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Amnesty International

Iran: Student activist detained in Iran: Behzad Bagheri Kahkesh

Amnesty International
June 21, 2010
Appeal/Urgent Action

UA: 136/10

Index: MDE 13/066/2010

Iranian left-wing student Behzad Bagheri Kahkesh, 24, was arrested on 29 May 2010 and since then has been detained without charge in Dastgerd Prison, Esfahan. Amnesty International believes he is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for the peaceful expression of his rights to freedom of expression and association.

Behzad Bagheri Kahkeshis a student of Archaeology at Tehran University and is associated with the left-wing group Freedom and Equality-Seeking Students (also known as Students for Freedom and Equality). He was arrested on 29 May 2010 at his home in Shahin Shahr, north of the central city of Esfahan, by plain clothes officials, who said they came from Zarin Shahr, a town south of Esfahan. His family did not know where he was for over a week. On 8 June 2010, he called his family and told them that he would be held in the Intelligence Ministry section of Dastgerd Prison in Esfahan until further notice. The reason for his arrest is not clear, but it may have been part of a wave of arrests of political activists, human rights defenders, students, trade unionists and others in the days and weeks before the anniversary of the 2009 disputed presidential election in Iran, on 12 June 2010.

His mother, Parvin Vafakhah, was summoned to the Office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Esfahan on 9 June 2010, but while travelling there she received a message telling her that she did not need to attend.

Behzad Bagheri, who contributed to two, now banned, Tehran University magazines – Tolou’andKhak - was previously detained in 2007 during mass arrests of left-wing students between November 2007 and February 2008 (see UA 331/07 and follow ups). He was released on bail in March 2008.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

  • Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Behzad Bagheri Kahkesh, as Amnesty International believes he is held solely for the peaceful expression of his rights to freedom of expression and association;

  • Calling on the Iranian authorities to ensure that while held, he is protected from torture or other ill-treatment, and is granted immediate access to his family, to a lawyer of his choice, and to adequate medical care;

  • Urging the authorities not to harass Behzad Bagheri Kahkesh’s relatives.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 2 AUGUST 2010 TO:

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

Tehran 1316814737

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

Head of Fars Judiciary

Ahmad Siavash-Pour

Provincial Judiciary Central Complex

Shohada Square

Shiraz

Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 711 2242238

Salutation: Dear Mr Siavash-Pour

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

Mohammad Javad Larijani

Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri

Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: +98 21 3390 4986

Email: bia.judi@yahoo.com (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

STUDENT ACTIVIST DETAINED IN IRAN

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Iranian authorities refused permission for demonstrations to be held on the anniversary of the presidential election, and arrests of political activists, human rights defenders, students, trade unionists and others increased in the days and weeks before the anniversary. Some people defied a heavy security presence to demonstrate on the streets of Tehran on 12 June 2010. At least 91 people were arrested in connection with demonstrations, according to the Tehran Police Commander, although the true figure may well be higher.

Protests in 2009 at the disputed outcome of the election were violently repressed, with scores killed. Thousands were arrested, many of whom were tortured or otherwise ill-treated, often to obtain forced “confessions”. Hundreds have been tried unfairly, including in mass “show trials”, many of whom are serving long-prison terms, often as prisoners of conscience. Some have been sentenced to death, and two executed.

For further information please see, From Protest to Prison: Iran One Year after the Election, (Index MDE 13/062/2010), June 2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/062/2010/en and Iran: Election Contested, Repression Compounded (Index MDE 13/123/2009), December 2009,http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/123/2009/en.

UA: 136/10 Index: MDE 13/066/2010 Issue Date: 21 June 2010