Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Latest Reports on Political Prisoners

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Human Rights Activists in Iran

Henganeh Shahidi and Payman Aref have started a hunger strike in protest of their treatment and violation of their rights; Concerns mount over the physical conditions of Nouraninejad and Abbas Khirsandi; No prison visits for Ahmad Zaid-Abadi; Abtahi’s family visited him in prison.

The detained journalist, Hengameh Shahidi, who has been detained for 120 days under intense physical and psychological pressure, has started an indefinite hunger strike after her transfer to the public ward. Shahidi was arrested on June 29th, 2009 and was detained in solitary confinement for almost 50 days. Her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaie, had previously warned about his client’s bad emotional state. Following her transfer to the public ward, Shahidi now shares her cell with Shahla Jahed, a prisoner on death row. Reports from Evin suggest that Fariba Pajooh has met with her family today. The prisoners’ rights unit of HRA has reported that Pajooh met with her family through the glass divider. It is possible that, following Shahidi’s transfer to the public ward, Pajooh could return to solitary confinement. The two journalists previously shared a cell. Pajooh has not been interrogated in the last ten days, but her detention order has been renewed. Judicial authorities insist on detaining her although they yet have to charge her. According to a report on the “Tajjdod-Nameh” weblog, Payman Aref, the banned student, has started a hunger strike to protest his return to solitary confinement. Aref and another detained student, Majid Dorri, had written a joint letter titled “we object” to the prosecutor. Following the publication of their letter, Aref was put under pressure again and was finally transferred back to solitary confinement. Aref was arrested on August 19th, 2009 and has been detained since.

According to a report by Adwarnews, Mahdieh Mohammadi has had no news of her husband, Ahmad Zaid-Abadi, currently detained at Evin, for the last 43 days. Mohammadi has said, “Today, Monday, my children and I went back to Evin to visit my husband. We had a letter signed by the Tehran Prosecutor in which he had given his consent for the visit. We waited for 5 hours but were told that his interrogator had not authorized the visit or any other visits in the future.” Zaid-Abadi’s family and lawyer have had no news of him for the last 43 days. The Norooz website reported that the family of Hossein Nouri-Nejad visited him in prison today. Parastoo Sarmadi, Nouri-Nejad’s wife, said that her husband is in good emotional state despite the fact that he has been kept in solitary confinement for the last 40 days. He has lost a lot of weight and he looked pale during the visit. Sarmadi added that her husband, who suffers from asthma, needs fresh air, and keeping him in solitary confinement could be dangerous for him. The condition of the political prisoner, Abbas Khorsandi, has been reported unsatisfactory. Khorsandi was hospitalized at Taleghani Hospital yesterday after his physical condition deteriorated. Prior to his hospitalization, judiciary officials had refused to extend his sick leave in the past and had returned him to the prison despite his multiple medical conditions.

The Khabaronline website has reported that Mohammad-Ali Abtahi’s daughter said the family has visited him on Sunday. She said, ”Since a month ago, like all the other prisoners in ward 2-A of Evin, my father can have prison visits once a week.” Fatemeh-Sadat Abtahi added, “My father is being detained in a room, along with Messier Saeed Shariati, Ramezan-Zadeh, Atrian-Far and Safai-Farahani. Mirdamadi, Arab-Sorkhi and Faridi are kept elsewhere, and Amin-Zadeh and Tajer-Zadeh are detained together.” During the visit, Abatahi complained to his family and denied rumors that he had been allowed regular visits to his house during the month of Ramadan. The Mowjsabz website reports that Kayvan Samimi is under a lot of pressure from his interrogators. According to the Mowjsabz’s report, the pressures intensified after news leaked that Samimi was resisting while in prison. The interrogators have accused him of having ties to the Mojahedin Organization, but he is resisting their pressure. His interrogators have taken away all his books and do not let him read any newspapers. The families of the political prisoners have made it known in a statement that they will be holding a rally on Wednesday, October 28th to protest the ongoing treatment of their loved ones, who have been detained for 4 months without due process. The families have stated that the rally will be the first step in the fight they have vowed to continue until all their loved ones are released.