Iran: Further information: Many protesters released but some still held
July 8, 2011
Further information on UA: 36/11
Hundreds of people arrested in advance of protests in Iran on 14 February have now been released, including activist Taghi (or Taqi) Rahmani, However at least some are believed to still be held, including Akbar Amini, who protested from the top of a crane.
Writer and journalist Taghi (also Taqi) Rahmani, who had been arrested on 9 February 2011, was released on 15 May 2011 from Tehran’s Evin Prison on 150 million rial (about US$14,000) bail. Following a summons to Evin Prison on 17 May, where his lawyer was not permitted to enter the prison, Taghi Rahmani was briefly detained for a few hours.
Narges Mohammadi, Taghi Rahmani’s wife, was charged with "spreading propaganda against the system", "gathering and collusion to commit a crime against national security", and "being a member of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD)" at a closed court session on 27 June 2011 (See UA 133/10). These charges, which Narges Mohammadi denied in court, stem from her work with the CHRD, a human rights organization forcibly closed by authorities in December 2008.
Mohammad-Hossein Sharif-Zadegan, a close aide to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi during the presidential election of 2009 and arrested on 10 February 2011, was held at Evin Prison for 50 days before being released on bail on or about 31 March 2011. Amnesty International understands that Fariba Ebtehaj, arrested on 11 February 2011, and Sayed Sadreddin Beheshti, detained on 10 February 2011, were released around a month later in March. Amnesty International has received no further information regarding Gholamhossein Mahmoudi, detained at his home on 10 February 2011.
Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:
- Welcoming the release on bail of Taghi (Taqi) Rahmani, Mohammad-Hossein Sharif-Zadegan, Fariba Ebtehaj, and Sayed Sadreddin Beheshti and seeking assurances that they will not be arrested again in the future for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 AUGUST 2011 TO:
Head of the Judiciary
And copies to:
On 5 February 2011, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi, two unsuccessful candidates in the disputed 2009 presidential election, addressed an open letter to Iran's Interior Ministry, requesting permission to hold a rally on 14 February "[i]n order to declare support for the popular movements in the region, in particular, the freedom-seeking movements of the people of Egypt and Tunisia..." Despite official statements of support for the popular protests in Egypt, the authorities did not grant permission for any demonstration.
After the demonstrations, the state prosecutor said on 17 February 2011 that many of those arrested had been released, but "guilty individuals are still in detention". In April 2011 Akbar Amini, a protestor who was arrested after he had climbed a crane in Tehran with green ribbons and pictures of people killed during previous unrest, was transferred from Section 209 to Section 350, He was still detained, apparently without charge or trial, at the time of writing.
Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, and Mir Hossein Mousavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, remain under house arrest. Following a recent visit to Mir Houssein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, Zahra Rahnavard's mother stated on 6 July 2011 that while the two remain in good spirits both have lost considerable weight. Officials have called for them to be tried and for the "most severe" punishment to be imposed.
Taghi Rahmani was arrested on 9 February 2011 by four or five plain-clothed individuals who failed to show them either identification or an arrest warrant and who confiscated documents. Despite several visits to Evin Prison requesting to see her husband during his detention, his wife Narges Mohammadi was unable to see him or even obtain confirm that he was in fact detained at Evin Prison and did not receive a phone call from him until 28 March 2011.
Taghi Rahmani was an advisor to Mehdi Karroubi during the 2009 presidential election. He is a member of the Melli Mazhabi (National Religious Alliance), which is associated with the Iran Freedom Movement (IFM), a banned political party which advocates social and political reform. Since the 1980s, Taghi Rahmani has been arrested and imprisoned as a prisoner of conscience for a total of 14 years for his membership of the Melli Mazhabi and his writings on reforming religion. His wife, Narges Mohammadi, is the deputy head of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), headed by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, who has herself been banned from travel and arrested (see UA 133/2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/065/2010/en and follow ups). Following a previous arrest of her husband, Narges Mohammadi became gravely ill. After this latest arrest, she suffered a nervous breakdown and was taken to Tehran's Iran Mehr hospital.
Many others were arrested in the demonstration held on 14 February, and some afterwards, although some have since been released (see UA 31/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/019/2011/en, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/032/2011/en ).
Gender m/f: Taghi (Taqi) Rahmani: m; Narges Mohammadi: f; Mohammad-Hossein Sharif-Zadegan: m; Fariba Ebtehaj: f; Sayed Sadreddin Beheshti: m; Gholamhossein Mahmoudi: m; Akbar Amini: m.