Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Evin Prisoners at Risk After Report of Riot

Amnesty International
‍Amnesty International
April 17, 2014
Appeal/Urgent Action

UA: 94/14 Index: MDE 13/021/2014 Iran Date: 17 April 2014

URGENT ACTION EVIN PRISONERS AT RISK AFTER REPORT OF RIOT Reports of prison guards raiding Section 350 of Tehran’s Evin Prison, where many political prisoners are held, have emerged raising fears about the safety of prisoners. The unrest appears to have resulted in prisoners sustaining injuries, including broken ribs. It has been reported that at least 32 individuals from Section 350 have been transferred to solitary confinement in Section 240 of the prison. According to media reports on the morning of 17 April Ministry of Intelligence officials, along with about 100 guards dressed in riot gear reportedly entered Section 350 of Evin Prison, possibly to conduct a search. It is not clear what happened next, but some sort of confrontation with prisoners opposing the raid appears to have ensued, and several prisoners seem to have been injured. At least four of the injured prisoners have been transferred to a hospital outside of the prison. Another 26 prisoners are reported to have been injured, but it is not clear whether they have received medical treatment inside the prison. At least two prisoners, Esmail Barzegari and Akbar Amini, are reported to have suffered broken ribs. A third is said to have suffered a heart attack and has been transferred to the intensive care unit of a hospital outside of the prison.

Another 32 individuals were taken to solitary confinement, including lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani; minority rights activist and member of the Azerbaijani minority in Iran Sa’id Metinpour; former prosecutor Mohammad Amin Hadavi; labour rights activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh; and political activists Behzad Arabgol and Hootan Dolati. It has been reported that all those transferred to solitary confinement were beaten with batons by guards during the transfer.

Please write immediately in Persian, English, Arabic or your own language: ν Calling on the Iranian authorities to ensure that all prisoners receive any medical care they may require; ν Urging them to protect those in solitary confinement from torture and other ill-treatment, and to have access to family and lawyers; ν Calling on them to immediately conduct an independent, impartial, and thorough investigation into what took place at the prison, including why so many prisoners were injured, and whether guards and officials used unnecessary or excessive force.

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Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani c/o Public Relations Office Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran (Subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani) Salutation: Your Excellency

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Abdolfattah Soltani, a prominent lawyer and co-founder of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, who has been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison since his September 2011 arrest, is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence. In November 2013 Abdolfattah Soltani, along with other prisoners, went on hunger strike to protest the lack of medical care, as well as the Iranian authorities’ refusal to grant medical leave to some prisoners to receive specialized treatment outside prison. For further information see http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/044/2013/en.

Sa’id Metinpour, a member of the Azerbaijani minority and advocate for the linguistic and cultural rights of the Azerbaijani minority, is serving an eight-year prison sentence. He is a journalist and a member of the board of editors of the weekly Azerbaijani Turkic publications Yarpagh (Page) and Moj-e Bidari (The Awakened Wave), in addition to writing his own blog. Following his arrest in May 2007, Sa’id Metinpour was tortured and later sentenced to imprisonment by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran after being convicted of “espionage” and “spreading propaganda against the system”. He suffers from severe back pain, but has not been granted temporary leave to seek medical care.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a worker at a polyethylene pipe-manufacturing factory in the outskirts of Tehran, is a member of the Follow Up Committee to Set Up Free Trade Associations and a children’s rights defender. He reportedly suffered two broken ribs as a result of beatings during his arrest in June 2010, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was initially sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in December 2010 on national security charges. This was overturned by the Supreme Court, and after a retrial he was sentenced to five years in prison after conviction of “gathering and colluding with intent to harm state security”, apparently in connection with his trade unionist activities on behalf of the Follow Up Committee to Set up Free Trade Associations. This sentence was upheld on appeal in October 2011.

At the end of May 2013, Hootan Dolati was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on vaguely-worded national security charges including “distribution of propaganda”; “publication of statements by…” and “membership of” the banned political group, Iran’s National Front Party. The sentence was only conveyed to him orally but in mid-November 2013, and it was reduced to 18 months’ imprisonment. He also received a suspended sentence of 18 months and was banned from joining political parties and from taking part in any social network for five years. He has been imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and is therefore a prisoner of conscience. He has also been repeatedly denied medical treatment by the clinic in Tehran’s Evin Prison and suffers from a chronic heart condition, angina, for which he is dependent on medication. He also suffers the effects of knee and back injuries, which are believed to have been made worse by ill-treatment in detention. He is now understood to have great difficulty walking. Hootan Dolati was the subject of Urgent Action (MDE 13/054/2013) http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/054/2013/en.

Name: Abdolfattah Soltani, Sa’id Metinpour, Mohammad Amin Hadavi, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Behzad Arabgol, Esmail Barzegari, Akbar Amini and Hootan Dolati. Gender m/f: all m

UA: 94/14 Index: MDE 13/021/2014 Issue Date: 17 April 2014