Monthly Archives: September 2013

Letter by mother of Hossein Ronaghi to Ayatollah Khamenei; I can’t be witness to the suffering of my innocent son in prison

Hossein Ronaghi’s mother Zoleikha Mousavi has written a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei urging him to look into the situation of her jailed and ailing son.
The letter as  provided to Kaleme today is as follows:


Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic


I am Zoleikha Mousavi, mother Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, political prisoner who has spent 4 years in prison in unsuitable conditions while very sick with kidney disease. As a mother who has taken the responsibility of my son’s affairs, I have lost hope in all the authorities at the Prosecutor’s office and the judiciary, so I resort to writing to your Excellency in order to save my son’s life. In 2009 after the presidential elections, officials from the Intelligence Ministry violently detained our son in front of our eyes and when they raided our residence they did not keep the sanctity of our home. Without a warrant they forcibly took Hossein from our home and we spent months aimlessly searching while trying to find out what they had done with our son. We have consistently followed up on Hossein’s situation to no avail and to this day nobody has given us answers.

My son was healthy and after they imprisoned him he was inflicted with various illnesses – and now they don’t allow furlough in order to receive needed medical attention! Does Islam say to imprison an innocent human being and torture him? Even the prophet had mercy on his enemies who were sick. Why does the Tehran Prosecutor General treat my son like an enemy when Hossein’s sickness is a direct result of the tortures inflicted on him in prison? Are you aware that people such as Mr. Khodabakhsh, the Deputy Tehran Prosecutor always treats us with utter disrespect, does not give us any answers and says, “Your son will finally die in prison?”  What has my son and other political prisoners been accused of that they are treated in this way? They were concerned about their people and their country and we should be proud of them not throw them in prison.

I am a tolerant mother. I am a mother who was threatened by interrogators who said that they would take my daughters away too but I can’t be witness to my son suffering in prison. These past four years have bee the most difficult times for us and there is no one that will hear our words and come to our aid. Hossein underwent seven surgeries while he was incarcerated and every time against physicians’ orders they returned him to prison and he ended up getting sick all over again. He has refused his medication in prison for almost 2 months in protest of the lack of attention of those in charge. He is not willing to self medicate and because of this he is in extremely poor health. As a mother I ask your Excellency to attend to the situation of my innocent jailed son whose life is in danger. The law says a sick person should not be kept in prison but for reasons unbeknownst to us the Tehran Prosecutor is breaking the law. I ask your Excellency to prevent these law breaking actions and order that my son’s situation be taken care of.

With respect,

Zoleikha Mousavi, mother of political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi

Zoleikha Mousavi

Maryam Shafipour’s father says he has no information about daughter’s whereabouts or condition

Maryam Shafipour, student activist, former member of Mehdi Karroubi ‘s presidential election campaign and student deprived of her education was arrested on August 5, 2013 by Iran ‘s Intelligence Ministry. According to reports, several days ago she was transferred from prison to a hospital without the knowledge of her family. Her father says he has not been told of her daughter‘s whereabouts, her condition and reason for her arrest, or her transfer to the hospital.

Mr. Mahmoud Shafipour in a conversation on September17, 2013 with the International Campaign for Human Rights in response to the question of when he became aware of her daughter‘s transfer to the hospital said, “We were allowed to have a cabin visit in prison on Monday but when I went there, prison officials informed us that they had sent her to the hospital and we can visit Maryam tomorrow morning [the next day]. We waited in front of the prison until noon on Tuesday, but we were not allowed to even make a phone call. Officers did not give us any answers as to why she was taken to the hospital, if she is still in the hospital or returned to jail; we still have no idea.”

Shafipour’s father added that her 25-year old daughter has been in solitary confinement for 50 days in which she only called her parents twice and that they had only 2 cabin visits in front of the her case prosecutor and her investigator during this time. It was during their second visit that she told them that she was suffering with severe pain and numbness in her right arm and had a terrible toothache. Her father said she looked extremely weak at the time, explain that she is a delicate, sensitive 25-year old girl and does not handle stress well. “Our daughter’s place is in a university following her dreams and aspirations – not in a dark, damp, scary prison cell.”

According to her father, Maryam Shafipour is accused of “conspiracy against national security.” Mr. Shafipour said, “I demand to be provided with evidence substantiating claims of my daughter’s alleged conspiracy against national security. She has not been allowed to hire a lawyer because of being in solitary confinement. Every time I ask the authorities about the charges against Maryam they do not give me any convincing answers or any response at all.”

Maryam’s father who is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war in his early 60 ‘s added, “I am over 60 years old and I’ve worked hard all these years and have never witnessed such a behavior until now. Prison guards and judicial authorities do not even respond to our basic concerns and questions as worried parents. I wrote numerous letters to authorities without any results. I urge President Rouhani and his new government to help us get to the bottom of this matter and send her case to court as soon as possible. If she has not committed any crime or wrongdoing, they must release her from solitary confinement and better yet, from prison altogether. I repeat I am only a concerned and worried father and I want my daughter to come back home.”

More details of the case were shared by a source close to the family of Maryam Shafipour who requested anonymity. The source said that on Tuesday when the family visited Evin Court, the case prosecutor Mr. Khorshidi told them to track the status of the case at the Revolutionary Court and he also stressed that from then on their daughter would not have any visitation privileges and would be denied phone calls. One of her investigating officers who goes by the name Bahari told Mr. Shafipour that his daughter will not be granted release on bail pending her trial and that it would be in her interest to ask his daughter to cooperate with officials.

Maryam Shafipour‘s sick mother, a retired teacher with heart disease has not been spared from the harassment of agents either; on one occasion when she was home alone government agents arrived unannounced and without a warrant, made threats and warned her to be silent.

Maryam Shafipour is a former agricultural engineering student from Qazvin International University who was suspended after 2 semesters and was expelled from university on her eighth semester due to her student activities and her weblog.

Maryam was handed a summons to appear at the Prosecutor’s office in mid July of this year. She appeared at Branch 2 of Evin prison’s Shahid Moghoddas Court on August 5th per the summons order and was subsequently detained and transferred behind bars in Evin prison.


Maryam Shafipour

Masoud Bastani, journalist, extension of furlough denied and returned to prison

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Masoud Bastani, journalist whose furlough was not extended, returned to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj on September 15. Since his arrest in 2009, this was the first time he was released on furlough at the same time his wife, jailed journalist Mahsa Amrabadi was also on furlough.

Masoud Bastani, head of “Jomhooriat” website was detained on July 5, 2009 and was handed a 6-year prison sentence by the Revolutionary Court on the charges of “propaganda against the regime,” and “gathering with intention to disturb the peace.” He was held in Evin prison but on January 25, 2010 he was transferred to Rajai Shahr prison where dangerous criminals are held.

His wife journalist Mahsa Amrabadi was detained in June 2009 and spent more than 60 days behind bars. She was detained a second time on March 1 along with Fakhrolsadat Mohtashamipour and Shahin Jahadi during the time of Green Movement protests against the illegal house arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and their wives. She was released in March 2011 before the Noruz (new year) holidays.

On June 12, 2011 Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Moghise handed Amrabadi a one year prison sentence on the charge of “propaganda against the regime by reporting and conducting interviews.” She was serving her sentence behind bars in Evin prison until she was granted furlough on July 17, 2013.


مسعود باستانی٬ روزنامه‌نگار با عدم تمدید مرخصی به زندان بازگشت


Masoud Bastani

Maryam Shafipour transferred to a hospital

AdvarNews – Maryam Sahfipour has been transferred from Evin prison’s Ward 209 to a hospital.

According to news obtained by AdvarNews,  the interrogator in charge of this student activist’s court file had given her family permission to have visitation today. When her family went to Evin prison in the morning to have a visitation with her, they were told that Maryam Shafipour has been transferred to a hospital.

The officers and the prosecuting office gave no explanation for the reason she was transferred to a hospital and would not even provide the name of the facility Maryam Shafipour is hospitalized in. During her last visitation with her family, she had complained about her right arm feeling numb and said she needs to see a doctor.

This student activist was detained on July 27th after she appeared at Branch 2 of Shahid Moghaddas Court per a summons order, and was transferred behind bars in Evin prison. Maryam Shafipour was previously detained in 2010 and was handed a one-year suspended prison term by the Qazvin Revolutionary Court.


Maryam Shafipour

Abdolreza Ghanbari’s death sentence commuted to 10 years

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – The sentence for Abolreza Ghanbari that had been commuted to 15 years in prison exile at Borazjan was reduced again at the Appellate Court Branch 54 to 10 years in exile.

According to CHRR, Abdolreza Ghanbari is among those arrested on December 27, 2009 (Ashura88) in his place of work after the massive street protests. He was subjected to severe torture during his interrogations and unexpectedly put on trial on January 30, 2010 without the knowledge of his family or lawyer. He was charged with “moharebeh” (enmity with God) stemming from alleged relations with MEK (Mujahedin party) and sentenced to death.

Abdolreza Ghanbari has 16 years of teaching experience in Persian literature and has written research papers in this field. He has spent the last 3.5 years behind bars mostly on death row. Ghanbari is a resident of the poverty-stricken Pakdasht County where he was a teacher at a local school.

According to his sister during a phone call from her residence in Paris, Abdolreza Ghanbari who is father to a daughter and a son was first put on trial at Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati and sentenced to death. He was accused of “participating in the street protests on Ashura,” and “contact with enemy groups.” During his short trial the evidence presented were “suspicious emails,” and “contact with a media outlet outside the country.” On May 10, 2011, Abdolreza Ghanbari’s death sentence was upheld by Branch 36 of Tehran Appeals Court presided by Judge Zargar and a request for a pardon was denied on February 28 2012. At that time there were fears of his imminent execution. After extensive efforts on the part of his family, in the past year the death sentence for Abdolreza Ghanbari was commuted to 15 years in exile at Barzjan prison. Branch 54 of the Appellate Court recently reduced his prison sentence to 10 year behind bars without exile. Abodoreza Ghanbari is serving his sentence at Evin prison.


کاهش حکم عبدالرضا قنبری معلم زندانی از اعدام به ۱۰ سال حبس


Abdolreza Ghanbari

Reza and Taher Akvanian released from prison on bail

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Reza and Taher Akvanian who were detained across the parliament building on August 13 were finally released from prison after heavy interrogations on September 8.

According to CHRR, Reza and Taher Akvanian were among a group who were staging a peaceful sit-in in front of the parliament building in protest of the controversial and offensive remarks that had been made by parliament member Mr. Bozorgvari. About 15 people were detained and transferred to Evin prison in a black van out of which all were soon released besides Reza Akvanian and his cousin Taher Akvanian. The cousins were finally released on 100 million Tomans bail after enduring heavy interrogations and pressure in prison.

Reza Akvanian is a writer for the blog “salhaye khoobe zendegi” (life’s good years) who was arrested earlier on February 1, 2010 by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence. Judge Tahmasabi presiding over Branch 1 of the Yasuj Revolutionary Court handed Akvanian a one-year prison sentence and a 5-year suspended term on the charges of “insulting the leader and the president in blog content” and “association with outsiders by sharing news reports.”

Security agents detained this human rights activist again on Sunday March 24, 2013 at approximately 3am at his residence. The agents violently raided his home and after conducting a massive search they confiscated Akvanian’s personal items such as his laptop computer, external drive, scanner, printer, mobile phone, and his writings. Akvanian was held incommunicado for the first 2 weeks while detained and his family had no knowledge of his condition or whereabouts. When his family was finally able to see him, they reported visible signs of bruising from interrogations on his body. He was released 17 days later on a 100 million Toman bail from the Central Prison of the city of Yasuj on Wednesday, April 10.


آزادی رضا و طاهر اکوانیان از زندان اوین


Reza & Taher Akvanian

Shiva Nazarahari released from prison on furlough

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Shiva Nazarahari, jailed human rights activist, women’s rights activist and founding member of Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) was granted temporary prison release today.

According to CHRR, Shiva Nazarahari who is among political prisoners detained after the contested election results of 2009 was released on furlough on September 8th. The founding member of Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) is a human rights activist, blogger, journalist, women’s rights activist, member of the One Million Signature Campaign, Right to Education Campaign, and Society for Defending Street and Working Children.

Shiva Nazarahari has been behind bars in Evin prison’s women’s ward since September 8, 2012. With the year she spent behind bars after her arrest in 2009, she has now spent about 2 years behind bars, which is half her sentence.

Nazarahari was detained twice in the aftermath of the contested 2009 presidential elections. Days after the elections on June 14, 2009, Shiva was detained. She was held in solitary confinement in Evin’s ward 209 for 36 days before being transferred to the general ward. She was released on bail on September 24th.

On December 20 2009 Nazarahari was detained with a number of other activists while on their way to attend the funeral of the late dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri. She endured 2 months of solitary confinement and was released on bail after 9 months of detention in September 2010.

Shiva Nazarahari was handed a 4-year prison sentence and 74 lashes on the charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with God), “propaganda against the regime,” and “illegal gathering with the intent of disturbing national security.” She turned herself in at Evin prison to serve her prison sentence on September 8, 2012.


شیوا نظرآهاری به مرخصی آمد


Shiva Nazarahari