Iran: Further information: Ill defender freed; another's fate unknown: Narges Mohammadi and Abdolreza Tajik
Further information on UA: 133/10
Index: MDE 13/076/2010
Narges Mohammadi, a member of the Iranian NGO, the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), was released on 1 July and was later hospitalized. The fate of another activist, Abdolreza Tajik, arrested on 12 June 2010 remains unknown and he may be at risk of torture.
Narges Mohammadi, the Deputy Head of the CHRD and the mother of three-year-old twins, was released on bail on 1 July 2010 and subsequently hospitalized on 3 July. She had been arrested on 10 June 2010. Days prior to her release, her health rapidly deteriorated. In an interview given after her release and posted on You Tube, Narges Mohammadi said that she had collapsed 14 times, including while in the prison baths and that she had suffered a form of paralysis, losing the ability to move or control her hands and feet. Doctors have reportedly been unable to identify the cause of her conditions and at the time of writing she remains in hospital. In her interview she emphasized that she was a human rights defender and a mother and expressed the sadness she felt, being apart from her three-year-old children while imprisoned.
The whereabouts of Abdolreza Tajik, a journalist and member of the CHRD, remain unknown. In an 8 July interview, his sister Parvin Tajik said that she had met with Tehran’s prosecutor but that he, too, was unaware of his whereabouts. He is thought to be held in incommunicado detention. She added that she had checked whether he had been registered at Tehran’s Evin Prison but that there was no record of him there. He was arrested on 12 June after presenting himself to an office of the Ministry of Intelligence. Amnesty International believes Abdolreza Tajik is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association.
The office of the CHRD was forcibly closed in December 2008, although its members have continued to carry out their work in support of human rights.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:
Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Abdolreza Tajik as he is a prisoner of conscience;
Urging the Iranian authorities to disclose his whereabouts and to ensure that while held he is protected from torture or other ill-treatment, and granted immediate access a lawyer of his choice and adequate medical care;
Urging the authorities to drop any charges brought against Narges Mohammadi or Abdolreza Tajik in connection with their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, each of which is protected by the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party;
Calling on the Iranian authorities to withdraw the decision to close the CHRD and for an end to the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders in Iran, including members of CHRD.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 23 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
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: Via website: http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/75/Default.aspx First starred box: your given name; second starred box: your family name; third: your email address
Salutation: Your Excellency
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
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
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986
Email: email@example.com (In subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 133/10:http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/065/2010/en
The office of the CHRD was forcibly closed in December 2008, although its members have continued to carry out their work in support of human rights. Several of its members have been detained since the 2009 election. The organization's founder, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, is currently living outside Iran due to fears for her safely should she return to the country. She has received many death threats, and her bank account in Iran containing her Nobel Prize has been frozen, in contravention of Iranian law.
Narges Mohammadi was banned from leaving the country in May 2010 when on her way to attend a conference in Guatemala. She has been summoned to court for interrogation several times and told to stop her work with the CHRD and not to contact Shirin Ebadi.
Abdolreza Tajik was also banned from leaving the country in February 2009 when planning to attend a seminar in Spain. He was arrested on 14 June 2009 and released on bail after 45 days. He was rearrested again in December following anti-government protests on the religious festival of Ashoura and spent over 60 days in detention. This is his third arrest since the disputed presidential election of June 2009 (see UA 171/09 and updates).
On the same day that Narges Mohammadi was arrested, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a report containing recommendations accepted by Iran which included a recommendation to “Enhance freedom of expression and assembly, and to safeguard all groups, journalists and especially human rights defenders”.
Protests at the disputed outcome of the 2009 election were violently repressed, with scores killed. Thousands were arrested, many for a short period of time. Among those arrested, many 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 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.