We will be entering 2009 in a few hours, and I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy new year. I hope this will be a wonderful year for everyone, full of joy, success and prosperity.

I’d like to take a moment to remember all those who have lost their lives in the past year while fighting for freedom in Iran, in particular a brave journalist Mr. Yaghoub Mehrnahad (long live his memory). I’d like to take a moment to remember all political prisoners who are spending the New Year in Evin, Gohardasht, Sanandaj, Mahabad, Esfehan and many other prisons, because of their religious beliefs, ethnic identities or political beliefs.

I hope this will be a great year for Iran, the year where we will see the freedom of all political prisoners, end to all human rights violations, and most important of all the year we will see REGIME CHANGE in Iran.

Happy New Year

The Islamic Regime has been systematically discriminating against the Baha’i Community in Iran for the past 29 years. This discrimination has taken many forms including arrests, questioning by authorities and imprisonment of Bahai’s, searches of their homes and businesses, confiscation of personal belongings, school expulsions, and denial of higher education.

On December 18th 2008 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES 63/191 expressing deep concern over serious human rights violations in Iran. The resolution specifically criticized “increasing discrimination against Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Sufi’s, Sunni Muslims and other minorities.”

This resolution took particular notice of the attack on Baha’is noting “necessary evidence of efforts by the State to identify and monitor Baha’is, preventing members of the Baha’i faith from attending university, from sustaining themselves economically, and the arrest and detention of seven Baha’i leaders without charge or access to legal representation.

According to the “Canadian Baha’i National Centre” there are currently 26 Baha’is in prison, although the number may be higher, because some individuals are arrested secretly, others are arrested and released after a few days.

Of the 26 people in prison seven (7) of them are Baha’i leaders who saw to the needs of the Baha’i Community in Iran. These individuals are Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mr Vahid Tizfahms and Mrs. Mahvash Sabet. These individuals were arrested in March and are currently in the Evin Prison.

Other prisoners include three (3) students who were arrested in Shiraz, Ms. Haleh Rouhi, Ms. Raha Sabet and Mr. Sasan Taqva who are all serving four (4) year prison terms on charges of “indirect teaching of the Baha’i Faith.”
Another very significant form of discrimination against Baha’is is systematic denial of higher education. There have been instances of students being expelled from educational institutions, with authorities openly stating that the reason is the fact that they are Baha’is.

Another very significant form of discrimination against Baha’is is systematic denial of higher education. There have been instances of students being expelled from educational institutions, with authorities openly stating that the reason is the fact that they are Baha’is.

Further during the application and enrolment process for the current academic year, it became apparent that most Baha’i students had been identified by the authorities. When the students attempted to go online to get test scores and fill in application forms, they were met with an error page stating that their file was incomplete. Without complete files, enrolment in all public and most private universities in Iran is not possible.

Other forms of discrimination and harassment have included destruction of Baha’i cemeteries and circulation of anti-Baha’i petitions by Regime Agents.

Although the Baha’i Community has been facing systematic discrimination and harassment, they have been active in trying to overcome these obstacles. For example the Baha’i Community has been very active in developing “underground” universities in order to pursue higher education.

Aside from the Baha’i Community’s own activities, there are also things we can do as individuals, bloggers and human rights activists, to help their situation. In order to provide some suggestions I have contacted the Canadian Baha’i National Centre and they have been kind enough to offer to help me in this regard. Please stay tuned for my next article which will focus on what can be done to fight against discrimination and harassment of the Baha’i Community in Iran.


Sayeh Hassan
Shiro-khorshid-forever.blogspot.com


Islamic Regime security forces in the province of Busher have attacked Mr. Ismail Jafaris' residence and too him to an unknown location.

Mr. Jafari is a brave journalist in Bousher who reports on the problems which the people in Busher face because of the Islamic Regime who has invaded Iran.
Because of the publications of photos of a protest by workers of "Daryayiye Sadra" Company he was arrested and sentenced to five (5) months of imprisonment. Although he had just received his jail sentence and was in the process of appealing it, unfortunately he was attacked by security forces and taken to an unknown location. The efforts of his family to find out information about his whereabouts have been unsuccessful so far.

The Marzeporgohar Party announces that it holds the Islamic Regime strictly responsible for the health and well being of Mr. Jafari.
The Marzeporgohar is extremely concerned about the health and well being of Mr. Jafari and urges all human rights and political organization to take immediate action to help free Mr. Jafari.

Long live Iran
Down with islamic republic
Marze por Gohar Party


Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: After 36 days of imprisonment the Kurdish journalist Mr. Bahman Tutunchi was transferred to the Central prison in the City of Sanandaj on December 24th 2008.

Mr. Tutunchi was arrested on November 18th 2008 by the Regime Agents after his home was searched. In a conversation with members of his family, they stated their grave concern over the health and well being of Mr. Tutunchi.

Mr. Tutunchi was convicted of working with a very active political organization in Kurdistan. Mr. Tutunchi is an independent journalist and also was an executive board member of a weekly journal called “Kereftu”. Due to extreme pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence he was forced to resign from that position last year.


Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: Ronak Safazadeh was arrested on October 9th 2007 and although a year has past since her arrest she still remains in pre-trial custody.

In an interview with the Student Council of Defence of Human Rights in Kurdistan Dr. Mohammad Sahrif, Ms. Safazadeh’s lawyer stated that although the defence is ready to proceed, the judge has confirmed Ms. Safazadeh’s pre-trial detention on eight (8) different occasions.

On March 13th 2008 a court hearing was scheduled in Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Courts and a written and an oral defence was submitted to the court, however no decision has been rendered by the courts.

Mr. Sharif has further stated that he is extremely concerned about the fact that The Court has refused to render a decision to this date. It must be mentioned that in regards to his other client Ms. Hanna Abdi both a judgment at a lower court and at the court of appeal has been rendered but not in Ms. Safazadehs’ case. Mr. Sharif is extremely concerned about Ms. Safazadehs’ case especially due to the serious charges she is facing (fighting against god).

Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: Two more prisoners in Ardebil Prison have been transferred to solitary confinement and are awaiting execution.

Mass executions in Iran still continue. According to news received from the Ardebil Prison on Friday December 26th 2008 Mr. Aziz Khosro Zadgan and Mr. Hushang Behrouz who have been imprisoned for the past year have been transferred to the solitary ward of the prison and are awaiting execution.

There is no information about what these individuals have been charged with or whether they have been convicted.

Further last Wednesday December 24th 2008, eight (8) men were executed in Evin Prison. It has been estimated that about 310 people have been executed in the past year in Iran.


Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, the founder of the Kurdish Human Rights Organization, who was recently sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment, has written an open letter to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon the Secretary General of the United Nations, from Section 8 of the Evin Prison.

In an open letter to Ban Ki-moon the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, a human rights activist and the founder of Kurdistan Human Rights Organization criticized the United Nations for its lack of attention to the plight of Kurdish Minorities in Iran.

Mr. Kaboudvand is in the midst of serving an 11 year prison sentence in the Evin Prison.

In his letter Mr. Kaboudvand states:

To the Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon,

The presence of countries with terrible human rights records in the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and their prevention of any positive steps being taken by the Commission to improve and protect human rights globally and particularly in regards to the rights of Kurdish minorities in Iran have caused great concern for Kurdish activists.

Recently the Third Committee of the United Nations General assembly issued a resolution condemning the gross violations of human rights in Iran and in particular the human rights violations faced by the Kurdish Community as well as other ethnic minorities in Iran.

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

Are you aware of the fact that a part of the Iranian population consists of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities? This fact has been denied by the Constitution of the Islamic Republic Regime. They have denied a portion of the Iranian population to keep, protect and nurture their ethnicity, culture and mother tongue.
Although the Kurdish people compose the third largest ethnicity in Iran, their cultural, linguistic, social and political rights are continuously under attack. These people have been suffering for years from discrimination and oppression by the Islamic Regime. The Kurdish people have no social, political or linguistic rights. They have no representation in the national or even local governments in Iran. Kurdish political parties are not allowed to operate and even non-political organizations such as Kurdistan Human Rights Organization are under attack and not allowed to operate.

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

Although the Kurdish people consist less than 15% of the Iran’s population, they also make up about half of the number of people executed and subjected to political persecution in the past 10 years. Currently about 50% of the political prisoners consists of Kurds, who have been branded as “security prisoners” or anti-revolutionary prisoners.

Currently tens of these prisoners are on death row awaiting execution or serving very lengthy prison terms.

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

The Kurdish people and Kurdish human rights activists expect human rights organizations as well as international organizations such as the United Nations to take the persecution of ethnic minorities in particular the Kurdish minority seriously and not to ignore such atrocities Our respectful request is for the United Nations to take steps to stop such human rights violations against the Kurdish people in Iran.

Dear. Mr. Secretary General,

Kurdish human rights activists are extremely concerned about human rights violations in particular:

1. Increase in the number of executions, especially the execution of young offenders.
2. Physical and psychological torture in Ministry of Intelligence and police detention centres’.
3. “Legal torture” such as amputation of body parts, stoning, flogging and other physical punishment.
4. Legal inequality between men and women.
5. Lack of legal rights for political prisoners such as lack of access to courts and to a defence counsel.
6. Lack of social, political and human rights for religious minorities.
7. Lack of social, political and human rights for ethnic and linguistic minorities.
8. Lack of freedom for political and social activists and inability for the formation of active womens’ and students groups.
9. Lack of freedom of thought and speech, lack of freedom for the media.
10. Surveillance by the police and persecution of social and political activists.

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

Human rights activists in Kurdistan and Iran respectfully request that the United Nations and the United Nations Human Rights Commission pay special attention to the human rights violations in Iran, with particular attention to the persecution of Kurdish minorities and to take steps to help stop these human rights violations and to help the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran.

Yours truly,

Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand,
Founder of Kurdistan Human Rights Organization
Evin Prison, Tehran
December 12th 2008


Teacher and trade union member Farzad Kamangar has endured beatings and threats recently. He could still be executed shortly even though his case is still under review.

PUBLIC

AI Index: MDE 13/176/2008
UPDATE
18 December 2008

Further Information on UA 147/08 (MDE 13/075/2008, 30 May 2008) and follow-up (MDE 13/094/2008, 11 July 2008) - Death penalty / Torture and ill-treatment

IRAN

Members of Kurdish minority:

Farzad Kamangar (alias Siamand) (m), aged 32, teacher, trade unionist

Ali Heydariyan (m)

Farhad Vakili (m)


On 24 November, prison guards entered Farzad Kamangar’s cell in Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison. It is reported that the prison guards beat Farzad Kamangar, threatened him with execution, and took him out of the cell, along with some of his personal belongings. Later that day, another prisoner reported seeing him in the prison clinic, apparently unconscious. Farzad Kamangar is now believed to have been returned to his cell.

In Iran, the removal of a detainee from their cell often signals that the person may be executed imminently. Amnesty International is therefore concerned that despite a review of his case being underway, Farzad Kamangar remains at risk of execution.

Farzad Kamangar was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other members of the Kurdish minority, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006. The three men were sentenced to death on 25 February 2008 after being convicted of “moharebeh” (enmity towards God), a charge levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state, in connection with their alleged membership of the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili also received additional sentences of 10 years’ imprisonment for forging documents. Under Iranian law, they must serve their prison sentences before being executed. The death sentences of all three men were upheld by the Supreme Court. However, Farzad Kamangar's lawyer has submitted his case to a judicial review panel in an effort to have his death sentence overturned. Under Iranian law, death sentences cannot be carried out while under review.

Prior to his trial, Farzad Kamangar was held incommunicado, tortured and otherwise ill-treated, including by being beaten, flogged, and electrocuted. He is now said to suffer from spasms in his arms and legs. He was tried in unfair proceedings, during which his access to his lawyer was restricted. Farzad Kamangar has been prohibited, on several occasions and for prolonged periods of time, from seeing his lawyer and family members.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Kurds, who are one of Iran’s minorities, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. For many years, some Kurdish political parties such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala – all of which are illegal in Iran – have taken up arms against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Another armed group, the Kurdistan Independent Life Party (PJAK), continues to carry out armed attacks against Iranian security and government. Iran has accused foreign governments of fomenting unrest among the country's ethnic minorities.

The scope of capital crimes in Iran remains extremely broad. Judges have discretionary powers to impose the death penalty for certain offences, including those relating to national security. No other person convicted of membership of the PKK has been sentenced to death.



Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: Ronak Safazadeh is a student, a women’s rights activist as well as a member of Azarmehr Association of Women of Kurdistan and a member of One Million Signature Campaign. Ms. Safazedeh has been in pre-trial custody for 15 months and still no trial date has been set for her case.

As a result of severe physical and psychological torture, as well as terrible prison conditions she suffers from numerous illnesses and requires immediate medical attention outside of prison.

Although Ms. Safazadeh’s family and lawyer have requested medical treatment for her, no attention has been paid to this request by prison officials and Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj. It must be mentioned that Ms. Safazadeh suffers from very serious infections, especially in her ear and teeth which has gotten much worse in the recent days, yet the authorities have refused for the fourth time to allow her to seek medical attention outside of prison.



Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: Although 14 months has passed since the arrest of Hana Abdi and two months since she was exiled to Razn Prison in the City of Hamedan, her family’s efforts to secure a 10 day prison leave for her have not been successful.

A few days ago Ms. Abdi’s family went to the Revolutionary Courts in the city of Sanandaj to follow up on her case, however the judge in charge of Ms. Abdi’s case claimed that he knew nothing about her exile, and the file was transferred to the court of appeal for review.

The fact that the Judge on her file has claimed that he knows nothing about her exile has caused her family great concern.

Ms. Abdi has been charged with acting against national security and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and exile to Razn Prison in the city of Hamedan.

Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: In the past few days security forces have started arresting a number of residents of Margawar near the City of Orumiyeh.

Also Mr. Saeed Fahim Ibrahimi, the resident of Gerdoan Margwar and Vahid Abdollah Zadeh, the resident of the Village of Dijez were also arrested and are currently in detention centre of Ministry of Intelligence in the City of Oroumiyeh.

These individuals have been charged with being members of Kurdish Opposition Groups.
Further number of other individuals are under surveillance by the security forces and the number of arrests in this area has been more than it has actually been reported.

Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: A Kurdish activist Mr. Naser Sabri, resident of Yek-Lange Tilakoo, from the city of Kamyaran was arrested one month ago by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials and has not been heard of since.

Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: After the funeral of a Sepah-e Pasdaran official Saeed Mohammad Rasuli a Kurdish activist Mr. Behzad Jamei was arrested for filming the funeral with his mobile phone and since then he has been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence office for questioning a number of times.

Further, Security forces have searched Mr. Jamei’s home numerous times and have confiscated a number of his personal belongings including his computer and his books.
It has been reported that the deceased Sepha’e Pasdaran official has lost his life in an armed conflict with Guerillas from Kurdisan Hayat Azad Party.

Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan: A Kurdish Activists Mr. Rafigh Zolghadr’s who was arrested 20 days ago is being subjected to severe physical and psychological torture, in the Sepahe Pasdaran detention Centre.

Sepahe Pasdaran officials attacked Mr. Zolghadr’s home at 3:00 am 20 days ago and after searching his home they arrested and transferred him to the Sepahe Pasdaran Detention Centre.

In an interview with Student Council of Human Rights in Kurdistan a family member of Mr. Zolghadr has indicated that they were able to have a five (5) minute visit with him, where they saw that Mr. Zolghadr had been severely tortured. According to this family member Mr. Zolghadr has told this family member that he was forcefully undressed, cold water was thrown on him and then he was whipped mercilessly.

Tonight I am dedicating my post the real heros’ of the student movement, those who are fighting against the Islamic Regime IN Iran. In the past few days I have come across these amazing videos, of brave Iranian Students questioning and standing up against the Regime. To be in Iran and do what they do is nothing short of amazing.

These are the two videos I found of the 16 Azar Demonstrations Video 1, for those of you who do not speak Farsi, in the first video the students are playing the pre-revolution national anthem “Ey Iran”, and seconds later it seems like the students are being attacked by the Regime Agents, perhaps the Basij who are screaming “mikosham, mikosham, harke baradam kosht” meaning I will kill, I will kill whoever killed my brother.

In the second Video In the second video the students are chanting “Marg bar dictator” meaning death to dictator, and “Niruye Entezami khejalat, khejalat” meaning Security Forces, shame, shame.

This one is of a student in Shiraz University Video I am still amazed about this one, to be in Iran and to say I hate Ahmadinejad... to be in Iran and oppose the Regime knowing the risks, while so called student leaders in the United States are insisting on working within the legal framework of the Islamic Regime...

The student movement is strong and very much alive, no doubt about it...There are real heros, faceless, brave and strong and tonight I am dedicating my post to all of those faceless Iranian Heros.

Long Live the Student Movement



The Kurdish Students in Tehran University have issued a statement on December 5th 2008 indicating that due to the undemocratic nature of not only the Islamic Regime but also the various opposition groups and organizations against Kurdish people, they will not be participating in the Student Day demonstrations this year.

Please find their Farsi statement here…

Student Counil of Human Rights in Kurdistan

Mr. Topoz is a political prisoner who was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment on charges of membership in Kurdistan Workers Party. He has been serving his sentence in the Omrumiye Prison for the past 2.5 years, however five (5) days ago he was taken to an unknown location and there has been no news about his whereabouts since that time.

Mr. Topoz was a very active participant in the nationwide hunger strike of the Kurdish Political Prisoners and his “exile” from Orumiyeh Prison maybe related to the role he played in the hunger strike.


Mr. Topoz is 30 years old and suffers from numerous illnesses. The 47 day nationwide hunger strike he participated in led to his health suffering even more and there is great concern for his health and well being.

The Officials of the Orumiyeh Prison had threatened political prisoners with exile if they were to take part in the hunger strike, however once the hunger strike got underway they started negotiating with the prisoners and promised to meet some of their demands.

It has been reported that three (3) other political prisoners in Orumiyeh Prison have been exiled to the cities of Ghazvin, Tabriz and Ardebil in the past few days.

Mr. Omar chapraz who is 32 years old and is serving a 13 year prison sentence for membership in the Kurdistan Workers Party has been exiled to Ardebil Prison. Mr. Jomhur Azghuch who is 53 years old has been transferred to Tabriz Prison and Mr. Changiz Amouyi has been exiled to Ghazvin Prison. Before their transfers these prisoners were informed that they would have to serve seven (7) years of their sentence in exile.

Further the crack down on Kurdish women and student activists continues and this maybe a technique used by the Regime to prevent any further nationwide action by the Kurdish prisoners and activists.

Student Council of Human Rights in Kurdistan



According to the latest news received about Mr. Khazar Rasoul Morout, he has had his visitation rights revoked along with another political prisoner Mr. Salar Yareh.

In a conversation with Mr. Morouts’ family it was indicated that his family has gone to the prison to try to visit him on many occasions in the past two weeks, however they have not been successful. In fact they have been told by prison officials that political prisoners do not have the same visitation rights as common non-political prisoners. (There is no legal basis for this assertion)

Both Mr. Khazar Rsoul Morouti and Mr. Salar Yareh were residents of “Talavo”. They were arrested on August 14t 2008 when they were attacked and arrested by “Sepah” Officials while returning from their family farm. They were both subjected to brutal torture before being transferred to “Mezbur’ Prison. Further they informed their families that they were taken to an unknown location on August 20th 2008, while blindfolded and threatened into signing some “unknown” documents.

It must be mentioned that Mr. Morout was a literature major at Orumiye University as well as a “mother tongue” activist who was teaching Kurdish language at an organization called “Suma”.

Student Council of Human Rights in Kurdistan

I would like to bring everyones' attention to a new human rights organization
کانون دانشجویان مدافع حقوق بشر کردستان which is an organization created by Kurdish students with the goal of bringing awareness about the recent crackdown on Kurdish Students by the Islamic Regime.

As many of you may be aware, in the past few months many Kurdish students have been expelled from University, many more have been arrested and are being held without charge. Also numerous student activists have been sentenced to very long prison terms (8+ years). This new group is dedicated to bringing awareness about this new wave of crackdown and to keep us updated about the latest news coming from inside Iran.

I invite everyone to visit this site; I believe there is a lot of useful and accurate information on it.

Dear Readers,

I have not been able to keep my blog updated in the last little while, as I have been extremely busy with a number of projects. I have received numerous emails from readers who are concerned about the lack of updated news on my blog for the last little while so I thought I would fill everyone in on what I have been working on.

1. As many of you may be aware recently the Islamic Regime has started a major crackdown on Kurdish Students, which has included expulsion, arrests and extremely lengthy and unusual prison terms. I have been working with some friends inside and outside of Iran on a campaign in this regard. It will be a little while before we get that going, but that has taken up a lot of my time.

2. I recently received numerous emails and comments on my blog asking me to focus on religious minorities who are facing persecution in Iran, and in particular to write more about the persecution of Bahai Community. To that end I have made contact with the Canadian Bahai National Centre in Toronto to become more informed and up to date about the persecution of Bahai Community in Iran. (In fact I just came back from a meeting with them) I will write something about this group and their activities as well as our meeting in the very near future. As well expect to hear a lot more about the persecution of Bahai Community in Iran in the near future.

3. Recently an article was published in the Macleans Magazine titled Why did the Foreign Affairs Department rebuff a witness in the Kazemi affair? Which indicates that the Canadian Government has turned away a very valuable witness who may have been helpful in the prosecution of those responsible for Zahra Kazemi’s death. I have also been trying to publicize this issue as much as possible in any way that I can.

4. Of course I have also been translating, translating and translating...

5. I have also been looking into making a website which I think would be much more effective than a blog.

To make the long story short I am here and working very hard, although my blog may not reflect that at the moment. Currently I am in an “organization” stage which I think is crucial if I want to be effective in what I do. Please remain tuned for all the new developments which should be on my blog very soon. In the meantime please keep your comments and suggestions coming...


November 25th is a special day marked by women’s rights activists worldwide to bring awareness and take action against violence against women.

On this very important day I’d like to take a moment to remember my female comrades in Iran who take great risks in fighting for their rights as well as the rights of others in the Iranian society. Today Iranian women are at the frontline of fight against injustice, women are running campaigns to end discriminatory laws against women, they are running organizations to defend the rights of ethnic and religious minorities just to name a few...They can be seen at most major protests and gatherings, not in the back but on the front line shoulder to shoulder with their male comrades.

On this special day I would like to announce my solidarity with female activists in Iran who fight relentless against injustice, regardless of any personal consequence to themselves.

Long Live Freedom


Negin Sheykhol Al-Islami who is the founder of the Azar Mehr Women's Social and Cultural Society of Kurdistan was released today (Sunday November 23rd 2008) from Section 2009 of the Evin Prison where she was imprisoned for 49 days.

Three weeks before her arrest Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami had undergone a serious medical surgery which caused great concern for her health and well being in Prison. This led numerous national and international human rights organizations to voice concern for Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami's health and well being and ask for her immediate and unconditional release.

Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami a human rights activist, founder of Azar Mehr Women's Social and Cultural Society of Kurdistan and a journalist was arrested on September 5th 2007 and transferred to solitary cells in Section 209 of the Evin Prison. No trial date has been set for Ms. Sheykhol Al-Islami.

By: Ahmad Andaryari
Translation: Sayeh Hassan

Name: Fasih ( Fateh) Yasmini.
Date of Birth: 1360 Iranian Calendar.
National Identity Number: 613

Conviction: Death Sentence.
Health: Suffering from Neurological disorder and epilepsy.
Seven months ago in his Village, ( Hendawan) part of Khoy County was arrested with his father by the Iranian authorities. His father Mr Hussein Yasmini, 65 years old has been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.

Mr. Yasmini has been accused of being a member one of the Kurdish political parties, and fighting against the national security of Iran. Fasih Yasmini was convicted and sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court in Khoy, Court room one. According to some sources his conviction had been issued 10-15 days before the Trial.

His Case has been sent to the Court of Appeal in West Azerbayjan Province, Court of Appeal, Branch 10.

His case reference number in the Court of Appeal: 870975/87/10

Defendant: Iranian Intelligent services (ETelaiat)

He has been sentenced on bases of documents that were provided by the Iranian Intelligent service on trial date. Mr. Yasmini claims that he has been repeatedly under the brutal torture in order to sign Etelaits document.

His family is extremely worried about their sons well being and health situation.

By: Ahmad Andaryari

Peter MacKay’s vow to seek justice for a tortured and murdered Canadian was decisive and explicitly clear. “Mark my words,” he said as minister of foreign affairs in June 2006. “This individual is on notice. If there is any way Canada can bring this person to justice, we’ll do it.”

The individual supposedly on notice was Saeed Mortazavi, the prosecutor general of Tehran. Mortazavi supervised and may have taken part in the violent interrogations of Canadian Zahra Kazemi, who, in 2003, was arrested for taking photographs of a vigil outside Tehran’s Evin prison, where most Iranian political prisoners are held. She was tortured and brutally raped while in custody, and died of her injuries. No one in Iran has ever been convicted for the murder. But upon hearing that Mortazavi would be part of Iran’s delegation to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, MacKay asked German authorities to arrest Mortazavi if he stopped in Germany. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada had requested Mortazavi be detained so he could be prosecuted for “crimes against humanity.”

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the adoption of a resolution on the human rights situation in Iran, following a vote at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly earlier today.

"The adoption of this resolution is a clear signal of the international community's concern for the human rights of people in Iran. It sends a message of hope to the victims of state-sponsored brutality and to the human rights defenders who seek to effect positive change in Iran," said Minister Cannon. "At the same time, the Iranian regime is called upon to respect fully its human rights obligations, in law and in practice."

With the passing of this resolution, Canada continues its leadership in the world by serving as the lead coordinator for this resolution, which expresses serious concern about the systemic human rights violations committed by the Government of Iran. The resolution was co-sponsored by 42 other UN member states and was supported by 70 in the vote earlier today. As in previous years, the Iranian delegation attempted to use procedural manoeuvres to block the Committee from considering the resolution on its merits. Yet again, the Iranian efforts to hide their abuses failed.

Pursuant to the resolution adopted last year, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a report highlighting serious violations of human rights in Iran, such as the execution of juveniles, stoning and amputation, widespread discrimination against cultural, religious and linguistic minorities, censorship, and harassment of human rights defenders and women's rights activists.

"With this resolution, and those presented in previous years, international attention has been drawn to the flagrant human rights abuses in Iran," said Minister Cannon. "We continue to call on the Iranian government to take concrete steps to respect the human rights of all people in Iran.

"We will continue to promote Canadian values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, on the world stage. All Canadians can be proud of Canada's principled foreign policy."

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
www.international.gc.ca/index.aspx

PUBLIC
AI Index: MDE 13/167/2008
UPDATE
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
13 November 2008
Further Information on UA 74/08 (MDE 13/050/2008, 17 March 2008) Prisoner of conscience / Torture

IRAN

Abbas Lisani (or Leysani) (m), activist

Prisoner of conscience, Abbas Lisani, was released from Yazd Prison in central Iran, on 29 October 2008 after serving two consecutive sentences totalling 30 months’ imprisonment.

A prominent activist for the rights of the Iranian Azerbaijani minority, Abbas Lisani was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and 50 lashes after he was convicted of taking part in a May 2006 demonstration by Iranian Azerbaijanis in his home town of Ardabil. The demonstration was staged to protest against a cartoon published in an Iranian newspaper which many Iranian Azerbaijanis found offensive. His sentence was confirmed on appeal in October 2006. The flogging sentence has not been yet carried out.

Abbas Lisani's second prison sentence of one year was passed in August 2006 and confirmed later on appeal, in connection with his participation in a peaceful cultural gathering at Babek Castle in 2003. In April 2008 he also received a fine of 50,000 Toman (about US $50,125) by a court in Tabriz, north-western Iran, on charges of “disturbing public order” during another gathering in Tabriz in June 2005.

During his detention Abbas Lisani went on several hunger strikes including in protest against his transfer to Yazd Prison and his harsh treatment there. He was then deprived of temporary prison leave as permitted in Iranian law.

On 7 October 2008, Abbas Lisani was taken to the offices of the Intelligence Services in Yazd where he was subjected to 10 hours’ interrogation during which he was questioned about his plans after his release. The interrogation took place in presence of members of the Security force from his north western hometown, Ardebil. A few days prior to his release, the General Prosecutor and the Intelligence Services of Ardebil threatened Abbas Lisani's family that he would be arrested again should he take part in any event or movement in an Azerbaijani city.

Mr. Masoud Hossein Panahi, a political activist residing in the city of Dehgolan was arrested on October 29th 2008. He was arrested in his home by security forces and taken to a detention center in the city of Ghorveh.

Mr. Panahi was previously arrested and imprisoned for one month in 2007 and again for 10 days in 2008, for his participation in a gathering protesting against the death sentence against Mr. Anwar Hossein Panahi.

There is no information about why Mr. Panahi has been arrested or what he has been charged with. His family has tried to obtain information about his whereabouts adn the reason for his arrest however they have not been successful. Mr. Panahi's family is extremely concerned about his safety and well being.

By: Ahmad Andaryari
Translation: Sayeh Hassan

On November 8th 2008 Mr. Ismail Gorgi, a political activists who had previously been sentenced to two (2) years imprisonment by teh Revolutionary Courts in the City of Mahabad was re-arrested.

According to news recieved Mr. Gorgi had prevoiusly been charged with working with various Kurdish organizations and as a result was sentenced to two years imprisonment. He had also been arrested on similar charges in the city of Bukan and subjected to physical torture for months before being released on bail.

He is currently in custody.

Ahmad Andaryari

In the past few days and through different sources we have received very troubling news in regards to the oppression of Kurdish students in Iran. Currently at least one student Mr. Habiblollah Lotfi who is a student at the “Payame Nour” University has been sentenced to death.

Further from “Razi” University in Kermanshah Mr. Sattar Parvizi has been sentenced to 16 years of imprisonment, Mr. Khabat Yousefi to 13 years of imprisonment and Mr. Hosseing Rahmani to 6 years of imprisonment.

In further disturbing news the Revolutionary Court in the City of Sanandaj sentenced Mr. Yaser Goli to 10 years of imprisonment. Mr. Goli is a student at a private university in the City of Sanandaj. Mr. Goli is also a social work Major, the president of The “Democratic Organization of Kurdish Students in Iran.” He is also an editor for a Farsi Kurdish Student newsletter in the University of Sanandaj.

Further the 3 year prison sentence agasint Mr. Khazur Rasoulmorut has been confirmed by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Appeal. Mr. Morut was a literature major in the University of Sanandaj, he resided in the village of “Talavo” where the residents are mostly of Kurdish ethnicity. Mr. Mourt also taught Kurdish language.

Also news received from the Evin Prison indicates that two Kurdish students Mr. Sabah Nasri and Mr. Hedayat Ghazali were taken to solitary cells and have been subjected to continuous interrogation for the past 20 days. The reason behind this is their involvement in a hunger strike.

The arrest of Kurdish Students also continues. A student named Varya Moruti was arrested in the city of Sanandaj and take to an unknown location. Mr. Moruti is a 25 year old student at “Payame Nour” University. He is also a member of a group called “Jiyareveh”. He was arrested at his home.

Two other Kurdish students Mr. Pejman Zafari and Mr. Peyman Hosseini who had been arrested a few months ago were released on a 30 million toman bail.

Currently there are at least 15 Kurdish students in Islamic Regime Prisons. These individuals are:

1. Habbibollah Lotfi- death sentence
2. Yaser Goli- 10 years imprisonment
3. Sattar Parvizi- 16 years imprisonment
4. Khebat Yousefi- 13 years imprisonment
5. Hossein Rahmani- 6 years imprisonment
6. Sabah Nasri- Originally sentenced to 2 years, court of appeal reduced it to 1.5 years
7. Hedayat Ghazali- Originally sentenced to 2 years, court of appeal reduced it to 1.5 years.
8. Khodro Rasoul Morut- 3 years imprisonment
9. Jamal Rahmani- 6 years imprisonment
10. Amir Reza Ardalan- Originally sentenced to 1 year imprisonment, court of appeal reduced it to 6 months.
11. Rashid Abdollahi- 3 years imprisonment.
12. Ms. Hanna Abdi-Originally sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, it was reduced to 1.5 years.
13. Ms. Ronak Safarzadeh- She is in custody, no conviction or sentencing as of yet.
14. Siyvan Farokhnejad- In custody, no conviction or sentence as of yet
15. Varya Moruti- In custody, no conviction or sentence as of yet.


The following news report was recieved by the organizers of Berxodan, Zendan va Mobareze.

Translated by: Sayeh Hassan

Last Thursday October 30th 2008 three political activists who had been charged with communicating with a Kurdish political organization were sentenced by the Revolutionary Courts in the City of Sanandaj.

Mr. Lotfollah Lotfipour was sentenced to two (2) years of imprisonment, Mr. Shamsollah Lotfipour to six (6) years of imprisonment, Mr. Shafigh Morad Veysi to one (1) year imprisonment and an individual only known as Jalal to five (5) years of imprisonment.

Further Mohammad Kaabi, who was arrested a few months earlier and was incarcerated in the main prison in the City of Sanandaj, in a specific section which is under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence was released on a 50 Million Toman bail.

Majid Vaysi (25, M), the son of Karim, from a small village called Mirananmak, close to the city of Salat Babajani, in the province of Kermanshah was arrested by the Regime Agents last week and taken to the detention centre for Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Kermanshah. He has been charged with working with Kurdish opposition groups. Since his arrest Mr. Vaysi has not been able to make any phone calls to his family or have any visitations with them. He has also been prevented from using his right to counsel.

By: Ahmad Andaryari

An individual named Mohammad Sadiq Mohammadi, from a small village called Ghasaryan, close to the city of Sanandaj was arrested on October 22nd 2008 by Islamic Regime Agents, without an arrest warrant. He was taken to an un-known location, and so far there has been no news about his whereabouts or health condition. His family is extremely concerned about his well being.

By: Ahmad Andaryari

Mr. Afshin Shams has been sentenced to one year imprisonment by the Revolutionary Courts in the City of Esfehan. he has been convicted of advertising against the Islamic Regime and being in contact with opposition groups outside of the country.

He has been sentenced based on Section 500 of the Islamic Iranian Criminal Code which states: Anyone who advertises agaisnt the Islamic Regime or in support of any opposition group working against the Islamic Regime will be sentenced to anywhere between three months (3) to one year imprisonment.

On Sunday October 26th 2008 two Kurdish political activists Mr. Vriya Eskandari and Mr. Diyako Ghobadi were arrested in the city of Kamyaran, by the secret police and transferred to an unknown location.

There is no information in regards to the charges against these two individuals. The families of these activists have tried to obtain information about their whereabouts both from the police and the judiciary, however they have not been successful. The families of these individuals are extremely concerned about their safety and well being.


Mohammad Saleh Ayomand who is a Kurdish student studying social sciences in Tehran University was arrested on December 18th 2007. he was one of the four (4) students arrested as a result of organizing an event to commemorate student day. He was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence Officials and sent to Evin Prison.

After 92 days of imprisonment he was released on a 150 Million Toman bail, which was later reduced to 80 Million Toman. On October 29th 2008 he was sentenced to four (4) years of imprisonment by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Courts and his sentence was announced by his lawyer.

It is worth mentioning that Mr. Oyamand’s trial was adjourned on August 31st 2008 due to the absence of the prosecutor. On October 4th the Court proceeded with the trial behind closed doors and without a jury. Further Mr. Saleh Oyamand has also been permanently expelled from University and will not be allowed to continue his education.

Mr. Oyamand was charged with the following and convicted of the first four (4) charges:

1. Being present at a gathering commemorating Student Day on December 18th 2007
2. Acting against national security through advertisement against the Regime
3. Communication with Kurdish groups and organizations
4. Organizing gatherings with the purpose of overthrowing the Regime
5. Earning an illegal income
6. Leaving and re-entering the country illegally.

The Revolutionary Courts have announced that they do not have jurisdiction over charge #5-6 and have traversed the charges to an ordinary court to be dealt with accordingly.

As a result of charge #1-4 Mr. Saleh Oyamand has been sentenced to four (4) years of imprisonment by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Courts.

Sayeh Hassan

چندماه پیش در جریان اعلام محکومیت حبس من، یکی از وکلا در گفتگو با صدای دویچه‌له آلمان گفته بود {نمی‌دانم چرا.... کبودوند این همه بدشانسی می‌آورد. او واقعا بی‌گناه است ولی نه در داخل کشور و نه در روزنامه‌های داخلی هیچ‌گونه نامی از ایشان برده نمیشود... او مورد ظلم واقع شده...} از این وکیل محترم تشکر می‌کنم ولی خود ایشان که در برخی از روزنامه‌های نزدیک به اصلا‌ح‌طلبان حکومتی قلم زنی می‌کند، در جریان دادگاهی حاضر نشده و پس از آن دفاع ننمود و حتی در تهیه دفاعیه نیز هیچ‌گونه کمکی به ما نکرد. اما در مورد تحریم، بایکوت من به عنوان عضوی از جامعه سرکوب شده کرد و فردی مستقل، مواردی بر شرح ذیل قابل ذکر است:

اول اینکه: در حال حاضر سامانه مبتنی بر آپارتاید سیاسی- قضایی و رسانه‌ای- خبری در کشور حکمفرمایی می‌کند که ملیت‌های حاشیه ایرانی، اقلیت‌های ملی، مذهبی، اقوام، هویت‌طلبان، ناراضیان و مخالفان سیاسی و منتقدان جدی حکومت در شمولیت این آپارتاید چندجانبه قرار دارند.

دوم اینکه: مردم کرد در ایران به عنوان یک ملیت در حاشیه قرار گرفته به دلیل مبارزات و فعالیت‌های سیاسی و مدنی ده‌هاسال است به طور وسیعی در زیر تیغ آپارتاید حاکم قرار دارند. هویت جویان‌، حق‌طلبان، آزادی خواهان و فعالان سیاسی و مدنی کرد، عموماً با چماق تجزیه‌طلبی مورد سرکوبی قرار می‌گیرند، به طور گریزناپذیری قربانی محوری سامانه آپارتاید چندجانبه موجوداند.

سوم اینکه: جمعیت‌ها و مجامع نزدیک به حاکمیت به نام دفاع از مردم و یا اصناف، قشر خاصی و یا زندانیان، فعالیت‌هایی دارند که به برکت رانت‌های سیاسی، تبلیغی و رسانه‌ای حکومت و پیرامونی‌هایش موقعیتی یافته‌اند، اما این جمعیت‌ها به جای دفاع از ستمدیدگان و زندانیان مدنی و سیاسی بی‌گناه، گاه مراسم‌های تشویق و تقدیر از زندانبانان برپا می‌دارند و البته با پیروی از آموزه‌ها، روش‌ها و سیاست‌های تبعیض‌آمیز حاکمیت تنظیم رفتارهایشان برمبنای «خودی» و «غیرخودی» بودن کمک‌جویان و افرادی که آنها ادعای دفاع از آنها را دارند پنهان‌پذیر نیست، رفتار تبعیض‌آمیز اینگونه گروه‌ها در قبال زندانیان، فعالان سیاسی و مدنی و حقوق بشری و سکوت آنها در مواجه با نقض حقوق بشر در اساسی ترین موارد، ترجمان ماهیت واقعی جمعیت‌های احتمالاً حکومت ساخته است.

چهارم اینکه دفاع از حقوق بشر برمبنای این ایده که «نقض گسترده حقوق بشر و شکنجه و حبس و اعدام هزاران بیگناه در «آمار» است و نقض حقوق بشر یک فرد «تراژدی»‌است» چشم‌اندازی نگران کننده و ناامیدکننده از وضعیت حقوق بشر در جهان ارائه می‌دهد. مواضع برخی نهادهای منطقه‌ای و بین‌المللی از جمله اتحادیه اروپا که در قبال احضار به دادگاه یک یا برخی افراد واکنش نشان می‌دهند و اما در قبال نقض فاحش حقوق بسیاری دیگر از افراد، سکوت می‌کنند، تداعی‌گر حکمفرمایی ایده مذکور بر جنبش‌های جهانی و اوضاع حقوق بشر در دنیا است.

ششم اینکه: کوشندگان مستقل مدنی و سیاسی و حقوق بشری به دلیل استقلال فکری و عملی‌شان توسط منفعلان و عافیت‌طلبان و آنهایی که از دور دستی بر آتش دارند به اتهام‌های ناروا و بی‌پایه و اساس متهم می گردند، که اینگونه اتهام زدن‌ها اقدامی ستمکارانه و نقض حقوق بشر است که در راستای ضربه‌زدن به حقوق بشر انجام می‌پذیرد.

سرانجام اینکه اخیراً شنیده شده برخی از به اصطلاح منتقدان و مخالفان حکومت در اتهام‌زنی گوی سبقت را از دستگا‌ه‌های امنیتی و قضایی جمهوری اسلامی ربوده و مرا به جدایی‌طلبی متهم کرده‌اند و در اینجا لازم به بیان است که هرگاه دستگاه‌های زورمدار اطلاعاتی و امنیتی به مدارکی دال بر تجزیه طلب بودن من دست می‌یافتند به طور قطع از آن در جهت توجیه محکومیتم استفاده می‌کردند ولی گویا همین دستگاه زورمدار از اتهام زنندگان اخیرالذکر که متاسفانه با الفبای حقوق بشر و دموکراسی نیز بیگانه‌اند منصف‌تر بوده است. حکم محکومیت من که از سوی وزارت اطلاعات صادر و به امضای دستگاهی موسوم به دادگاه انقلاب رسیده، شامل 10 سال حبس برای تشکیل و اداره جمعیت سازمان حقوق بشر کردستان، یک سال حبس جهت تبلیغ علیه نظام از طریق گفت‌وگو با رسانه‌های خارجی مخالف، و در حکمی دیگر 6 ماه حبس برای تشویش اذهان عمومی از طریق هفته‌نامه «پیام مردم» مجموعاً یازده‌ و نیم سال می‌باشد.

البته این احکام وجاهت حقوقی و قانونی ندارند و من حقیقتاً هیچ‌گونه جرمی مرتکب نشده‌ام، چنانکه اگر من در یک دادگاه صالح و مستقل علنی یا منصف محاکمه می‌گردیدم نه تنها حتی برای یک روز هم محکوم به حبس نمی‌شدم، بلکه برعکس کسانی که مرا زندانی کرده‌اند به جای من محکوم به زندان می‌گردیدند. اما از آنجا که من کرد هستم، کردی که معتقد است که باید به سوءاستفاده حاکمیت از جهل و فقر مردمان پایان دهد، کردی که بر این باور است که باید حقوق خود را شناخت و از آن دفاع کرد، خطرناک معرفی شده‌ام و مستوجب مجازاتی ظالمانه و مورد تبعیض‌ام، چون کردم و مستقل، و این امروز شاید وجدانهای خفته و خفتگان را بیدار نمی‌کند اما دور نیست بیداری وجدان‌های عمومی.

I recieved this letter from Ahmad Andaryari, a journalist who is in direct contact with Mr. Kaboudvand's family. I hope to translate this letter to English as soon as possible.


Mr. Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, who is the founder of Kurdistan Human Rights Organization was arrested in the summer of 2007. He was charged with “founding the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, as well as widespread propaganda against the state by disseminating news and sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment and subjected to severe torture.

Recently the Islamic Revolutionary Appeal Court upheld the 11 year jail sentence against Mr. Kaboudvand, it seems like he is forced to serve the remaining 10.5 years in prison. It must be mentioned that since his arrest 16 months ago, Mr. Kaboudvand has been allowed only one visitation with his family. He is currently suffering from numerous illnesses and his visitation privileges have been revoked.

both Mr. Kaboudvand and the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization have asked for the help of human rights groups and organizations as well as activists to publicize the treatmetn and the heavy sentence imposed on Mr. Kaboudvand and to condemn the Islamic Regime for their treatment of human rights activists.

I invite all freedom loving people, groups and organizations to speak up against this great injustice. Please find below a letter from Kurdistan Human Rights Organization (in Farsi, the translation of which I will try to post in the next day or so)detailing Mr. Kaboudvand's situation.


حکم سنگین زندان فعال حقوق بشر تائید شد

سازمان دفاع از حقوق بشر کردستان
دادگاه تجدیدنظر انقلاب اسلامی تهران، سرانجام با تائید رای شعبه 15 دادگاه انقلاب محکومیت ده سال حبس بنیانگذار حقوق بشر کردستان را قطعی نمود.

آقای محمدصدیق کبودوند موسس سازمان حقوق بشر کردستان، مدیر مسئول و سردبیر هفته‌ نامه «پیام مردم» در اوایل تابستان سال گذشته دستگیر، و به اتهام تشکیل جمعیت مدافع حقوق بشر و دعوت از جمهوری اسلامی به پایبندی به تعهدات حقوق بشری و دفاع از حقوق بشر و افشای موارد نقض آن در گفتگو با رسانه‌های عمومی، به یازده سال حبس توأم با شکنجه محکوم گردید.

A woman from Iran’s Arab community disappeared after arrest yesterday. Such conditions jeopardize her physical security.

PUBLIC
AI Index: MDE 13/152/2008

UA 286/08
Incommunicado detention / Fear of torture or other ill-treatment
20 October 2008

IRAN

Jamila Nabgan (f), aged 43


Jamila Nabgan, a member of the Arab minority in Iran was arrested at her home on 19 October by officers from the Ministry of Intelligence. Her whereabouts are unknown and she is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

At 6am on 19 October 2008 plainclothes officers from the Ministry of Intelligence searched Jamila Nabgan's family home in the town of Shush, Khuzestan province, for about an hour and a half before arresting her. Her arrest seems linked to the help the Iranian authorities believe she gave to her sister-in-law, Ma’soumeh Ka’bi to flee Iran in May 2008. Ma’soumeh Ka’bi and her five children were forcibly returned to Iran from Syria on 27 September 2008 (See UA 279/08, MDE 13/147/2008, 10 October 2008).

Jamila Nabgan, wife of Ali Chaab and the mother of seven children, was previously arrested in May 2008 and held for two days at the Intelligence Ministry detention facility in Ahwaz and questioned about her sister-in-law’s flight to Syria. She is also the sister of Habib Nabgan, a prominent member of the Lejnat al-Wefaq (Reconciliation Committee), a political party which promotes the rights of the Arab minority in Iran. Habib Nabgan was resettled as a refugee in Denmark two years ago.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Much of the Arab community in Iran lives in the province of Khuzestan, which borders Iraq. The Arab minority in Iran have complained of discrimination, including in access to resources, as well as forced evictions. There were mass demonstrations in April 2005, after it was alleged that the government planned to disperse the country's Arab population or to force them to relinquish their Arab identity. Following bomb explosions in Ahvaz City in June and October 2005, which killed at least 14 people and explosions at oil installations in September and October 2005, hundreds of people were arrested. Further bombings on 24 January 2006, in which at least six people were killed, were followed by further mass arrests. At least 17 men have now been executed as a result of their alleged involvement in the bombings. It is not clear if another man was executed or died in custody.

Article 15 of the Iranian Constitution states: “The official language and script of Iran… is Persian… However, the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Persian.” Lejnat Al-Wefaq was established in 1999 to promote the rights of the Arab minority in Iran, including linguistic and cultural rights, but the party was declared illegal on 4 November 2006, and a statement from the Ahvaz Prosecutor's office said that “membership and connection with that party will be severely confronted."


The cases of Ronak Safarzadeh and Yaser Goli two Kurdish students from the city of Sanandah who were both arrested 13 months has still not been dealt with. These two students who were arrested on the charges of acting against national security spent the first three months of their imprisonment in the Ministry of Intelligence detention centre in the city of Sanandaj, under severe torture.

Mr. Goli submitted his defence to Section 2 of the Revolutionary Court two months ago, however the Court has refused to issue a judgement in his case. Ms. Safarzadeh started her trial in April of 2008 however after 7 months the Revolutionary Courts refuse to continue with the second part of her trial.

It must be mentioned that both Ms. Safarzadeh and Mr. Goli have been subjected to threats both by the prosecution and by prison officials in Sanandaj, which has been cause of great concern for their families and lawyers.

Ms. Safarzadeh is a women's rights activist and a member of the One Million Signiture Campaign, and Mr. Goli is a student activists.

By: Arez Andaryari
Translated by: Sayeh Hassan



دو دانشجوی کرد پس از 13 ماه بازداشت کماکان در وضعیت نامشخصی میباشند
روناک صفازاده و یاسر گلی دو دانشجوی کرد سنندجی که 13 ماه پیش دستگیر شدند کماکان در وضعیت نامشخصی به سر میبرند.این دو دانشجو که سال گذشته به اتهام اقدام علیه امنیت ملی دستگیر شدند مدت 3 ماه از بازداشت خود را در داره اطلاعات سنندجزیر ازار و شکنجه سپری کردند..لازم به ذکر است که یاسر گلی اخرین دفاعیه خود را 2 ماه پیش نزد شعبه دوم دادگاه انقلاب سنندج ارائه داد اما کماکان از صدور حکم وی خوداری گردیده است.و روناک صفازاده هم اسفند سال گذشته اولین جلسه دادگاهیش برگزار گردید اما بعد از گذشت 7 ماه از برگزاری جلسه دوم دادگاهیش خوداری میگردد.گفتنی است که این دو دانشجو بارها از سوی دادستان،قضات و مسئولین زندان سنندج مورد تهدید قرار گرفته اند که این امر موجب نگرانی خانواده و وکلای انها گردیده است.روناک صفازاده از فعالین حقوق زنان و کمپین یک میلیون امضا می باشد و یاسر گلی نیز از فعالین دانشجویی می باشد.

arezandaryari@gmail.com

A journalist risks torture in Evin Prison.

PUBLIC
AI Index: MDE 13/148/2008

UA 280/08
Arbitrary arrest / Fear of torture
14 October 2008

IRAN

Negin Sheikholeslami (f), human rights defender, journalist, aged 34

According to the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK), Negin Sheikholeslami, a human rights activist from the Kurdish minority in Iran, was arrested at her home in Tehran by members of the security forces at about midnight on 4 October. She is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and needs medical attention for her respiratory problems. A guest who was staying with her was also detained for about an hour, and then released.

Negin Sheikholeslami’s initial whereabouts were unknown, but her husband was told on 9 October 2008 that she was being held in Section 209 of Evin Prison, which is controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence. He was not told the reasons for her arrest and was informed that she would not be allowed to meet anyone until the investigation into her case was complete.

Negin Sheikholeslami is the founder of the Azar Mehr Women’s Social and Cultural Society of Kurdistan, which was founded in Sanandaj in Kordestan Province in 2000. It organizes training and sports activities for women in the city of Sanandaj and elsewhere in Kordestan Province. She is also associated with another human rights organization, the HROK, which reports on human rights violations against Kurds in Iran.

According to the HROK, a month before Negin Sheikholeslami was arrested, she underwent heart surgery and was still recovering from the operation at the time of her arrest. She also has respiratory problems and is in need of medical treatment.

Negin Sheikholeslami has previously been arrested in February 2001 for participating in a demonstration in front of the United Nations office in Tehran, and was released two months later. She was also arrested in January 2002 and was released three months later.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Several prominent Iranian Kurdish human rights defenders are currently detained or imprisoned in Iran after being charged or sentenced on vaguely-worded “security” charges in violation of their right to freedom of expression and association. The founder of the HROK, prisoner of conscience Mohammad Sadigh Kabudvand is serving an 11-year sentence in Tehran. Another activist associated with the HROK and with the women’s movement, Zeynab Beyezidi, was arrested in July 2008 and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment to be spent in internal exile. Her sentence was confirmed on appeal on 23 August 2008. Two other members of Azar Mehr, Ronak Safarzadeh and Hana Abdi, have been detained since October and November 2007. Hana Abdi was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment to be spent in internal exile; this was reduced on appeal to 18 month’s imprisonment to be spent in Razan, Hamedan province. Ronak Safarzadeh is still awaiting the outcome of her trial.

Iran's Kurdish population live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in Kordestan and neighbouring provinces, bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. They have long suffered extensive discrimination. Iranian Kurdish human rights defenders, including community activists and journalists, risk arbitrary arrest and torture.

For more information on human rights violations against the Kurdish minority in Iran, see AI report: Iran: Human rights abuses against the Kurdish minority, at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/088/2008/en/d140767b-5e45-11dd-a592-c739f9b70de8/mde130882008eng.pdf


Mohammad Hassan Falahi Zade, former journalist working in Al Alam TV channel, has gone on hunger strike. He was said to have been dismissed for refusing to work with the Intelligence Ministry agents at work and hence sacked, and later arrested.

Prisoners rights group; Activists in support of Human Rights and Democracy, has reported that Mr. Falahi Zadeh has been protesting against ethnic prejudice used against him has been demanding for his basic rights.
Considering his blood disorder and also previous cases of political prisoners murdered under various pretexts while on hunger strike, such as Akbar Mohammadi and Valiollah Feiz Mahdavi , activists are extremely worried of Mr. Falahie Zades situation.
On his second day of hunger strike, Mr. Falahi Zade was summoned to prison security and threatened by a known " Koorgal".
Mr.Falahi Zade is demanding for his basic rights such as, the right to council, the right to defense and clarification of his charges and an end to psychological torture.

According to reports released by Activists in support for Human Rights and Democracy, Mr. Falahi Zade had revealed news on execution of those charged with bombing attacks in Southern Iran in an interview with Dubai TV and various other Arab media.
Mr. Falahi Zade was arrested on 1 November 2006, transferred to Evin prison and under went White torture. His trial was only a few minutes in which he was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment along with 30 thousand dollars for compensation.

Iranian Political Prisoners Association

روز 5 اکتبر، خانم نگین شیخ الاسلامی، فعال حقوق زنان، فعال حقوق بشر، و همچنی مسێول سابق انجمن زنان آذرمهر کردستان از سوی نیروهای اداره‌اطلاعات شهر تهران دستگیر شد و به‌منظور انجام بازجویی روانه‌سلول انفرادی شد.
تا الان مشخص نیست که‌نگین به‌چه‌اتهامی بازداشت شده‌است.نامبرده‌‌چهره‌ای شناخته‌شده‌و فعال در مورد حقوق زنان در کردستان و ایران می باشد.لازم به‌ذکر است که‌در همگام دستگیری از سوی اطلاعات بعضی از وسایل شخصی او نیز ضبط شده‌و برده‌شد.همچنین اخباری مبنی بر بدرفتاری با او از سوی نیروهای اطلاعات به‌دست رسیده‌است.
ناگفته‌نماند که‌نگین شیخ الاسلامی پیشتر نیز چند بار از سوی نیروهای رژیم ایران در شهر سنندج ‌به‌بهانه‌های مختلف دستگیر و شکنجه‌شده‌بود.اینب ار نیز چون دلیل دستگیری از مشخص نیست، به‌گفته ‌خانواده‌نگین از محل نگهداری او خبر دقیقی در دست نیست.
دستگیری نگین شیخ الاسلامی و بی خبری از او موجب نگرانی شدید خانواده‌او، مردم کردستان و فعالان حقوق بشر و حقوق زنان شده‌است


Published By:
احمد اندریاری
arezandaryari@gmail.com



Ms. Negin Shaykh Alaslami who is a human rights activist, a journalist, former president of Cultural Association of Women of Azarmehr Kurdisatan, as well as a women’s rights activist and a member of One million signature campaign was arrested by the Security Forces on Sunday October 5th 2008 and taken to an unknown location.

Ms. Shaykh Alaslami has worked hard towards equality for women and is a well known women's rights activist in Kurdistan of Iran.

The authorities have not disclosed the reason behind Ms. Shaykh Alaslami's arrest. Ms. Shaykh Alaslami's family, people in "Kurdistan" of Iran as well as many human rights activists in Iran including women's rights activists are extremely concerned about her health and well being.

Published By:
احمد اندریاری
arezandaryari@gmail.com

Translated by: Sayeh Hassan


خانم نگین شیخ الاسلامی فعال حقوق بشر و وزنامه‌نگار دستگیر شد.
خانم نگین شیخ الاسلامی فعال حقوق بشر و وزنامه‌نگار، مسئول سابق انجمن فرهنگی اجتماعی زنان آذر مهر کردستان، فعال جنبش زنان و از اعضای کمپین یک میلیون امضا، عضو مجموعه‌ فعالان حقوق بشر در ایران، صبخ روز 14 مهر ماه‌ در شهر تهران از طرف نیروهای امنیتی ایران دستگیر و به‌ مکانی نامعلوم انتقال داده‌ شد.
خانم شیخ الاسلامی در حیطه‌ کاری خویش، تلاش گسترده‌ایی در راستای رفع تبعیض های موجود بر ضد زنان کرد و ایران بعمل آورده‌ و یکی از چهره‌های سرشناس زن در سطح کردستان و ایران می باشد.
تا بحال هیچ دلیلی برای دستگیری نامبرده‌ محرز نیست.
خانواده‌ شیخ الاسلامی، مردم کردستان و بسیاری از فعالین حقوق بشر در سطح ایران، بویژه‌ فعالین زن، نگران وضعیت ایشان میباشند.


احمد اندریاری
arezandaryari@gmail.com

According to news received from Sanandaj Prison there has been no news about Ms. Hana Abdi and Ms. Ronak Safarzadeh’s health and well being in the past seven (7) days.

Due to the lack of news from these two women’s rights activists their families had gone to the Sanandaj Prison on Saturday October 4th in order to get news regarding their health and well being, however they were informed that the prison officials had decided to cut all contact between these two activists and their families for 3 weeks. There has been no explanation about the reason behind this situation.

The sudden stop of all communication between Ms. Abdi and Ms. Safarzadeh has caused great concern for the families of these two women’s rights activists.

These two activists are currently on a hunger strike and there is a great possibility that they have been taken to solitary confinement where they may face torture.

Ms. Ronak Safarzadeh was arrested in October 9th 2007 and spent months in solitary confinement in the detention centre of Ministry of Intelligence where she was tortured. Currently the status of her case is unknown.

Ms. Hana Abdi (22) who is a psychology student was arrested in November of 2007. She was taken to the detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Sanandaj where she spent months in solitary confinement and was tortured. She was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on May 28th 2008.

There are numerous other female activists in Islamic Regime Prisons. Some of these individuals are Ms. Fatemeh Goftari, Shahla Zarinfar, Shahnaz Keypour, Zahra Osdipour Gonji, and Fatemeh Joushan.

The Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran condemn the fact that the Islamic Regime Officials will not allow the families of these prisoners to communicate with them or get news about their health and well being. Human Rights Activists in Iran are also alerting the international community about the fact that these activists are facing torture and ask all human rights organizations to act immediately to help free all political prisoners and in particular female political prisoners.

Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran


http://pejvakzendanyan.blogfa.com
pejvak_zendanyan10@yahoo.com
pejvakzendanyan@gmail.com
tel. : 0031620720193

Translated By: Sayeh Hassan


According to very recent news from AFP it seems like Khatami is thinking about running for presidency for the third time. Although according to this news article he has two condition, one being " My first condition is reaching an agreement with the people on their expectations. The Iranian people have a historical and heartfelt desire for freedom, progress and justice"

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times...Is he really going to run? And will people really vote for him a third time after he has proven over and over that he is nothing but a wolf in sheep's skin. I don't live in Iran and so all I will offer is a persona opinion, isn't it easier to deal with an actual wolf, then it is to deal with a wolf dressed as a sheep? Atleast with the wolf you know exactly what you're up against and what you have to do.

With Khatami its a whole new ball game, although I guess after so many years there is nothing new about his game. I can only hope that Iranian people are smarter then that. Otherwise wouldn't it be a case of getting what we deserve?

Today October 5th is International Teacher’s Day. A day to remember and pay respect to teachers across the world who teach our children not only about math and science, but also about friendship, love and life.

On this day let us remember two teachers Mr. Farzad Kamangar and Mr. Answar Hossein Panahai who are currently in Islamic Regime prisons waiting for their death sentences to be carried out. Both Mr. Kamangar and Panahi are popular teachers, very much loved by their students. They are also both social activists who have been arrested and sentenced to death based on false charges.

Mr. Kamangar was tortured for months before being tried behind closed doors. He was sentenced to death and his death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court in Iran.

Mr. Panahi was also subjected to brutal torture and sentenced to death after a trial which took place behind closed doors. His death sentence has also been upheld by the Supreme Court in Iran and both individuals are awaiting execution. The death sentence against them can be carried out at any moment. It must be noted that the charges against Mr. Kamangar and Mr. Panahi have never been proved, and there is no evidence that they were anything but teachers and Kurdish social activists.

Mr. Kamangar and Mr. Panahi are both part of the nation wide hunger strike of Kurdish Political and Social prisoners, which started on August 24th 2008. The hunger strike participants are asking for better prison conditions for all prisoners, as well as for an independent committee to visit the prisons and report on the conditions of the prisoners. Unfortunately there has been no response from the Islamic Regime Officials in regards to the demands of the prisoners. Mr. Anwar Panahai has indicated in a recent statement that if the authorities continue to ignore the rightful demands of the prisoners he will be taking his hunger strike to the next level and sew his lips together.

On this special day when we are remembering our teachers I ask that we keep Mr. Kamangar and Mr. Panahi in our hearts and mind, and to do what we can to bring attention to the plight of these individuals who maybe executed at any moment.

Long Live Freedom
Down with Dictatorship


In the Name of Prosperity of Iran

It has been a long time since Mr. Mansour Radpour was taken to Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison (Room 2), this section is also known as the “dark hole” where the prison is not allowed any time of outside contact including phone privileges or visitation.

I was also held in Section 1 of the Prison close to two months and know very well the types of torture Mr. Radpour is being subjected to. The guards in this section only “speak” to prisoners with their plastic and electrical baton’s. The prison is under 24 hour surveillance through a red camera in his cell. Also the prisoners are held with handcuffs at all times and sometimes their feet are cuffed as well.

In the Common ward of this section there are about 15-20 people who suffer from mental illnesses as well as infectious illnesses. These are prisoners who cannot be controlled and most prisoners prefer solitary cells to being in the same common ward as them.

Isn’t it time for the Iranian people and the human rights activists to force the officials of Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison to close the doors of this “dark hole” forever? The dark hole which is used to break down political prisoners and make them give up?

In the hopes of the freedom of Iranian People, and all political prisoners, and the hopes of bringing to justice those whom by continuing their inhumane behaviour help keep the Islamic Regime in power.

Long Live Iran Always
Behrouz Javid Tehrani
The last remaining political prisoner from July 1999 pro-democracy student demonstrations
Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison

Published by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran

pejvak_zendanyan10@yahoo.com
pejvakzendanyan@gmail.com
tel. : 0031620720193


Translated by: Sayeh Hassan

Latest News From Urumiyeh Prison Regarding the Hunger Strike of Kurdish Political Prisoners

The hunger strike of Kurdish Political Prisoners has reached its 39th day, and the physical condition of those on hunger strike has deteriorated greatly. Number of prisoners on hunger strike, who have been on strike for the past 24 days in Urumiye Prison are suffering from serious infections and skin problems.

The following prisoners Ehsan Topaz, Mostafa Ali Ahmad, Balal Chiligar, Jomhur Ozgoch, Yousef Atsaz, Ali Ahmad Soleyman, Morad Diyar, have been denied the right to see their lawyers and have been in solitary confinement for the past 14 days.

Also the physical condition of five (5) prisoners from the group “Ahle Hagh” who joined the hunger strike 2 weeks ago in Urumiyeh Prison has deteriorated significantly. The names of these prisoners are Sohand Ali Mohammadi, Bakhsh Ali Mohammadi, Abdollah Ghasemzadeh, Mehdi Ghasemzadeh and Younes Taghayan.

Finally it has been reported that in the Saghz Prison they physical condition of one prisoner in particular, Mr. Khalil Mostafa Rajab has deteriorated greatly.

Committee for the Support of Hunger Strike for Kurdish Political Prisoners
October 2nd 2008

Please find below the names of political prisoners who are currently on hunger strike. Please help raise the voices of these individuals to the international community. International community must send an independent committee to visit the prisons and report on the conditions of prisones and prisoners.

اسامی زندانیان اعتصاب کننده

In solidarity with those on hunger strike

On the 26th day of the Hunger Strike of Kurdish Prisoner their Health Condition has Greatly Worsened

Committee for the Support of Hunger Strike for Kurdish Political Prisoners

According to Recent news from the Urumiye Prison, the health condition of 9 prisoners who were taken to solitary confinement 9 days ago has greatly worsened.

These prisoners are being held in cells that are four (4) meters long, and are also used as washrooms. Prisoners who have dared to complain about the situation have been subjected to severe physical and psychological torture. The prisoners have also been threatened that “these cells will become their graves”.

According to other prisoners who have seen these 9 prisoners they suffer from extremely serious illnesses including blood infested dihearea, different types of infection and skin problems. Other prisoners in Urumiye Prison are extremely disturbed about the inhumane treatment of these 9 prisoners.

The Committee for the Support of Hunger Strike for Kurdish Political Prisoners is extremely concerned about the inhumane treatment of these 9 prisoners, and while condemning the inhumane treatment of these prisoners, urge all freedom loving people and international human rights organizations to take steps to help save their lives.


Translated by: Sayeh Hassan

The Committee for the Support of Hunger Strike of Kurdish Political and Social Prisoners

According to the latest news from Sanandaj Prison Mr. Anwar Hosseini Panahi who has been sentenced to death has announced that if the Islamic Regime Officials do not respond to the legal demands of the political prisoners he will take his strike one step further adn sew his lips together.

Anwar Hosseini Panahi who joined the hunger strike on its very first day is planning to take his hunger strike to a new level by sweing his lips.

It must be mentioned that yesterday September 17th 2008 at 8pm Ministry of Intelligence Officials went to teh home of Mr. Panahi's father and subjected him to threats and psychological torture in order to prevent him from reporting any news in regards to his son's hunger strike and health condition. They have also asked him to convince Mr. Panahi to break his hunger strike.

Translated by: Sayeh Hassan

It has been more then 20 days since the Kurdish political and social prisoners have gone on a nationwide hunger strike. As far as I know this is the first organized prisoner movement in the past few years, however I for one am so disappointed to see the censorship surrounding this hunger strike.

I have tried to post up to date news about the hunger strike on my blog, however many sites who post my news on a very regular basis have completely ignored any news that has to do with this hunger strike.

The petition I have prepared has gotten less then 300 signatures. I just can't figure it out. When did being Kurdish equate to being a separatist? Many of individuals who are on hunger strike are teachers, journalists, students and women's rights activists. They are not armed separatists. The prisoners are asking for humane prison conditions, they're asking for an end to executions, isn't this what we all want? Don't we want this for all prisoners?

Then why the silence? why the censorship? Why is it that when it came to Akbar Gangi whom many believe is the mouth piece of Regime (myself included) such major campaigns were going on and the whole world heard about him, however when genuine prisoners who are truly working for freedom and against the Regime come together and create such an amazing and organized movement we close our eyes and turn our heads away?

At the end of the day aren't we all Iranians? aren't we all fighting for the same thing?

I am urging those who read this to break the censorship, the Islamic Regime already punishes the Kurdish people for their ethnicity, lets not do the same thing.


Long Live Freedom
Down with Dictatorship

The Committee for the Support of Hunger Strike of Kurdish Political and Social Prisoners

Complete Report of the 21st day of the Hunger Strike of the Kurdish Prisoners

Pressure on Farzad Kamangar’s Family:

Farzad Kamangar who is currently in section 206 of the Evin Prison is being subjected to daily interrogations. His immediate family in particular his mother and brother have also been subjected to a great amount of pressure from the Ministry of Intelligence. His brother has also been threatened with being arrested.

Mr. Kamangar’s lawyer has also been warned against speaking out about his file. The goal of the Ministry of Intelligence is to force Mr. Kamangar to ask for a pardon.

Deterioration of the Physical Health of Sabah Nasri and Hedayat Gazali

According to the latest news from the Evin Prison the health conditions of Mr. Sabah Nasri and Hedayat Gazali who joined the strikes on the very first day of the strike has deteriorated immensely in the past few days. The Committee for the Support of Hunger Strike of Kurdish Political Prisoners and Social Prisoners is extremely concerned about the health of these two student prisoners and asks all freedom loving people to support and help their case.

Five Ideological Prisoners From Ahle Hagh Group have joined the Hunger Strike

According to news received from the Urumiye Prison, due to the transfer of 9 political prisoners on hunger strike being transferred to solitary confinement, today 5 ideological prisoners from Ahle Hagh Group joined the hunger strike of the Kurdish Political Prisoners in solitary with them. These individuals are:

1. Mehdi Ghasemzadeh- Sentenced to death
2. Abdollah Ghasemzadeh
3. Sahand Ali Mohammadi
4. Baksh Ali Mohammadi
5. Yunes Aghajan

The above mentioned prisoners have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms between 15-20 years.

Ahmad Tapez’s Deteriorating Health Condition

According to news received from Urumiyeh Prison’s health is in a very bad state. Mr. Tapez who suffers from a spinal cord illness is extremely ill and the 21 days of hunger strike has made his health situation much worse.

A New Student Committee has Been Created to Support the Hunger Strike of the Kurdish Political Prisoners:

Numerous student activists have started a committee with the goal of supporting the hunger strike of the Kurdish prisoners.

Published by The Committee for the Support of Hunger Strike of Kurdish Political and Social Prisoners

Translated by: Sayeh Hassan

Note: I recieved the Farsi news press today and would be happy to send a copy to anyone who may be interested in the Farsi version.

PUBLIC
AI Index: MDE 13/137/2008
12 September 2008

UA 258/08
Fear of torture and other ill-treatment / Prisoner of conscience
12 September 2008

IRAN

Ramtin Soodmand (m), aged 35, has two children

Ramtin Soodmand, a Christian who works for a church in Tehran and with youth groups, was arrested on 20 August. He is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and is being held in an unknown location. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately as he has been detained solely for his religious beliefs.

On 17 August, Ramtin Soodmand received a call from Ministry of Intelligence officials. The officials told him to report to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Mashhad, north-east Iran. Ramtin Soodmand told them that he could see no reason why the officials in Mashhad might want to interview him as he lives in Tehran, but eventually he agreed to go.

Ramtin Soodmand has not been seen since he went to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Mashhad on 20 August. Since being detained he has been able to make three short phone calls to his family. On or around 24 August, he made a phone call to his mother, who lives in Mashhad. He then made a second call to both his mother and wife on 31 August. The third call was to his wife on 6 September. On all three occasions, he did not say where he was being held.

His family have visited the Ministry of Intelligence frequently but have been unable to obtain any information on his whereabouts or legal status. The Ministry of Intelligence officials claim that his case is still under investigation.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Ramtin Soodmand’s father, Reverend Hossein Soodmand, was a Muslim who converted to Christianity in the 1960s, and became a Protestant pastor in Mashhad. He was hanged on 3 December 1990 in a prison in Mashhad after being convicted of apostasy; see Iran: Arrest and execution of a Christian pastor (Index: MDE 13/030/1990). He was also featured in Amnesty International's Annual Report 1991.

Christianity is a recognized religion in Iran, but evangelical Christians often experience harassment by the authorities. In recent months, since May, there has been an increase in the number of Christians arrested. Most of the arrests have taken place in Bandar Abbas, capital city of the Hormozgan province, Esfahan in central Iran, Sanandaj in north-west Iran and Kermanshah in western Iran.

Article 23 of the Iranian Constitution states: "The investigation of individuals' beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief." Under Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party, "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching."

Both Kamyar and Arash Alaii were arrested on 23 June 2008 by security forces, and are still in detention after 2 months under going interrogation and torture.

The Alaii brothers have been vanguards in combating Aids in Iran.

According to reports by the Student Committee of the Human Rights Reporters, the two Doctors have been separated in solitary confinement and are undergoing immense pressure. Apparently security officials have managed to compel them to fake confessions suggesting their involvement in a plot to overthrow the government. They have been threatened not to ask for lawyers.

The Islamic Republic had previously charged the Alaii brothers of "acting to overthrow the Islamic Republic", through establishing an NGO, affiliated to the USA.

This has been the case during last year in which civil activists have been targeted with charges such as "acting to overthrow the government", in order to pave the way for security forces to carry out widespread arrests.

Dr.Kamyar Alaii has been a researcher in Harvard University and the founder of triangular clinics, specialist in World Health planning, and an activist in preventing the spread of Aids in Iran.

Before his arrest, in an interview with the Farsi speaking Radio Zamaneh, he had expressed concern over the spread of Aids indicating the rising statistics of those infected by Aids to have reached 100 000 so far. In the same interview he had re iterated that the spread could be contained.

Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is obligated to pertain to the obligations of this Covenant.

These include: refraining from arbitrary arrests and detention, announcing reasons of arrest with no delay, announcing charges under which the victims are detained, allowing the right to defense and to have a legal defense, and also allowing the victim to be present when charges are ruled.


Posted by Iranian Political Prisoners Association

بنابه گزارشات رسیده از زندان مرکزی اصفهان دو زندانی که محکوم به سنکسار هستند. حکم سنکسار آنها همچنان به قوت خود باقی است.
خانم گیلان محمدی حدودا 30 ساله که در بند زنان زندان اصفهان زندانی است. او در حدود 5 سال پیش دستگیر و زندانی شد خانم محمدی در یک دادگاه به اتهام داشتن رابطه محکوم به سنکسارشد.
همچنین آقای غلامعلی اسکندری که در بند افاغنه زندان اصفهان بسر می برد و در حدود 5 سال است که در بازداشت است او در یک دادگاه محکوم به سنکسار شد.
علیرغم اینکه سخنگوی قوۀ قضائیه پیش از این اعلام کرده بود که احکام سنکسار متوقف گردیده و همچنین گفته شد کسانی که حکم سنکسار دارند احکام آنها تقلیل یافته است. ولی در شرایط محکومیت این 2 زندانی هیچ تغییری بوجود نیامده است و همچنان حکم سنکسار آنها به قوت خود باقی است.

احکام سنکسار ،اعدام کودکان، اعدام های دسته جمعی ، اعدام زندانیان سیاسی و قطع عضو زندانیان توسط رئیس قوۀ قضائیه شاهرودی تایید می گردد و به دستور او به اجرا در می آید. این احکام بر خلاف معاهدات حقوق بشری است که ایران ملزم به اجرای آن است
فعالین حقوق بشر و دمکراسی در ایران،صدور احکام قرون وسطائی و ضد بشری مانند سنکسار، اعدام کودکان،اعدام زندانیان سیاسی و اعدام های دست جمعی را محکوم می کند و از سازمانهای حقوق بشری و مراجع بین المللی می خواهد برای حفاظت از قوانین حقوق بشری و نجات جان انسانها دست به اقداماتی عملی برای پایان دادن به جنایتها در ایران است.

فعالین حقوق بشر و دمکراسی در ایران
21 شهریور 1387 برابر با 11 سپتامبر 2008

به سازمانهای زیر ارسال گردید:
کمیساریای عالی حقوق بشر خانم لوئیز آربور
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