Saturday, January 9, 2010

Urgent Appeal to Prevent Further Human Rights Abuses in Iran

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The Feminist School

Human rights organisations are calling on governments across the globe to demand an immediate end to the flagrant violations of human rights being perpetrated by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following demonstrations on the 27th December 2009 over 2,000 people have been arrested by the Iranian authorities. Those arrested were engaged in legitimate protest to the regime’s failure to acknowledge the defeat of Ahmadinejad, its preferred candidate, in the 12th June 2009 presidential election in Iran. However, as a consequence of exercising the freedom to assemble and protest, many people are being subject to the most inhumane treatment, with the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) contemplating the implementation of even more draconian measures to silence those opposed to the present government. CODIR (Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights) has learned that in recent days:- A bill drafted with the support of 36 conservative and ultra reactionary members of parliament is calling for the reduction of the period between someone being sentenced to death for political opposition and his or her execution, from 20 to just 5 days. The architect of the bill is Ruhullah Husseinian, a conservative clerical leader who has a history of opposition to the followers of reform in the country. Prisoners are being kept in harsh and inhumane conditions. They are denied blankets and proper clothes in the middle of a bitter winter. Shiva Nazar Ahari, a human rights activist and blogger, who was arrested on her way to attend the funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri in Qom, is denied blankets and has been restricted in her access to toilet facilities.

Since the 27th December demonstrations in Iran a large number of women activists have been arrested and arrests continue. They include Mansoureh Shojaei, Zohre Tonekaboni, Badrulsadat Mofidi, Mahin Fahimi, Leyla Tavassoli, Noushin Ebadi (sister of Shireen Ebadi), Nasrin Vaziri, Niloofar Hashemi Azar, Atieh Yousefi, Bahareh Hedayat, Nafiseh Asghari, Maryam Zeya, Mahsa Hekmat, Parisa Kakaei, Forough Mirzaei and Sara Tavauli. Women activists who were arrested at the protest demonstration on 27th December, including Azar Mansouri, Sommayyeh Rashidi, Zahra Jabbari, Kobra Zaghe Doust and Mehdieh Golrou, are still in prison. Reports indicate they are being treated with indescribable violence. There are persistent calls from the religious leaders aligned with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad for opponents of the regime and participants in the anti government demonstrations to be hanged. According to reports received from Iran on 3rd January 2010, a number of followers of the Bahai’ faith were arrested and incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison in North West Tehran. Amongst them is Zhinoos Sobhani, a well known human rights activist. Baha’is have been harassed and persecuted across Iran. This represents a worsening of repression of the already persecuted Baha’I faith. In the 1980s Bahai leaders and followers were arrested and many executed and adherents are still not allowed to work in public services and as civil servants. In response to the above new evidence of an increase in human rights abuses Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary of CODIR, expressed concern that the regime is trying to start a new wave of terror in order to regain control and force the protesters from the street. (Read more...)