PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/20/98
22 October 1998
Further information on UA 254/98 (MDE 13/14/98, 22 September 1998) and follow-up
(MDE 13/19/98, 21 October 1998) - Fear of death penalty / Prisoners of conscience
/ Fear of Torture / Health concerns
IRAN Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin
Hamid Reza Jalaipour
Mohammad Javadi Hessar
Journalists Mohammad Javadi Hessar and Ibrahim Nabavi were released on bail
on 22 October 1998. Amnesty International had also just learned of the release
of their colleague Hamid Reza Jalaipour on 13 October 1998.
Concern continues, however, for the well-being of Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin
who remains in custody. He reportedly has kidney problems and is in general
ill-health, exacerbated by the harsh conditions of detention, amounting to
possible ill-treatment and torture.
In a press statement given after his release, Hamid Reza Jalaipour reportedly
stated that he and his colleagues had been held in solitary confinement and
had been subjected to “indirect psychological torture”.
The men, employees of the Iranian daily newspaper Tous, were arrested between
16 and 20 September after the paper printed an article which reportedly
questioned the recent policies of the Iranian government in Afghanistan. This
came amidst calls by some Iranian leaders for tighter controls over the press.
Tous was banned on 16 September and its offices raided by members of the
Revolutionary Guard. Amnesty International was concerned that the men were
at threat of being tried under charges, including subversion, that could result
in the death penalty.
The organization regards Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin as a prisoner of conscience.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in English or in your own language:
- welcoming the release of Hamid Reza Jalaipour, Mohammad Javadi Hessar and
Ibrahim Nabavi but asking for the immediate and unconditional release of
Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin who appears to be detained solely for the peaceful
expression of his views and as such is a prisoner of conscience;
- expressing concern that Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin is reported to be in poor
health as a result of the harsh conditions of his detention;
- seeking urgent clarification of the exact offences with which the men are
- asking that any charges against the men be dropped if it is for reason of
their non-violent activities;
- requesting that Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin be treated humanely and that he
be granted immediate access to his family, to a lawyer of his choice, and to
any medical attention he requires;
- reminding the government of Iran of its commitment to the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, in particular Article 19 :"Everyone has the right to freedom
of opinion and expression”.