Monthly Archives: November 2011

One month since his arrest, Houman Fakhar remains incommunicado

Human Rights House of Iran – Even though a month has gone by since the arrest of children’s rights activist and member of  One Million Signatures Campaign Houman Fakhar, there is still no news of him.

On October 14 plainclothes agents who were verbally aggressive and did not have a warrant, violently arrested activist Houman Fakhar.

More than one month has gone by since the arrest of this children’s rights activist, but there is still no news of him. Since his arrest, he was able to make one very short contact with family only saying that he is well.

A family member who went to Evin prison inquiring about his situation was told that Houman’s name is not on the list of prisoners being held there.

Houman Fakhar was previously arrested on February 17, 2011 and he was on temporary release after paying his bail. Houman Fakhar is a 32-year-old electrical engineer from the Netherlands residing in Tehran and serves as secretary of European Association of Education. He is now behind bars incommunicado.

Human Rights House of Iran

Journalist Hassan Fathi arrested after being accused of collaborating with the BBC

Human Rights House of Iran – Fars News Agency reported that the “colleague at the illegal network BBC, has been arrested in Tehran for spreading lies and disturbing public opinion.”

This is despite the fact that BBC News has many times announced that they do not have any journalists or partnerships in Iran.

The regime-affiliated Fars News Agency said in its report that “security agents arrested Hassan Fathi who in the past days made public statements on a live broadcast on BBC Persian and made Zionist allegations about Iran.”

The regime-affiliated news agency in its report said that since Mr. Fathi gave an interview with BBC Persian this proves that he is cooperating with the foreign news station, and that “based on this information it is evident that he is an official reporter working for this illegal network.”

Fars News Agency in its report said that according to “informed sources” who were not named, Hassan Fathi’s “partnership with BBC has been going on for a long time and [the charges against him] are not just related to this recent interview.”

As a reminder, in September of this year five other documentary directors were arrested in Tehran based on the same allegations and they have all been released.

Human Rights House of Iran

Journalist and Kurdish activist Saeed Saedi sentenced to 3 years in prison

Human House of Iran – Branch 2 of the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court handed down a 3-year prison sentence to activist Saeed Saedi.

The Campaign for the Defense of Civil and Political Prisoners reported that Branch 2 of the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court sentenced activist Saeed Saedi to two years behind bars for “illegal gathering and collusion against the regime”, and one year for “propaganda against the regime.”

On December 22, 2010 this journalist was arrested along with 26 other Sanandaj activists who included family members of death row Kurdish political prisoner Habib Latifi. Saeed Saedi was held behind bars in solitary confinement at the detention center of the Sanandaj Intelligence Ministry for 74 days after which he was released on bail.

In the past year Saeed Saedi has served as the editor of several non-governmental publications. At the time of his arrest he was the editor of the monthly publication Rovbar and was the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Reconciliation Front.

Human Rights House of Iran

The sale of any technology aimed at repressing the opposition in Iran must be stopped

Human Rights House of Iran – The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown that it’s efforts in achieving growth and excellence in science and technology are not for the good of its citizens, but rather for strengthening the power of the regime.

In the past month there have been reports in news outlets disclosing that several European companies have been involved in transactions and sales of telecommunications and computer technologies to the Iranian regime used for the tracking and identification of dissidents. Stockholm-based Ericsson AB, U.K.-based Creativity Software Ltd. and Dublin-based AdaptiveMobile Security Ltd are companies that did business withTelecommunication Company of Iran and also companies that provide phone lines in Iran such as Irancel.

In official and unofficial circles of the human rights community in Iran the recent disclosure of the sales of security systems to the Islamic Republic for the restriction of civil and political liberties has been well known. Iran has been condemned by the EU for it’s jamming of international satellite transmissions into the country in order to prevent their broadcasts. But now there is new documentation, along with interviews with witnesses and victims substantiating how the regime’s agents use these acquired technologies to suppress, investigate, and prosecute it’s citizens. Activist groups have always maintained, that these technologies sold to Iran by companies that are based in countries claiming to value human rights and democracy, are used for censoring and blocking the free flow of information between the citizens of Iran. By now the world community should clearly see how these technologies not only limit the flow of information in Iran, but they also assist in suppressing the country’s civil and human rights activists.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown that it’s efforts in achieving growth and excellence in science and technology are not for the good of its citizens, but rather for strengthening the power of the regime. Certainly the European companies that sell technologies for their own economic profit, that are used for suppressing citizens of Iran and violating their human rights, cannot morally justify being affiliated with one of the most oppressive governments and biggest violators of human rights in today’s world.

Empowering the Islamic Republic of Iran by providing them with these tools gravely hurts the human rights of Iran’s citizens and it will end up disrupting the world order and stability. Earlier the Dutch government announced that Internet users in Iran were spied on by hackers after a security breach enabled hackers to steal security certificates. This news was considered a huge threat to global cyber security.

Western governments should be mindful that the perils stemming from an irresponsible government that is supporting or organizing such threatening operations will eventually reach the gates of their lands.

Human Rights House of Iran condemns the irresponsible behavior of the above named companies along with all individuals who in the name of profit making sell intelligence, equipment and technologies to help a government known for it’s dismal human rights record. These opportunist firms are partners of the regime and therefore bare responsibility for the repressive actions taken by the regime. The sale of any technology that works for filtering, detection or identification resulting in the restriction of personal freedoms and the arrest of dissidents, is a gross violation of human rights. Those who sell these technologies must be held accountable for their actions.

Human Rights House of Iran while condemning any act that violates the fundamental freedom of Iranian citizens, asks the governments of the free world to show responsibility by preventing the actions of the profit seeking firms in their countries, demanding that these companies respect human rights and not be the advocates of governments that are violators of human rights.

Human Rights House of Iran asks all human rights agencies and activists, specially the UN Human Rights Council, to along with their condemnation of such acts, ask the countries that are signatories of the Human Rights Charter to refrain from supporting non democratic governments that are known violators of human rights and abuse their citizens. The free world must be accountable to its international obligations to protect, develop and expand the freedom of all nations, be the advocate of the free flow of information, while rejecting censorship, suppression of freedom and abuse of human rights.

Human Rights House of Iran