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Amnesty International

Iran: Further Information on Arbitrary Arrest/Fear of Torture or Ill-Treatment/Possible Prisoners of Conscience: Student Demonstrators

Amnesty International
Amnesty International
January 17, 2008
Appeal/Urgent Action

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/008/2008

17 January 2008

Further Information on UA 331/07 (MDE 13/147/2007, 13 December 2007) Arbitrary arrests/fear of torture or ill-treatment/possible prisoners of conscience

IRAN

Between 20 and 30 students (male and female) associated with the student group Students for Freedom and Equality (Daneshjouyan-e Azadi Khah va Beraber Talab), including:

Rosa 'Essa'ie, (f), student at Tehran's Amir Kabir University

Mehdi Geraylou (m), student at Tehran University

Anousheh Azadfar (f), student at Tehran University

Ilnaz Jamshidi (f), student at Free University of Central Tehran

Rouzbeh Safshekan (m), student at Tehran University

Nasim Soltan-Beigi (m), student at ‘Allameh Tabatabai University

Yaser Pir Hayati (m), student at Shahed University

Released: Milad Moini (m)

Younes Mir Hosseini (m)

New names: Anahita Hosseini (f)

Bita Naghashiyan (f)

And at least seven others


All except two of the 20-30 students arrested for participating in the demonstrations for the National University Students' Day on 7 December 2007 are still detained without charge. At least nine other students, including Anahita Hosseini and Bita Naghashiyan, have been arrested in recent days. They may be prisoners of conscience, detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and association. It is feared that they could be tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention.

According to information available to Amnesty International, students Milad Moini and Younes Mir Hosseini have been released. However, the organization has a list of 52 names of all those who have been detained because of their alleged links with the student demonstrations, though there is no further information on the circumstances of their arrest or on their current whereabouts.

Activists from two students' groups, the Office for Strengthening Unity (Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat) and Students for Freedom and Equality (Daneshjouyan-e Azadi Khah va Beraber Talab) are among those who took part in these demonstrations. Before they were arrested many of the students received mobile phone text messages that threatened them with arrest if they participated in the events.

One detained student, whose identity is not known, is believed to have attempted suicide. Unconfirmed reports state that pressure exerted by officials and harsh detention conditions may have been factors in this suicide attempt. The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has suggested that students were in possession of "catapults, sound grenades [sic], alcoholic drinks and misleading books." Students groups have dismissed these claims as fabrications.

The Islamic Republic News Agency reported on 15 January that the judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, stated that 11 university students "arrested during the past month’s student unrest" would soon be released on bail, without specifying the identity of those to be released. However, other reports received on 15 January indicate that an additional nine students have been detained in Tehran, apparently for their involvement in the demonstrations for the University Students’ Day.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English, Arabic or your own language:

- renewing appeals for the authorities to release all students detained in December 2007 in connection with National University Students Day who are held solely on account of the peaceful exercise of their rights;

- calling for any other students in detention to be tried promptly and fairly, in accordance with international fair trial standards, on recognisably criminal charges or else released;

- seeking details of any charges brought against those in detention;

- seeking assurances that none of those arrested is subject to torture or other ill treatment;

- calling on the authorities to ensure that these detainees have access to relatives, legal representation, and any medical attention they may require;

- reminding the authorities that confessions extracted under torture are prohibited by Article 38 of the constitution of Iran, which says that "All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information are forbidden," and that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Article 7 states that "No one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment".

APPEALS TO:

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

Email: info@leader.ir

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: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the 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

COPIES TO:

President

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

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: hadadadel@majlis.ir (Please ask that your message be brought to the attention of 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 28 February 2008.