PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/016/2009
04 March 2009
UA 60/09 Fear of torture and other ill-treatment
IRAN Sanaz Allahyari (f) All students
Nasim Roshana’i (f)
Maryam Sheikh (f)
Amir Hossein Mohammadi-Far (m)
The four students named above, and possibly others, affiliated to the students’ rights body, Students for
Freedom and Equality (Daneshjouyan-e Azadi Khah va Beraber Talab), were arrested on 01 March and have
reportedly been transferred to Evin prison. Amnesty International fears that they are at risk of torture or other
ill-treatment while in detention.
They may have been detained in connection with a demonstration held on 23 February, at Amir Kabir
University to protest against the government burying the remains of soldiers killed during the Iran-Iraq war
between 1980 and 1988 on university campuses.
Since December there have been waves of arbitrary arrests and harassment of students, particularly directed
against members of Iran's religious and ethnic minorities, trade unionists and women's rights activists. These
measures may in part be intended to stifle debate and to silence critics of the authorities in advance of the
forthcoming presidential election in June 2009.
More than 70 students were detained on 23 February during a peaceful demonstration held by students at
Tehran’s Amir Kabir University in protest at the government’s burial on campus of soldiers’ remains
Many of the student temporarily detained during the demonstration were reportedly ill-treated. Others were
taken to Police Station 107 at Palestine Square where there were also reports that students were ill-treated.
Female students were said to have been insulted by police officers. Most of those arrested were released by
the following morning although, more arrests of students were made in the days following the demonstration,
including Abbas Hakimzadeh, Mehdi Mashayekhi, Nariman Mostafavi and Ahmad Qasaban, members of the
Islamic Students Association (ISA) of Amir Kabir University.
The burial of the unknown soldiers on the university campus has widely been seen as a move by the
government to seek to control student groups opposed to its policies. Burial of soldiers, called martyrs on
account of their sacrifice in fighting against Iraqi forces, appears to enable non-students to enter the campus
without being required to show evidence that they are students, a normal requirement for access to university
premises. Students groups fear that the presence of the graves would allow unrestricted access to the
campuses by security forces, including the Basij mobilization forces who are under the control of the
Revolutionary Guards and would lead to further restrictions on debates and discussions relating to government
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English or your
- calling on the authorities to ensure that Sanaz Allahyari, Nasim Roshana’I, Maryam Sheikh and Amir
Hossein Mohammadi-Far are protected against torture or other ill-treatment and are allowed immediate access
to their family, legal representation and any medical attention that they may require;