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Amnesty International

Iran: Further information: Iranian student activist released on bail

Amnesty International
March 16, 2011
Appeal/Urgent Action

Further information on UA: 31/11

Index: MDE 13/032/2011

Student activist Iman Sedighi was released on bail on 10 March 2011 after more than two weeks in detention. He was held in three separate detention centres belonging either to the Revolutionary Guards or the Ministry of Intelligence, where he was tortured or otherwise ill-treated. He could face charge and trial in the future.

Iman Sedighi, a member of Mehdi Karroubi’s failed presidential election campaign, was arrested in Babol, Iran, on 20 February 2011 following a day of nationwide protests and strikes which were forcibly dispersed by soldiers and plain-clothes security personnel using tear gas. The break-up of protests on 20 February followed the arrest of a number of opposition supporters before, during and after earlier demonstrations on 14 February 2011. Those demonstrations, in support of the people of Tunisia and Egypt, had been called by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who are now detained under house arrest or elsewhere (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/023/2011/en ).

Iman Sedighi was held in detention centres that are not under the control of the Judiciary, where individuals are at particular risk of torture or other ill-treatment, often to attempt to force them to make “confessions” which are then used as evidence in unfair trials. It is often difficult for family members to discover information concerning the fate of their relatives when held in such centres. These circumstances may amount to enforced disappearance, which is strictly prohibited under international law. Iman Sedighi was eventually released on bail of 300 million rials (equivalent to over US$29,000). He may face charge and trial in the future.

Iman Sedighi was previously released in July 2010, after serving half of a one-year prison sentence, imposed for “acts against national security”, apparently in connection with his support for Mehdi Karroubi’s campaign and taking part in demonstrations against the disputed outcome of the presidential election of June 2009. He was also banned for one year from continuing his university studies at Babol’s Noshirvan University of Technology.

Amnesty International will continue to monitor developments in Iman Sedighi’s situation and will take further campaigning action on his behalf as necessary.

No further action is required. Many thanks to all those who sent appeals.