Monthly Archives: July 2013

Imprisoned Human Rights Activist Abolfazl Abedini Announces The Launch Of His Hunger Strike

Abolfazl Abedini

On July 28, 2013, the incarcerated human rights activist, journalist Abolfazl Abedini, a witness in the torture death case of blogger Sattar Beheshti (blogger who died under torture while in custody), was unexpectedly, and without prior notice, transferred from Evin prison to Karoon prison in Ahvaz.

In a letter to the District Attorney, Abedini has announced the launch of his hunger strike.

Following is the full text of his letter to the District Attorney:

Greetings,

I, Abolfazl Abedini Nasr, son of Sohrab, hereby announce that my transfer order from Evin to Ahvaz, dated July 28, 2013, (of which I was informed at Evin Ward 350) is illegal and against my will and wishes..

Also, I consider this order to be an illegal and unethical means to exert cruel pressure on myself and my family, and consider it to be continued torture which has been mandated for the remainder of my sentence.

Thus, in protest against this illegal and cruel action, from this date, my departure from Evin prison, I will launch an open-ended hunger.

Obviously, any adverse consequences resulting from my hunger strike, and in general, the responsibility for whatever happens to me, lies with the Judicial officials and whomever else is responsible for issuing this illegal order.

Source: Jaras

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My Son’s Life Is In Danger, Says Father of Imprisoned HR Activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

The father of imprisoned political prisoner, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, has written a letter to Tehran’s District Attorney, explaining in detail his son’s situation .

According to reports on the Kaleme website, Hossein Ronaghi has recently encountered gastrointestinal bleeding due to the lack of proper nutrition and lack of access to his treating physicians, and is therefore unable to take needed medication for his prostate and kidney diseases.

According to previously published reports, despite Hossein’s suffering from kidney malfunction and prostate and bladder inflammation, he was ordered back to prison by the District Attorney prior to the recent presidential election.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was among those arrested after the 2009 disputed presidential election. He was arrested by IRGC Intelligence and tried at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pirabbasi, and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Last August, while Ronaghi was on his first medical furlough, he, his brother and his father (Hassan and Ahmad Ronaghi), along with 33 other earthquake aid workers were arrested in the Sarand earthquake relief camp in the earthquake-stricken area of Azarbaijan.

Following is the full text of the letter as provided to Kaleme published on their website today:

In the name of the Almighty

May 21, 2013

Hereby, I respectfully inform you that during my son’s surgery, the honorable IRGC agents and the prison officials were present. His surgery lasted some hours. Post-operation he went into a coma and did not come out of the coma for several days.

I extend my sincere gratitude to your excellency and all those who helped secure my son’s previous medical furlough.

Dear Sir, the last furlough request I faxed to you was on May 14, 2013. After I contacted the District Attorney’s office, I was informed my son’s furlough extension request had been denied and that he must return to prison. My son was ordered to report back to prison on May 21, 2013.

Dear Sir, my son suffers from kidney malfunction. In order to save his right kidney he must be under the constant care of a specialist. Therefore, I request of your excellency, the officials of the Islamic Republic and the official in charge of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s case, that the request be granted for a medical furlough in order to save his life.

As the honorable District Attorney and the officials of the Islamic Republic are well aware, the Divine law and the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran attach great value to the health of human life.

Dear Mr. District Attorney, I hereby inform you that if my son remains in prison his life will be at risk and he is in danger of losing his kidney.

Again, I urgently request that the honorable District Attorney, the prison officials and the official in charge of Hossein Ronaghi’s case immediately take legal action.

All of the medical records are at the country’s medical examiner’s office located on Beheshti street, at other medical examiner’s offices, the district attorney’s office and at Evin prison.

Respectfully,

Sayd Ahmad Ronaghi, father of Sayed Hossein Ronaghi
May 21, 2013

CC:

1- Mr. Pirabbasi, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, for information and legal action

2- Head of the implementation department at Evin prison, for information and legal action

3- Official in charge of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s case, for information and legal action

3- Head to the Evin prison infirmary, for information and legal action

4- Head of Judiciary’s Commission of Human Rights, Mr. Larijani, for information and legal action

5- President of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Human Rights Commission, for information and legal action

Letter from Ronaghi's father

Source: Kaleme


Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s Father Requests Officials Grant Medical Furlough To His Son

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

Sayd Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, father of imprisoned blogger and human rights activist, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, has written to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei requesting he facilitate an urgently needed medical furlough for his son.

Following is the text of his letter as published on the HRANA website:

I, Sayed Amad Ronaghi Maleki, request the attention of the Supreme Leader, the Chief Judiciary, Commander in Chief of IRGC, all the Judiciary officials, Tehran District Attorney, the official in charge of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s case, and all those in power at the Islamic Republic that, if prompt attention is not paid to the case of my son, his life will be at risk.

In addition, he is under pressure and harassment in prison. Therefore, in the future, those who breached the law of God and the Islamic Republic of Iran will be held accountable.

I hope in respect of this sacred month of Ramedan my son is granted a medical furlough as soon as possible.

In conclusion, I thank all those who have tried to help save my son’s life.

July 28, 2012

Source: HARANA


HR activist Abolfazl Abedini Launches A Hunger Strike After Sudden Transfer to Ahvaz Karoon Prison

Abolfazl Abedini

On Saturday afternoon, Abolfazl Abedini, imprisoned human rights activist and a witness in the torture death case of blogger Sattar Beheshti (blogger who was killed under torture while in custody), was unexpectedly, and without prior notice, transferred from Evin prison to Karoon prison in Ahvaz.

Abolfazl Abedini had testified before Shahriyari, the magistrate investigating the torture death case of Sattar Beheshti, that he had witnessed signs of torture on Behesht’s body while Beheshti was in Ward 350 .

Abedini, protesting his sudden transfer from Evin to Karoon prison, announced he will launch an open-ended hunger strike and will remain on one until he is transferred back to Evin.

Previously Abedini, while giving a statement to the magistrate, had voiced concern about his testimony causing troubles for him, but was assured by the magistrate that it would not.

At that same time, head of Evin Court attempted to transfer Abedini to Ahvaz Karoon prison but failed. But now, the new head of Evin Court, Tourk, has carried out the transfer.

Tourk was the Ahvaz trial judge that tried and sentenced Abedini to 11 years imprisonment because of human rights activism.

Abedini was transferred to Karoon prison last fall after testifying in Beheshti’s case, but was returned to Evin shortly after on the order of Tehran’s District Attorney.

Abolfazl Abedini, a human rights and labor rights activist, was tried in April 2010 in the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment on charges of association with hostile governments, human rights activism and propaganda against the establishment through giving interviews to foreign press.

He was again tried in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Moghayeseh, and sentenced to an additional one year imprisonment on charges of propaganda against the establishment, even though this charge was already included in his previous trial and he was already imprisoned at that time of the new trial.

Despite suffering from a heart condition, Abedini has been serving time in Ward 6 of Karoon prison in Ahvaz and in Evin Ward 350 without being granted furlough.

Source: Kaleme


Common Love

Common Love, a poem by Ahmad Shamlou

A tear holds a secret
A smile holds a secret
Love holds a secret

My tears that night were love manifesting a smile

I am not a story you can narrate
I am not a melody you can sing
I am not a sound you can hear
Nor something you can see
Nor such that you can know

I am the common pain
Cry me out

The tree speaks with the forest
Grass with desert
Star with galaxy
And I speak to you

Tell me your name
Give me your hand
Tell me your words
Give me your heart
For I have comprehended your roots
With your lips I have spoken to all lips
And your hands are familiar with my hands

And in clear solitude, I have wept with you
For the sake of those alive
And in the darkness of graveyard, I have sung with you
The most beautiful hymns
For the dead of this year
Beheld the greatest love when alive

Give me your hand
Your hands are familiar with me
O so late to have found, to you I speak
Like the cloud with the storm
Like the grass with the desert
Like the rain with the sea
Like a bird with the spring
Like a tree speaking with the forest

Because, I
Have understood your roots (soul)
Because, my voice
Knows your voice

Iranian Poet Ahmad Shamlou

اشک رازی ست
لبخند رازی ست
عشق رازی ست

اشک آن شب لبخند عشق ام بود

قصه نیستم که بگوئی
نغمه نیستم که بخوانی
صدا نیستم که بشنوی
یا چیزی چنان که ببینی
یا چیزی چنان که بدانی

من درد مشترک ام
مرا فریاد کن

درخت با جنگل سخن میگوید
علف با صحرا
ستاره با کهکشان
و من با تو سخن میگویم

نام ات را به من بگو
دست ات را به من بده
حرف ات را به من بگو
قلب ات را به من بده
من ریشه های تو را دریافته ام
با لبان ات برای همه لب ها سخن گفته ام
و دست های ات با دستان من آشناست

در خلوت روشن با تو گریسته ام
برای خاطر زنده گان
و در گورستان تاریک با تو خوانده ام
زیباترین سرودها را
زیرا که مرده گان این سال
عاشق ترین زنده گان بوده اند

دست ات را به من بده
دست های تو با من آشناست
ای دیریافته با تو سخن میگویم
به سان ابر که با توفان
به سان علف که با صحرا
به سان باران که با دریا
به سان پرنده که با بهار
به سان درخت که با جنگل سخن میگوید

زیرا که من
ریشه های تو را دریافته ام
زیرا که صدای من
با صدای تو آشناست

احمد شاملو


Shocking letter By Missing Iranian Climber Aydin Bozorgi Written Prior To His Departure For Broad Peak

Missing mountain climbers

Iranian climbers, Puya Keyvani, Aydin Bozorgi and Mojtaba Jarahi went missing while descending after conquering the Broad Peak in Northern Pakistan. Rescue efforts to locate the three climbers have failed so far.

Iranian mountain climber Parasto Abrishami posted a letter on her blog “Khak”, written by Aydin Bozorgi prior to his departure for Broad Peak and had asked her to publish the letter after they start climbing the mountain.

While Aydin’s faith in the cold and treacherous Himalayan mountains is unknown, the following is what he wrote prior to his departure:

In the name of Broad Peak and with the hope for change,

You and I are one voice

That with all the melody it contains, is singing a more beautiful anthem

You and I have the same sight

That with a fresh perspective, refreshes the world every moment

Hatred

For whatever stops us, whatever confines us, and whatever forces us to look behind.

Hands

That draw an audacious line through falsehood

You and I have the same fervor

Higher than any flame, so never will failure prevail over us

For because of love we are brazen

And the swallow who has nested over our shelter

With it’s sudden arrival

Will make brimful the home that has lost it’s God

Ahmad Shamlo (Iranian poet)

This is us, we are here again, together, yet alone. We are here not out of selfishness, not for personal glory. We are here out of love, out of passion, out of pride.

We are here for growth, for the pinnacle, because of insanity, we are here for the end, the end of a beginning, an end with the promise of an ambitious beginning.

An end that is not an end, an end that lays the foundation of a beginning, and supports a beginning, it is the bullet eradicating all inabilities, all inferiorities, all confinements and repetitious entrapments.

Yes, it is a riddance bullet of all that is idle, all that does not leave and all that does not reach destinations.

It is as a sunset for all these erosions, and a dawn for the rooting and blossoming. It is the delightful scent of change, and stamping “void” on all that is stagnant.

We want it to belong to us, our own way, our own path, our own rope, of our own breath and sweat.

We want to define “being able to”, we want to live the “change”, we want to comprehend “desire”, we want to seek “wanting”.

We want to do this in remembrance of the man whose hair grayed on this path, that became heart broken on his way, whose soul was inflicted with pain on this path.

We want to make happy the old man whose lump in his throat became a roar, and his roar was taken to court.

We want to travel the path that is right. We want to hear sarcasm, be ridiculed, be laughed at.

We want to waste our money, we want to run, we want to cry, and take on danger.

We want to climb mountains, we want to be worthy inheritors, we don’t want to be under an umbrella of pressure, we don’t want to be blind.

Yes, we are here, in remembrance of our country’s deceased climbers, so we can remember our mountain climbers, so we can leave a legacy, so we can leave a provision for our country’s future climbers.

We are here on an 8000 meter high mountain so we can leave memorabilia writing of us. To engrave our Iran’s name. We are here so we can murmur being born again.

Who is able to stand in front of our resolution? Our resolution encompass particle by particle of our country’s climbers. Our resolution knows not, not having money. Danger is fearful of our resolution.

Our resolution does not need permission form those sitting behind a desk that think of themselves as authorities and guardians. Those who think of themselves as woven from a different fabric. Those who think of themselves as elites. Those who think of themselves as climbers. For they are the ones in need of our resolution, they are the ones under our umbrellas.

Our resolution does not need a letter, a certificate or the Council’s permit.

Our resolution is rooted within our essence, it has roots in our pioneers, it has roots deep within those who dedicated their lives for this country’s climbers.

Our resolution is youngsters’ resolution, our resolution is to fly high, our resolution is in love, it knows not defeat, does not understand obstruction, does not think of being scorned as disgraceful, does not see being the subject of Sarcasm as shameful.

Our resolution only sees one thing, the summit of the mountain heights.

We said we are alone, but no we are not alone. A thousand eyes await us. A thousands hands are raised in prayer for us. My mother’s eyes, my father’s hands, our friends, they all support us.

We are not alone, few decades of glorious climbing is behind us. All these new and innovative climbers are behind us.

We are not backed by government money. Our intention it is not receiving a heroism decree, it is not becoming elites. It is not making noise, creating commotions, it is not doing interviews, being on TV.

Our support is the sweat of our own foreheads, the sound of our breath by breath, the lump in our throats, the tear collected in our eyes. Our support is our silence, our patience. Our support is you, you who did not see our years of struggle as defeat.

You are our support, not the jealous ones whose ridicules arose from their own weakness, not the weak one who does not dare to navigate 100 meters with his own rope, and not the fake heroes.

Our support is you, you with your eyes, with your voice, with your hope, you who with your hope for a brighter future for mountain climbing in our country, is sending us off.

They said we can not, they said we will die, they said we are not capable enough, they said their elites were not able to do it and for certain we won’t be able to. They said they will block our way, they will tie our feet.

They said the Himalayas is theirs, climbing it is only theirs, the glory of it belongs to them and all the enjoyment and love from it belongs to them.

They told us to leave and they will give an answer to our letter in a few months. They said this is not child’s play, it is not that easy. They said there is Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmmmmmmmaaaalllayaaaaaas it is not Tochal.

We said, be afraid, your reign will end soon. We said this climb is a nightmare for you and this nightmare is our dream.

We said not being able to is not shameful for us, our goal is not the summit. We said not having courage is shameful for us. Stagnation is shameful for us.

we said, yes, the summit is not our goal, our goal is to climb high, our goal is to experience, our goal is to see, to touch. Our goal is to learn, it is to learn from defeat.

The team from Arash’s group sent to Pakistan,

We say laugh at our defeat, laugh from the bottom of your heart, with joy, our turn will come too. When our defeats will be like a ladder taking us up to the highest heights. We say laugh now, how ever loud your laughs but it is still down there.

We say we will laugh at you from up there, from up there, everyone can hear us, our message will reach everyone.

We say this is our reward. This is the result of our patience. It is the result of our fortitude, it’s the result of our courage, it’s the result of our tears, it’s the result of few decades of our climbing that you have placed your feet on it’s throat and don’t allow it to raise, you don’t let it breath.

But, we, from up there will place our feet on your throat. From up there we will pull you down. From up there we will sing the song of life for our climbers, hand in hand, full of joy, with pride and honor.

No, we are not alone, this mountain is with us. It is still standing next to us in our pictures, we are still looking at it and we hear it’s voice.

It is calling us to it’s school of love, school of life, school of mountain climbing. It is eager to teach us, teach us audacity, teach us self belief, teach us progress.

It is calling us to it’s lost heavens, it is calling us with all it’s frightful winds, with all it’s fearsome avalanches, with the crackling sound of it’s ice. Even though it encompasses all it’s surrounding circumambulate, even though it sees everything from the above, but, it is calling us, so it can be encompassed, it is calling us to be humbled by us. Not because we are special, not because before it we amount to anything, for we know, before it’s sea we are but bubbles, and in it’s sky we are but a piece of hay.

It is calling us for it knows in the sorrowful mountain climbing atmosphere of our country, only it can help us. It called us because it knew we had come to it for refuge. It called us because it knows we are of minor importance and the important ones are hundreds or perhaps thousands of young climbers who must be trained by it’s purpose and school.

It is calling us because it is grand itself, it is calling us because it itself is high and is tired to see us with our heads bent down. It is calling us because we had the audacity to attack it’s boundaries.

Our message is not just our message, but it is the message of the land of Iran’s mountain climbers. It is a message of change.

No this is not us, we are not alone either, this is you. You who will continue this path, you who will keep alive this thought process. You who will not be deceived by repetition and will not be submerged in the quicksand of the desk and chair lovers.

It is you that are our pride, it is you that are our guide, that are our motivation. It is your hands that are raised in prayers for us, it is you that are our benevolent, it is you that will always remain alive, for the future is yours, for the future depends on you.

Yes, it is you, all you need to do is to have the desire, for the best, progress, the highest and the firsts.

Source: Kaleme


Outspoken Documentary Film Maker And Writer Mohamad Nourizad Has Been Summoned

Mohamad Nourizad

Outspoken documentary film maker, writer and former political prisoner, Mohamad Nourizad, has posted on his Facebook that he has been summoned by Court.

On July 15, Mohamad Nourizad went to visit a 4 year old Baha’i boy who’s parents are imprisoned because of their faith.

Nourizad posted an account of this visit on his site with a picture of him kissing the little boy’s feet. He wrote: “My little boy, I apologize to you on behalf of all of those who, in these Islamic years, have persecuted you and your fellow Baha’is.”

“I told him, when the pope, the leader of the world’s Catholics, bends, washes, and kisses the feet of a young Muslim offender girl, why shouldn’t I kiss your heavenly feet as a representative of the vast apparatuses of the Leader of the Muslim world and it’s row after row of Shi’ite sources of emulation?”

Yesterday, Nourizad also reported on his site that his wife’s passport, laptop and other personal items were confiscated at the airport by authorities without a warrant.

Following is the translation of his Facebook post regarding his summons:

“This morning I received a summons. The charge stated on the summons was “insulting the Book of God”. They have given me three days to report to Tehran’s District Court number 23.

I’ve been summoned to court many times over these Green years, and each time I go with my bag packed. This time I will pack my bag also. Not because I don’t want to be sent to prison unprepared, but because this packing of my bag, in itself, is a form of diving in the sky whose very oxygen is laden with the “Future”.

There are a lot of things in my bag. From pen and paper to clothing. If they take all of these away from me, my “Smile” is still with me.

And it has been some years that I, with a smile, have welcomed any danger and hardship with open arms.

Mohamad Nourizad
July 20, 2013, Tehran

Source: Mohamad Nourizad’s Facebook


Ward 350 Raided By 150 Guards Destroying Prisoner’s Property And Part of The Facility

More than 150 Evin prison guards, reinforced with guards from Ghezelhesar prison, raided Ward 350 at Evin prison, engaging in inspection of prisoners’ personal effects and even the destruction of the facilities, such as removing the air conditioners, the air ducts and electrical cables. They then went to the prayer room and threw Qurans on the floor and even scattered pages from some of the Qurans on the floor.

According to reports by the Kaleme website, on Thursday, more than 150 Evin prison guards, reinforced by guardsfrom Ghezelhesar prison, supervised by Colonel Aminian, (the commander of the special unit of Evin prison, and the commander of Tehran’s prison guard), along with several of the Intelligence Ministry’s operation forces, raided Ward 350 in the early morning hours while the prisoners were asleep.

After performing body searches of the prisoners, they threw them out of the Ward on the pretence of performing an inspection of the Ward. They then engaged in vandalism and destruction of the prisoner’s personal effects. They also stole prisoner’s valuables and even went so far as destruction of the facility by opening the air conditioning units, removing the air ducts and electrical cables.

In this unusual and unprecedented raid, even the prayer room was not immune from their attack. They desecrated the Quran by throwing it in the middle of the floor, and even scattered some of the pages on the floor as well.

According to this report, all of this destruction was shown to the prison authorities after the unusual raid.

Now it remains to be seen how the country’s officials (that raise their voice in high protest and cry Disrespect Of Islam every time the Quran is desecrated in other countries), will react to this blatant desecration of Quran in Evin prison.

The political prisoners, in protest of this inspection and raid, sang nationalistic anthems and chanted slogans such as “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein”, and “Long Live Karoubi, Long Live Mousavi”.

The recent unrest at Ward 350 started when political prisoner Dr. Ali Nazeri, who was in poor health, was moved out of the prison on a stretcher and transferred to Zabol prison.

Following this action, the prisoners protested, and wrote a statement of protest. This resulted in 6 of the prisoners being moved to solitary confinement.

Source: Kaleme

Read more about the 6 prisoners in solitary confinement (here)
More information about Dr. Ali Nazari (here)


Green Movement Activist Mohsen Rahmani Under Sever Physical and Psychological Torture At Evin

Mohsen Rahmani, an IT student who had raised a poster of the detained Green leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, at a presidential campaign rally for Hassan Rouhani, is under severe physical and psychological pressure at Evin Ward 209.

This civil rights and Green Movement activist was arrested along with a number of other Rouhani presidential campaign activists after a campaign rally 48 days ago.

While all the other activists arrested that night have since been released, Mohsen Rahmani is still incarcerated in cell number 92 of Evin Ward 209, under harsh interrogations and repeated severe beatings by the interrogators.

According to reports received by the Kaleme website, signs of assault and battery on Rahmani’s body are so apparent that, despite bail having been set by the court, the officials at Ward 209 prevent his release.

Source: Kaleme


Six Ward 350 Political Prisoners Moved To Solitary Confinement

On Wednesday July 17, Ward 350 political prisoners Siyamak Ghaderi, Amir Khosro Dalirsani, Houtan Doulati, Nader Babaei, Mohamad Ebrahimi and Saeed Matinpour were moved to solitary confinement in Ward 240 of Evin prison.

This action by Evin prison authorities was taken following the protests that took place in Ward 350 over the unexpected transfer of Dr. Ali Nazari to Zabol prison.

The poor state of Dr. Nazari’s health condition while he unexpectedly was transferred on a stretcher out of Evin prison angered the political prisoners. They protested by singing anthems and chanting slogans such as, “Death to the dictator” and “Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein”.

The transfer of these prisoners to solitary confinement in a manner that was deceptive, and after being summoned to Evin Court, was on the direct order of Tehran’s district attorney.

Moving these six prisoners to solitary confinement took place while 44 political prisoners in response to the illegal transfer of Dr. Nazeri in a statement wrote: “We wish the authorities that, by their acts are themselves responsible for our country’s current plight, who must have seen the people’s reactions to their actions, both before and after the election, would, rather than continuing the past approach and continue to hold spite against the people, would heed the people’s demands and opinions, and compensate for their past actions.

Source: Kaleme

More information about the transfer of Dr. Nazari and the statement by 44 political prisoners (here)