Iran: Further information: One student activist released, one still held
June 7, 2011
Shiva Kamalipour Azad, one of the t wo members of the Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS ) arrested on 26 April , was released on bail on 25 May 2011. Mohammad Reza (known as Arash) Fakhravar is now known to be held in Evin Prison in Tehran. He is at risk of torture or other ill treatment.
Shiva Kamalipour Azad was released from Evin Prison on 25 May on payment of bail equivalent to US$200,000. The authorities have confiscated her passport and she is not allowed to leave the country.
Arash Fakhravar is now known to be held in Section 209 of Evin prison, a part of the prison believed to be under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence. His family has been warned by the authorities not to talk to the media about his case. Arash Fakhravar was an asylum-seeker in France where he took part in demonstrations against the Iranian government in March and April 2011. He was arrested at Tehran's airport upon his return to Iran on or around 29 April. The circumstances of his return remain unclear to Amnesty International.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, English or your own language:
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 JULY 2011 TO:
Head of the Judiciary
And copies to:
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 first update of UA 125/11. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/047/2011/en
According to its website, the Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS) is an independent, pro-western student movement of over 7,000 members based inside and outside Iran. Its principal objective is "to empower the will and confidence of the Iranian people in their quest for freedom" and it undertakes social, cultural, artistic, literary, and sports activities. It states that it "works tirelessly to promote freedom, human rights and democracy in Iran". The CIS was officially launched in November 2002 and its Secretary General is former political prisoner Amir Abbas Fakhravar, the eldest brother of Arash Fakhravar.
Shiva Kamalipour Azad, aged 29, a founding member of the CIS and on its Board of Directors, was travelling on 17 April 2011 to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to collect a visa for the USA. She was due to speak on 8 May 2011 at a conference entitled "US-Iran Relations and New Generation Conference" sponsored by the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. Her passport, camera, computer and phone were confiscated and she was taken to Evin Prison, Tehran, where she reportedly appeared before a Revolutionary Court. Shiva Kamalipour Azad was held in incommunicado detention, until her release on bail on 24 April 2011. She is believed to have been ill-treated during interrogation. She was arrested again at her grandfather's residence, in the middle of the night two days later by six security officials believed to be from an intelligence body. She was blindfolded and taken back to Evin Prison. Shiva Kamalipour Azad has been arrested several times previously in connection with her activities for the CIS.
Mohammad Reza Fakhravar (known as Arash) was arrested on 31 December 2010 after participating in demonstrations against the authorities which took place in Iran in late December 2009 during the Ashoura religious commemorations. He was held for 30 days in solitary confinement. A family member told Amnesty International that on 19 January 2011, he was tried on charges of "insulting the Supreme Leader, and taking parts in riots and unrest". He was given a suspended prison sentence, which could be activated if he were to be convicted of having undertaken similar actions at any point over subsequent five years.
In late January 2011, he fled Iran for Iraq, where he registered with UNHCR as an asylum-seeker. He travelled to France on 29-30 January, where he was an asylum-seeker. In March and April 2011, Arash Fakhravar took part in demonstrations against the Iranian government in France.
On 17 February 2011, an article written by a former Supreme Court judge appeared in Iran newspaper, a daily paper published by the Iranian government. Referring to existing laws that enable Iran's judiciary to bring charges against Iranians for alleged violations of Iranian law committed while outside Iran, the article stated that failed asylum-seekers could be prosecuted for making up accounts of alleged persecution. On 26 April 2011, Kayhan newspaper, which is controlled by the Office of the Supreme Leader, also reported that Iranians are seeking asylum ‘on the pretext of supporting the opposition'.