Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Latest Reports on Prisoners

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Human Rights Activists in Iran

The Tehran Prosecutor ordered Ahmad Zaid-Abadi’s transfer to the general ward in Evin. Zaid-Abadi met with his family yesterday after being held incommunicado for 50 days. The public relation’s office of the prosecutor’s office also announced that Zaid-Abadi case has been sent before the Evolutionary Court and that he will be tried shortly. Zaid-Abadi is the secretary general of the Graduate Students’ Organization. Mohammad-Ali Abathi’s case was also sent to the Revolutionary Court, which has referred it to its 15th branch. Abtahi’s family say the trial will be held in the coming days. Zaid-Abadi was arrested on June 13th, 2009, whereas Abtahi was arrested on June 16th, 2009. More than 4 months after his initial arrest, Shahram Boloori remains detained in Ward 209 of Evin. He was arrested after the presidential election in June. Boloori’s family posted the $35,000 bail one month ago and was expecting him to be released. Boloori has been charged for acting against national security by talking to foreign radio stations. He was arrested on June 23rd and has been detained in Evin since. 50 days after his initial arrest, there is no news on the progress of Mohammad Davari’s case. Davari has only contacted his family once, and his lawyer, Mina Jaffari, has not been able to access his file despite her repeated requests to the Court.

Davari is the editor-in-chief of the Etemad-Meli website. He was arrested on September 8th, 2009 and is yet to be charged. Isa Shahar-Khiz had his first court hearing on Monday. Sahar-khiz is the founder of the Association for Freedom of Press and is a well know journalist. The court extended his remand for another 2 months. Sahar-Khiz suffers from a broken rib caused by torture. The prison and judiciary authorities have completely ignored his condition, which remains untreated. Sahar-Khiz has been charged for insulting the Leader and disseminating propaganda against the regime, a charge that traces its origins to an interview he had given. He confessed to and accepted responsibility for the charge. His lawyer, Nasrin Sotoodeh, thinks that, under the circumstances, there is no justification for her client’s detention. Sahar-Khiz was arrested on July 3rd, 2009 following a wave of arrests that targeted journalists and political activists. He has been detained in solitary confinement since his arrest. More than 140 days after their arrest, Mirdamadi and Taj-Zadeh met with their lawyers in Evin. Mirdamadi is the secretary general of the Participation Front and Taj-Zadeh is a senior member of the Participation Front and the Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution Organization.

Hooshang Babai, who represents both men, said he met separately with them this morning. The lawyer visits took place in Evin and lasted 1 hour for Taj’Zadeh and a half hour for Mirdamadi. Babai said both his clients are in good health condition and described their spirits as being extraordinary. He added, “Since the trial for both my clients will be held in the coming day, Mr. Hossein-Abadi and I will be preparing the defense together. Mirdamadi and Faizollah Arab-Sorkhi are detained in the same ward, and Taja-Zadeh is detained in the same ward as Mohsen Aminzadeh. Mirdamadi and Taj-Zadeh were arrested in June and have been detained since. The families of political prisoners started their gathering at 11 AM today. The family members of several political prisoners were among the crowd of protesters. The gathering was held in silence and the families held pictures of their loved ones; they protested the ongoing detention of journalists and reformist activists. The families also held signs that read “Where is the independence of the Judiciary?”, “Is taking part in Komail prayer a crime?”, and “Free political prisoners”. There was a very noticeable presence of intelligence agents and plainclothes officers around the demonstrators. The families were asking the officials to put a stop to temporary detentions, heavy sentences, lack of access to lawyer, and trials that are not inline with legal procedures.