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Iran Feature: Human Rights Round-up (1-7 February 2010)

human rights generic imageOverview

Optimism and a refusal to be cowed, bullied or intimidated: that’s the message from human rights activists this week. Despite the Iranian Regime’s best efforts to thwart the preparations for 22 Bahman --- with intimidation and coercion in the form of mass arrests of both students and journalists, continued threats to execute execute the nine “mohareb” Ashura protesters, and other propaganda --- the protests will proceed.

Iran Special: The 57 Journalists in Iran’s Prisons
The Latest from Iran (8 February): Staying with the Real Story

The Week In Brief:

Monday 1 February

  • Vahid Abedini, (University of Tehran) arrested with two others.

  • Navid Abedini, (University of Shahid Beheshti) arrested with Vahid Abedini and Esmaeel Izadi Khah (student at University of Shahid Beheshti). Reports from Kashan indicated further arrests: Mohammad Mokhtari (formerly but recently dismissed from the University of Kashan) arrested with two others who were subsequently released.

  • Shirin Alam Hooli, recently found guilty of being a member of the Kurdish opposition group PJAK, wrote a   letter “from death row” on 18 January.

  • Parisa Kakaiee, a member of CHRR and Mehrdad Rahimi, one of the Committee members arrested. Two other members, Saeed Habibi and Hesam Missaghi were not arrested, but were reportedly receiving repeated calls from officials from the Ministry of Information.

  • The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRR) said there was no information about Mehraneh Atashi (the internationally acclaimed photo-journalist) and her husband, who remain missing, presumed detained.

Tuesday 2 February

  • ICHR reported alleged protester abuse at Mashad revolutionary courts.

  • Three civil rights activists (Reza, Mohammad and Hassan Akvanian) arrested in Yasuj (a city in South-western Iran).

  • More than one month after the arrests of Alireza Firoozi and Sourena Hashemi (student activists from Zanjan University), their whereabouts remain unknown and no-one has accepted responsibility for their arrests. However, security agents are suspected of fraudulently using their internet IDs in an attempt to elicit information from family and friends.

  • Ali-Mohammad Eslampour, Editor of the weekly newspaper Navay-e-Vaght summoned to the 9th branch of the Revolutionary Court where he was arrested by order of Judge Najjar.

  • Kayvan Samimi (MD of the now-banned Nameh Magazine, and the website Kharabat) received a six year prison sentence and a lifetime ban from political activity.

  • Amnesty International issued a statement and appeals campaign urging the Iranian authorities not to execute the nine mohareb protesters.

  • Niloofar Laripour arrested after being summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence.

  • Amnesty International launched a letter appeal campaign against student leader Majid Tavakkoli’s sentence.

Wednesday 3 February

  • Literary writer and journalist Javad Mahzadeh still held at Evin Prison, despite being given a suspended four year sentence.

  • Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, human rights activist, member of the Central Council of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, and journalist, arrested at home.

  • Sahar Ghassem Nejad, Nazanin Hassan Nia, and Alireza Saghafi arrested. Sagar and Nazanin do not belong to any political organisation. Alireza is a journalist and labour rights defender.

  • Mohammad Amin Valian, member of the Central Council of Islamic Association at Damghan Science University, appeared in a show trial presided over by Judge Salavati. Mohammad was charged with: mohareb and other associated charges. He did not accept these charges in court.

  • Ardavan Ghara’ati, Karroubi’s campaign manager in Kohgilooyeh & Boyerahmad province arrested during a raid at the home of local activist Reza Akvanian, who was also arrested.

Thursday 4 February

  • Massoud Shafiee, lawyer for the three American hikers detained on the Iran/Iraq border, said he had met with the authorities who had promised him a chance to meet his clients over the coming days. They also apparently promised that the three would be permitted to call home over the coming 72 hours.

  • Bahar Tarakameh, daughter of the acclaimed author and critic, Yunes Tarakameh arrested.

  • Several arrests of those connected with internet publication Sar-e Peech : Yashar Darolshafa, Maziar Samiee, Bahar Torakemeh and Maziar Samiee.

  • Shiva Nazarahari’s mother issued a plea regarding her daughter’s ailing health and the fact that she remains in solitary confinement.

  • Student activist Eftekhar Barzegarian, transferred to Mashad’s Vakilabad Prison’s notorious ward 5.

  • The names of  seven Kurdish students arrested following a student rally at Tehran University in November released:  Ahmad Ismaili, Amanj Rahimi, Abdullah Arefi, Pakhshan Azizi, Leila Mohammadi, Sarveh Weisi and Hajhar Yousefi. Their location remains unknown.

  • Three female students from Tehran University (Sarveh Weisi, Leila Mohammadi, and Pakhshan Azizi) reportedly on hunger strike in prison for more than 8 days.

  • Mahsa Hekmat (journalist who writes for many newspapers including Etemad) released from Evin after 34 days.

  • Golnaz Tavasoli, student at Tehran’s Azad University, arrested. No information available on her whereabouts.

  • Kurdish human rights activist Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshi, allowed to contact his family. Kermanshi arrested on 3 February and taken to an unknown location – reported to be rejecting charges being put to him.

  • Morteza Samyari, of the Advar Tahkim Vadat Organization, visited in Evin Prison by his family. An anonymous person allegedly contacted the family asserting that Samyari had been charged with mohareb.

  • News emerged from the previous Sunday (31 January) regarding University of Shiraz student, Kazem Rezaee’s  appearance at Revolutionary Court. Eyewitnesses reported that, 3 months after his arrest, he had multiple marks of torture and injuries all over his body.

  • Persian2English posted the International Committee Against Execution’s (ICAE) list of 56 political prisoners awaiting execution in Iran in full, in Farsi and in English.

Friday 5 February

  • Mourning Mothers issued a statement objecting to the executions of political protesters, execution sentences for several political prisoners and demanding the revocation of death sentences for political prisoners. They also demanded the release of prisoners of conscience and trials for those: “who were responsible for and who ordered their children’s murders”.

  • Morteza Samyari, student, tried during the 3rd Ashura sessions, allowed a family visit.

  • 40 days after his arrest the family of Omid Ali Mehrnia, the 70-year-old retired school teacher, arrested and accused of being connected to the MKO,  issued a statement about his ailing health.

  • The husband of Bahareh Hedayat’s (from Advar Tahkim Vahdat Organization) continues to try to visit her in Evin Prison - she is not allowed visitors and has only been allowed one telephone contact since her arrest.

  • Touran Kabiri & Kaveh Darolshafa, arrested on 4 February, released. Yashar Darolshafa arrested hours before his mother and his brother, remains in prison – no charges have yet been made.

  • Koohyar Gudarzi, Shiva Nazar Ahari, Mehrdad Rahimi and Parisa Kakayi, four members of the CHRR (Committee of Human Rights Reporters), allowed a family visit in  Evin Prison.

  • Amnesty International issued appeals letters, for the seven members of the CHRR being detained in Tehran amid fears they will be forced to confess to crimes leading to conviction of mohareb, leading to execution.

Saturday 6 February

Sunday 7 February

  • Arash Rahmanipour’s family were pressured not to hold a funeral and memorial service for their recently executed son.

  • Ali Kalayi arrested at Emam Ali military college. Eighth CHRR journalist to be arrested. The seven previously arrested are detained in Evin Prison. The complete list : Shiva Nazar-Ahari, Koohyar Gudarzi, Saeed Jalaifar, Parisa Kakayi, Saeed Kalanaki, Saeed Ha’eri, Mehrdad Rahimi and Ali Kalayi.

  • Saleh Noghrehkar, Zahra Rahnavard’s nephew and an adviser to Mousavi’s presidential campaign, told to present himself to Evin officials to answer questions.

  • Hamideh Ghasemi, (student Tehran University) arrested on Wednesday 3 February by agents from the Intelligence Ministry. However, her family only found out about her arrest on 7 February.

  • Abdolreza Tajik, journalist imprisoned at Evin since Ashura, reported to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown following the execution of his cellmate Arash Rahmanipoor.

  • Ehsan Mehrabi, parliamentary correspondent of Farhikhtegan harrested at his home. No word on his location and that of others apparently arrested on the same day.

  • Siyamak Nadali, the former secretary of Lorestan University islamic student association, arrested by agents from the Intelligence Ministry.

  • Prominent journalist Emadeddin Baghi remains in solitary confinement, unable to receive visitors, in ward 240 of Evin prison despite the fact that his interrogation has reportedly ended.

  • Journalist and One Million Signatures Campaign (OMSC) member Somayeh Momeni arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents.

  • Mohammad Yousef Rashidi (expelled Amir Kabir University student) moved to public section 7, along with 40 other prisoners.

*Hat-tip to friends, too many to mention, and to Persian2English, Amnesty International, RAHANA (Reporters and Human Rights Activists in Iran), ICHRR (Iran Committee of Human Rights Reporters)
RAHANA (Reporters and Human Rights Activists in Iran)

Reader Comments (3)

In the statements by politicians of the opposition some aspects of the Iranian revolution under Khomeini are questioned and its contents, methods, outcome and results are expected to be revisited, critically scrutinized, analysed with a view to a revision and a new, realistic assessment against the backdrop of today’s experience.

A look behind the dense curtain of 31 years and numberless legends of unconditional appreciative appraisal is done in the eyewitness account “30 years ago” from the perspective of a then young girl. This impressive account by a witness to history was published one year ago on the website “neo-resistance” by the authoress and blog-host “naj”. Written on the occasion of 22 Bahman exactly one year ago this moving, heartrending account of insurgent Iran during the days that shook the world still - and even more so now - cuts the reader to the quick.

This settlement of accounts with history is to be found via the link:

website: "neo-resistance"; authoress: "naj" -Thursday, Februar 12, 2009

February 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola

Great work Tricia! Please keep this up if you can. Once again, a week has passed without a friend of mine in Tehran, a very politically active university student and ring leader, appearing on any list. His friends and family are amazed he hasn't been arrested yet. Every day I scour Persian2english and other Iran human rights sites for his name. :-(

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Thanks Catherine. Yes this will now be a weekly feature, published each Monday or Tuesday, covering the preceeding week. Of course news as it happens will continue to be published on a daily basis. We hope your friend continues to remain safe.

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia Sutherland

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