Iran: Further Information on Arrest and Detention of Student Activists
May 14, 2008
Document - Iran: Further Information on Arbitrary arrests/Fear of Torture or ill-treatment/Possible prisoners of conscience
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/067/2008
14 May 2008
Further Information on UA 331/07 (MDE 13/147/2007, 13 December 2007) and follow-ups (MDE 13/008/2008, 17 January 2008; MDE 13/062/2008, 15 April 2008) - Arbitrary arrests/Fear of Torture or ill-treatment/Possible prisoners of conscience
Ali Kantouri (m) ]
Peyman Piran (m) ] student activists
Behrouz Karimizadeh (m) ]
Behrouz Karimizadeh and Peyman Piran have been released on bail, but Ali Kantouri is still detained, and is not receiving the medication he needs. All three student activists were detained for their alleged role in demonstrations around the time of Iran's National University Students' Day, on 7 December 2007.
Behrouz Karimizadeh was released on 15 April 2008 after his family paid a bail of 300,000 Tomans (about US$ 328,000). He was arrested on 2 December 2007 at a friend’s house and tortured during his detention. While he was being interrogated, a hard object was thrust into his left ear which caused a loss of hearing. However, he was not subjected to electric shock torture as was previously reported, though he is reported to have been tortured again after he attempted to commit suicide. Like all the students who had been arrested during the demonstrations, he was forced to "confess" on television to having links with exile groups and attempting to destabilize the country.
Peyman Piran was released from section 350 of Evin prison at the end of April 2008 after his family paid bail of 80 million Tomans (about US$ 87,000). He was arrested on 4 December 2007 by plainclothes police on his way out of Tehran University. Whilst in detention, he was flogged on the soles of his feet and ankles.
Ali Kantouri was arrested by Intelligence agency officials (Ettelaat) on 15 January 2008 in the north-western town of Qazvin. His family were telephoned three days later and told that he was in solitary confinement and under intensive interrogation in Qazvin Prison. During this time, his ribs and several of his teeth were broken when he refused to be filmed "confessing" to having links with exile groups and attempting to destabilize the country.
Ali Kantouri has been held in several prisons since his arrest. He has been in Section 209 of Evin Prison, Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj, Tehran Province and finally in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj, Tehran province. He is now held in a cell measuring 6m² along with seven other prisoners, mostly drug addicts, which makes it extremely difficult for them to sleep. Ali Kantouri suffers from asthma and a chest infection for which he was receiving medical treatment prior to his arrest. In mid-March he was seen by a prison doctor but has not yet received any medication.
Ali Kantouri’s family went several times to Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court, which is dealing with his case, to seek medical help on his behalf, but the authorities did not respond to their concerns. The family also demanded access to Ali Kantouri but were repeatedly told that he was held “under investigation”, that they could not see him and that they would be contacted later.
Student groups have been at the forefront of demands for greater human rights in Iran in recent years. Since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005, there have been increasing restrictions on civil society. In April 2007, Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie publicly accused student activists and campaigners for the rights of women of being part of an "enemy conspiracy," without giving any information to back up this claim, which such activists strongly reject.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English, Arabic or your own language:
- welcoming the release of Peyman Piran and Behrouz Karimizadeh in April 2008;
- expressing concern for the continued detention of Ali Kantouri and asking for the charges against him to be made public;
- calling on the authorities to ensure that Ali Kantouri is given access to his family, legal representation and any medical attention he may require;
- calling for an urgent, independent investigation into the alleged torture of all the students who had been detained, including Ali Kantouri, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and urging the authorities to protect them from further torture and other ill treatment;
- reminding the authorities that confessions extracted under torture are prohibited by Article 38 of the constitution of Iran;
- urging the authorities to release other all students detained since December 2007 in connection with National University Students' Day who are held solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights.
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
via website: www.president.ir/email
Speaker of Parliament
His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel
Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami, Baharestan Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 3355 6408
Email: email@example.com (mark: please forward to the Article 90 Commission)
and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 June 2008.