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Iran: Fear of Ill treatment/ Prisoners of conscience

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 13/013/2000

Ezzatollah Sahabi, a journalist, was arrested on 26 June 2000 and could be held incommunicado, which may put him at risk of ill treatment. His arrest is connected with his attendance at a recent conference in Germany. On 8 May, Khalil Rostamkhani was arrested because of translation services on behalf of participants of the conference.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/13/00
UA 182/00 Fear of Ill treatment/ Prisoners of conscience 27 June 2000
IRANEzzatollah Sahabi, journalist [m], 70
Khalil Rostamkhani, translator [m], 47
Ezzatollah Sahabi, managing editor of the journal Iran-e Farda (The Iran of
Tomorrow), was arrested on 26 June 2000 after interrogation at Branch 3 of
the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Ezzatollah Sahabi, a prisoner of conscience,
could be held incommunicado, which may put him at risk of ill treatment. No
charges have been made against him.
Ezzatollah Sahabi is detained in connection with his participation at a
conference in Berlin, held in April, where political and social reform in Iran
were debated. The journal Iran-e Farda, along with approximately 16 other
journals was closed by the Iranian authorities following the conference, in
April.
On 8 May, Khalil Rostamkhani was arrested because of translation services on
behalf of participants of the conference. He was held for an unspecified time
in incommunicado detention where he was at risk of ill treatment. He has since
been allowed to see his mother and son in the Revolutionary Court, each time
in the presence of the authorities. No charges have been made against him and
he has been denied the right to legal representation. A warrant for the arrest
of his wife, who is studying in Germany, has also been issued.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Iranian political groups in exile made strong protests about
the Iranian authorities at Berlin conference. Members of the
Iranian judiciary apparently consider attendance at the
conference as “harmful to national security”.
Many of those at the conference have since faced arbitrary
detention and interrogation: Akbar Ganji was detained in
April and remains in incommunicado detention (see EXTRA
43/00, MDE 13/07/00, 25 April). On 29 April, lawyer and human
rights activist Mehrangiz Kar [f] and publisher Shahla Lahiji
[f] were detained. Student representative, Ali Afshari,from
the organization Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat (Office for
Strengthening Unity), was detained the following day (see
UA 103/00). On 21 June, Mehrangiz Kar and Shahla Lahiji were
released, followed by Ali Afshari on 25 June. Each spent a
prolonged period incommunicado detention. Bail was in excess
of $US 60,000 for each person.
Three journalists, Hamid Reza Jalaipour, from Asr-e Azadegan
(Era of the Free) and Alireza Alavitabar, editor of Sobh-e
Emrouz (Morning of Today) were detained, interrogated and
reportedly released the same day. Jamileh Kadivar, a member
of the Iranian parliament, the Majles, and the writer Mahmud
Dolatabadi have also been questioned by the Revolutionary
Court but were not detained. Three others remain outside Iran, where
they are wanted for questioning in connection with speeches made at the
conference.
2
Ezzatollah Sahabi was fined and banned from journalism for one year in December
1998 after publishing “slanderous” material. He was detained in 1995.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
English, French, or your own language:
- seeking guarantees that Ezzatollah Sahabi and Khalil Rostamkhani will be
treated humanely in detention;
- urging that Ezzatollah Sahabi and Khalil Rostamkhani be released immediately
and unconditionally, as they are prisoners of conscience;
- seeking urgent clarification of the charges they face;
- seeking assurances that they will be granted immediate access to legal
representation of their choice and to their families;
APPEALS TO:
1)Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
2)President
His Excellency Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
3)Head of Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahrudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams: Head of the Judiciary, Tehran, Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO:
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia’i-Far
Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 13165-137, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Faxes: + 98 21 204 0541
and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 8 August 2000.

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