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Amnesty International

Iran: Further information on Arbitrary arrest/prisoner of conscience/ fear of torture and ill-treatment: Sayed Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho'ini (m)

Amnesty International
January 17, 2007
Appeal/Urgent Action

AI Index: MDE 13/003/2007

Further Information on UA 181/06 (MDE 13/075/2006, 30 June 2006) and follow-up (MDE 13/109/2006, 26 September 2006) - Arbitrary arrest/ Prisoner of conscience/ Fear of torture and ill-treatment

IRAN Sayed Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho'ini (m), human rights defender

Human rights defender Sayed Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini, a former student leader, former member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Majles (Iran’s parliament) and current Head of the Alumni Association of Iran (Sazman-e Danesh Amukhtegan-e Iran-e Eslami [Advar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat]), was released on bail on 21 October 2006. He is believed to be facing charges of "acting against state security by participating in the demonstration for women’s rights"; "disturbing public order"; "propaganda against the system"; and "insulting the Leadership". No date is known to have been set for his trial before Branch 14 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini was reportedly released after providing bail of 150 million toumans (around US$163,000). After his release, Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini rejected the charges against him, and said in a report carried on the Advarnews website (www.advarnews.us), "I consider my detention to have been a punishment for my useful and effective activities during my time as a deputy for the people of Tehran and a representative of the student movement in the sixth Majles [2000-2004 parliamentary term], following up the affairs of prisoners and illegal detention centres, criticizing the conduct of officials and power holders and performing my responsibility in the Alumni Association of Iran, especially criticism of the conduct of [President Ahmadinejad’s] government in its management of the nuclear issue, and so on."

Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini was arrested on 12 June during a peaceful demonstration in the capital, Tehran, which called for legal reforms to end discrimination against women in Iran. At least 69 other people were arrested, but all except Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini were released shortly afterwards. He was reportedly beaten severely during his arrest and afterwards in Evin Prison. On 21 September 2006 Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini, who was allowed to attend a memorial ceremony for his father who had died 40 days before, showed visible bruising and a wound on his head. Afterwards, he also complained of his treatment in detention, and described how he was subjected to various types of mental and physical torture. He said that he was under pressure to write a letter of repentance to state officials expressing regret for his past actions. Of his 130 days under interrogation, only the first 10 days were concerned with his participation in the women’s rights demonstration. For the rest of the time, he was interrogated about his activities as a human rights defender during his time as a member of the Majles and his activities in the Alumni Association of Iran.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

On 12 June the Iranian security forces forcibly broke upa peaceful demonstration by women and men advocating an end to legal discrimination against women in Iran. The demonstrators had gathered in the "Seventh of Tir" Square in Tehran to call, among other things, for changes in the law to give a woman's testimony in court equal value to that of a man; and for married women to be allowed to choose their employment and to travel freely without obtaining the prior permission of their husband.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

- welcoming the release on bail of Sayed Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini;

- urging that Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini’s allegations that he has been tortured and ill-treated be investigated and that anyone found responsible for abuses be brought to justice promptly and fairly;

- seeking information concerning any charges and the nature of the evidence against him;

- asking to be informed of the date of any trial sessions which may take place;

- urging the authorities to drop any charges against him which relate solely to his peaceful exercise of his internationally recognized right to freedom of expression and association, including his work as a human rights defender;

- stating that if Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho’ini was to be convicted and imprisoned solely on the basis of such charges, Amnesty International would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience, and would call for his immediate and unconditional release.

APPEALS TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader

Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: info@leader.irOR istiftaa@wilayah.org

Fax: +98 251 774 2228 (mark "FAO the Office of His Excellency, Ayatollah al Udhma Khamenei")

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: iranprobe@iranprobe.com

Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: (via foreign ministry) +981 6 674 790 (Mark "Please forward to H.E. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad")

Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

Or via website: www.president.ir/email

Salutation: Your Excellency

Speaker of Parliament

His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel

Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami

Imam Khomeini Avenue,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: + 98 21 6 646 1746

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 28 February 2007.