Monthly Archives: December 2011

Incarcerated Student Activist Maziyar Yazdanniya Is Beaten In Prison

In the continuing harassment and putting pressure on the incarcerated student activists in Babol’s Matikalla prison, Maziyar Yazdanniya was beaten by criminal prison inmates.

Maziyar Yazdanniya, Rahman Yaghoubi and Ali Abbasi were three of the student activists who were arrested among many other student activists during the 2009 protests in Mazandaran (N.Iran). They were all tried and sentenced to six months suspended sentence.

Last month, in an unexpected move, Bobol’s Prosecutor informed these three students among few others that their suspended sentence has been converted to in prison sentence.

Reports indicate that in the past, the officials at Matikalla prison have put political prisoners among dangerous criminals as a form of punishment and putting pressure on them.

Maziyar Yanzdanniya was arrested in 2009 and was incarcerated in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center for one month.

Even though he only has been back in prison for about three weeks, but he has been attacked and beaten by other prisoners three times already.

One of Maziyar’s friend’s says, “About ten days ago, Maziyar was attacked and beaten by one the dangerous criminals in prison only because he was laughing loud.

After this attack, no apparent reason, Maziyar was placed in solitary confinement by prison officials . However, few days later they returned him to the same section among the criminals. Maziyar has been attacked by other prisoners twice more since returning to the section.

One of Maziyar’s friend’s says, “All of our friends that were arrested or summoned by the Intelligence office were told that if Mazandaran university does not quite down, they will review all the closed cases and will change all the suspended sentences to in-prison sentences.

With changing of the suspended sentences of these three students, it seems like the Judiciary has already started doing so. This only shows that the Mazandaran Judiciary does not operate independently any longer.

In a phone conversation with his family, Maziyar told them he is being additionally charged for “Insulting the sacred and insulting the Supreme Leader”.

Ali Akbar Soroush, Alireza Falahati, Alireza Shahiri and Ahmad Miri are four other political prisoners that currently are in the city of Babol’s Matikalla prison.

Source: Kalameh

25 Activists Have Been Sentenced to Prison And Flogging In Tabriz

Branch 104 of the Public Court in East Azarbijan province has issued sentences of prison term and flogging for twenty five activists.

Below is the list of people who have received prison and flogging sentences:

Sentenced to one year in prison plus 70 lashes each are: Masoud Jalilzadeh, Mohsen Golestani, Saeid Ebrahimzadeh, Mohamad Ahmadi & Parviz Saeidian.

Sentenced to six months in prison plus 40 lashes each are: Kioumars Ghorbani Niknam, Shahriyar Kabiri Eskandari, Behnam Fathi, Aroman Zahideh Tabrizi, Ali Shahed, Hamed Andaz, Najaf Khandani, Siyamak Kondouri, Kaveh Rostampour and Mehdi Mohamadpour.

Sentenced to 91 days in prison plus 30 lashes each are: Bahram Khodayari, Taghi Molaei, Vahid Gholampour Golzari, Ali Mohamadi Aghbolagh, Adel Danapour, Bahram Faravani Alireza Naghshi and Alahverdi Ghorbani.

Source HRANA

The Supreme Court Has Overturned The Death Sentence of Kurdish Prisoner Zainab Jalalian

The Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence of Zainab Jalalian giving her life in prison on Moharebeh charges (enmity against God).

Jalalian’s lawyer, Dr. Mohamad Sharif told the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, “After a long period of follow-up with the Judicial authorities and not being able to receive answers, the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and changed it to life in prison.”

Zainab Jalalian

Zainab Jalalian was sentenced to death November 2009 on charges of affiliation with the banned Kurdish group PJAK.

Twenty seven year old Jalalian was incarcerated in the Intelligence Ministry’s solitary confinement for four months after she was arrested.

During her stay in solitary confinement Jalalian was under heavy pressure and torture and suffered head injury due to torture.

After she had already been sentenced and her case was in Appeals Court, In an illegal move, she was once again incarcerated in solitary confinement for three months. In protest, Jalalian then went on a hunger strike.

Zainab Jalalian was transferred from Kermanshah prison to Ward 209 of Evin prison in February of 2009. There was no apparent reason for her transfer and Zainab also was not informed of the reason why she was transferred.

Zainab filed a complaint, protesting that her detention in ward 209 (Under control of the Intelligence Ministry) was illegal, given that her interrogations were completed and she should have been moved to the general ward.

Zainab was under pressure and torture in Ward 209 by the Intelligence Ministry’s agents to give an on- camera false confession which she refused.

The Intelligence Ministry’s agents were promising Zainab to overturn her death sentence if she agreed to give a false confession and TV interview.

Pressures on Zaeinab intensified after five political prisoners were executed in April of 2009.

After being incarcerated in Ward 209 for five months, and after having a meeting with Tehran Public Prosecutor, Jalalian was transferred back to Kermanshah prison where she is currently incarcerated.

Source: CHRR

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s Letter To Public Prosecutor Announcing His Hunger Strike

Blogger and human rights activist, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, in an open letter to Tehran’s Attorney General, criticizes the widespread human rights violations in Iran and the added pressures on the political prisoners and their families.

The full text of the letter by this human rights activist, who now is on a hunger strike, as provided to The Human Rights House Of Iran, is as follows:

Dear Mr. Jafari Dowlatabadi, Tehran’s Attorney General,
With respect and greetings,

I, Sayed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, Son of Sayed Ahmad, born on July 5, 1985, have previously, in several letters informed your excellency of various matters, such as: My kidney problems, interrogation procedures and verdicts issuance, not providing defendants with the lower court’s initial ruling, the prison conditions and the conditions of prisoners with various ailments, the limbo status of prisoners and the added pressures on the prisoners and their families, the arrests, the solitary confinements, the lack of implementation and adherence to existing laws governing the country.

Today, as I have not seen any resolve to these matters, I have decided to continue my protest in a different manner.

Mr. Jafari-Dowlatabadi,

On the heels of the start of my second year of incarceration (December 12, 2009). To protest the denial of granting a medical furlough for the treatment of my kidney condition, failure to provide needed medical treatment to prisoners in need, such as Dr. Maasom Fardis, the arrests of and the pressures put on the human rights activists, such as Rozhin Mohamadi, the deplorable situations and conditions that has been created for the political prisoners families, and in support of Labor activist, Reza Shahabi who is on hunger strike protesting his uncertain and limbo status in prison, and ultimately the overall violations of the human rights of the political prisoners, I launched a hunger strike as of the evening of Friday, December 9, 2011.

Your excellency, the Attorney General,

After two years of keeping my silence in prison, today, seeing my dire health condition, Reza Shahabi, Dr. Maasom Fardis, and other political prisoners in bad health, I now have to say that we no longer should stay silent in regards to the deplorable conditions of the prisoners and the violations of their human rights.

In any case, my health is at serious risk due to poor conditions of prison and my stay in prison. Therefore, I will now resort to going on a hunger strike, which is the only option available to political prisoners to regain their rights.

I hereby notify you, and all others, that this is my chosen method to protest the before mentioned conditions, and to hereby inform you, and all others, of the deplorable situation of the political prisoners, and to tell you that I am willing to pay any price for it.

Even if it costs me my life.


Sayed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki
December 12, 2011
Evin prison, Ward 350

Source: RAHANA

Mohamad Nourizad: Why Does An Interrogator Have To Ask A Young Girl About Her First Sexual Encounter?

Journalist and documentary film maker Mohamad Nourizad has written his 14th letter to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Nourizad was arrested December 20, 2009 for writing and publishing letters critical of Khamenei and the regime’s harsh treatment of the post-election protesters. He was released from prison May 2011.

Mohammad Nourizad

Below are excerpts of his latest letter to Ayatollah Khamenei:

Nourizad starts his letter by speaking about death, and reminding Khamenei that we all will die some day.

He says, “The bird of death will pick us up, one by one, and will take us to a far away domain that it only knows where it is.

There is no exception in this. We will all go one day. Perhaps, some of us will go before you. So accept the fact, that the Leaders will die too.

Some, will go as a lonely shepherd. Some, will go as honorable peacemakers. And some, like Sadam and Ghaddafi, disgraced and dishonored.”

Nourizad continues with talking more about life and death and how some forget about the destiny that awaits us all.

He says, “We all encounter people who never think about the inevitable death, nor do they give any thought about their indecent deeds. They continue not only to destroy their own lives, but also the lives of others, as though they will exist as long as the universe exists.

They act as though they not only hold authority over everyone, but that they also hold authority over death. People who don’t think about death and think that they are eternal, do not hesitate to trample upon other’s rights and see people as expendable. For them, people are like sheep, tools, extras, stupid, and have no rights.

Nourizad continues talking about the people who see themselves superior to others and will not stop at anything to force their self proclaimed superior ideology on others.

He then invites Khamenei to go on a journey with him and see what the present and the future holds.

He says, “I would like to take your excellency’s hand and take you on a journey to see the tomorrow that awaits both you and us.

I want to place the bird of death on your excellency’s rooftop. I want to show you through my eyes the result of your actions in this world and the other world. So, please standup and give me your hand.

Think about the day that the national radio and television announcers will say, “We are from God, and to God, we all shall return”.

Nourizad than continues explaining that his aim in painting this picture is not to show Khamenei the mourning and cries of the people over his death, but to show him what will happen to the country if hardliners like Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and many others who think that are eligible, take over his duties.

He talks about the complications that would arise if the ultra conservative Ayatollah Mesbah Yasdi takes over the Supreme Leadership position.

Nourizad says, “Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, has a specific idea and description for the authority of the position of Supreme Leader. He will not back down from his perceived authority which he sees on a par with God.”

In his letter, Nourizad continues to talk about the Sepah’s authority and influence in the economy sector. He talks about how Sepah has become untouchable and no one can criticize their actions and authority, as they have risen above the law.

He takes Khamenei on a journey further into the future, painting a picture of what is to come. He then takes him back to the past and talks about the time Khamenei was selected to become the Supreme Leader.

Nourizad continues criticizing Khamenei for his actions and for him not abiding by the rule of law, in his self- proclaimed position of the Supreme Leader, for life.

Nourizad then invites Khamenei back to the present time and brings his attention back to the atrocities that exist under his current rule.

He talks about the Iranian Diaspora that had to leave the country seeking shelter in foreign countries to stay safe from false accusations and being harassed in their own country. He talks about the genius minds that have left the country to flee the oppression that exists in our country.

He continues by inviting Khamenei to take a visit with him to the many people that are imprisoned in solitary confinement for various reasons.

He tells Khamenei that he has previously spoken with him about some of the Intelligence Ministry’s agents. He tells him that he (Khamenei) is well aware of the evil actions of these agents and knows well what they do to the accused prisoners.

He says, “Let us pay a visit to few of these monster agents that are working to preserve the System, so we can see what the evil Intelligence Ministry does to the victims.

No, no, I don’t intend for us to visit the visit the solitary confinements. Let these monsters continue to preserve the system by forcing “Hamzeh Karami’s” head into a dirty toilet bowl. Let us not bother them.

In an adjacent cell, the intelligence “brothers”, for the purpose of “saving the system”, are showing a video to one of your opponents. A video that they made by hidden cameras in his bedroom. They are threatening him with making this secretly made video public. Let us leave for now, I am getting sick, just like you.”

Nourizad then goes on describing an interrogation session and says, “The accused is a young girl. A university student. They take her to the interrogation room blindfolded.

They make her sit on a chair placed in the corner of the room. Then the interrogator enters the room.

The young girl stands up as a sign of respect. The interrogator shouts, “Sit down you slut”. The young girl answers a few question with a respectful tone of voice. The interrogator shows his true character by shouting again and saying, “Don’t talk to me in that tone of voice you slut”.

What is the young girl guilty of? Student protest in the university. Then why is the interrogator asking her to describe her first sexual encounter?

This is their usual ploy, a synergy with two purposes. This ploy, first demoralizes the accused and secondly, gives pleasure to the interrogator.

The young girl shyly denies the sexual encounter but is shaken by the loud scream of the interrogator.

Why are you looking away my dear sir, take a good look. These have been and are the tactics of your Intelligence Ministry.

Oh God, and think of all the unnamed victims, no one ever heard their voice, and no one ever heard about the atrocity that was committed against their soul.

The girl has no choice, she has to answer to this monster.

G- It was only once.
M- Tell me.
G- What should I say?
M- Tell me everything, all the details.
G- Why all the details? I told you it was only once.
M- Don’t be smart you dirty slut, tell me everything.

The girl starts to explain saying it was a boy…….then she starts to cry. The monster kicks the chair. All the girl can think about now is the warm embrace of her parents…..

In that cell, the monster seems to be enjoying himself by the girl describing her first sexual encounter. The girl is sweating profusely with embarrassment.

What am I saying, the poor girl is but a speaking corpse by now. This interrogation session lasts for 7 hours, 6 hours of which were her describing every detail of her sexual encounter.

She was in prison for eight months. When she was released, she was like an old woman. Can you see my dear sir.”

Nourizad then continues with taking Khamenei to the cell that he himself was incarcerated in and describes what happened to him there.

He continues telling Khamenei how his opponents are arrested in the middle of the night by raiding their homes and pulling them out of bed and placing them in a sack right in front of their frightened family.

Nourizad continues in his letter with criticisms of Sepah, of the financial misconducts and embezzlements, of the Judiciary system and of many of the high ranking clergy and officials in the country.

He than talks about the Green leaders, Mousavi and Karoubi and criticizes Khamenei for arresting them. He tells him that, by arresting them, their status and popularity has soared among the people while Khamenei’s has sharply decreased.

He tells Khamenei that if he thinks they are guilty of anything then why not put them on trial. He asks Khamenei what would he have liked for them to do if their situation was reversed.

He then takes Khamenei to this scene: “Look at these two rows of seats. The first row is in a bright horizon and the second row is in dark horizon.

In the bright horizon, there sit Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and other Noble people like them. In the dark horizon, there sit Sadam & Ghaddafi and evil people like them.

Next to each row there is an empty chair, for you, and for your choosing. Which will you choose, next to Gandhi and Mandela, or next to Sadam and Ghaddafi?”

Nourizad concludes his letter by yet again advising Khamenei to return to the people’s will and wishes and tells him there still is time to do the right thing.

Source: Nourizad

Mother Of Killed Protester Amir Arshad Tajmir: They Killed My Amir Arshad Three Times

In an interview with Fereshteh Ghazi of Roozonline, veteran radio and television personality, Shahin Mahinfar, mother of Amir Arshad Tajmir broke her silence after two years.

Mrs Mahinfar told Rooz, “My son chose his own path. He participated in all the post-election protests along with the people. He died with dignity and pride.” Mrs. Mahinfar believes she lost one Amir and gained thousands Amir back.

Amir Arshad Tajmir lost his life on Ashura (Dec 27, 2009), during mass street protest against the rigged 2009 presidential election.

His family had kept silent but in an interview with Rooz, his mother broke her silence, on the second anniversary of what has become known as “Bloody Ashura” and said her son was crushed under the wheels of a police car.

She explains that her son lost his life trying to help two young women being beaten up by police.

She says, “I told Amir not to join the protest but he said he is going for the love of his country. I told him “but you are my love”. He told me, “Don’t be selfish, I am your love, but my love is 70 million Iranians. I am going out to protest for them.”

I felt ashamed and selfish after he said that. He left and never came back.”

During the Ashura protests, nine people lost their lives. Shabnam Sohrabi, Shahram Farajzadeh, Shahrokh Rahmani and Amir Arshad Tajmir were all killed by police cars running over them.

Mostafa Karimbaigi, Sayeid Ali Mousavi, Mohamad Ali Rasekhniya and Mehdi Farhadi were all killed by being shot on that day.

Jahan Bakht Pazooki is another victim of that day, however, details of how he was killed have not been published to date.

The Islamic Republic’s authorities have not taken responsibility for these deaths and the official complaints filed by their families have had no results.

I gave one Amir and gained thousands of Amirs.

Amir’s mother, shahin Mahinfar says she is proud of her son.

Shahin Mahinfar

She broke her silence after two years and said, “I have heard that the video of Amir’s killing has been widely publicized by media abroad. But they mistakenly identify my son as another person. That person is dear to my heart also. But please, tell everyone that the person who was crushed and killed by the police car running over him three times is my Amir. Please tell them to correct their mistake.

Amir Arshad’s mother continues, “Amir Arshad was the young man who went to help two fellow citizens, but lost his life in the process. They had arrested two young women and were beating them hard.

One of those girls came to my son’s burial and explained everything to me. Security forces were beating the girls and people were booing the forces. Amir Arshad shouted, “just booing the forces will not help, we have to stop them from beating the girls”.

Amir Arshad tried to push away one of the policemen. People come forward and got involved also. All of a sudden more security forces showed up.

I don’t know how much beating he received by a baton before a marked police car, with high speed, backed up into him and he fell down.

At this same time, another marked police car that was parked nearby and runs back and forth over Amir Arshad three times.

Please let everyone know, the man that was run over by police car three times was Amir Arshad, son of Shahin Mahin Far.”

Mrs. Mahinfar says she never imagined such a thing could happen. She said, “Ultimately they could have arrested him and taken him away. But no, they killed him; they killed him three times.

They ran over my son three times. The first time they ran over him and crushed him, he was still alive. They killed him three times.

I really don’t know what to call what they did to him. I have no name for what they did. I even think that animals have some honor and dignity, but for these people………”

I asked Mrs. Mahinfar about her son’s participation in the mass street protests. She said, “Amir Arshad had chosen his own path. He participated in all of the protests along side the people. I hold my head up, I am very proud of him.

I am proud that I raised a son who was honorable, loved his nation and his fellow Iranians. Even if I wasn’t a good mother, my son’s actions made me proud enough for me to hold my head up, but it broke my back.

My son courageously went out to join the protest, with the knowledge that he might ultimately be arrested and tortured. But they killed him while he was shouting, “These girls are our fellow citizens that we have to protect.”

Mrs. Mahinfar says she has not filed a complaint, and says, “People blame me for not filing a complaint. Where should I file a complaint and who should I file the complaint about?

So many people who lost loved ones have filed a complaint to no avail. I like all other mothers who lost their children have a broken heart.

It wasn’t just Amir. Amir was not my only child, Mostafa, Neda, Sohrab and many more were all my children. I am proud of all of those who lost their life for freedom. They are all my children.

They were not guilty of anything. Their only guilt was that they were guiltless. You don’t need to cry anymore, I don’t cry anymore either. Nothing has been achieved by my two years of crying. My son did not come back. He won’t come back, and none of my other children will ever come back.”

She adds, “I am not a well person anymore. I feel like I have died, but is there anything I can do? Who should I turn to that would seek justice for my son.

Who should I tell that I worked so hard for twenty five years so my son could have a better life. Who should I tell that, for twenty five years, I stayed up at nights so my son could sleep. Is there anyone that could understand…..

With all the pain that I am in right now, I still can not hate and curse the murderers of my son. I don’t have the heart to do that. I think about their children also; they are like my children too.

I am so ashamed that there are people who live in my country that can run over a twenty five year old three times and crush him to death, only because of his love for other human beings.

To top it all, they have no dignity and honor. They say it didn’t happen and the whole scene was staged….You tell me who should I turn to for seeking justice. Are they really able to sleep at night?”

My silence is not because that I am afraid.

Amir Arshad’s mother says she and her family’s two years of silence was not due to being fearful of anything.

“They say we kept our silence because we were afraid. Please tell everyone that my silence was not due to fear of anything. I am no longer afraid of anything. I am not alive anymore.

I feel like a dead person walking. Like all other parents, I had many hopes for my child. I am not a wealthy person. I did not have a wealthy husband. I worked very hard to raise a decent and good person.

Now that I have nothing left, is there anything for me to be afraid of anymore? I know that my phone is tapped and controlled, but I proclaim that I am not afraid of anything. I just don’t want to lose another Amir Arshad. I don’t want another mother to mourn their child.

Mrs. Mahinfar refers to the arrest of some of the Mourning Mothers (group of mothers that have lost their children during the protests and their supporters), at the cemetery where they had gathered to celebrate her son’s birthday.

“Can you believe that I don’t even go to my son’s grave site anymore. Do you know why? Because if I go there, the Plainclothes Forces and the police may show up. I don’t want to cause any problems for other people.

I am afraid that they may arrest another person, or even kill someone else’s child. I don’t want other parents to have to mourn their child.

All the young people in my country are like my own children. I don’t want to cause any problems for any of them.

I am a sixty three year old woman, and I have no more strength left. I hardly go anywhere. I don’t go to my son’s grave site. However, sometimes, like a thief who tries not to be seen, I do go to his grave site.”

On December 5, 2010, Amir Arshad’s family’s birthday celebration at his grave site was raided by the police and the Plainclothes Forces.

They arrested Sohrab Arabi’s mother, Ramin Ramezani’s mother and Mostafa Karimbaigi’s sister and mother. They then released them after few hours of interrogation at the cemetery.

But they arrested two of the mourning mothers and the father of Ramin Ramezani and took them to Shahre Ray police station, charged them and sent them to prison.

They all spent time in solitary confinement in Evin Ward 209 for months before being released on bail.

Mrs. Mahinfar adds, “I and Amir Arshad’s father are very proud of our son. He lost his life trying to help two fellow human beings.

We hope that no other parent goes through what we did, even the killers of our son. We hope no other parent has to mourn their child, for I know, what it feels like to lose your child.

I have suffered this terrible lost and know what it feels like. I don’t even wish this upon my enemy. He grow inside of me and was a part of me and I nourished and nurtured him.

I gave one Amir and gained thousands back. The murderers of Amir Arshad don’t realize what they have done. But I know what they did to my son.

I hold my head up. I have been holding my head up for two years now. It will be exactly two years on December 27th. But I have held my head up. But my back is bent and broken, can anyone do anything about that? Can anyone do anything for me to standup straight again.

I can still hear Amir’s voice in my head. On Yalda night, he whispered in my ear “I love you” as though he knew it’s the last time he can say that.

Mrs. Mahinfard asks the question, “What were our children guilty of? All they wanted was freedom and security for themselves and their fellow countrymen.

Two years have gone by, but that scene is played before my eyes over and over, and I see them killing my son.

I am not the only mother that suffers this way. What about Neda’s mother, doesn’t she suffer the same way? Sohrab’s mother and many more mothers suffer the same way.

I, like many other mothers, sometimes wonder if God hears our cries. All these cries and moans, does God hear them? Where is the just God that they thought us about?

Source: Rooz

40 Days After Release From Prison, Ashkan Zahabiyan Still Suffers From Stuttering, Physical, Psychological Damage

Every day news reports from around the country are heard about physical and mental damage inflicted on political activists, civil activists and journalists who are former & current political prisoners. The worse cases can be seen in the lesser known prisoners.

Despite all the new information coming out about prisoner’s tortures, the Judicial and prison authorities have not shown any reaction.

These officials ignore these reports, while they continue to propagate religious riotousness and moral values.

While all these new troublesome reports of terrible treatment of political prisoners continue to come out, many remain silent. They have not revealed details of their tortures, and it’s effects on them, for fear of more pressure on them and the fear of being re-arrested.

The newest such banned case, is about education university student, Ashkan Zahabian recently released from prison. Ashkan is suffering from the effects of the pressure and torture he received in prison and going on hunger strike in prison.

Ashkan Zahabiyan before going to prison(Left) - Ashkan Zahabiyan after less than 6 months in prison(Right)

This member of the General Council of Daftar-e-Tahkime Vahdat (Student’s Association), was released from prison on September 21, 2011. He was released after two months of illegal detention and solitary confinement in Shahid Kachoui detention center in the city of Sari (N.IR); and about four months imprisonment among hard core criminals in Mati Kala prison in the city of Babol (N.IR).

Ashkan is now suffering from various health issues that, according to physicians, is the direct result of the tortures he suffered in prison.

Due to repeated and long interrogation sessions, and the inhumane treatment he received in prison, and a long stay in solitary confinement, he now suffers from stuttering.

Ashkan did not suffer from stuttering prior to his last arrest on May 2, 2011. Forty days after his release from prison, his stuttering still continues.

Ashkan continues to be under treatment by neurologist and speech therapist for his stuttering problem that he acquired in less than six month in prison.

In his last days in prison, and since release, Ashkan has also been suffering from severe pain in his liver. Doctors have said that due to unsanitary prison conditions, due to his hunger strike, and due to lack of vaccinations prior to imprisonment, Ashkan now suffers from Hepatitis type A and gastronomical problems.

Ashkan is currently under treatment by specialists for the Hepatitis type A that he acquired in prison.

He also is also suffering from a skin condition that the doctors say he acquired due to unsanitary prison conditions.

Ashkan Zahabian, member of the General Council of Daftar-e-Tahkime Vahdat (Student’s Association) and member of the Education Rights committee, was summoned and arrested by Intelligence Ministry’s Headquarters in Mazandaran province (N.IR) on May 2, 2011. He was then transferred to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center in the city of Sari.

He was incarcerated in solitary confinement, under heavy physical and psychological pressure for two months. After the completion of his interrogations he was transferred to Mati Kala prison in Sari.

After serving more than half of his illegal six months sentence, he launched a hunger strike to protest his illegal detention and imprisonment among hard core criminals in Sari prison.

On the second day of his hunger strike, his heath deteriorated. Instead of providing him with medical help, he was put in solitary confinement where his health condition became even worse and he fell unconscious.

During his hunger strike, his father told Kaleme, “My son is in a dangerous situation and his life is in danger. Just imagine yourself among sixty dangerous death row prisoners. His cell mates said that they were wondering who is this young man? Later, they said they found out that he is a political prisoner.

I am very worried for my son, his situation is dire. I wished that the media would pay more attention and publicize his case.”

Ashkan’s mother also told Kaleme that her son was only guilty of supporting Mir Housein Mousavi and Karroubi, she said, “They asked him, “Why did you go to Ayatollah Sanei and Vahid Khorasani’s home?”.

You tell me, is this a crime? These gentlemen were considered to be good people until not long ago. How come they have all of a sudden become so bad that visiting them is a crime?”

Ashkan, a Karoubi presidential campaign activist, has been arrested three times so far. He was arrested the first time during student protests at Mazandaran university on June 16, 2009. His arrest was violent, he was beaten up severely and while he was unconscious, he was arrested and taken away by the Intelligence Ministry’s agents.

He was not allowed to see his lawyer prior to and during the trial, nor was he allowed a defense. He was sentenced in absentia by the Revolutionary Court in Babol and was given the illegal sentence of six months in prison.

He was not informed of his trial date, and was not given the opportunity to defend himself in court.

Ashkan was arrested for the second time and sent to prison on November 2, 2009, on the charge of anti-national security activities for establishing the Islamic Society of Northern Provinces.

In 2008, when he was a member of Central Council of the Islamic Society of Ferdowsi University and the Medical School in Mashhad, he was expelled and ordered to transfer to Mazandaran university.

After two terms in Mazandaran university, and after having passed 120 credits in total, Ashkan was expelled from the university.

Ashkan was arrested for the third time on May 2, 2011 for the crime of meeting with Grand Ayatollahs in Qom.

Source: Kaleme

Abdollah Momeni’s wife: After Writing A Letter To The Leader, Abdollah’s Situation Is Worse Than Before

It has been nine months  since Advar-e-Tahkime Vahdat (Alumni Association) Spokesman, Abdollah Momeni has been allowed use of furlough.

He was violently arrested on June 20, 2009 at the Free Citizen’s headquarters (Mehdi Karroubi’s supporters).

He was incarcerated under interrogation and torture for more than 100 days in solitary confinement.

Abdollah Momeni

After 9 months in prison, Momeni was released on a short furlough (5 days)  in March of 2010, during which time he was summoned many times by the interrogators.

The interrogators wanted Momeni to testify and give interviews to the press and speeches at the universities against the Green Leaders, against Advar-e-Tahkime Vahdat, and against the student movement.

Momeni refused to comply with the interrogators request. In retaliation, they sent him back to prison.

During his incarceration, Momeni went on a hunger strike twice. He. along with other prisoners. went on a 15 day hunger strike to protest the treatment of political prisoners and their families by the authorities.

He also went on a 15 day hunger strike along with eleven other political prisoners protesting the death of Hoda Saber in prison due to lack of medical treatment.

In summer of 2010, Momeni wrote a letter to the Leader of the Islamic Republic. In his letter he described the unbearable tortures that he suffered in the hands of the interrogators.

Tortures, like pushing his head into a filthy dirty toilet and the severe physical and psychological tortures that he suffered. His letter was widely published in the media.

Later, Momeni filed an official complaint with the Judiciary against his interrogators, Judge Mortazavi and Judge Salavati (the Judges in his case).

But yet again, they put him in the defendant’s seat. He was charged with additional charges for filing the complaint and for writing a letter to the Leader. He was arraigned on charges of disturbing the public by publishing lies.

Momeni is currently in Ward 350 of Evin prison, serving his 5 year sentence.

The following is an interview conducted by Jaras with Momeni’s wife, Fatemeh Adinehvand.

Mrs. Adinehvan, how is the general status and condition of Mr. Momeni

Mr. Momeni was taken to a hospital twice for treatment but his hearing problem still exists. Due to tortures he suffered, his ear drum in one ear was torn and he also has a problem in his other ear. We hope that they will allow his treatment to continue.

Unfortunately, Abdollah also suffers from a skin condition he acquired while in solitary confinement due to unsanitary conditions. In the last 30 months his skin condition has gotten worse and is very bothersome for him.

If the authorities had a bit of compassion, they would allow him medical furlough for treatment of his conditions.

How long has it been since Mr. Momeni has been out on furlough?

He has not been out on furlough since April 2010. During his 600 days of incarceration, they have only allowed us a face to face meeting three times. He is also banned from use of a telephone.

My children miss their father and they would like to see him and talk with him, But unfortunately they have not replied to our requests for a face to face meeting or for a furlough. We also have a God.

Mrs. Adinehvand why do they not approve his furlough?

Abdollah believes that because of the letter he wrote to the Leader that they deny his furlough. However, I think additional causes are his filing a complaint against his interrogators and Judge Mortazavi.

I regret that it is because of personal grudges that they deny his rights. Abdollah’s status became much worse after writing that letter to the Leader.

With everything you described, how is Mr. Momeni’s mood?

Prison is not a good place for a teacher, but despite that, he is in good spirits.

Mrs. Adinehvand, as a member of a martyr’s family, and since you lost your first husband to preserve the independence of the country, what is your request from the authorities in the Islamic Republic that continue to praise the martyrs?

I have absolutely no request from them, and, considering their prior actions, I do not expect them to honor the rights of the prisoners.

We have sent a furlough request and a request for a face to face meeting, to the Public Prosecutor’s office, but I don’t think that they are the real decision makers. I think the decisions are made by others and as a result we don’t expect anything from them.

It is regretful that in an Islamic country the rights of the people are so easily trampled upon and justice does not exist. Do they themselves not like for their children to be able to see their parents?

Source: Jaras

Letter From Evin: They Took A 22 Year Old Student, Barely Weighing 100 LBS to be flogged

Incarcerated journalist, Bahman Ahmadi Amouei, in a letter to his wife, journalist Zhilla Baniyagoub has tried to paint a picture of the living conditions for himself and the other political prisoners in Ward 350 of Evin prison.

Although his letter is addressed to the wife of this political prisoner, however, it goes beyond being a personal letter. The author has shared with the audience, with great care and scrutiny, the life of pro-Green Movement prisoners inside Evin prison.

It has been 2 1/2 years since Bahman Amouei was arrested and imprisoned. He was arrested on June 20, 2009 at his home and has been imprisoned since.

During his incarceration, he has only been allowed one short furlough. During the last 21 months he has not been allowed the use of a furlough. In the last year and a half he has only been allowed three face to face visits with family.

The most important charges that Amouei’s conviction was based on, were the critical articles he wrote in the Economics Newspaper about Ahmadinejad government’s economic performance, his personal web site and his job as the editor-in-chief of Khordade Noo web site.

Zhilla and Bahman in front of Evin March 2010, after he was released on $500.000 bail on a short furlough

The full text of Amouei’s letter as provided to Kaleme site is as follows:

Hello, my dear Zhila,

I am seated on a wooden chair, with broken arms, in the court yard of Ward 350, staring ahead.

It’s been raining for one week, there is no sign of the sun. Clouds are very thick and dense as though they want to pour down everything that they bear.

For me, the weather is cold, with the northern wind blowing and bringing cold air with it. As usual, with the start of Autumn, everyday I feel like I am coming down with a cold. By the end of winter, I will come down with a few severe colds. You know well how I am.

In these rainy days, we mostly spend our days and nights in our cells in Ward 350, on our beds, which is the most private space that we each have.

There are eighteen of us in this cell, we barely can have a cup of tea without intruding on another’s space. The prison must be out of heating fuel, it’s cold here and we don’t have hot water. It’s been a few days since I have taken a shower.

These days, more and more, I think about what is on the other side of these tall walls, and our time together.

Today, I decided, perhaps it is not a bad idea to use the excuse of writing a letter to you, to write down my feelings about being behind these thick and tall walls.

You see Zhila, how selfish we men are. Even when we want to say something to our wives, we put our self in the center of attention.

Here, sometimes we sit around and talk to each other. Every time your name comes up, I tell everyone that you have changed my views, and how much deeper I now think about things and people, and how you have taught me to pay more attention to details.

You have taught me to read books regularly with the focus on particular subjects. I owe you a lot, among them is me being in here, which is one the most important and valuable chapters in my life.

Perhaps if it wasn’t for you, I would have ended up somewhere else in life instead of here among the most elite children of my nation.

But now I have ended up in a place that I can be proud of, and the path of life that I chose. I can walk tall with pride. Yes, this is how you feel when you are a political prisoner.

From where I sit now, I am a few meters away from the tall wall that surrounds the court yard, a red brick wall with circular barbed wire on the top.

The sun shines it’s light thru these same barbed wires in the mornings, and if we are lucky we see the moonlight through them at night.

A few evenings ago, during the nightly row-call at about 6 PM, I saw the moon rising up from the east. It was a full moon. I smiled in joy. I stood on my toes so I could see the moon better from over the wall.

Alireza Beheshti Shirazi, with his usual smile asked, what are you smiling about? I showed him the moon and said, it’s been a long time since I have seen the moon. As though, the moon had been captured by the same barbed wires.

Walls, walls, walls, wherever I look, there are walls. A 50 centimeter thick red wall, as though every 10 centimeter of it tells the story of a decade of our lives.

What has happened to this country in last fifty years? Apparently this prison was built in the fifties.

As though all of us and all the previous occupants of this place share the same memories. There must be memories in each corner of this place. I stroke my hand on the wall trying to feel some of those memories.

Do you remember Mohamad Mehdi Frouzandehpour, office manager for Mir Housein Mousavi at the Academy of Art? We talk together a lot these days.

Yesterday, he was saying that, all these years they influenced our minds so much that it became like walls between us and the people. They didn’t let us see our society and our people as they really are.

They branded people with various beliefs and ideologies which were not necessarily true, and these all became taboos in our minds. Taboos that we weren’t suppose to go near.

Frouzandehpour with regret said, “In these months that I have been in prison, I have realized how much we had isolated ourselves and we didn’t see others.”

He pointed out the national-religious activists that he shares a cell with, “They are very nice and sincere people, the same with the leftist students. Why wouldn’t they let us know and see these people for the human beings that they are?”

What Frouzandehpour said was very interesting. I had been thinking about the same things recently. Walls, walls, walls and more walls.

Yesterday there was a rumor that we now have warm water. We all went and lined up to take a shower. I saw a scene that made me suddenly exclaim: Every facet of the Iranian society is represented here, all different political spectrums.

Mohsen Mirdamadi, a former governor and former Parliament member, was talking with a few leftist students. Javad Lari a amember of Mojahedin Khalgh (MEK), was washing dishes. Fayzollah Arabsorkhi was taking a shower. National-Religious activist Alireza Rejaei tapped me on my shoulder and said you’ll be the last to take a shower.

Zhilla, how distant from each other we were all these years, and how close we are now. I don’t know, but I think after thirty years of hostility towards each other, we now have put our differences aside. We are all together, though in prison. Isn’t this what the Green Movement wants?

We have had the opportunity to talk with each other. Something that we all were reluctant to do before. We all had become each others enemies. We all called each other infidels, heretics and anti-people’s revolution.

A few days ago, they took Amin Niyaeifar for flogging. He is twenty two years old and barely weighs one hundred pounds. He is very thin.

The day they brought this Tehran University Mechanical Engineering student to our ward, everyone joked with him, telling him, that now that he is here, he can eat better and not be so malnourished.

When he came back from being flogged, we could see the bruised blue lines on his back. We didn’t know what to do. Numbers of other people from adjoining cells came to our cell. We joked and laughed a bit trying to change his uncomfortable and sad mood.

Zhilla, let me tell you something interesting that we do here that is an excuse for me to think about you. In these situations I always imagine you standing in front of me.

Every Friday afternoon we gather at the 200 meter Evin court yard. Imprisoned student, Ali Malihi MC’s a program called culture and nature.

We sit around the court yard and imagine ourselves in nature with lush greenery. Some people recite a poem, some sing a song. We then praise and clap for those who performed.

We try to be very loud in praising and clapping. You know why? You probably have heard that the female political prisoners are now our neighbors just on the other side of the wall.

We clap harder and try to be very loud and happy so we can share our happiness with those who are on the other side of the wall.

We do this so we can say, we are here, and we are countless.

Labor activist, Ebrahim Madadi says hello in a very loud voice in the hopes of his voice being heard by them on the other side of the wall. Even though we don’t know if they can hear us or not.

Sometimes I imagine you being among them, next to Bahareh Hedayat, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mahdiyeh Golrou, Atefeh Nabavi ,and the others.

What is more interesting is that sometimes we do hear their laughter and happiness as though they are trying to share their happiness with us.

When Asghar Mahmoudian, father and son Daneshvar, Vahid Laalipour and Hamed Yazerloo hear their laughter you can see tears of joy in their eyes. Their wives and mothers are among those prisoners.

Their loved ones are just a few meters away, the other side of the tall walls. It is so hard to have your loved ones so near to you, yet you can only see them every other week for 20 minutes only.

My dear Zhila, I miss you so much. Sometimes I think maybe it’s not so bad if they implement your prison sentence also, so you could be just the other side of the wall. So I, like Vahid who hears his wife Mahdiyeh’s laughter, could hear your laughter also.

On top of it all, we could have had face to face visits every other week, and if we are lucky, we could even meet at the prison clinic.

Sometimes I even think that now days, here, the prison, is the safest place in Iran for people like you. At least here, twice a day they do a row-call.

But on the outside, if a few people a day go missing, some might even be happier. For this reason, I think prison is a safer place for you now.

Zhilla, you won’t believe the people they have arrested and brought in here in the last few weeks. For example, a truck driver and a seventy-five years old man.

They both say that they were sitting in their home and watching the Islamic Republic’s TV showing a program about how unemployment rate has dropped this year and how economy has improved.

They both say they got so mad at such lies on the national TV that they picked up a marker and went out to the street to write graffiti against such lies. They were arrested.

Today, they brought in an Esfahan university professor whom they had recorded in his classroom, saying what he said in the class sounded like anti-regime propaganda. They brought him here after 35 days in solitary in Esfahan prison.

Well, Zhilla, what else can I tell you. You know for a man like me who was raised with Bakhtiyari culture, it’s very difficult to express my feelings.

May be that’s why I tried to express myself in these words that I wrote. I said all these other things so that I could tell you, that you have always been kind and forgiving towards me. You are the best thing that ever happened to me in my life.

Bahman Ahmadi Amouei
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
3 AM, Evin Ward 350, room 9

Source: Kaleme