AP report: After months of denials, Iran acknowledged that at least three people detained in the country’s post-election turmoil were beaten to death by their jailers. [Updated 15 Dec. 2010]
Activists of all kinds, whether fighting for women’s or minority rights, against human rights violations, or involved in political protest, are subject to harassment, discrimination, unlawful arrest and conviction, and forced to endure terrible prison conditions: extended periods in isolation cells; no charges brought; denial of medications; no notification to families; no phone calls or visits; beatings; unusually high bail.
Some examples are given below. [Note: most of the links are to Farsi-language sites.]
1. For several weeks now, political prisoners in Evin Prison have been denied contact with their families. Even telephone conversations are not permitted, and all outgoing calls from the prison have ceased. The wife of senior reformist, Mohammad Nourizad, said that she has been forbidden to meet with her husband in Evin Prison, and because all outgoing calls have been stopped, she knows nothing of his condition (see below).
2. Former President Mohammad Khatami urged Mohammad Nourizad – imprisoned writer and filmmaker – to end his hunger strike. Mohammad Nourizad started a dry hunger strike a few days ago to “protest that justice does not exist and that oppression does exist.”
Detained Iranian filmmaker says he and others were tortured – Mohammad Nourizad said in a statement posted on several reformist websites that he was cursed and severely beaten by intelligence officials while in detention. He called their behavior "barbaric.” Nourizad said other political prisoners, including Mostafa Tajzade, Abdullah Momeni, Hamza Karami and Mohammad Reza Rajabi were also tortured in detention.
Young man dies after release from prison – The Association for the Protection of the Families of Prisoners and Victims of the Post-election Events has reported that a young Iranian, whose name has not been published, died of kidney failure following his release from prison. Arrested at a protest rally following the elections, he had been imprisoned for eight months. A month after his release, both his kidneys failed as a result of the torture he endured in jail, leading to his death. Family members have asked that no details be given about them for fear they will be arrested.
Longest-serving political prisoner lashed – Behrooz Javid Tehrani was taken from his cell in Gohar Desht prison for the 74 lashes to which he was sentenced when convicted eight years ago. Tehrani was arrested during the Students Day riots in 1999 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He is believed to be the only prisoner from that period who is still incarcerated.
HR group condemns persecution of political prisoners in Iranian jails – Following the imposition of new restrictions on political prisoners in Evin Prison, the Association for the Protection of Families of Victims and Prisoners issued a statement condemning the persecution of political prisoners and called on international human rights organizations to visit Iranian jails and meet with prisoners. This statement continued, "The liars who claim that Iranian jails are ‘hotels’ have now also forbidden bringing fruit to the political prisoner wing. There are numerous reports about the poor condition of the prisoners, many of whom are suffering from life-threatening illnesses and do not receive medication."
Intelligence Ministry prevented meeting between political prisoner and his dying father – Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence refused to allow Karim Pour Samadi, a political prisoner, a short leave from prison, so he could visit his dying father at the cardiac intensive care ward of a hospital in Tabriz. The father died without seeing his son for the last time. Pour Samadi, who is now trying to get permission to attend his father’s funeral, was arrested during the post-election events and held for five months in solitary confinement at Evin Prison, before he was banished to Gohar Dasht Prison.
Daily Telegraph: “Rape in Iran’s prisons: the cruelest torture” – Kate Allen writes in the Daily Telegraph, “British media has recently highlighted the case of a young woman from Iran, ‘Leyla’, who was allegedly abducted, detained and raped by that country’s security forces because her fiancé was involved in the demonstrations that followed Iran’s disputed presidential election last year. Without international focus, Iran will continue to use rape to torture political opponents.”
Kurdish poet in serious condition; Human rights are “shamelessly and openly violated” – Kurdish poet Behzad Kurdistani is in serious condition because of “severe pressure to confess”. Families of political detainees issued a statement declaring that basic human rights are “shamelessly and openly violated”.
Iranian authorities has forbidden Seyed Hashem Khastar, head of the teachers’ union in Mashhad, from making phone calls to his family. The 68-year-old activist was arrested last year and sentenced to two years in prison. Since his arrest 14 months ago, he has not been allowed a temporary leave, and recently, following the sending of a letter from prison on the occasion of Global Teachers’ Day, he has also been forbidden to make phone calls to his family.
1. Report of UN Sec-Gen about human rights in Iran: cause for concern – The Secretary-General of the UN General Assembly published his annual report entitled “The Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran”. The report states, “Since the previous report of the Secretary-General and the adoption of resolution 64/176, there have been further negative developments in the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran… Concerns about torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations; arbitrary detentions and unfair trials continued to be raised by United Nations human rights mechanisms.
2. “Ahvaz prison reminds him of the movie Papillion” – “In a recent telephone conversation from Ahvaz prison, that lasted only a few minutes, Zia Nabavi, student educational rights activist, informed his family about the prison conditions at Ahvaz prison. Nabavi stated that he was restricted from movement, the drinking water was not drinkable and that he doubts he will be assigned a cell or a bed even in the next six months. According to Nabavi, everyone at Ahvaz prison speaks Arabic and the hygienic and sanitary conditions are poor to say the least. He said the prison reminds him of the movie ‘Papillion’, and his only goal is to stay alive. So much suffering because of a false charge of colluding with seditious groups” (quoted from Facebook of another recently released prisoner, Hossein Nourani Nejad).
“Papillion” is a 1973 film about a criminal known as Papillon who was unjustly convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in a French penitentiary on Devil’s Island in French Guiana. “Sedition” or “seditious groups” is the term used by the Iranian regime to refer to the Iranian opposition and the Green Movement.
1. Detained lawyer subject to heavy torture, goes on hunger strike – Human rights activists report that Ms. Nasrin Sotude, a lawyer held in custody, has been subject to heavy torture by agents of the Intelligence Ministry. Reports coming from within the prison say her loud screams, resulting from torture, are heard in adjacent cells during the night.
2. Iranian-Dutch woman transferred again to solitary confinement – Zahra Nahrami, an Iranian woman with Dutch citizenship, who had been arrested during Ashura Day protests (December 27, 2009), was transferred two weeks ago to solitary confinement due to her refusal to reiterate the false confessions she had given under pressure of torture. According to reports, she is currently subject again to physical and mental torments. Her interrogators reportedly threatened her that she would be accused of terrorist activity and executed unless she signs the confession.
3. Condition of hunger-striking activist deteriorates – Human rights activists report that Behnam Ibrahim Zade, an activist for workers and children’s rights, went on hunger strike to protest the conditions of his arrest, including heavy pressure and torture. He was arrested four months ago and was held in solitary confinement until a week ago. The hunger strike caused serious physiological damage, and he was hospitalized at the clinic of Evin Prison. The Iranian authorities refuse to release Ibrahim Zade despite the court’s approval for his release on bail.
1. Hunger-striking political prisoner in critical condition – Arjang Davoudi is reportedly in critical condition nearing the 70th day of his hunger strike in Rajai Shahar Prison. Activists say he now weighs 80 lb (36 kg), has problems with his vision, is unable to walk, and is incoherent. Davoudi was allowed to see his wife for the first time since his prison protest started two months ago… According to human rights activists, political prisoner Davoudi lost consciousness and fell into coma following a 48-day-long hunger strike. The reports said he had been admitted to the clinic of Gohar Dasht Prison with serious concern over his life (Sept. 1).
2. Women recall their imprisonment at Evin –
a. Author Marina Nemat talks about her new book, her time in Iran’s Evin Prison, the Sarah Shourd case and human rights issues in Iran. When asked by her CBC interviewer, “How bad is the human rights situation in Iran right now?” Nemat replied, “Terrible. As bad as you can possibly imagine. Any form of dissidence or criticism of the government can get people arrested, tortured, and even executed.”
b. Journalist Roxana Saberi recalls captivity at Evin – Roxana said she was threatened by her captors not to speak about “certain things.” One guard told her he would sign her death warrant. She said they had told her, “I think you’ve seen how capable we are. We have agents all over the world and we can find you anywhere. You might be reporting in Afghanistan and we can kill you and make it look like you died in a car accident.”
1. Student activist reports about physical and verbal abuse – Abdollah Momeni addressed an open letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In the letter, smuggled from Evin Prison, the imprisoned student activist reports about torture, forced confessions, and a “kangaroo court.”
2. Reformist group accuses head of IRGC of prison cruelties – The Reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front (a.k.a. Mosharekat Front) addressed an open letter to the IRGC commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, pointing a blaming finger at him for “cruelties and disasters” that political prisoners have been subject to in Iranian prisons (Radio Zamaneh).
Concern over detained Reformist activist’s health – A warning about his serious health condition comes from the family of Safaei Farhani, a senior Reformist activist who has been held in custody ever since the contested June 2009 elections, and who was also involved in a lawsuit submitted against the IRGC. The family says Safaei Farhani suffered a heart attack in his cell at Evin Prison and is denied medical treatment.
Detainee dies following torture – Human rights activists reported that Gholam-Reza Bayat, an Iranian youth from the Kurdish minority, had been arrested and died following torture and beatings by his interrogators. The youth, who had been accused of liquor possession, was sent to hospital with internal bleeding.
1. Condition of HR activist Hangameh Shahidi deteriorates – The mother of Hangameh Shahidi, a journalist and human rights activist who had been sentenced to six years, reported that her daughter’s physical condition was deteriorating. Hangameh Shahidi, who had been convicted with “propagating against the regime”, “defaming the president” and “compromising national security”, needs to be granted a leave from prison in order to obtain medical treatment, however, according to her mother, the judicial officials are persistent in their refusal. She is also denied phone contact with her family and visiting rights.
2. Political prisoner died in prison – Kaveh Kordi-Moghadam, a political prisoner from the Kurdish minority, passed away in hospital due to crucial delay in receiving proper medical treatment. The doctors who diagnosed his colorectal and lung cancer in prison warned for several months about the need to hospitalize him, however the judicial officials withheld the approval of his leave from prison until it was too late.
Political prisoner denied medical treatment after harsh torture – Prison authorities in Kermanshah refuse to allow medical treatment for Hamzeh Sobhani, a political prisoner from the Kurdish minority, as reported by human rights activists. Sobhani was arrested two months ago for alleged collaboration with anti-regime Kurdish political parties. He was subject to interrogation and torture at the local Intelligence Ministry HQ, during which two of his nails were pulled out and several of his fingers broken.
Imprisoned student banished despite serious physical condition – Hamed Rouhinejad, a student of philosophy who was arrested during the post-elections events and accused of collaboration with oppositionist groups, has been held in detention without proper medical treatment. Rouhinejad suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. Rouhinejad lost the ability to move parts of his body due to medical negligence, and yet he has been moved out of Evin Prison and expected to be banished to the remote Zanjan Prison.
Letter by political prisoner detailing torture in prison – Hassan Yusefi Eshkevari, a former Majlis member, talked on Radio Farda about the open letter written by Hamzeh Karami to Prosecutor-General Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei. Karami, the editor-in-chief of a Reformist website, was arrested following the June 2009 presidential elections and reportedly tortured into false confession of illicit sexual relations with relatives of opposition Green Movement leaders. In his letter, which Eshkevari called “shocking”, Karami said he had been tortured physically and mentally in prison.
Prisoner beaten by wardens dies; mother sets herself on fire – Last Sunday Behman Masoudi, a prisoner confined at Orumieh Prison, died following a baton strike on his head. Upon receiving the bad news, his mother came to the prison and set herself on fire in front of the building. There is no information about her current condition.
Imprisoned Reformist journalist denied hospitalization despite serious physical condition – The son of Isa Saharkhiz, a Reformist journalist held in Gohar Dasht Prison, reported that the prison’s authorities maintained their refusal to hospitalize his father, despite growing concern over his health condition. He was arrested on June 20, 2009 and has been held in harsh conditions ever since. Human rights activists expressed fear for his life.
1. Journalist denied leave from prison despite her health condition – The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports about Hangameh Shahidi, an imprisoned journalist and Mahdi Karroubi’s advisor for women-related issues during the 2009 election campaign, whose request for a leave from prison in order to receive medical treatment is being withheld by judicial officials for six months now. Shahidi, who was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for taking part in post-election protests, propagating against the regime and defaming the Iranian president, is in serious heath condition that requires hospitalization and close medical attention. (See Women in Iran)
2. Imprisoned journalist denied access to prison’s clinic – Human rights activists in Iran report that Abolfazl Abedini Nasr, a journalist and former head of an Iranian human rights organization, has been banned from leaving his cell at Karoun Prison in Ahvaz until further notice. The report says this ban risks Abedini Nasr’s life, as he has to attend the prison’s clinic every three days to receive medical treatment. Abedini Nasr has been held in custody for five months and sentenced to eleven years.
Teenager describes torture he endured following arrest – Ali Niknam, a 17-year-old Iranian, told the Iranian Committee of Human Rights Reporters about the abuse to which he was subjected immediately after his arrest last year, during the post-election events. Niknam had been accused of possessing fliers and leaflets with “anti-government content”. “I went with a friend to distribute the fliers”, Niknam reported, “Once we left the street where I live, IRGC intelligence agents arrested me. On the way to their car they stunned me with an electric shocker, kicked me and reviled me. When we arrived at some base, there started my interrogation with unbearable physical and mental torment. A vertebra in my back was broken, and the marks of beatings and electric shocks are still evident on my body despite the year that has elapsed. I was vomiting blood for several days after my release.”
Imprisoned Kurdish rights activist subject to physical torture, including teeth pulling – The Iranian Committee of Human Rights Reporters says Ahmad Bab, an activist for the Kurdish minority’s rights who was arrested a year ago, has been subject to harsh physical torture and exhausting interrogation at the Intelligence Department’s isolation cells. The Interrogators demanded that Bab admit to having connections with anti-Revolutionist groups and organizing anti-regime assemblies. When he refused to confess, one of the interrogators pulled three of his teeth with pliers. Bab was also beaten with a baton, had his limbs tied to the bed and pulled until he fainted, and was verbally abused.
Political prisoners at Evin on hunger strike to protest maltreatment, solitary confinement and cancellation of family visits – Political prisoners held at Evin Prison have gone on hunger strike to protest their maltreatment by the prison’s authorities, the transfer of some of them to solitary confinement and the cancellation of their family visitation rights.
The families of the hunger-striking political prisoners at Evin gathered in front of the Prosecutor-General’s office, demanding to meet him and put an end to the inhuman and brutal treatments against their loved ones in prison. The families stayed there in silence for about two hours but the General Prosecutor did not agree to meet with them.
Reza Rafei-Forushan, an Iranian freelancer for Time Magazine, wrote a long, emotional open letter, addressed to the head of the Iranian judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, making his experiences during his detention public. In this letter, Rafei-Forushan appeals against his “frame-up” by Iranian authorities and complains about being abused in prison. He also wrote that he had been forced into confession. Rafei-Forushan was arrested on June 27, 2009 after the elections and held for 43 days in solitary confinement during his interrogation.
Prominent trade-union leader transferred to solitary confinement in IRGC facility – According to Iranian human rights activists, the political prisoner and head of the Tehran bus drivers’ union, Mansour Osanlou, was transferred to solitary confinement in an IRGC ward at Gohar Dasht Prison three days ago. Osanlou has been reportedly subject to harsh interrogations and mental torture by the Intelligence Ministry interrogators during the past three days. Onsalou was exiled unexpectedly from Evin Prison to the infamous Gohar Dasht Prison.
Imprisoned filmmaker: I was beaten and severely insulted in Evin prison: Mohammad Nourizad in a letter to the General Prosecutor of Tehran from Evin called the prison "the second Kahrizak", referring to the prison where post-election protestors were detained, tortured and raped, and some even killed. He wrote that the interrogators of Intelligence Ministry have been beating him in prison and insulting him and his family, "using the most hideous language”. Nourizad was arrested after writing letters to the Supreme Leader and the Head of Judiciary, strongly criticizing their performance in the post-election events. Following his protest on the unbearable conditions of Ward #209 of Evin prison, where he has been detained, five prison guards attacked and beat him, injuring his head and shoulders; he has suffered partial sight loss as a result of this violence.
Political prisoner tortured – Human rights activists report about heavy psychological pressure and brutal physical torture being exerted on Jafar Kazemi, married and father of two, by the Intelligence Ministry’s interrogators. Kazemi, an editor and publisher of academic books at Amirkabir University, had been arrested and placed in solitary confinement during the post-election events. He was later sentenced to death. The torment, to which he has been subject, is meant to force him into false confession in a televised interview. His interrogators also threatened to arrest his wife and children and torture them before his eyes. One of Kazemi’s children is a member of the oppositionist Mojahedin Khalq organization.
Letter from “the many that are held in custody upon baseless allegations and fabricated accusations, who were threatened, arrested, tried and detained during the tenth presidential election in June 2009 and its aftermath events” to UN SC asking that he visit Ward 350 in Evin Prison and other places where political and security detainees are held, and see the conditions for himself: “and meet the prisoners in private. This would provide you with an opportunity to learn about some of the violations of basic freedoms, democracy and justice as well as the extensive human rights violations and the special conditions of the detention centers and prisons of Iran, especially Ward 350 at Evin Prison.”
Detained journalist collapsed and admitted to prison clinic – Abolfazl Abedini, a journalist and human rights activist, who had been sentenced to eleven years in prison, collapsed in Evin Prison and was admitted to the prison’s clinic. No information has been provided as to his current condition. Abedini was first arrested in Ahvaz and then transferred to Evin Prison for interrogation. During his interrogation, he underwent harsh torture that resulted in damage to his heart.
Student activist taken back to court with laceration marks on his body – Majid Tavakoli, a student activist who, after his speech on Student Day, tried to escape arrest disguised in women’s clothes, was brought before the court Sunday, injured and battered with clear signs of abuse on his body. Information about Tavakoli has been unavailable for the past three weeks; now he said that he spent these three weeks in solitary confinement. The reason for bringing him before the court is unclear, as he has already been convicted behind close doors and sentenced to eight and a half years, as well as a five-year ban on political activity and another five-year ban on leaving Iran.
“Alef” website reports that 57 Majlis members petitioned to the Head of the Judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, and President Ahmadinejad, to demand the immediate dismissal and trial of presidential aide, Saeed Mortazavi, for his alleged role in the Kahrizak detention center abuses. Mortazavi served as the prosecutor-general of Tehran at the time of the events in question, and was recently appointed to an important position at the presidential bureau, namely to head the Campaign against Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Currency.
Critical health condition for two prisoners and the death of a third at the notorious Evin Prison (www.roozonline.com).
Youtube, CNN report on abuses in Kahrizak prison.
Interview on CNN with Tehran University academic, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, about the Parliamentary report about detainee abuses, notably the violence and deaths at the Kahrizak detention center. Marandi defends the regime.
One hundred detainees arrested during the Ashura incidents were transferred to Gohar Dasht Prison – according to Human Rights activists’ reports, one hundred detainees arrested during the Ashura incidents were transferred to Gohar Dasht prison. They are kept in the solitary confinement ward, yet four inmates have to share a cell designed for just one person. According to some reports, these detainees suffer brutal torture and severe pressure.
Member of Mosharekat Front brutally beaten in prison – Mahdi Mahmudian, a journalist and a member of Mosharekat Front and a Prisoners Rights society, who suffers from a kidney disease, protested the bathroom restrictions enforced on him. As a result, he was brutally beaten by the jailors.
Jan ? 2010
An interview with Benyamin Rasouli, a young man rescued from execution:
Q: Do you think the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for children who commit a crime while they are under 18 years of age?
A: For any child, going to prison in these conditions is a hundred times worse than death. Execution is just one moment. They pull the stool from under your feet, your neck breaks, and you suffocate. However, prison is hell. You go to prison with an accusation; you come out with thousands of diseases and disorders. Over there, weaker kids are subject to all types of abuse. Depression, addiction, and AIDS, each one is 1000 times worse than death.
1. Parliamentary report on Kahrizak abuses released (Youtube) – The findings of the special Parliament committee on arrests and detentions have been presented to Majlis. According to the article, the role of Saeed Mortazavi, former Tehran Prosecutor General, in the abuses in Kahrizak prison was officially recognized. The committee stressed that the judiciary system should be held accountable for the events. (See Nov. 17)
The Kahrizak detention facility was used to keep a large number of detainees during the early days of the mass protests that erupted against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which the opposition said was fraudulent. Amid the anger over allegations of torture, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered the facility’s closure in July, saying it did not meet standards (AP, Nov. 18, 2009).
2. Political activist brutally tortured – according to reports of Iranian human rights activists, Intelligence Ministry investigators used brutal physical and mental pressure against Javad Lari, a prominent activist from Tehran’s bazaar who was arrested during the post election protests.
•Kahrizak prison scandal: The parliamentary special fact-finding committee submitted its final report to the Iranian parliament Wednesday. The report lays most of the blame for the wrongdoings in Kahrizak at the feet of Saeed Mortazavi, the prosecutor-general of Tehran Province at the time of events. Their report indicates that it was Mortazavi who ordered, in person, to transfer the detainees to Kahrizak, where three of them were beaten to death by their jailers. Mortazavi has been recently appointed by the Iranian president to head the Central Headquarters for Fighting Smuggling of Goods. The three persons who died in Kahrizak are Mohsen Rouholamini, Amir Javadi Far and Mohammad Kamrani. More information is available in this New York Times report.
Jan. 7: Human rights activists reported about the transfer of about 300 detainees, arrested during Ashura Day events, to solitary confinement in ward no. 8 of Gohardasht prison in Karaj, which became known as “the IRGC ward”. According to the report, the detainees were transferred in the middle of the night with their heads covered in black sacks. Some of the detainees were in serious physical condition having been subject to abuse and torture in their preliminary interrogation. Ward no. 8 is in fact under the control of the Intelligence Ministry’s interrogators. The inmates are held in isolation, and according to testimonies, the conditions in it are even harsher than those in the infamous security ward no. 209 of Evin prison.
New book exposes the horrors of Evin prison – Haleh Esfandiari tells her story in a new book called “My Prison, My Home”. The Iranian-American academic, and Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, was detained In 2007 and held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison for more than 110 days, between May 8 and August 21.
Mahdie Golro, a student and human rights activist, was arrested with her husband a few days before Student Day. In a short conversation with her family over the phone she said she was being held in isolation in the security ward of Evin prison, and she is forbidden from meeting her family or her attorney (Dec. 15).
Political prisoner dies in an isolation cell at Evin prison – According to reports, a political prisoner held in an isolation cell at Evin prison’s ward no. 240, died in suspicious circumstances. His body was handed over to the prison’s clinic, where the doctors determined that he died of a fracture in his spinal column. Ward no. 240 is used for punishment of political prisoners and is under the supervision and responsibility of the Intelligence Ministry. Many of the post-election detainees are held in this ward (Dec. 13).
Harsh imprisonment conditions imposed on oppositionist cleric – Human rights activists report that Ayatollah Boroujerdi, an Iranian cleric who opposes the Islamic regime and calls for separation of religion and state, is imprisoned in a very small cell in harsh conditions. The term of imprisonment, to which he was sentenced for his political position, has already expired, and yet the Iranian authorities refuse to release him, even for a temporary leave in order to receive medical treatment (Dec. 10, 2009).
1. A political prisoner, Saeid Nour Mohammadi, was allowed to contact his family for the first time since his arrest forty days ago. Mohammadi, a member of the youth section in Mosharekat Front, told his family in a short phone call that his health condition was good, but he was still not allowed visits. Mohammadi was arrested during a prayer ceremony for the release of the political prisoners. The Prosecutor-General of Tehran Province announced that all the participants in the ceremony were to be indicted for compromising national security.
2. Twenty-seven days have passed since the arrest of Nafise Zare Kohan, a journalist and former member of the Advar Tahkim association, and yet no information is available as to her condition. Nafise Zare Kohan, was arrested with her husband Hojat Sharifi during November 4 demonstrations, and has not made any contact with her family ever since. Unofficial reports said she was under heavy pressure in prison.
3. Sanandaj Prison’s authorities ordered to cut off all communication lines – Following the hunger strike announced by 60 Kurdish prisoners in protest against the execution of the Kurdish political prisoner Ehsan Fatahyan, the prison’s authorities ordered to block all communication channels from the prison, including banning phone calls between the prisoners and their families. In addition, the prison’s authorities suspended all visits and vacations.
4. Student activist brutally beaten in prison – Salman Sima, a student activist from Iran’s Open University and member of the Political Committee of the Advar Tahkim students’ association, was brutally beaten by his interrogators in prison. After a 20-day ban, Sima was allowed to meet his family on Wednesday. He told them his teeth and ribs had been broken due to his interrogators’ violence. The interrogators also ordered to keep him in a cell without heating (Dec. 3).
Hengameh Shahidi was sentenced to six years and three months in prison (Dec. 1). [See also Iran Human Rights Voice]
Shahidi, a female journalist, women’s rights activist and advisor for women’s affairs in Karroubi’s (Reformist leader) campaign staff who had been detained for 120 days under intense physical and psychological pressure, started an indefinite hunger strike after her transfer from isolation to the public ward.
Shahidi was arrested on June 29th, 2009 and was detained in solitary confinement for almost 50 days. An indictment had been submitted against her, accusing her of participating in illegal assemblies, intention to compromise national security, disrupting public order, propagating against the regime by being a member of the Million Signature Campaign for women rights, and offending the president (Oct. 26).
Shahidi had to be taken to the Evin prison clinic on the 7th day of her hunger strike, after her blood pressure dropped and she showed symptoms of flu. Shahidi had stopped taking food and medication since October 25th. Continuing the hunger strike could have had dangerous consequences for Shahidi who has a myriad of heart problems and suffers from low blood pressure. Before her hunger strike started, Shahidi used to take 28 different pills a day. On November 1, Shahidi was released on bail and immediately admitted to a hospital.
Interrogators condition the release of a female political prisoner on her divorce –The couple Kobra Zaqe Doust and Mostafa Eskandari, both of whom are political activists, were arrested some 4 months ago, during a ceremony to commemorate 40 days since the killing of post-election demonstrators. Each of them spent part of the detention period in isolation. Kobra Zaqe Doust told her family that the interrogators have often confronted her with her husband, abused and beaten them both, in order to force them into signing false confessions. She said her interrogators demanded that she divorce her husband in return for her release.
Dr. Ramin Pourandarjani, an Iranian doctor who treated victims of torture at Kahrizak, Tehran’s most feared detention facility, has died, amid conflicting reports of a heart attack, a car accident or suicide — raising opposition accusations that the 26-year-old doctor was killed. Dr. Ramin Pourandarjani was pressured to change the death certificate of one of the most well-known victims (Mohsen Roholamini, son of Abdolhossein Rouhalamini, a top aide to conservative presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei) and later spoke to a parliament commission investigating the abuse, opposition websites reported.
Ms. Mahdye Minavi, a member of the women’s section of Mosharekat Front, is subject to heavy physical and mental pressure at Evin Prison. Minavi was arrested three weeks ago, when she attended a ceremony of prayer for the release of post-election detainees. Some reports said that the pressure exerted on her meant to make her sign a false confession. All political activists arrested during the prayer ceremony were barred from seeing their families or lawyers.
Health condition of a student in the Gohar Dasht prison deteriorates – Human rights activists report an aggravation in the health condition of Misaq Yazdan Nejad, a student detained at the Gohar Dasht prison in Karaj. Yazdan Nejad was supposed to undergo a surgery but the prison’s authorities prevented it. According to last reports, his medical condition has become graver in recent days. He cannot walk or eat, and yet receives no medical treatment. Yazdan Nejad was sentenced to 14 yeas in exile due to his political activities.
Fariba Pajooh, a journalist, was arrested at her parents’ house by agents from the Intelligence Ministry on the first day of Ramadan, August 22nd, 2009. She spent the first month of her detention in solitary confinement. During her detention, Pajooh has been subjected to verbal abuse and has been pressured by her interrogators into giving false confessions. She has yet to be charged. Nov. 1: Fariba Pajooh, who is on hunger strike, was taken to the Evin prison clinic yesterday after she caught flu. Pajooh started her hunger strike on Oct. 25, to protest her ongoing detention and uncertain situation. Nov. 10: Eighty days of detention have had a devastating toll on Pajooh’s health. Doctors have prescribed Xanax to help her cope with anxiety but since yesterday prison officials are refusing to give her the medication (IranPress news blog Nov. 10).
Mahsa Naderi in Critical Condition: The imprisoned student, Mahsa Naderi is being denied medical care despite suffering from a range of health conditions. The 19-year-old economics student was arrested on February 20, 2009 and sentenced to one year in prison. The judge has refused to grant her a sick leave. Naderi suffers from severe migraines, kidney problems and gallbladder infection. She is currently serving her sentence in women’s ward of Evin prison (IranPress newsblog Nov. 10).
Saeed Nour-Mohammadi and Esmail Sahabeh were held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison after being arrested at the Komail Prayer service on October 21. They have not been allowed to contact their families. Saeed Mohammadi had been previously arrested after the elections in June and was released after 62 days (IranPress news blog Nov. 10). On Nov. 23, reports were received that Saeed Mohammadi had been released.
Three political prisoners who suffer from a multitude of medical conditions are denied treatment (IranPress news blog Oct. 27)
• The Prisoners’ Rights unit of HRA reports that the detained labor activist Jafar Ebrahimi requires special medical treatment for his back and disc injuries. Ebrahimi remains in adverse conditions inside Evin Prison despite the fact that the Iranian judicial system allows for a prisoner to be sent on sick leave.
• Hamed Rouhinejad, a post-election detainee sentenced to death on charges of having ties with a political organization, suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), poor vision, and injuries in his right side. If he does not receive medical treatment, his MS disease will deteriorate and lead to partial paralysis (IranPress news blog Oct. 27).
• Abbas Khorsandi, who has been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment, has a history of heart attacks and was transferred to the central Evin clinic because of severe internal disease including gastrointestinal problems. Previously he was given two short sick-leaves because of his heart disease; however, as those leaves were not extended and medical treatment is not provided in prison, he has not fully recovered and is still at serious risk (IranPress news blog Oct. 27).
Head of Mosharekat Front’s Information Department is in grave physical condition – The wife of Hossein Nourani Nejad, the head of Mosharekat Front’s Information Department, who has been in custody since the elections, said her husband was in grave physical condition after 40 days in isolation. She said her husband has lost a lot of weight; he also suffers from chronic asthma. She slammed the authorities for keeping her husband in an unclear status without pressing charges against him.
Prisoner commits suicide – Human rights’ activists reported that Reza Rezaei, a 24-year-old prisoner who was held in the infamous Gohar Dasht prison, committed suicide due to unbearable pressure and harassments. Rezaei’s brother was executed two months ago, in one of the public executions that took place after the contested June 2009 elections. Human rights activists claim that the inhumane conditions in Gohar Dasht prison are the reason for the sharp rise in the number of suicides there (Oct. 15, 2009).