Iran: Further information on possible prisoners of conscience / fear of torture or ill-treatment: Up to 17 men
AI Index: MDE 13/065/2007
Further Information on UA 120/07 (MDE 13/057/2007, 18 May 2007) Possible prisoners of conscience/ Fear of torture or ill-treatment
At least 16 of the 17 men arrested on 10 May at a private party in the central Iranian province of Esfahan are known to have been released.
Twelve were reportedly released in the weeks following their arrest while four of the remaining five were released on 29 May. All of these men were required to post bail and will reportedly face a trial scheduled to take place in June. There are conflicting reports as to whether the fifth man has been released.
They were among 87 people reportedly arrested at the party. Of these, 60 have been released unconditionally, while 26, including those referred to above, were released on bail.
The 17 men are believed to have been wearing clothes generally associated with women at the time they were arrested. They are not believed to have had access to lawyers or their families, and a judge has reportedly said that those detained following the private party will be charged with consumption of alcohol and “homosexual conduct” (hamjensgarai). Amnesty International is not aware of any evidence that the men attending the party identify themselves as gay or were engaging in same-sex sexual relations. The arrests took place at a time when the authorities were mounting a security operation to enforce dress codes in Iran.
During the arrests, those attending the party were said to have been dragged into the street by police and members of the Basij force (volunteer paramilitaryunits attached to the Revolutionary Guards Corps), who beat them severely, causing bruising and, in some cases, broken bones. It remains unclear if those detained were allowed access to medical treatment.
Amnesty International will continue to monitor the situation closely and take further action if necessary.
No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.