Tag Archives: Arash Sadeghi

Update on missing student activist Arash sadeghi

Has Arash Sadeghi been released or has he not? The online Iranian community is abase debating the issue.

On October 16 the sister of political prisoner Mostafa Nili, on her Facebook posted: “Arash Sadeghi has been released on 500 Million Toman bail.” No other source or any of the news sites confirmed or reported this news.

Today amidst much emotion displayed by many who have followed the case of Arash Sadeghi, his Facebook status was updated.

Arash Sadeghi’s last arrest was on January 15, 2012; his last Facebook update prior to this recent update was on January 14, 2012. His profile picture was changed yesterday, and he posted a status today in which he confirms he has been released on bail.

There has been many rumors and controversy over Arash’s case, with some people, who call themselves Arash’s friends, denying he was in prison, at the same time others confirmed he was in prison.

The most controversial statement about Arash’s case came from the Judiciary Spokesman, Mohseni Ajee, who last month said the prison system did not have a prisoner named Arash Sadegh.

Ajee’s statement was in contradiction with interviews given by Arash Sadeghi’s grandfather and father. During the time period that the Judiciary Spokesman denied Arash was in prison, Arash’s grandfather had in fact visited him in Evin. After his last visit with Arash, the grandfather said: “Arash was extremely thin, had lost a lot of weight, had shaved head and was hardly recognizable”.

Arash Sadeghi, in his status update on Facebook, speaks a bit about the controversy surrounding his case and confirms that he has been released on bail. He says that those who doubted his imprisonment or his release on bail can follow up with the Judiciary on Saturday and find out the facts.

He said that he has been in Zanjan, his father’s birthplace for a few days since his release. To prove he has been released, he will be in front of the Court building during the trial of imprisoned student activist Maryam Shafipour.

Where is Arash Sadeghi? Amid Controversy Fate Of Arash Sadeghi Remains Uncertain

Arash Sadeghi

Allameh Tabatabaei university student activist Arash Sadeghi was first arrested July 09, 2009, during the suppression of post-2009 presidential election events. He was released without being charged after 50 days in solitary confinement .

Sadeghi was re-arrested December 2009 after the mass street protests of Ashura. He was later released on March 16, 2010.

After his release, Sadeghi was informed by his lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, that Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Pirabbasi, had sentenced him to 6 years imprisonment on charges of: “Propaganda against the establishment, and assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security”.

Arash did not report to Evin for the implementation of his sentence. For this reason, agents attempting to arrest him, raided his home on October 26, 2010 at 4:00 AM. The shock of this raid caused Arash’s mother to suffer a heat attack. She died four days later in the hospital.

After this event, Arash Sadeghi reported to Evin on 21 December 2010. During this incarceration, according to eye witnesses that were his cellmates, Sadeghi was tortured severely, trying to force him to formally announce that the death of his mother had nothing to do with the 4:00 AM raid of their home.

At the time, in an interview his father said, “One of the cruelest tortures that Arash suffered was the interrogator pulling out his body hairs one by one. He had fallen unconscious many times by being slapped so hard over and over, and had suffered a broken tooth.”

Former political prisoner Payman Aref who was Sadeghi’s cellmate at the time, told Deutsche Welle, “When they brought Arash to Ward 350, he had a broken collarbone and could not raise his right arm.”

A year later, on December 14, 2011, Arash was released from prison.

Last Arrest:

On January 5, 2012 the Green Voice of Freedom site reported the arrest again of Arash Sadeghi. Five days later, Saham News site reported that Arash had contacted his grandfather from Evin telling him he is in Ward 209.

On May 4, 2012, independent reporter, Masih Alinejad conducted a phone interview which was published online. In this interview, Sadeghi’s father said that Arash’s grandfather had visited Arash at Ward 209 visiting room, and said he had lost a considerable weight and his head was shaved. According to Payman Aref, a number of families of political prisoners had attested to seeing Arash’s grandfather in the visiting room.

On June 7, 2012 Arash’s grandfather was arrested after giving an interview to the press informing them that Arash had launched a hunger strike in support of political prisoner Hossein Ronagi. He was released after five days in detention.

In June of 2013 reports came out that Arash had launched a hunger strike, in protest of being beaten by prison guards.

After this news, Amnesty International and 3 of the European Union MPs released statements voicing concern over Arash Sadeghi’s situation.

Start of rumors and concerns:

According to reports, Arash Sadeghi’s family has neither had a visit or a phone call from him since May 2012.

The Prosecutor General and Judiciary Spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejee, during a press conference on September 9, 2013, in response to a question about Arash Sadeghi, said, “It has been said that this person has launched a hunger strike in Evin prison, but such a person was not in Evin on 2011 nor on 2012. Of course, in 2009, a person with this name was arrested and sentenced to one year imprisonment and was released after serving his time. But even if there was a similarity in name, such person was not in Evin in 2011 or 2012.”

This was the first time that a Judiciary official made any comment regarding Arash Sadeghi. After the comments by Ejee, two different opinions formed in the online community. One opinion believes that, based on this statement made by the Judiciary official, Arash is not in prison and his family must be asked abut his whereabouts.

A source who claims to be Arash’s close friend and who wishes to remain antonymous told Deutsche Welle that, “Their opinion (the first group), is not only based on the comments made by Ejee, but because there has been some dishonesty and inconsistency in the past, therefore we can conclude that part of the truth is not being revealed.”

According to this source, after his first arrest Arash Sadeghi, had said he was a member of Central Council of the Islamic Society of Allameh Tabatabei University which was subsequently denied by the secretary of the Society. Also, he had claimed he was majoring in philosophy but later it was found out that his major was Arabic literature.”

He also said the worst of these inconsistence issues was regarding Arash’s sentence, he said, “Arash and his family told everyone that he had received a 6 year imprisonment sentence. However, after he received his official notice of his sentencing, all his cellmate saw was that he was actually sentenced to one year imprisonment and five years suspended sentence, and he was released from prison after serving his one year.”

But former political prisoner Payman Aref who was in prison at the same time as Arash has a different version to tell. He told Deutsche Welle that, “The lower court had given Arash a six year imprisonment sentence, and his lawyer was informed of this sentence (not formally). Based on this Arash said he was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

Arash finally reported to Evin December of 2010 after the death of his mother. Being under the impression that he was under a six year sentence, and due to the trauma of loosing his mother, was suffering from depression, and he did not request an appeal on his case.

Based on the fact that he had no access to a phone, and his lawyer Mr, Tabatabaei did not come to visit him in prison, Arash was not aware of the Court of Appeals ruling in his case.

The Court of Appeals upheld the 6 year sentence. However, it did change it to one year imprisonment and five years suspended sentence. According to Arash’s interrogators, they showed mercy because of his mother’s death and changed his sentence. Two weeks prior to the end of his one year imprisonment sentence was when Arash finally found out about the Appeals Court’s ruling. This was the entire story and there was no lying on the part of Arash.”

The hunger strike in prison and release from prison story:

The person who claimed to be Arash’s close friend has another reason for considering Arash’s story not to be true, and that is the news about his hunger strike and falling unconscious due to his hunger strike.

Regarding this matter, Payman Aref said, “If he is talking about Arash’s hunger strike protesting the death of Haleh Sahabi, I do confirm that he was on hunger strike at the same time as I was. He even became very ill during his hunger strike and vomited all the content of his stomach right there in the middle of the Ward and there was nothing but fluid and there was no food particles in his vomit.

Regarding his falling unconscious, I must say that was a certain political group’s plot to ruin the reputation of Arash. He told me to ask my wife to deny this news, which I did. If he has spread this false news about himself then he would have not asked me to deny the news on his behalf.

The other point that the person claiming to be Aresh’s close friend makes, is about his release from prison in 2010. He says, “We were informed by one of the people who had been released from Ward 350 about Arash’s release date. That night and three other consecutive nights we were by Evin’s door waiting to congratulate Arash on his release. But on Friday when we were there waiting for his release we found out that Kaleme site had reported he had already been released.

Two days later Arash sent me an SMS (text message) saying that he had already been released but did not have my number to inform me earlier. He said he had not gone to his home but had gone to stay with his grandfather.”

And here is Payman Aref’s account of Arash’s release in 2010: “I myself went to Evin to welcome Arash, I had myself informed all the people that had gathered in front of Evin. December 15, 2010 was the date that Arash was scheduled to be released. I myself was in Ward 350 of Evin with Arash from November 30, when I was arrested at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery until December 11, 2010.

Four days prior to Arash’s release, I went to Court and subsequently was released that same night. After my release I informed everyone of Arash’s sentence having been reduced to one year imprisonment, and also gave the date of his release which was to be December 15 (four days after my release).

December 15 was a Thursday. On that day, I and a number of other people went to Evin and waited for him but he was not released.

Apparently, the night before his scheduled release date at 10:00 PM, in the cold of a December night they had released Arash.

Because Arash’s father had distanced himself from him over the death of his mother, and also had changed his residence, Arash had no place to go and also did not have any money.

He started walking on foot on Imam highway towards the south. He walked all night long so he would not freeze in the cold of the night. He then went to the Khaneh Honarmandan park (the Artists park), a place which held lots of memories for him. He was under the impression that his grandfather had also banished him.

Finally, tired and hungry, he decided to try his luck at his grandfather’s home. Fortunately his grandfather welcomed him with open arms.

After two days of waiting by Evin for Arash’s release (Thursday and Friday), I and the others decided to contact his father. He told us he had no news about Arash. Finally we found out through Arash’s uncle that he had been released and was staying with his grandfather.”

Payman Aref stresses that, Arash was released on Wednesday December 14 at night time from Ward 350 and not from solitary confinement. With 200 political prisoners at Ward 350 wishing him farewell, there is absolutely no doubt about this matter.

Arash Sadeghi’s father is in the military and lives in army provided housing. Previously speaking with the media, he said he had been summoned by the Army Intelligence many times and was threatened not to have any contact with Arash. Otherwise, he would be discharged from the military, his salary would be cut off and he would lose his housing privilege.

Deutsche Welle’s efforts to contact Arash Sadeghi’s father and his former lawyer have been to no avail.

After calling Arash Sadeghi’s father’s home for several days, a woman finally answered the phone. She first said that Arash’s father was out of town. Then she said that we are all out of town now and our phone has been redirected to the place where we are.

Arash’s former lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaei’s cell phone was turned off each time Deutsche Welle tried to contact him.

Currently several campaigns have launched asking the question “Where is Arash”. Most of these campaigns are targeting the Iranian Intelligence and Judiciary system for answers considering their terrible history of kidnapping, arbitrary arrests and imprisonments.

And yet another group continues to be of the opinion that Arash’s family must be held accountable for giving answers in this case.

What is certain is that no one has seen Arash Sadeghi since May 2012.

Source: DW

Imprisoned Student Activist Arash Sadeghi In Dire Condition In Ward 209 Of Evin Prison

Allameh Tabatabai university student activist, Arash Sadeghi, was first arrested July 09, 2009, during the suppression of the post-presidential election protests. He was released after 50 days in solitary confinement.

Arash Sadeghi

Arash Sadeghi

Sadeghi was re-arrested on December 09, 2009 after the mass protests of Ashura, and was later released on March 6, 2010.

Arash was again arrested January 15, 2012, while visiting the grave site of his mother with his grandparents. Arash’s mother suffered a heart attack due to the stress and shock of her home being raided by the security forces who were trying to re-arrest Arash.

Arash’s father, a war veteran, had only spoken to the media (Guardian) once after the death of his wife, this is the first time that he has given an interview to a domestic media.

Following is translation of an interview conducted by Kalameh with Arash’s father Hossein Sadeghi:

Mr. Sadeghi, apparently your son, student activist Arash Sadeghi, is not in a good condition in prison. As the father of Arash, would you like to provide us with the latest news about his status?

“After the last visit that his grandfather had with him, he said Arash has lost a considerable amount of weight and is very thin.

Arash had a pre-existing lung condition that has been exacerbated in prison. They don’t do anything about his condition. He also has a stomach problem. Due to his repeated hunger strikes he has suffered stomach bleeding.

After the last visit his grandfather had with him, he said Arash looked extremely thin and was hardly recognizable. They have shaved his head, and he was very weak and very thin…..”

Can you tell us in which Ward Arash is being kept? Apparently he is not in the General Ward.

“Since his last arrest on January 15, 2012, he has been in the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209 and has only been permitted two visits.

He has been deprived of all of his rights, and during this period we had no knowledge of his physical condition.”

May I ask why you have kept silent since his arrest in 2009, and the 2010 raid of your home by agents which resulted in Arash’s mother dying due to the shock from this raid?

“I don’t really know what to say. I love my son. But, I have been serving in the military for 26 years now. Maybe if I did not interfere in the affairs of Arash, (the reason) was because of my work and the place that we reside.

I actually have no home other than the home provided by the military. If I don’t receive my salary we won’t be able to live.

Many of Arash’s friends accused me of abandoning my son. No one can ever forget their child. I have had many problems at work.

I was repeatedly threatened by the Intelligence section, told that I must not have any contact with my son and said any contact with him will result in my dismissal from my work and my residence.

I have no other means of income. I’m forced to continue in this manner. I would like to be able to follow up on his case. After all, he is my son.

Now that you have decided to speak up and break your silence, have you any worries?

“Nothing is important for me anymore. The bottom line of this story is that I may lose my life. I have already lost my wife, and have, in a way, lost my son.

Even after Arash is released, he won’t have his previous mental health, considering all the problems he has had to endure during this period.”

So, if you would like, let us go back to Arash’s first arrest, and tell us when was he first arrested, and by what organization. Then we can go back to the time when your home was raided by the agents; which resulted in your wife’s death.

“Arash’s first arrest was on July 9, 2009 by IRGC’s Intelligence, and, for about three months, his mother and I had no news from him. That time coincided with the time that they had buried some people as “unknown”, and we had felt that Arash may have been among them.”

Well, later it was found that Arash was in Evin at that time, was released a year later in 2010, and then the agents raided your home. Can you tell us exactly what happened that day?

“Arash was released on furlough ln November 2010. A few days later, without any reason, they raided our home, which unfortunately resulted in his mother’s death.

I was on guard duty that day and Arash was at his grandparents home. At four o’clock in the morning (according to my daughter) they knocked on our door.

Before my family had a chance to open the door, they broke the door down and rushed inside the house. Arash’s mother suffered a shock and fell down. My daughter says that her mother was screaming “Ya Abolfazl” ( a Shia Imam) and fell down from her bed. She could hardly breath and was hyperventilating.

The agents, ignoring that situation, did their work, searched the home and left. They left with my wife in that condition and unfortunately….sorry…recalling the memory of those events is disturbing…sorry I can not continue…”

I apologize for taking you back to the bitter days that you don’ want to recall. However, as was mentioned in the media, you saw this as Arash’s fault and apparently told Arash that it was his fault that his mother died, and told him you don’t ever want to see him back at your home. I thought, now that you have broken your silence, perhaps you have a different point of view and can explain what really happens with the families that in situations like this, that might cause them to blame their children?

“Unfortunately, I am not in a very good condition myself. I am a war veteran, and have to take fourteen pills a day to maintain my health, and to be able to remain calm for few hours. At that time, (when his wife died) I was very disturbed, and, unfortunately, was looking for someone to blame and may have thought that Arash was the person to blame. But later on I was very sorry for my conduct.

I feel that Arash virtually has no one in this situation. But he is my son, and I am willing to remedy the past and am willing to pay the price at any cost.

After the election (presidential election of 2009), Arash endured very hard times. I hope that he can at least have some solace and peace.”

Mr. Sadeghi, news reports after the election indicated that Arash was one of the people who was subjected to severe beatings during the interrogation sessions. Can you explain what was Arash’s situation during that time, and what effects have those beatings have had on Arash?

“Perhaps the worst torture that interrogators did to Arash was to pluck his body hair one by one. And a very hard slap he received, caused his front tooth to break.

He was beaten continually to a point that, at times under interrogations, he would lose consciousness.

In one case, after his mother passed, they arrested him and transferred him to prison, where he was beaten hard and suffered broken ribs.

His cellmates reported that Arash was taken to the clinic in Evin. But the doctor there did not even prescribe any painkillers, and prescribed deep breathing exercises, telling him that part of the rib is cartilage and will heal itself.

Another case was his shoulder-blade. Unfortunately they had beaten him severely several times and he suffered a dislocated shoulder-blade.

In his last visit with his grandfather, he complained of pain in his arm and shoulder and said they do not provide him with any painkillers.”

It seems that your follow-up of his case has not had any results. As someone who’s son is imprisoned and someone who has served in the military, have you anything to say to the authorities?

“I have nothing to say to the gentlemen who themselves are symbols of lawlessness. They only claim following the rule of law.

Arash’s grandfather and I have repeatedly written to the Judiciary asking them to at least transfer Arash to the General Ward.

In a meeting that Arash’s grandfather had with the prosecutor, the prosecutor, rather than following up on the discussion of transferring Arash to the General Ward, threatened Arash’s grandfather; complaining as to why he had written letters to the Judiciary, and told him he has become a pawn in the hands of the foreigners.

When in a country lawlessness virtually rules, our request for following the rule of law is pointless.
The only thing that I now can do is to at least be the voice of my wife and Arash.”

Have you anything to say to the public or the media? I suppose my question is that, when you have nothing to say to the authorities, who do you hope might do something to better your incarcerated son’s situation?

“The atrocities inflicted on Arash, and all the talk and stories that have been told about Arash have been very poignant for me.

As an example, one of things said, is that Arash himself requested to be in Ward 209 to become a hero.

My heart aches when I hear these sort of things. They make you feel so lonely from all sides. I would like to thank all the people who stayed by Arash’s side all this time. With all the media limitations and other things, they did not let Arash be forgotten.

I feel that if there was more media coverage of his case, perhaps his one year stay at Ward 209 would have been much shorter, and he would have been transferred to the General Ward.

In the absence of any media pressure and coverage, those gentlemen will do anything they want to the prisoners”

Arash Sadeghi and his father

Arash Sadeghi and Father

Source: Kalameh