Iran: Pressure on rights defenders continues
Further information on UA: 347/09 Index: MDE 13/023/2010
A female member of Iranian human rights organization the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) has been released without charge. Three detained CHRR members have told relatives that they are facing pressure during interrogation to accept allegations against them. All those detained remain at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
Parisa Kakaei was released on 17 February. She had been arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials on 1 January. According to the CHRR, she was recently transferred to the women’s part of Evin Prison prior to her release.
Detained male CHRR members Mehrdad Rahimi and Kouhyar Goudarzi have both told relatives that they are under pressure to accept accusations made by intelligence personnel during interrogation. They have both been accused of moharebeh (being at enmity with God), and have earlier faced pressure to “confess” to links with a banned opposition group. If charged on the basis of such links, they could face the death penalty.
On 11 February, female CHRR member Shiva Nazar Ahari told her family by phone that she had been transferred to a “cage-like” solitary confinement cell where she cannot move her arms or legs. Since her arrest on 20 December 2009 she has been held without charge or access to her lawyer. She added that she remains under pressure to accept “accusations” made against her, although the nature of these accusations is not clear.
There is no further information about three male CHRR activists in Evin Prison, Saeed Kalanaki,Saeed Jalalifer,and Saeed Haeri. None of them has had contact with a lawyer.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, English, Arabic, French, or your own language:
Calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Kouhyar Goudarzi, Mehrdad Rahimi, Saeed Kalanaki, Saeed Jalalifar, Saeed Haeri, Shiva Nazar Ahariand all other detained CHRR members, if, as it appears, they are prisoners of conscience held solely for their peaceful human rights activities;
Urging the authorities to ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment and are granted immediate and regular access to a lawyer, their families and any medical treatment they might require;
Reminding the authorities that confessions extracted under duress are prohibited under Article 38 of the Constitution of Iran and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 2 APRIL 2010 TO:
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary in Tehran
Mr Ali Reza Avaei
Karimkhan Zand Avenue
Sana’i Avenue, Corner of Ally 17, No 152
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei
And copies to:
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Bureau of International Affairs, Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the second update of UA 347/09 (MDE 13/132/2009). For more information see: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/132/2009/en
PRESSURE ON rights defenders CONTINUES
The CHRR was founded in 2006 and campaigns against all kinds of human rights violations, including against women, children, prisoners, workers and others. On or around 21 January, Abbas Ja’fari Dowlatabadi, the Tehran Prosecutor, told Shiva Nazar Ahari’s family in a meeting: “Experts of the case have reported that the website for the Committee is linked to ‘hypocrites’ (the Iranian authorities’ name for the banned opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, PMOI, which has a base in Iraq), and any collaboration with the Committee is considered a crime.”
Saeed Kalanaki and Saeed Jalalifar were both arrested on 30 November 2009 and are being held in a public section of Evin Prison. Saeed Kalanaki was arrested in his office by plain-clothes security officials. He was taken to his home, which was searched, and some of his personal belongings were seized, including his computer and a collection of photographs. Both men were forced to telephone two other CHRR members urging them to close the CHRR website. During the exchange, interrogators took the telephone away from them and threatened the other CHRR activists, telling them that if they did not stop posting information, they would be dealt with “either within prison or outside”. Saeed Jalalifar was allowed a family visit on 31 December.
Saeed Haeri, Kouhyar Goudarzi and Shiva Nazar Ahari were arrested on 20 December by police officers and officials from the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran. They were taken from a bus which was about to drive to the northern city of Qom, where the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri took place on 21 December. They are held in Section 209 of Evin Prison, which is under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence. Shiva Nazar Ahari, who also spent three months in detention after the presidential election of June 2009, is in solitary confinement (see alsohttp://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/132/2009/en). Another two people were arrested on the same bus on their way to the funeral in December: Ahmad Qabel and Mohammad Nourizad. Ahmad Qabel was reported to be on hunger strike in January and has had no contact with his family since his arrest. Amnesty International has no information about where or how Mohammad Nourizad is.
Following the telephone threats the Ministry of Intelligence summoned four members of the CHRR to their offices in central Tehran on 1 January. Parisa Kakaei and Mehrdad Rahimi presented themselves and were immediately arrested. On 2 January, Parisa Kakaei was permitted to call her family from Section 209 and confirmed her detention. Mehrdad Rahimi is a student activist and deputy head of the Committee for Defence of the Rights of Citizens in the central office of Mehdi Karoubi.
Moharebeh (being at enmity with God) is often applied to those who wage armed struggle against the state or who are members of banned opposition groups. It can be punishable by one of four methods: execution, cross-amputation, crucifixion or banishment (usually imprisonment in internal exile).
Since the presidential election, the outcome of which was disputed, dozens of people have been killed by security forces using excessive force. Thousands have been arrested, mostly arbitrarily, and many have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. Scores have faced unfair trials, including some in mass “show trials”, with over 80 sentenced to prison terms, and at least 12 sentenced to death, although at least one has had his sentence commuted to a prison term. Two of these were executed on 28 January. According to Iranian media reports, Deputy Judiciary Head Ebrahim Raisi said on 1 February that, after the execution of two men in late January, the nine others will be executed “soon”, although on 3 February the Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Ja’fari Dowlatabadi clarified that their sentences were still subject to appeal. Those sentenced have not been given a fair trial; they were denied access to a lawyer in the initial stages of their detention, and some or all appear to have been coerced into giving confessions (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/shocking-execution-iran-protesters-condemned-20100128 and http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/nine-risk-execution-over-iran-protests-20100202).