Hundreds of Iranians have been detained as the authorities' crackdown on dissent has intensified throughout the year since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the disputed June 2009 election.
A year on, Amnesty International has called on the Iranian government to release the many prisoners of conscience who have been detained or imprisoned for peacefully speaking out.
Journalists, students, rights activists, lawyers, academics, former political prisoners and members of Iran’s ethnic and religious minorities have all been targeted by the government in waves of repression over the past 12 months. This widening circle of repression is an indication of the ruthless determination of the authorities to find scapegoats.
Detainees are denied access to legal counsel until investigations are deemed complete, leading to prolonged periods of incommunicado detention.
Meanwhile, families are unable to visit their relatives who are detained, and medical care can be withheld as a means of putting pressure on detainees.
Trials are marred by fundamental flaws and convictions are based on “confessions” obtained under torture or other ill-treatment.
The “show trials” following the election were a travesty of justice aimed at sending a chilling message to those who dare challenge the authorities.
Defendants have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, some to flogging, and at least 16 have been sentenced to death.
Amnesty International has called for all such prisoners of conscience to be released immediately and unconditionally.