Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International


Amnesty International
July 22, 2005


PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/039/2005

UA 194/05 Detention without charge/ Fear of torture or ill-treatment

22 July 2005


Nasser Hamelawi (m)

Behrouz Ahmedi (m)

Serdar Muhammadi (m)

Armesh Khujesteh (m)

Afshin Khodam (m)

Ferhad Khodam (m)

Hiwa Mahmoudi (m)

Kazem Nawjawani (m)

Yussef Chapashi (m)

Anwar Chapashi (m)

Jaafar Jabari (m)

Hossein Rassouli (m)

Suleiman Aboubaqri (m)

Nasser Azarian (m)

Yunis Ahmazadeh (m)

Scores of people, including the fifteen men named above, all members of Iran's Kurdish minority, were reportedly detained without charge between 9 and 15 July, and are at risk of torture or ill-treatment. The fifteen men were reportedly arrested in the city of Mahabad, North Eastern Iran, after protests about the killing of Sayed Kamal Astam, or Astom, also known as Shivan Qaderi. They are not known to have had access to legal representation, their families or medical treatment.

Shivan Qaderi was reportedly known as a leader among the Kurdish youth and had organized protests against the Iranian government during recent June Presidential elections. According to reports, on 9 July, officers from the State Security forces, along with Kurdish paramilitary village guards, shot at Shivan Qaderi and two other Kurdish men in the town of Mahabad. Shivan Qaderi may have tried to escape and was shot again. The security forces then reportedly tied his body to a Toyota jeep and dragged him in the streets to Oromieh. Shivan Qaderi was then reportedly returned to his family in a coffin. Pictures of his body have since been distributed on the world-wide web. The local Iranian authorities are reported to have confirmed that Shivan Qaderi was indeed shot and killed by security forces, allegedly while trying to escape arrest.

During the days following Shivan Qaderi's death, several thousand Mahabad residents, mainly youths, reportedly took to the streets to protest at the killing. On 15 July, the State Security forces reportedly fired live ammunition at the protestors, gravely wounding several of them including a child. Anti-government demonstrations and major unrest have also reportedly taken place in the neighbouring towns and scores of people have been arrested. On 18 July, a Law Enforcement Officer was killed in Mahabad during demonstrations that took place following the posting of the pictures of Shivan Qaderi's body on the internet.

On 19 July, the Interior Ministry sent a team of investigators to Mahabad at the request of its governor. In an article from ISNA (the Iranian Students News Agency) on that day, the governor of Mahabad said that a number of people who had participated in the recent protests have been arrested, but he did not have precise information and figures about them.


The Kurds are one of Iran's many ethnic minority groups. They mainly live in the province of Kurdistan and neighbouring provinces bordering Turkey and Iraq. On 6 July 2005, Kurdish and Sunni Members of Parliament (MPs) in a letter to president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad, reportedly stressed that it is their legal duty to uphold the demands and civilian rights of Kurds and Sunnis within the framework of the constitution. The signatories noted that they consider it to be their legitimate right to call for the appointment of Kurdish and Sunni members in the new cabinet. They also urged the president-elect to refrain from national and religious prejudices and ensure civilian rights, facilitate decentralization and strive for fair distribution of power and wealth. Scores of people are regularly arrested without charge in Iran following unrest. In April 2005, mass arrests took place after demonstrations in Khuzestan province, the city of Ahvaz and neighbouring towns. The police reportedly used excessive force, possibly including extrajudicial executions, after demonstrators allegedly killed up to seven police or security officials.

AI Index: MDE 13/039/2005 22 July 2005