Saturday, November 21, 2009

Latest Reports on Prisoners; Wave of Student Arrests

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Human Rights Activists in Iran

Seven Liberal Student Activists Detained

Today, agents from the Intelligence Ministry arrested Soorna Hashemi, Mehrdad Bozorg, Farzan Ra’oofi, Ehsan Dolatshah, Sina Shokoohi, Alireza Mousavi and Alborz Zahedi. All seven students, who belong to the Liberal Students Organization, were taken to an unknown location. After the arrests, the agents then went to the homes of Hashemi and Bozorg and seized their personal belongings after searching the house. The agents reportedly claimed that they were taking the arrested students to Evin prison.

Abdollah Momeni Out of Solitary Confinement

Abdollah Momeni, the detained spokesman of Advar Tahkim Vahdat organization, informed his family via phone call that he was transferred to a public ward in Evin, after spending almost 5 months in solitary confinement, his wife said. She added that he was in generally good condition and his spirits were high. Until now, Abdollah Momeni had been kept in solitary confinement or in a small cell he shared with another prisoner. Momeni, who was arrested on June 22nd, 2009, has been subjected to intense physical and psychological pressure during his detention. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison a few days ago.

Abbas Hakim-Zadeh Detained

Abbas Hakim-Zadeh, chief political officer of the Advar Tahkim Vahdat Organization, and former member of the Amir-Kabir University Student Association, was arrested this morning. Agents from the Intelligence Ministry arrested Hakim-Zadeh in his home at 7 am today and took him to an unknown location. The agents also seized his computer and personal belongings after searching the house. Abbas Hakim-Zadeh was previously detained for 134 days between March and June 2009 (120 days in solitary confinement). He was released on June 28th, 2009.

No News on the Fate of Akbar Zareh

Akbar Zareh, teacher activist and PhD student, was arrested two weeks ago in his home, and his computer and personal belongings were seized. Two weeks on, there is still no information on his whereabouts or fate. Zareh has no political history, and his activities were limited to holding a history discussion group at his students’ houses in the Zarrin-Shahr municipality of Isfahan.

Rasoul Aali-Nejad and Behrooz Faridi Detained

Rasoul Alinejad and Behrooz Faridi, two Tabriz University students who were missing since Wednesday night, called to inform their families that they were being held at the Intelligence Ministry’s detention centre.

Trial of Shiraz University Students Postponed for the Second Time

The trial of the detained students of Shiraz University was postponed for the second time. The postponement coincides with earlier remarks made to the families by the prosecutor’s representative that the students could possibly remain remanded until after the 16th of Azar (December 7th).

Political Prisoners Kept in Deplorable Conditions in Ward 350 of Evin

Post election prisoners are facing numerous problems in ward 350 of Evin after prison officials implemented a number of harsh and arbitrary measures. Political prisoners are only allowed short and occasional phone calls to their families and are subjected to pressure by prison guards. There are unconfirmed reports that some prisoners have or will start a hunger strike to protest their treatment.

5 Prisoners Released

Amin Vatayi, a chemical engineering student at Sharif University, was released last night from Evin, 16 days after his arrest on November 2nd, 2009. Mojtaba and Ahmad Hossein-Khani, two brothers who were arrested at the Kimail prayer service, were released. They both worked for Mir Hossein Mousavi’s presidential campaign and are among the student activists of Honar University. Majid Makooyi, a student at Malek Ashtar University in Isfahan, was released on conditional parole on November 18th, 2009. Makooyi spent 6 months in jail, including time served during temporary detention.