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Posts Tagged ‘ Evin Prison ’

  • 30 April 2014
  • Posted By Kaveh Eslampour
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2013

International Response to Abuse in Evin Prison

On April 17th, over 30 inmates in the 350 Ward of Iran’s Evin Prison were subjected to physical abuse and forcible head shavings, according to human rights groups outside of Iran. Victims included political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, both of whom were imprisoned following the uprisings of the disputed 2009 presidential election. With no public response from President Rouhani, campaigns professing solidarity with the prisoners have led the international outcry to investigate the incident and improve human rights in Iran.

The crackdown was conducted by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Intelligence Ministry officers, and prison guards who claim to have been conducting a routine search for elicit items such as cell phones. Following the incident, 32 prisoners were put into solitary confinement with some yet to be released. Gholam Hossein Esmaili was removed from his post as head of Iran Prisons Organization following the incident. However, in a move to defy critics, he was elevated to director general of the Justice Department in Tehran Province. This assault is the latest in a series of egregious human rights violations committed by the conservative dominated judiciary and the IRGC, possibly aimed at undermining President Rouhani in the ongoing nuclear negotiations with the West.

421 activists inside of Iran have written a public letter to President Rouhani calling for him to investigate the assault and protect citizen’s rights. Rouhani has not responded publically to the incident, although he has met privately with several prisoners’ family members. One day after protests outside of the President’s office, Rouhani administration spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said that a team had been put together to investigate the attack. No new details about the team or their findings have emerged since the announcement a week ago. The constitutional powers of the president of Iran do not grant the authority to free political prisoners, although during his campaign Rouhani pledged to “improve the situation” of many prominent prisoners.

Rather than trying to appeal to President Rouhani, others have focused on supporting the victims of the assault. Thousands have viewed a group on Facebook (which is technically blocked inside Iran) dedicated to supporting those kept in Ward 350, with hundreds posting pictures of themselves with shaved heads to symbolize solidarity with the prisoners. More than 30 prisoners from inside of Evin Prison and six from the Rajaa Shar Prison have launched a hunger strike to call attention to their unlawful imprisonment and brutal treatment, according to human rights groups outside of Iran. In his latest report, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed reported at least 895 ‘prisoners of conscience’ and ‘political prisoners’ inside of Iran. Shaheed has still not been granted access to the country.

There has been increasing frustration with Rouhani for not pursuing campaign promises to improve human rights in Iran. Rouhani’s administration has appeared to focus instead on first resolving the nuclear issue with the West, under the belief that doing so can empower moderates and generate momentum on improving human rights in Iran. Former President Mohammad Khatami, a reformist, has called for the release of political prisoners, including 2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. On the opposite side, hardliners continue to criticize Rouhani for negotiating with the West. A new hour long documentary titled “I Am Rouhani”, reportedly funded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, is critical of Rouhani’s dealing with Iran’s “enemies.”

  • 1 July 2010
  • Posted By Setareh Tabatabaie
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

A Half-Hearted Attempt at Accountability

A military court in Iran sentenced two men on Wednesday to death and nine others to jail for the torture of three protesters which resulted in their death last summer at the notorious Kahrizak detention center.  According to the report on Jahan News, an additional 33 others  were also accused of attacking a student dormitory in Tehran.  Despite this development, however, many human rights violations in Iran continue.

Following is a list of some of the many ongoing human rights abuses in Iran that should not be overlooked.  Unfortunately, this isn’t an exhaustive list.

-Currently, Zeinab Jalalian is on death row for moharebeh, or waging war against God, in a trial that has been roundly condemned as unfair and unjust by human rights defenders in Iran and around the world. Reports indicate that Jalalian’s trial lasted only minutes, she was denied access to a lawyer, and no evidence was presented against Jalalian during her trial.

-On June 26, approximately 50 houses owned by Baha’is were demolished in a village northeast of Tehran. According to an eyewitness, the houses were set on fire and then demolished by four bulldozers. “We informed the governor’s office that they were destroying our houses, but they did nothing to prevent it,” he said.

-According to Human Rights Watch, there are 16 Iranian-Kurds on death row in the notorious Evin prison. Their names are Rostam Arkia, Hossein Khezri, Anvar Rostami, Mohammad Amin Abdolahi, Ghader Mohammadzadeh, Habibollah Latifi, Sherko Moarefi, Mostafa Salimi, Hassan Tali, Iraj Mohammadi, Rashid Akhkandi, Mohammad Amin Agoushi, Ahmad Pouladkhani, Sayed Sami Hosseini, Sayed Jamal Mohammadi, and Aziz Mohammadzadeh.

-Majid Tavakoli, a renowned Iranian student activist, is currently suffering from a rapidly deteriorating physical condition in Evin Prison. According to Human Rights House of Iran, Tavakoli is suffering from abdominal bleeding.

Despite the concerns raised by Tavakoli’s prison mates, prison officials have yet to transfer him to the infirmary at Evin.  Tavakoli’s physical condition has deteriorated to the extent that he is no longer able to speak on the phone.  After days of no news, although he contacted his mother briefly today, he was unfortunately unable to speak to her for long due to his incessant coughing.

-Isa Saharkhiz is an imprisoned journalist who has been in prison for a period of one year without due process. He is suffering from hypotension and low blood pressure and recently collapsed for the second time. Prison officials have refused to transfer him to the prison infirmary despite his deteriorating condition.

-There is no news of political activist Mehdi Ale-Ziarat who was originally detained on June 10, 2010. He is a member of “Tose’eye Melli” (National Development) student publication and has worked on a number of articles and photos which were to be used in the first issue of this journal.

These are but a few of the many human rights abuses still going on in Iran.  This list could be far longer.  While news of the Iranian government finally punishing some of those responsible for such abuses is welcome, continued human rights violations show that the government is half-hearted at best in its attempt to display some accountability here.

  • 19 February 2010
  • Posted By Nayda Lakelieh
  • Diplomacy, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Showing Repentance? 50 Prisoners Released from Evin Wednesday Night

Over the course of the past eight months, thousands of Iranians have been placed in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison; this round-up includes protesters of the fraudulent June elections, members of the media, and other political prisoners. Many of these recent detainees have been sentenced to unusually long prison sentencing, and others have even been condemned to death.   This is why it’s shocking that Radio Zamaneh reports (via that 50 Iranian political prisoners were released from Evin’s macabre confines on Wednesday night, albeit in most cases through temporary releases tacked with high bail amounts.

Shahabeddin Tabatabai, Islamic Iran Participation Front member and head of reformist youth in support of Mousavi and Khatami, was one of the high profile detainees which was temporarily released last night, according to Neday-e Sabz-e Azadi website.

Tabatabai, who has been sentenced to five years in prison, was released by the authorities for a period of five days on an 800-million-touman ($800,000) bail.

Member of Human Rights Reporters, Parisa Kakai, and student activist, Maziar Samii were also among the detainees released last night.

One must ponder- why the sudden unprecedented purge of prisoners? This could possibly stem from The Human Right Council’s Universal Periodic Review on Monday, in which Iran’s abysmal human rights record was put to light and Iran was chastised for their gross violation of basic human rights.

Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, Secretary General Mohammad Larijani, asserted on Monday that any allegations of human rights abuses were prompted by western critics seeking to exploit Iran’s human rights record for their own political means, rejecting all evidence that highlights Iran’s notorious human rights record. Iranian officials were uncooperative and rejected any sort of investigation surrounding Iran’s human rights record, and opposed many suggestions brought forth by the Human Rights Council.

However, Iran is expected to seek membership in the Human Rights Council in the upcoming May Council elections; thus, this could be one possible reason for the sudden release of prisoners on Wednesday night. The purge could also be an attempt to appease protesters, especially following the crackdown on the February 11th protests, and the chokehold Iran is imposing within its borders.  Or, perhaps Tehran really has taken to heart the suggestions brought forth by the council Monday, and is on the path to legitimately better their human rights record. The latter is far less plausible, and Iran feigning an improvement in its approach to basic human rights within its borders would be unsurprising, unlike the sudden release of prisoners.

  • 28 November 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Diplomacy, Human Rights in Iran, Sanctions

What’s Next?

The Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was recently released from Evin Prison, has an excellent op-ed in today’s Washington Post. In it, Bahari argues two main points: 1) The U.S. must still pursue diplomacy with Iran and 2) Smart sanctions (targeted ones that don’t affect the Iranian people) are the appropriate sanctions to impose.

Our regular readers already know this, but it is worth repeating that this is exactly the position we take here at NIAC. NIAC supports diplomacy with Iran, but NIAC has also been investigating how smart sanctions, which target Iran’s leaders rather than the general population, can be used effectively. (See our membership survey.) Stay tuned for more on this…

In the meantime, everyone should read Bahari’s op-ed in the Washington Post. Also, if you haven’t already seen it, the incredible story of his imprisonment in Newsweek is a must read

  • 13 August 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Iranian Youth

News from Evin

According to mowjcamp, about 20 post-election detainees, mostly the youth, were released on Wednesday. Close sources to the mowjcamp also said that half of the released detainees were women.

The only name that is confirmed by this time is Hamid Chubineh, former member of Islamic Association of Students of Tehran University of Medical Science. Chubineh’s lawyer told ISNA on Wednesday evening that after posting bail to the prosecutor, he was released from Evin. Yet, he emphasized that Chubineh’s case is still under investigation by the judiciary.

Meanwhile, semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Thursday morning that the members of the Majlis (Parliament) special committee held talks with the detainees on Wednesday as part of their probe into allegations of prisoner abuse. The lawmakers said that the detainees’ complaints were mainly related to a temporary detention center named Kahrizak, where they were kept before being sent to the Evin prison, press TV reported.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the Head of Iran’s Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, who is also a member of the fact-finding committee, declared that all the detainees “are satisfied with their situation in the Evin prison.” Boroujerdi noted that the detainees’ situation in the temporary detention centers should be investigated.

  • 28 July 2009
  • Posted By Ali Delforoush
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Another detainee dies in Evin Prison

According to BBC Persian, Amir Javadi Far has died in Evin Prison after being arrested on the 18th of Tir (July 9th). Javadi Far, who was getting his industrial administrative degree from the University of Qazvin, suffered a broken arm and nose during the 18th of Tir demonstrations. He was immediately placed under arrest and transferred to Evin after treatment for his wounds at the hospital.

His parents were informed of the death of their son on Sunday and went to the prison in order to collect the body of their son. A funeral was held on Monday. The cause of death are unknown.

The demonstrations held on the 18th of Tir were to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the student demonstrations of 1999. There has been an over whelming sense of concern for the treatment of political prisoners.  A number of prominent members of the Iranian Parliament have recently voiced their concerns about the treatment of prisoners. Mohammad Reza Bahonar, first deputy speaker of the Iranian Parliament, has said, “I am worried about the fate of the prisoners. All arrests and prison deaths must be investigated.”

Son of Senior Advisor to Mohsen Rezaie Reportedly Dies in Evin Prison

Mohsen Roh Allamini

According to Kodoom, Mohsen Roh Allamini, the son of Dr. Abdullah Hussein Roh Allamini Najafabadi has died in Evin prison after he was arrested during the Tir 18 (July 9) demonstrations.  Dr. Najafabadi was one of the top advisers to presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie.  Before that, he was appointed head of the Pastor Institute during Ahmadinejad’s first term.

Dr. Najafabadi family was contacted about the arrest of his son and was told that his son would soon be released, but last night Dr. Najafabadi was informed that his son has passed away while in custody. The cause of death has not been determined yet.

Rezaei is the former commander of the IRGC and secretary of the Expediency Council. While he ran for President against Ahmadinejad, he is considered a loyal adviser to Khamenei.

  • 22 July 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Human Rights in Iran, Uncategorized

Detainees Coerced to Accuse Top Reformists of Crimes; Tapes to Be Televised

Human Rights Watch reported today that “Iranian authorities are coercing detained supporters of reform presidential candidates to implicate leading reformists in illegal acts.” Parleman news [Persian] is reporting that these forced confessions will be aired in the coming days on state TV.

In the aftermath of the June 12 contested presidential election, the government has arrested hundreds of political dissidents and supporters of the reformist candidates Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karrubi. In many cases, the authorities have refused to provide information about the conditions of their detention. Some detained reformist leaders, including Mostafa Tajzadeh, Behzad Nabavi, and Hamzeh Ghalebi, have had no contact with their families since their arrests more than a month ago.

One person recently released from Tehran’s Evin prison described the situation there as “dire.” He told Human Rights Watch that prison officials had videotaped a statement by another detainee, a coordinator of Mousavi’s campaign, in which the coordinator “admitted” that Tajzadeh and other reformist politicians were responsible for the post-election “riots.”

Another former detainee who spent several weeks in Evin separately told Human Rights Watch that authorities have forced young supporters to implicate leading reformists in their “confessions.”

“I saw some prisoners with arms and legs in casts or with bruises on their body,” the former detainee told Human Rights Watch. “Some young supporters of Mousavi’s campaign were forced to make confessions against the distinguished reformists.”

  • 20 July 2009
  • Posted By Trita Parsi
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Let me introduce you to one of the people imprisoned in Iran

cross posted from HuffingtonPost:

Bijan Khajehpour

Bijan Khajehpour

As Iran’s election crisis continues, hundreds if not thousands of prisoners remain in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Few of them have faces known to the outside world. Some of them may have protested in the streets. Others were in Mir Hussein Moussavi’s inner circle. Still others had nothing to do with either the protests or the opposition. We know very little about all of these prisoners. We may not even know their names.

Let me introduce you to one of them. His name is Bijan Khajehpour.

Bijan is one of the many prisoners who neither participated in the protests nor had any involvement with the opposition. In fact, he wasn’t involved in party politics in any way. He is a self-made man, who built a solid reputation as one of the country’s leading economic and political analysts as the founder and CEO of Iran’s leading business consultancy, Atieh Bahar Consulting.

  • 18 March 2009
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • Human Rights in Iran

Young Blogger Dies in Evin Prison

cross posted from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran


Iran: Young Blogger Dies in Prison

Second Prisoner of Conscience to Die in the Past Two Weeks

mirsayafi(19 March 2009) The death of an imprisoned blogger inside Evin Prison on 18 March, following the recent death of another prisoner of conscience, demonstrates that Iranian authorities are seriously neglecting the health of prisoners the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. The Campaign called on the Iranian Judiciary to immediately investigate and prosecute prison officials for their neglect and responsibility in these deaths.

The Campaign reminds Iranian authorities that under international human rights law, they are held accountable for the health and safety of prisoners.

“Iranian leaders have relegated the administration of the prison system to a group of incompetent and cruel officials who are showing their utter disregard for human life,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson.

Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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