Tag Archives: Ahvaz Karoon Prison

Majid Doori: I wanted to address my letter to the wall, but I know the wall would crumble after hearing my plight…

Imprisoned student activist Majid Doori has written a letter from Karoon prison in Ahvaz after he was illegally transferred there from Behbahan prison. Following is translation of his letter:

I wanted to address my letter to the wall, but I know the wall would crumble after hearing my plight…..

Behbahan is a city where I spent three years of my life, without even seeing the city. When being transferred to Ahvaz, passing the Steil and Khareston squares and….I realized how many memories I have with them without having seen them before.

I realized how much memories I have from this city, without having even walked it’s streets. How familiar are the people of this city, without having met them.

Behbahan; without a doubt, one day I will come back and walk your streets and alleys to make up for the lost time.

People of Behbahan; I wish you knew how eager I was to meet you. I received nothing but compassion and love filled messages from you.

My gratitude to you for being there for me. I thank you for the kindness you gave to your uninvited guess. I am grateful to all of you and hope to see you.

In route to Ahvaz, it was about 5:30 PM, the hottest time of the day. The road was dry and there was very little traffic. There were hills and heat as far as you could see. There were mountains and heat. There were palm trees and heat.

The security guard accompanying me (his name was Gholam), handcuffed and shackled me, I objected; he said: “I know best”.

He is right. It appears the law is comprised of what they choose to be the law, because there was another man who was there on drug charges and was in transit to the correctional and rehabilitation facility, but he was not handcuffed or shackled. It was interesting to me how this decision was made.

The shackles had injured my legs, and, even when going to the restroom, the guard refused to remove them. Where did this decision come from? Who made these laws?

Exile, transfer, it’s a torment to move from cell to another cell in a prison, much less moving to a different prison. Much less facing an additional burden. The road, the heat, shackles, long distance travel, being far away from home, missing loved ones, worries, mountains, the past, the future, mirage, hills, thorns, leg wound from the shackles, bad behavior by the guard, grief, the why of having been imprisoned, still imprisoned, handcuffs, yesterday, the now without any conclusion, tomorrow, goodbye, hello…..

During all this time, I wrote letters to every one that I should have, asking for help in my case, it all fell on blind eyes and deaf ears. Perhaps they just pretend not to hear.

Four plus years of my life have been wasted behind the walls of prison, but it is a wound never healed. It is like an open wound out of which hurt always oozes. It erupts, fixed in time, friends gone, paths traveled.

I decided to write a letter, addressed to no one. A letter to no one, not even to myself. When they don’t hear, when they don’t understand, then, who should I write to, when they consider themselves as the center of the world and the criterion of justice.

So selfish and egotistical they are, that they want everybody to become like them. Can they be more pretentious than this?

Who should I write to? To those who have inflicted this great injustice on me? Who should I write to, when, in four years no one has asked why?

Why did they not allow my defense attorney to present his case? Why did they, without proof, rule on a charge that the judge himself found baseless?

When the so-called independent judge himself said he was under pressure. Why did no one ask what kind of pressure? Whose pressure?

Why, when my sentence was overruled by the Supreme Court, less than 10 days later the same sentence was issued again?

My sentence was divided into two parts: Moharebeh (enemy of God), and propaganda. Why did the Appeals Court uphold the Moharebeh charge that I objected to, but overturned the propaganda charges that I did not object to?

Why was the issue of my formal complaint against the Judge and the prosecutor not even raised? Why did they enforce my exile? Why did they not even give me one day of furlough to attend my brother’s wedding, even after bail was posted?

Why 250 million Tomans for 2 years? Why did the Judge include in my sentence exile to Eizeh, when there is not even a prison there? You mean he didn’t know? Why exile to Behbahan? Why then exile to Ahvaz again? Why and why and tens of whys left without answers?

I spent two years and nine months in Behbahan prison. Because of the laudable behavior of my cellmates and the guards, there are few thing that I will not forget. When I came to Karoon prison in Ahvaz, how I enjoyed the courtyard and the fresh air, and the being able to see the sky, however reticulated, I couldn’t help but remember the courtyard in Behbahan prison that was covered with layers of mesh wire.

Some times in the city there was a lot of dust in the air, but we never felt it because of the layers of mesh wire covering over the courtyard. There was not much air movement there, and this made the place very hot.

Every time an official or inspectors came there, they saw that. I told them about this tens of times, but each time to no avail. Breathing fresh air was a longing and seeing the sky, a dream.

A prison that housed inmates twice to two and a half times it’s capacity. Less than the needed number of bathrooms. With more and more limitations in place everyday. More control everyday. Even prison visits became more & more limited.

A prison with no library. Cultural activities stopped for lack of 100 thousand Tomans. Even though there was no space to hold classes, receiving furlough was based on attending and completing classes.

When 10-12 people were in the courtyard and more then three hundred people trying to use the restroom facilities, there was hardly any space to walk. The number of the inmates who had to sleep on the floor increased daily.

Guards that made arbitrary decisions to confiscate books and other items, even under garments, and stopped them from reaching the prisoners.

They closed the concession area. Smoking was no longer permitted, but then, after objections, they were selling Winston cigaret for 6000 Tomans a pack. Favoritism in giving points towards receiving privileges, but making it harder to receive points. Non-separation of the inmates according to their crime.

The efforts of prison officials trying to remedy the problems was fruitless, due to failure to receive enough budget. Not enough space. Increased number of prisoners, without providing rehabilitation.

Very low quality of food from trying to save money, and from the purchase of low quality and cheap food. Items that, even with the prisoners trying hard to make them tasty, it was not possible and not really edible.

Officials and inspectors usually only came for visits during winter months when the weather was in better condition. Their visits never resulted in anything positive. It only created more limitations, closer monitoring of the prisoners so they couldn’t disclose anything. And, if they did, they faced exile or loss of their furlough privileges. All of this was apart from all the special preparations that were done, just prior to the inspectors’ visits.

I wanted to address my letter to the wall, but I know the wall would crumble after hearing my plight. So I decided to address a specific audience. Because all of these might be some peoples’ criteria for human rights standards, and I might unwillingly question and/or harm the human rights criteria of these gentlemen, which according to them has become the international human rights standards.

At this time, I am in Ahvaz. Karoon prison. Another city. Courtesy requires me to first say hello to Ahvaz: Hello Ahvaz! Would you like an uninvited guest?!

Majid Doori
Karoon prison, Ahvaz

On Monday, July 27, Majid Dori, an Allameh University student barred from continuing education, was suddenly, and without knowledge of the Judiciary officials, transferred from Behbahan prison to Karoon prison in Ahvaz.

Majid Doori, member of Right to Education Committee, was arrested in Ghazvin on July 9, 2009/ He was tried later that month without having a defense attorney present, and was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, plus exile to another city. The Appeals Court later overturned that sentence and gave him 5 years imprisonment plus exile to city of Eizeh.

Source: Kaleme

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Interview With Ronaghi And Abedini’s Mothers: “They Said Go On Hunger Strike And Die”

Hossein Ronaghi Abolfazl Abedini

Following is translation of an interview conducted by Roozonline with mothers of on hunger strike political prisoners Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and Abolfazl Abedini.

It has been more than two weeks since political prisoner Abolfazl Abedini launched a hunger strike protesting his illegal transfer to Karoon prison in Ahvaz, a hunger strike that has not fostered pursuit by any of the Judiciary officials.

On Sunday, political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi Maleki incarcerated in Evin prison, announced the launch of a hunger strike in a letter to Abedini. He wrote, “I, in protest of the responsible authorities’ lack of respect for human life, failure to address the cases of ill political prisoners, added pressure on my family, arbitrary and illegal transfer of innocent political prisoners and forcing them into such inhumane conditions, the unknown status and whereabouts of some of the political prisoners, and also protesting continued non-adherence to the rule of law by officials, am launching a hunger strike.

Even though, I find this method of protest undesirable and wrong, and know that it will have heavy consequences for me.”

Considering his dire health condition, the hunger strike of this political prisoner has caused much concern among the human rights activists and his family.

Ronaghi’s mother, Zolaykha Mousavi tells Rooz, “Last Monday I went to visit him in prison, he told me he is having severe pain in his right kidney and has not been able to sleep for the past four nights due to the pain.

That same day, he told me about his decision to go on a hunger strike. I pleaded with him and said, “No Hossein. For the love of God, don’t go on a hunger strike. I told him I will go to the District Attorney’s office and see if I can obtain medical furlough and, God willing, they may grant furlough for Eid-e-Fetr (end of Ramedan).”

Mrs. Mousavi continues, “I went to the District Attorney’s office, and cried, and pleaded with the Deputy District Attorney. A number of other political prisoners’ family members were also there, and witnessed my pleas.

I said, for God’s sake, grant my son medical furlough, I have come here from Azarbijan. I explained Hossein’s health problems and the pain he is suffering from his right kidney, and asked them to please approve his furlough so he can go to specialists for treatment. They denied the furlough.

I asked Mr. Khodabakhsh, then what are you going to do? Do you want to kill him? As you have stated before? He replied, perhaps it is so”

I asked her, “was Hossein told that they are going to kill him?” She replied, “Hossein had told one of the prison officials that he will go on a hunger strike and his answer was, :What do you think is going to happen? You will die and soon after everything will become quiet.” I asked Mr. Khodabakhsh, “Is this what you want?” He replied, “Perhaps that is so.””

Zolaikha Mousavi adds, “They said they will not approve medical furlough, and he must continue treatment in prison. I told him, “He has gone under operation in a hospital several times, but was returned to prison again, which then caused an exasperation of his condition. This time he is suffering from pain in his right kidney.”

Mr. Khodabakhsh said that the District Attorney has ordered that Hossein not be given medical furlough. I told him, “I have come all the way from Azarbaijan and you are ignoring my pleas. I have been coming to you for the last four years, there is not a place that I have not gone to pursuing Hossein’s case. Every time, I cry and plea, but no one gives me any answer.””

Hossein Ronaghi’s mother continues, “They asked me why I speak to the media, I told them it’s their own fault, “If you heard my pleas then I wouldn’t have to talk to the media. I am a mother, for four years I have been tormented, I said, “Why are you so cruel Mr. Khodabakhsh. It’s Ramedan, I have come here from a long distance in this heat, but no matter how much I beg you won’t give me an answer.””

Mrs. Mousavi stressing the dire health of her son says, “Doctors have said that Hossein must be on a proper nutritional diet, which is not available in prison. Hossein told me he can not tolerate this any longer, they torment him there in prison.

You don’t know the agony that we have suffered. You don’t know what we went through last year when he was on hunger strike and ended up in a hospital as a result. It aged us, the agony and anguish we suffered made the hospital workers cry for us.”

Hossein’s mother, crying, continues, “When I heard he had gone on a hunger strike, I didn’t know what to do. I asked Mr. Khodabakhsh, “What has my son done? They have imprisoned the innocent children of people/ I am a mother. What should I do?” And his reply to me was that they follow the Prophets path. For God’s sake, that is not how the Prophet was. The Prophet respected even his enemies. If they were sick he would pay them visits. Mr. Khodabakhsh why are you this way?”

What Zolaykha Mousavi is asking is for them to grant her son medical furlough. At the end of the interview, as she was crying, she said, “Why are they doing this? All they want is to kill Hossein and that is it.”

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was arrested December 2009 in the city of Malekan in Azarbaijan province and was transferred to Tehran after his arrest. He used the pen name Babak Khoramdin on his blog. He was among the people who protested the results of 2009 presidential election. He was also a member of the committee against censorship. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on charges of anti-National Security acts. (Translator’s note: Hossein was also tried and sentenced to additional 2 years imprisonment in the Sarand Camp earthquake relief workers case).

“Pray for my son to halt his hunger strike”

Political prisoner Abolfazl Abedini, a witness in Sattar Beheshti’s case was transferred from Evin prison to Karoon prison in Ahvas on July 28. This was not the first time that Abedini was exiled. Last fall he was also illegally transferred to Ahvaz.

He was transferred after he gave testimony in the case of Sattar Beheshti, the critic blogger who died as a result of torture while in custody. Abedini had testified before the Magistrate that he had seen signs of torture on Sattar Beheshti’s body.

At the time of his last transfer out of Evin, protesting his illegal transfer, he proclaimed he will go on a hunger strike and will not halt it until he is returned back to Evin.

Now that more than two weeks have passed since the start of his hunger strike, concerns are raising about his health and the conditions under which he is being held in Ahvaz Karoon prison.

Abolfazl Abedini’s mother, Sareh Aivazi, in an interview with Rooz, stressed that on her last visit with her son, he appeared very weak and thin and declined his family’s urging him to halt his hunger strike.

Mrs. Aivazi said, “One time they take him to solitary confinement, another time they add to his sentence. It has been four years now that we are going through this. We are tired of writing so many letters (to officials). What we are asking is for him to be returned back to Tehran, lower his sentence and ultimately release him.”

After Abedini was illegally transferred to Ahvaz, 44 political prisoners in Evin wrote a statement of protest and asked for his return back to Evin.

In that statement, pointing out that Abedini has been in prison for four years without being allowed a furlough, they said, “He as a patriotic Iranian young man, solely due to his diligent pursuit of the national interests and his human rights activities, just as many other activists of the Green Movement, encountered unjust imprisonment and was sentenced to 12 1/2 years incarceration.”

Abedini’s mother told Rooz: “My son suffers from a heart and kidney condition. Ahvaz prison does not have a political prisoner ward. At least in Tehran, he was in the political prisoners ward. In Ahvaz the prisoners are criminals convicted on drug charges and murder and the prison lacks many facilities.”

Mrs. Aivazi, sobbing, continues, “Pray for him, pray for him to come back to Tehran soon and to break his hunger strike. The 13 years imprisonment sentence they gave him did not effect us as much as has these last 15 days that he has been on hunger strike. We are extremely worried and are under a lot of pressure.”

Previously in a letter to Chief Judiciary, Ayatollah Larijani, Abedini had detailed the violence that he suffered in prison, he wrote, “Aside from the method used in arresting this defendant, when I was rolling in pain from being hit and kicked, and from the blows with a cable to my frail feet, again the terms of “civil rights” and “the rights of the accused” were dancing before my eyes and in my mind. That how could the people who thought of themselves as the enforcers of the Justice Department have made such a mockery of it all.”

He 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.

Source: Rooz


Shocking Letter By Incarcerated Political Prisoner Abolfazl Abedini To Judiciary Chief

Abolfazl Abedini

Political prisoner Abolfazl Abedini, who was illegally transferred from Evin prison to Karoon prison in Ahvaz, has written a letter to the Judiciary Chief, Ayatollah Amoli Larijani detailing his violent arrest, the hardships he has suffered during imprisonment, and his sudden transfer to Ahvaz.

Following is the text of Abedini’s letter to Ayatollah Larijani:

Your excellency Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, Chief Judiciary,

Greetings,

Following is a letter written by a young man who, four years ago in a court under your jurisdiction, was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment, and, in the last four years, has each day faced new and more complex penalties.

The honorable Ayatollah Amoli Larijani,

Many times in response to criticism from the human rights associations and the international organizations you have spoken of the Islamic Human Rights. Aside from the meaning of this interpretation, there is a contrast between facts and claims in the judicial cases that we see. I ponder the point that, it is apparent that we don’t really believe it when we say, “humans are the noblest of the creatures, and are endowed with magnanimity”.

Four years ago, the enforcers of your excellency’s branch, raided my home without a warrant, invaded our privacy, and assaulted and beat my family members who were asking them to uphold the rule of law and show a warrant.

Your excellency is well aware that according to the Constitution, the Code of criminal procedures and the Civil Rights Act of the Islamic Republic, this method of behavior is illegal and inconsistent with the rule of law and is contrary to human dignity.

The honorable Chief Judiciary,

Aside from the method used in arresting this accused, when I was rolling in pain from being hit and kicked, and from the blows with a cable to my frail feet, again the terms of “civil rights” and “the rights of the accused” were dancing before my eyes and in my mind. That how could the people who thought of themselves as the enforcers of the Justice Department have made such a mockery of it all.

Needless to say, all of this violence and beatings were as a result of me not accepting the charges that were unfounded and not true, with the hopes that I would receive justice, from all this injustice, in a court of law.

After some months, and after suffering things that I do not find permissible to mention and find speaking of them an insult to my own human dignity, and an insult to our nation and country, finally I appeared before the Court.

Describing the calamity of what occurred during the arrest and interrogation sessions to a Court which did not even permit me to consult with my lawyer, was to no avail and had no effect on the already decided matter at the bench.

Twelve years imprisonment was determined as my punishment as compensation for all my activities to benefit my country, battling all with thoughts of or actions towards separatism, and defense of labor rights.

The sound of the Judge’s hammer hitting the Bench of Justice made me realize that the trial and sentencing was apparently over.

At age twenty seven, I became a captive, and when the pages of my life’s calendar next turn, it will show the number fourty.

Ayatollah Amoli Larijani,

Suppose that the end result of all of my endeavors for the benefit of my nation resulted in twelve years captivity. But, why, when I have chosen to breath the air of my dear Iran, even behind bars, over any other option, then must I be under continued pressure and hardship applied by those who inflict them?

Why is my family threatened with arrest? Why, while I am imprisoned, new sentences are issued for me? Why, now that I have accepted this great injustice and am studying in prison for about a year now, they have plundered my mental wellbeing with overt and hidden threats? And why did they suddenly increase my sentence without a trial and exiled me to another city?

Your excellency Ayatollah Amoli Larijani,

Your honor is well aware that once before I was exiled after testifying in Sattar Beheshti’s case. And now for the second time, in the middle of my studying term, once again I have been lashed with this injustice.

What has been inflicted upon me, from the day of my arrest until now that I am incarcerated in Ahvaz prison, is replete with injustice, and a disregard for human dignity and civil and religious rights.

My case is the symbol of human rights violations and arbitrarily and illegal decisions. Ask your enforcers and the Revolutionary Court why, after issuing such heavy and unjust sentence, do they not leave me alone.

The honorable Judiciary Chief,

Yet, I am sure you are aware that prison terms over 10 years must be appealed and reviewed by the Supreme Court. This has not occurred in my case in the last four years.

Now, bewildered from this injustice, and helpless as to which court of law I must take this injustice to. So, with my deteriorating health, I have put my life on the line, and have embarked on a hunger strike so perhaps some justice seeking ears, or visionary eyes may pay attention to my story, so the “end result” of this case may become a testimony of what is called “the candor of the Islamic human rights”.

Abolfazl Abedini Nasr
Karoon Prison, Ahvaz
July 30, 2013

Source: Kaleme


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


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