Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Wave of Arrests Amid Fears of Upheavals

Posted by IHRV On November - 17 - 2010

imagescatadszz.jpgIn the first week of November, 2010, medical science students started their second week of protests. Since it was announced to close the Academy two weeks ago, students have refused to attend classes and they request that the decision of the closure is reversed. 
This week, Iranian authorities set up new security measures in anticipation of any unrest that may occur once a new bill to discontinue certain subsidies takes effect. The new measures were to prevent any disturbances which may result from inflation and increased fees and costs to individuals and businesses. Police anti-riot forces have been deployed in the undeveloped western parts of the country to prevent any possible mass protests.
This week, Abbad Jafari Dowlatabadi, the prosecutor general of Tehran met with 17 prisoners in Evin Prison, including Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mohammed Olyaiefard and Mohammad Hadi Hadavi. He stated, “There is no verdict to acquit or convict Judge Mortazavi. His file is still under preliminary investigation.”
In the beginning of November, and coinciding with Student’s Day, hundreds of bloggers, human rights and civil society activists released a statement objecting to the continued detention of Navid, an 18-year-old high school student and blogger. The statement requested his release from prison so that he could return to high school.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned against politicizing the economic reform bill to discontinue subsidies and said businesses which increase prices in reaction to this bill, will be severely prosecuted.
Workers’ News
As the starting day to enforce a bill to discontinue subsidies approaches, workers’ problems and protests are on the rise. A group of Howo truck drivers held a rally on Saturday, October 30, 2010 in front of the parliament to protest the non-implementation of decisions towards the companies Iran-Khodro and Dizel companies by the Governmental Discretionary Punishments Organization. 
Also on October 30, 2010, two hundred retirees from the Worker Houses in Varamin and Pakdasht held another rally to protest the transfer of the direct treatment section from the Social Security Organization to the Ministry of Health.
Dozens of workers of the Nasb building of Abadan’s refinery and workers from the Green Space Organization of Abadan’s city hall protested due to delays in the payment of their salaries. As a result, some of the workers were dismissed.
On Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 750 workers of Mazandaran’s Textile Company held a demonstration which started at the production factory and ended in a sit-in in front of the deputy governor’s office in Ghaem Shahr.
The Social Security Center for Retired Workers of Tehran Province wrote a letter to the head of the General Inspection Organization and asked the organization to investigate illegal rules and procedures that increase social security by 6%.
The Iranian Nursing Organization sent a letter to the heads of the executive and legislative branches, objecting to the fact that the government has opposed hiring workers in the health care sector in the Fifth Development Plan.
This week, two members of the central committee of the Teachers Council of Kermanshah, Mihammad Tavakoli and Ali Sadeghi, were summoned to the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Kermanshah for allegations of propaganda against the regime.
In a memorandum, the Minister of Education stated that political teachers would not be hired.
On November 3, security forces arrested Saeed Torabian, head of the public relations section and a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Workers of the Vahed Bus Company that services the Tehran Metropolitan area. Gholam Reza Gholam Hosseini, another member of this independent union was also arrested in Karaj.  Torabian was released on bail one week later but Gholam Hosseini remains in prison. The International Transport Workers’ Federation released a statement on Friday, November 5, criticizing the arrests.
Nima Dehghan Shabnam Moghadami and Mohammad Reza Hosseinzadeh, both theatre directors, have declined to take part in the 29th Fair Theater Festival.
Religious and ethnic minorities
The first week of November was filled with the arrests of religious and ethnic minorities. On November 6, 2010, Siamak Ighani, a Bahai resident of Semnan, surrendered himself to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences of Semnan in order to serve his three year prison term. He has been convicted for propaganda against the regime and proselytizing the Bahai Faith.
Darsa Sobhani, a Bahai student banned from studying was summoned to the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran, in order to attend the trial scheduled for December 12, 2010.
Sara Mahboubi, a Bahai student banned from studying, was summoned to the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Sari, in order to deliver her final defense.
The trial of Sama Nourni began. She is a Bahai student currently banned from studying and charged with propaganda against the regime. The trial is being presided over by Judge Moghiseh.
Roufia Bideghi, a Bahai resident of Semnan was arrested by security forces.
On October 27, 2010, Simin Gorji, a Bahai resident of Ghaem Shahr, completed her one year prison term and was released from Ghaem Shahr Prison. She had been convicted of propaganda against the regime and believing in the Bahai Faith.
Hafez Esmaeel, the son-in-law of Sunni cleric Molavi Abdolhami was arrested on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 in his private vehicle. Molavi Abdolhami is the Friday Imam of Maki Mosque in Zahedan.
Saeed (Gholam Reza) Shamsaee, a dervish of the religious group Nematollahi Gonabadi, was tried at Branch 101 of the criminal court of Gonabad on October 28, 2010 for disturbing public order and refusing to obey police orders. He had been arrested on July 19, 2010 during a sit-in of Dervishes in front of the Gonabad prosecution office.
Arrests
Many arrests have occurred this week. Since the bill to provide security throughout areas in Tehran was implemented, Hossein Sajedi Nia, the chief of police for the Tehran Metropolitan Area has stated that more than “100 well-known hooligans” have been arrested. These arrests are based on warrants issued by judiciary authorities.
As part of a joint effort between the public security police and the special forces of the governor of Razavi Khorasan Province, 33 alleged “hooligans” were arrested in Mashhad.
After the areas surrounding the Shahcherag were purged, Sirous Sjajdian, commander of security forces stated that the house where the distribution, storage and use of narcotic drugs has been identified and 62 individuals were arrested.
Sajedi Nia, the chief of police for the Tehran Metropolitan Area, stated that on Sunday, October 31, 2010 members of two centers that produced and distributed illegal music were arrested.
This week, the Ministry of Intelligence claimed that four terrorists from the United Kingdom were arrested in the western city of Marivan. These individuals have allegedly killed four people.
Jahangir Mahmoudnejad Charmahini, also known as Jahangir Mahmoudi, a prominent lawyer from the prosecution office, surrendered himself to the authorities of the Special Clergy Court of Ahwaz and was condemned to 100 days imprisonment. The charges against his were dissemination of lies in order to disturb the peace of public mind and disturbing public order.
Media
Under the regime of Ahmadinejad, press media has been under severe attack and websites are no exception to this rule. The personal blog of Seyed Mohammad Khatami, a former president, was subjected to Article 23 of the Law on Computer Crimes by the Working Group to Inspect Cases of Criminal Content. The official announcement of the decision of the Working Group came on November 3, 2010 and internet providers were prevented from hosting the site. Following the ban on Seyed Mohammad Khatami’s site, the website of the Baran Foundation was also blocked.
According to an informed source, a total of five reporters of the Hamshahri newspaper were fired and four were referred to the human resources department.
Bahman Ahmadi Omuyi, a journalist and economic expert, was not released on bail, despite having posted a bond of 50 million Tomans.
Security forces have searched the house of Nazanin Khosrani, an arrested reporter, without presenting a search warrant.
University
On November 2, 2010, the students of Iran University continued their sit-in for the third consecutive day in front of the building of the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences. The students announced that some members of the science committee of the Academy had resigned.
On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, students protested the closure of the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences. They removed the word “Tehran” from the university title and replaced it with the word “Iran,” thereby changing the name to the Iran University of Medical Sciences i.e. the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences.
Arrests of students in cities other than Tehran are also on the rise. On November 7, 2010, Mohsen Barzgar, a student activist of the Noshirvani Industrial University and Ali Reza Kiani, a student activist from Babol, were arrested.
On November 4, 2010, Hossein Parhizgar, a Babol student who is banned from studying, was summoned to the office of the Ministry of Intelligence in Babol, and consequently arrested.
Ali Gholizadeh, a “star” student of Shahroud Industrial University and recently banned from studying, was arrested by armed, plain-clothed agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, without an arrest warrant. He is a political activist from Mashhad and a member of the general council of the Office for Consolidating Unity.
Payam Shakiba was summoned to Zanjan Prison to serve his prison term. This graduate of Zanjan University was previously tried at the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Zanjan and condemned to one year imprisonment. An appeals court reduced the sentence to six months imprisonment and a six month suspended sentence for five years.
In anticipation of the anniversary that marks the capture of the American Embassy in Tehran, a number of students of Amir Kabir University were summoned to an Islamic Revolutionary Court. These students were all active in the campaign of Mir Hossein Mousavi in 2009 and published the Souroda magazine at Amir Kabir University.
The cultural administration of Mazandaran University has opposed holding a ceremony to celebrate Cyrus the Great. Nevertheless, a number of student activists of the university held a symbolic ceremony to commemorate the International Day of Cyrus the Great.
Parties
This week, Abdollah Momeni, the spokesperson of the Islamic Alumni Association (Advar Tahkim Vahdat) filed a complaint against Saeed Mortazavi, the former prosecutor general of Tehran, Heidari Far, an interrogator of the Revolutionary Court and a main suspect of the events in the Kahrizak detention center, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, and interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence, including Seyed Ali Salehi, also known as Seyed.
Isa Khan Hatami, a member of the central committee of the National Front and an executive director of the organization Solidarity for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran, was summoned to the Revolutionary Court on Saturday, November 6, 2010.
Abbas Jalilan, also known as Aku, was freed from Kermanshah’s Dizelabad Prison, after having served his 15-month term. This researcher and writer has edited several volumes on Kurdish language and literature. In January 2009, he was arrested in West Eslam-Abad and was detained in the detention center of the Intelligence Ministry in Kermanshah. He was released on bail and then subsequently condemned to 15 months imprisonment, a sentence which was confirmed in the court of appeals.
On November 3, 2010, 74-year-old Hossein Shahriari, an old member in the leadership committee of the Pan-Iranist Party, was freed from prison. He was arrested in October 2009, and condemned to 18 months imprisonment for propaganda against the regime, and membership in the Pan-Iranist Party. Prior to that, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghiseh, had condemned him to 2 years imprisonment but the case was later referred to Branch 54 of the appeals court.
Branch 3 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Ahwaz had condemned two national and religious activists, Masud Ladani and Parvis Kahzadi, to two years and six months imprisonment, respectively, for acting against national security.
Women
This week, in a bizarre move, all political prisoners of the women’s section in Evin Prison were sent to the methadone quarantine ward. Since Wednesday night, November 3, 2010 the telephones of Women’s Section 2 have stopped operating and prisoners lost any means of communication with the outside world.
Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent lawyer, has reportedly been on a hunger strike of dry food since October 31, 2010, and is not in good physical condition.
Shabnam Madadzadeh, a member of the central committee of the Islamic Association at Tarbiat Moallem University, was visited by her sister, after 22 days of being held in solitary confinement. This student was not allowed to be released temporarily, even though she has been in prison for 621 days. She is reportedly in good spirits although physically weak and is suffering from heart and gastro-intestinal problems that are causes for concern.
Four days after Nazanin Khosrovani’s arrest, this journalist has not had any contact with her family. This is despite the fact that the prosecutor general of Tehran has stated that a detainee will be allowed to contact the family within 24 hours of the arrest, and inform family members of the location of detention.
An informed source of the judiciary confirmed that Shahla Jahed’s verdict of execution has been signed and her case had been sent to the Criminal Prosecution Office of Tehran in order for the verdict to be carried out.
Prisoners
The first move of the new head of Evin’s Prison, after being appointed, was to ban bringing fruits and certain foods to Section 350.
Since Tuesday November 2, 2010, the phones of certain sections of Evin Prison, including the section for the clergy where Ayatollah Boroujerdi is imprisoned, have stopped operating.
Hossein Mirzaee’s leg has been seriously injured as a result of physical torture but he has not been allowed access to medical care by prison authorities. He was arrested in 2009 by the Intelligence Minsitry’s Office in Orumieh and was tortured while in custody. After completing the interrogations, he was transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison, and suffered a laceration of a nerve in his leg as a result of torture.
Dr. Mohammad Sharif, a lawyer for Hodi Saber, has written a letter to the new head of Evin Prison and requested him to provide the legal grounds for her detention.
18 days after Mohammad Reza (Hossein) Farzin was arrested in his home, there has still been no information provided as to his whereabouts. Mr. Farzin is a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, former deputy mayor of Mashhad, and television director. He was arrested on September 14, 2010, by nine agents of the Intelligence section of the Revolutionary Guards Corps of Mashhad.
Osman Mostafapour, a political prisoner of Orumieh’s central prison, has been in prison for 19 years despite the fact that judicial authorities have agreed on his release. He was arrested in 1991 for acting against national security and condemned to 24 years imprisonment. In the 19 years that he has been imprisoned, he has never been granted a temporary release.
The defense attorney of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal, announced that the trial would be delayed due to her client’s absence from the court session.
The infirmary in Evin Prison announced that Olyayifar, an imprisoned lawyer, suffers from blood cancer. The infirmary further stated that he needs to be immediately examined by specialist but judicial authorities have not allowed him to be sent to a hospital.
Executions and other verdicts
On Tuesday, October 26, 2010, ten prisoners of Vakil-Abad prison in Mashhad were executed together, without being given official prior notice. All of these individuals had been convicted of drug-related offenses. One of them was reportedly a citizen of Nigeria.
Branch 113 of Tehran’s Criminal Court has condemned a man to death for having set fire to his wife and child, who died as a result.
Hossein M was executed in Esfahan Prison for rape.
The Ministry of Justice of Yazd Province announced that it will continue in its harsh prosecution of dealers and users of narcotic drugs and professional robbers. To demonstrate this policy, four individuals were publicly flogged in Imam Khomeini Circle in Tabas and in Kerit, a village near Tabas.
Branch 27 of the Supreme Court has confirmed the execution verdict of a young man named Ali who states he committed murder in order to defend his friend.
Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghiseh, has condemned Nezam Hassanpour to six years imprisonment. The charges include “acting against national security and resistance to state officials.” The appeals court of Tehran has approved this sentence.
Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Saghez had condemned Ebad Sheikhi to nine months imprisonment and a nine month suspended sentence for propaganda against the regime and collaborating with opposition parties.
Two cultural activists of Kamyaran, Ghasem Veisi and Farhad Fallahi, disappeared last week. No news has been reported from these two persons. They had been working on a documentary about the life and activities of Farzad Kamangar, a Kurdish teacher in a village near Kamyaran, who had been executed.
Ahmad Bab, a social activist from Marivan, was condemned to 14 years imprisonment by Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Marivan.

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