sources to have been arrested from their home or workplace, among them Emaddedin Baghi, recipient of the 2009 Martin Ennals Award, a human rights prize. See UA: 05/10 Index: MDE 13/003/2010. Women’s rights defenders Mansoureh Shojaee, who is a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, was also arrested from her home on 28 December and is held, apparently without charge, in Evin Prison. Ebrahim Yazdi, leader of the Iran Freedom Movement (IFM), a banned but tolerated political party, was arrested at home on 28 December. The IFM has since announced it is suspending the activities of two of its websites, under pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence.