Iran: Arbitrary Arrest / Fear of Torture
AI Index: MDE 13/063/2009
UA 172/09 Arbitrary arrest/Fear of torture
Mohammad Reza Junaydi
Bahram Mohammadi Far
Person identified only as Karimoddini
Person identified only as Hossein Qorreh
Person identified only as Taqipour
Person identified only as Darabi
and at least 13 other employees of the newspaper Kalameh Sabz
According to Alireza Beheshti, the editor of Kalameh Sabz, in an interview with Deutsche Welle’s Persian service, at least 25 employees of the newspaper, including those named above,were arrested at its office in Haft Tir Square in the capital Tehran on 22 June. Kalameh Sabzwas established by presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in 2009, but the paper has not been published since 14 June. Around five women from among the 25 employees were released shortly afterwards. The whereabouts of those still detained are currently unknown, and they are feared to be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Amnesty International believes all the detained staff members of Kalameh Sabzare prisoners of conscience, held solely on account of the peaceful expression of their views, including regarding the outcome of the election.
According to Fars News Agency on 23 June, police raided a building in Haft Tir Square on 22 June and arrested a number of people, although the agency did not mention Kalameh Sabz by name. The agency reported that “activities” in favour of one of the presidential candidates had taken place there, including "organising illegal gatherings, encouraging people to riot, [and] acting against the country's security." It said that evidence documenting "relations with the enemies' media and the interference of foreigners were discovered at this centre."
Since the announcement on 13 June that President Ahmadinejad had won the presidential election, which hundreds of thousands of Iranians dispute, the Iranian authorities have imposed draconian restrictions on freedom of expression. Access to the internet has been blocked or significantly interrupted. Iranian publications have been banned from publishing information about the unrest. Foreign news journalists have been banned from the streets, and some foreign reporters have been expelled from the country.
Scores of people are reported to have been arrested across the country, including prominent political figures close to either Mir Hossein Mousavi, fellow presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi or former President Khatami, who supported Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign. Some human rights defenders, as well as journalists who are also members of political parties or who campaigned on behalf of presidential candidates, have also been detained. On 24 June, 70 academics who had met Mir Hossein Mousavi that day were arrested as they left his office. All but four were released later. Those still detained include Dr Ghorban Behzadian, the head of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s election campaign. Hundreds of others have been arrested during demonstrations against the outcome of the election which have been met with excessive use of force by security forces. Many have been beaten and, according to the authorities, up to 21 have been killed, although the true number is likely to be higher.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:
- requesting that the authorities disclose the identities of all the Kalameh Sabzemployees who have been detained, as well as the reasons for their arrest and any charges against them;
- urging the authorities to inform all the families of those still detained of their whereabouts and to allow them immediate access to their family members, lawyers of their choice and to any medical treatment they may require, and to ensure that they are protected from all forms of torture and other ill-treatment;
- demand that the authorities immediately release all of the Kalameh Sabzstaff, as they are held solely for the peaceful expression of their political or other views, including on the outcome of the election.
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: [email protected]
via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency, Ayatollah
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: [email protected] (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Iranian Journalists’ Association
No. 87, 7th St., Kabkanian St.
Islamic Republic of Iran
E-mail: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Mr Mazrooei
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 06 August.