Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hamzeh Karami: My Head Was Pushed More Than 20 Times In a Feces Filled Toilet

Political prisoner Hamzeh Karami, who was released on furlough for Norooz (Iranian New Year) holidays, returned to Evin prison on Monday March 26, 2012.

According to reports by Kalameh, this eight year war veteran of Iran-Iraq ,who has been incarcerated for 950 days, was hospitalized in the last days of the Iranian calendar year, was granted a one week furlough leave from prison.

Hamzeh Karami, the Editor-In-Chief of Jomhooriat website was arrested in the aftermath events of the 2009 presidential election.

He was initially sentenced to 16 years in prison by the lower court. The Court of Appeals reduced his sentence to 11 years in prison.

Hamzeh Karami was released on bail on furlough May 18, 2010. He re-arrested and returned to Evin prison one week later.

Despite suffering from a heart condition and in need of proper medical treatment, his request for additional medical furlough was denied on June 19, 2010.

On July 2, 2010, Karami was admitted to the medical clinic in Evin prison due to deteriorating health condition.

From 1989 to 1996, Karami was the Lieutenant Governor of Varamin. From 1996 to 2002 he was the Chief Political Director in Hashemi Rafsanjani’s and Mohamad Khatami’s administrations.

He also served for 8 years as a Sepha Commander during the Iran-Iraq war.

He also was head of the Public Relations office during Rafsanjani’s presidential run.

Regarding his torture in prison, Karami says, “I was tortured in various ways, including dunking my head more than twenty times in a feces-filled filthy toilet bowl in order to force me make a false confession.

Each time I cried out “O Zahra” (Prophet Mohamad’s daughter), they insulted her. Each time I said “O God”, they said, “We are your God today and will do to you what ever we want”. ”

In a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, Karami detailed the physical and mental tortures he suffered and asked for an independent court to review his charges and to try his case.

In that letter, Karami talked about the pressures put on him to confess to illicit sexual relations with the immediate family and relatives of the Green Movement leaders.

According to Karami, the interrogators wanted to get confessions from him to having illicit relations with someone in the immediate family of one of the top leaders of the Green Movement and two of the immediate family of a high ranking Green Movement supporter.

Karami repeatedly refused to make false confessions, but he agreed to write down and sign the false confession that interrogators were asking for after the more than twenty times that his head was dunked in a feces-filled toilet bowl causing him to almost choke.

Another one of the confessions that Karami made under torture, was admitting to embezzlement and financial corruption of Mehdi Hashemi the son of former president Hashemi-Rafsanjani.

Source: Kalameh

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Former Political Prisoner, Journalist Masoud Lavasani Has Disappeared

Update: Masoud Lavasani’s wife told BBC Persian that her husband has been in a hospital. Apparently when he went out for a walk he passed out on the sidewalk and a passerby took him to the hospital. Masoud did not carry any identification with him so the hospital staff did not know his identity. He did call home from the hospital today.

Former political prisoner, journalist Masoud Lavasani has been missing since yesterday.
Lavasani was released from prison last year after completing his sentence.

Lavasai’s wife, Fatemeh Kheradmand on her Facebook page wrote, “Masoud went out for a walk yesterday and has not been back since and his whereabouts is unknown.”

Fatemeh Kheradmand herself a former political prisoner was arrested last year and spent time in prison for her relationship with the families of the political prisoners.

Masoud Lavasani’s wife and children are extremely concerned and worried about his fate, but their efforts to find any information about his whereabouts have been without any result.

Fatemeh Kheradman on her Facebook page wrote:

“The happiness of Eid (the New Year) and the togetherness only lasted for two days,
My dear Masoud went out for a walk last night and has not been seen since
Our dear “Interrogator Friends” are not answering their phone either
I am dying from being so worried and concerned
O God…….”

Masoud Lavasani and Fatemeh Kheradman have a young child that after the arrest of his father and the subsequent arrest of his mother and the pressures of being away from his parents become very depressed.

So far, none of the officials or the judiciary authorities have excepted responsibility of the possible detention of Masoud Lavasani.

Source: GVOF


Dr. Mehdi Khazali’s Message Of Gratitude To All Who Supported Him During Hunger Strike

Dr. Mehdi Khazali released from prison on his mothers guarantee after seventy days on hunger strike, has sent a message of gratitude to everyone who supported him.

Dr. Mehdi Khazali

According to reports by Kalameh, Dr. Khazali is now undergoing special care and treatment due to complications resulting from prolonged hunger strike.

In a message from Dr. Khazali to the people he said, “I am sincerely grateful and thank all those who supported me during those seventy days.

Those were the best days of my life. Unforgettable days and Godly nights. The joy of prayers on an empty stomach is otherwise unattainable. Perhaps for years to come, I will regret not being able to perform the Komail Prayers in a solitary confinement, I thank God for every moment spent there.

There I truly understood the meaning of Namaz (the mandatory daily prayers). There I truly understood the meaning of, and recited from the bottom of my heart “You alone we worship, and to You alone we pray for help”.”

Mehdi Khazali, due to his prolonged hunger strike, lost more than 30 kilos (66 lbs) and become so weak that could barely walk without using a cane.

Khazali, an author, blogger and Iran-Iraq war veteran launched a hunger strike protesting his illegal and violent arrest on January 9, 2012.

His arrest by the Intelligence Ministry’s agents involved such violence that Khazali suffered a broken arm, broken teeth and injured leg. His arm was in a cast for three weeks.

During his incarceration his health deteriorated and became dire. He was hospitalized at Taleghani hospital in the CCU section due to heart complication. He was kidnapped from Taleghani hospital in the middle of the night by Intelligence Ministry’s agents and taken to an Intelligence Ministry’s affiliated hospital.

The first 35 days of his incarceration in Evin, Mehdi Khazali was placed in solitary confinement in Ward 209 before being transferred to the General Public Ward 350. The last 15 days of his incarceration he was put back in solitary confinement in Evin Ward 209.

According to witnesses and cellmates, Khazali’s support from his cellmates was to an extent that the Intelligence Ministry’s agents opposed to his stay in the General Ward among other prisoners, and moved him back to solitary confinement.

Source: Kalameh


After 70 Days Of Incarceration On Hunger Strike, Dr. Mehdi Khazali Has Been Released

Dr. Mehdi Khazali was released from prison after 70 days of hunger strike incarcerated in Evin Wards 209 and 350.

According to reports received by Kalameh, Mehdi Khazali, due to his prolonged hunger strike, lost about 66 lbs and become so weak that could barely walk without using a cane.

Khazali, an author, blogger and Iran-Iraq war veteran launched a hunger strike protesting his illegal and violent arrest on January 9, 2012.

His arrest by the Intelligence Ministry’s agents involved such violence that Khazali suffered a broken arm, broken teeth and injured leg. His arm was in a cast for three weeks.

During his incarceration his health deteriorated and became dire. He suffered a heart attach and was hospitalized at Taleghani hospital. He was kidnapped from Taleghani hospital in the middle of the night by Intelligence Ministry’s agents and taken to an Intelligence Ministry’s affiliated hospital.

The first 35 days of his incarceration in Evin, Mehdi Khazali was placed in solitary confinement in Ward 209 before being transferred to the General Public Ward 350. The last 15 days of his incarceration he was put back in solitary confinement in Evin Ward 209.

According to witnesses and cellmates, Khazali’s support from his cellmates was to an extent that the Intelligence Ministry’s agents opposed to his stay in the General Ward among other prisoners, and moved him back to solitary confinement.

Mehdi Khazali was released from prison in the early morning hours of March 19 on his mother’s guarantee.

Source: Kalameh


Dr. Mehdi Khazali: Perhaps They Had Come To Attend The Funeral Of My Body

The day that they transferred Dr. Khazali from Ward 350 in Evin to Taleghani hospital in Velenjak following a heart attack, many friends went to visit him.

They said, “He had lost a lot of weight, barely could speak & looked frail and thin (are these not enough signs that he has been on a hunger strike???).

Dr. Khazali was violently kidnapped by Intelligence Ministry’s agents in the middle of the night and taken to Ghamare Banihashm hospital, an Intelligence Ministry affiliated hospital.

Following is a hand written note written by Dr. Khazali provided by the anonymous supporters of the Green Movement.

The doctor, with an ailing body and trembling hands, but extremely high spirits, wrote:

In the name of The Almighty:

Captivity in a hospital is much more difficult than in a prison…..one day in a hospital and thousands of various orders come from the prison and from here and there.

Hour by hour orders are changed. For a patient in need of a relaxed and calm environment, you experience instead these difficult conditions in a hospital setting.

Today, the security guards stationed at Taleghani hospital were receiving various conflicting orders from higher ups.

These orders were like toxic poison to the blood flowing in the veins of an ill patient. The harassments by the jailers left bitter memories. We shall see what comes tomorrow.

Being captive in a hospital is much more difficult than in a prison! The harassment by the security guards, the various different and conflicting orders from different entities, all in all and hand in hand, they cause a captive patient to go faster downward on a spiral towards death. All these tensions are toxic to the patient’s blood.

It was a very hard day, they wouldn’t even allow my son to accompany me nor would they let him into the room to bring me towels.

The mother, who with much hardship and in a wheelchair, came to visit her son after forty some days of not seeing him, encountered such harsh treatment from them that she left without finishing her visit.

And of course the bitter memory will remain of the separation of a mother and her son’s short visit, soiled by the chastising mannerisms of the jailers.

We are even denied the right of being a patient. Our illness must also involve anxiety and stress. They even come here and create mayhem.

In the afternoon, many security forces arrived at the hospital. I don’t know what they were after. Perhaps they had come to attend the funeral of my body.

February 18, 2012
Mehdi Khazali

Source: letter2azadegan


Regime Critic Blogger Dr. Mehdi Khazali’s Arrests And Charges

Mehdi Khazali, born in 1965, a blogger, an ophthalmologist, Director of Hayan publishing and founder of Abasaleh Cultural Institute and Publishing.

He is one of the harshest critics of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and has been imprisoned for it several times.

His criticizing of Ahmadinejad caused him to be disqualified to run for Parliamentary election.

Mehdi Khazali is the son of the hard-line cleric member of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Khazali.

After the public criticism of Ahmadinejad by his son Mehdi, Ayatollah Khazali publicly denounced and distanced himself from his son’s positions.

First Arrest:

Mehdi Khazali was summoned by the Special Cleric Court and arrested the first time during the events of the post-2009 disputed presidential elections.

After his case was sent to the Revolutionary Court, he was then incarcerated in Evin prison. Twenty four days later, on July 22, 2009 he was released on 20 Million Toman bail.

Second Arrest:

On October 13, 2010, Mehdi Khazali was once again arrested by a security agent after being summoned to the Branch 4 of the Public Prosecutor’s office at the Revolutionary Court. On that same day he had been threatened by the security police that he must present himself at Evin.

Khazali was once again incarcerated in Evin prison after this arrest. His charges in this case were, “Insulting Ayatollah Janati, Insulting the president and propaganda against the regime”.

After nineteen days of incarceration, Khazali was allowed his first visit with his family on November 1, 2010.
At the time he had been on a hunger strike for one week protesting his arrest. Twelve days later, he was released on 200 Million Tomans bail.

Third Arrest:

After Mehdi Khazali continued with his critical writings on his blog, he was once again arrested on July 18, 2011 after being summoned via phone by the Intelligence Ministry’s agents. After his violent arrest he was taken to Evin prison again. He launched a hunger strike from day one of this arrest. He was transferred to Ward 350 in Evin prison on August 8, 2011.

He remained on a hunger strike during his 27 days of incarceration before he was released on bail.

Fourth Arrest:

Mehdi Khazali was violently arrested for the fourth time on January 9, 2012 and was taken to Evin prison. During this very violent arrest he suffered broken teeth and a broken arm.

He once again launched a hunger strike from the start of his incarceration. On February 1, 2012, while his arm was broken and he had lost a lot of weight, Khazali was transferred to Ward 350 in Evin prison.

Charges And Sentence:

On February 5, 2012, Khazali was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary court, presided by Judge Pirabasi, to 14 years in prison, 10 years exile and 90 lashes. He was charged with “Propaganda against the regime, assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security, and writing of critical letters to
the Supreme Leader”. This sentence was issued for his previous cases.

Follow up:

Khazali who launched a hunger strike from the start of his last incarceration encountered health problems several times was taken to Evin clinic on the 35th day of his hunger strike due to deteriorating health condition.

While Khazali still in prison, his wife and daughter were arrested on February 14, 2012 but were released after several hours of detention on the same day.

In the afternoon of February 26, 2012, while Khazali was very weak from his prolonged hunger strike and using a cane to assist him in walking, several security agents took him from Ward 350 to Ward 209 in Evin prison.

On March 6, 2012, after 57 days on hunger strike, Khazali started a dry hunger strike (refusing both food & liquids), which lasted for three days before he went back on his food hunger strike.

Source: RAHANA

Please read additional information on Dr. Khazali here


Political Prisoner Dr. Assadi Attempted Suicide Due To Depression Caused By Mental And Physical Torture

Political prisoner Dr. Assadollah Assadi’s attempted suicide on Sunday March 11, 2012 failed due to prompt action by his cellmates in Ward 350 of Evin prison.

Dr. Assadollah Assadi Daghdegan who has been incarcerated in limbo for more than twenty months, attempted to commit suicide on Sunday March 11, but the quick reaction by his cellmates saved the life of this 49 year old physician.

Dr. Assadi was arrested in Tabriz on July 12, 2010 and was incarcerated in solitary confinement for five months in Tabriz prison.

Dr. Assadi who is accused of cooperation with enemy states, was incarcerated in Evin’s Wards 240 and 209 in solitary confinement after he was transferred to Evin prison from Tabriz.

While in Tabriz prison, he sustained injuries under torture during more than 180 sessions of interrogations.

Dr. Assadi sustained injuries to his kidneys & urinary tract from being kicked in the abdomen and head, and has vision problems from being in dark solitary cells for long periods of time.

During interrogations, he was threatened with execution, with being thrown in the open sewage line, being buried alive, his head pushed into a dirty toilet bowl…. all of which has caused him to go into severe depression.

Dr. Assadi’s being forced to stand for 5 days and nights without even being able to lean against a wall is one of the torture methods which has caused severe mental and physical problems for him.

Dr. Assadi has so far been summoned to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati, five times to force him to accept in court the confessions he gave under torture.

He has refused to do so and the court has not been able to convict him due to lack of evidence in his case.

Dr. Assadi has passed multiple polygraph tests (lie detector) with results that can not be used to confirm charges on his indictment.

He has severe vision problems, is almost blind in both eyes, and suffers from a bleeding ulcer.

Not being able to withstand all the pressures of incarcerations, Dr. Assadi attempted suicide by taking 20 tablets of 2 milligram lorazepam and slashing his radial artery but fortunately was saved by the quick reaction of his cellmates.

Keeping political prisoners in a limbo status for long periods of time was also cited in UN Human Rights Commissioner Ahmed Shahid’s report, which is rejected by the Iranian Judiciary officials.

Dr. Assadi’s case is one among 12 political prisoner cases that are in limbo status in Ward 350 of Evin prison.

On February 5, 2012, Dr. Assadi was taken to the secret detention center under the control of security forces in Tehran and was interrogated under severe mental pressure repeatedly. He was also put under more polygraph tests. He was returned to Evin Prison Ward 350 after 11 days in the secret detention center.

He was taken to the secret detention center under the pretense of being taken to court. Neither his family, his cellmates, or Evin prison authorities were informed of his transfer to the secret detention center.

Source: Kalameh


Mir Hossein Mousavi’s Daughter Was Involved In A Staged Car Accident

In the latest Intelligence Ministry’s agents’ harassment of detained opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi’s family, one of his daughters was involved in a staged car accident.

Since the illegal arrest and detention of Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, their childrens’ lives have been repeatedly threatened, openly and privately, by the Intelligence agents, as well as their employment situation and their public image.

Repeated phone calls and threats of imprisonment and detention by Intelligence agents have been reported by Mousavi’s daughters many times.

Threats like, “Because of information you release about your parents, any moment something may happen to you…..Do not go out shopping by yourselves….You are responsible if something happens to you….The regime will not protect you and…..”.

According to reports by Kalameh, Mousavi’s youngest daughter, while driving on a highway yesterday, was being pursuied constantly by a car that suddenly forcefully rammed her car from behind.

Although this staged car accident was very serious and caused major damage to Mousavi’s daughter’s car, fortunately she was not seriously hurt.

There were three men in the car that caused the accident, two of whom immediately left the scene .

The driver of the car insisted on paying Mousavi’s daughter directly for the damages caused. The man refused to provide any identification or insurance information and only provided two phone numbers that, as expected, have since been unreachable.

The owner of the car identified himself as Mr. Akbari, an employee of Evin prison and insisted that everyone in Evin knows him. However he would not disclose what his position was in Evin and his reply to Mousavi’s daughter’s question was “Let that be…”.

Since the arrest and detention a year ago of Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, their family have been under a lot of various persecution, pressure and harassment.

Preventing one of Mousavi’s daughter’s employment and teaching at Darolzahra university is an example of some of the pressures put on the family.

Mousavi and his wife were also involved in a serious staged car accident two years ago which resulted in injuries to Mousavi’s wife.

Mousavi’s daughters have been under surveillance by the Intelligence Ministry’s agents, which is not something new to them, however it seems to be more intense lately.

There is a picture of the damaged car and it will be published at a later date if necessary.

Source: Kalameh


Iran Sentences HR Lawyer Abdolfatah Soltani To 18 Years In Prison And 20 Years Barred From Practice

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi, has sentenced human rights lawyer Abdolfatah Soltanti to 18 years in prison and 20 years barred from law practice, on charges of “Propaganda Against the Regime”, “Establishing the Defenders of Human Rights Center” and “Assembly and collusion with intend to act against the System”.

Included in Soltani’s charges is earning of illegal income by receiving the Nuremberg prize for Human Rights.

Abdolfatah Soltani was awarded the Nuremberg Prize for Human Rights awarded by the mayor of Nuremberg, Germany to human rights activists. Soltani’s wife accepted his award on his behalf.

The Nuremberg Prize has been awarded yearly to a human rights activist since 1995.

Abdolfatah Soltani was arrested on September 10, 2011 and was incarcerated in Ward 209 of Evin prison.

Abdolfatah Soltani, born on November 2, 1953, is a human rights lawyer, a member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center and is on the board of directors of the Bar Association.

During his practice, he defended many human rights cases including cases of the political activists, student activists, journalists and more.

Soltani was also arrested in 2006 and was incarcerated in solitary confinement in Evin Ward 209 for 219 days.

He was charged by Judge Mortazavi with espionage due to disclosing of information from his client’s cases who were charged with espionage.

He was sentenced to five years in prison and five years ban on civil activities by the lower court in that case. However the Appeals Court exonerated him of all charges after 219 days in prison.

The Judicial System released him without any apology or any attempt to restore his good name. His efforts to prosecute the judicial authorities in that case did not succeed.

This prominent attorney was also arrested on June 16, 2009 after the contested presidential election. After two months of incarceration he was released on 100 Million Toman bail on August 27, 2009.

Source: RAHANA