PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/017/2009
05 March 2009
UA 61/09 Fear of torture, ill-treatment
IRAN Abbas Hakimzadeh, (m) member of Central Council, Office for Strengthening Unity
Mehdi Mashayekhi (m), Amir Kabir University Islamic Students Association (ISA) member
Nariman Mostafavi (m), ISA member
Ahmad Qasaban (m), ISA member
The four students named above were arrested on 24 February, following their alleged involvement in
demonstrations at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University. They are currently held incommunicado in Section 209 in
Tehran’s Evin Prison, a section of the prison under the supervision of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. They are
at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
Abbas Hakimzadeh, Mehdi Mashayekhi, Nariman Mostafavi and Ahmad Qasaban were reportedly arrested at
their homes on 24 February. Three of those arrested were members of the Islamic Students Association (ISA)
of Amir Kabir University. Abbas Hakimzadeh is a member of the Office for the Consolidation of Unity.
More than 70 students were detained on 23 February during a peaceful demonstration held by students at
Tehran’s Amir Kabir University to protest against the government burying the remains of soldiers killed during
the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war on university campuses. Many of the students detained during the
demonstration were reportedly ill-treated and 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.
The burial of unknown soldiers on university campuses 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 policy.
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.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English or your
- urging the authorities to ensure that all students held following demonstrations at Amir Kabir University on
23 February, be protected against torture or other ill-treatment and that they be allowed immediate access to
their family, legal representation and any medical attention that they may require;
- seeking specific details of the reasons for the arrest of Abbas Hakimzadeh, Mehdi Mashayekhi, Nariman
Mostafavi and Ahmad Qasaban; and any legal proceedings they might be facing;