Monthly Archives: April 2014

Saeed Haeri, Yashar Daralshafa & Davar Hosseini Vojdan end their hunger strike

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – 3 political prisoners from Cellblock 3 of Ward 350 Evin prison announced the end to their hunger strike.

According to CHRR, Saeed Haeri, Yashar Daralshafa and Davar Hosseini Vojdan while expressing their continued demand for answers regarding the vicious and inhumane attack in Evin prison on Black Thursday, announced that they have joined a number of other prisoners in ending their hunger strike.

On October 17th, officials under the pretext of conducting a search raided Evin prison’s public Ward 350. During the violent encounter that ensued many prisoners suffered serious wounds and about 32 were transferred to solitary confinement in Ward 240 under the jurisdiction of the IRGC. In the days that followed a large number of prisoners went on hunger strike in protest of the vicious and brutal encounter.

Even though cellblock 3 where Saeed Haeri, Yashar Daralshafa and Davar Hosseini reside was searched without incident, when the search was over per orders of the prison authorities, security guards indiscriminately attacked and beat inmates residing in cellblocks 1 and 3, severely wounding many of them. A large number were subsequently transferred to solitary confinement and kept in Ward 240. Most have been returned to public Ward 350, but some still remain locked up in solitary cells.

The distraught family members of the wounded political prisoners organized protests outside the office of the Tehran Prosecutor and prison offices. However before their second protest, intelligence officials descended upon the home of former CHRR member Saeed Haeri and threatened his family. The officials terrorized Haeri’s family and warned them to cancel their planned gathering. They also placed menacing phone calls to other families including that of Hosseini Vojdan threatening them with dire consequences if they took part in any protest of the raid.

As part of their terror campaign aimed at intimidating the families of political prisoners, officials arrested Kaveh Daralshafa, brother of political prisoner Yashar Daralshafa at their home on April 25th.

On April 21st, in a visitation with his family from prison that lasted only 5 minutes in a heavy security atmosphere under the watchful eyes of 4 Intelligence officers, Saeed Haeri said, “Tell everyone that this place has turned into a torture chamber and they treat us like prisoners at Abu Gharib detention center.”

According to CHRR, former member Saeed Haeri suffered intense bruising on his body from the baton blows. His feet were so badly injured he could barely walk. Despite his injuries and his deteriorating health due to his hunger strike, officials refused to allow medical attention.

Even though Haeri has spent over 17 months behind bars without his right to furlough, he embarked on a hunger strike along with other prisoners who were badly beaten in protest of the vicious and illegal actions of security officials.

Saeed Haeri was arrested on December 20, 2009 along with other members of CHRR, Shiva Nazarahari and Kouhyar Goudarzi. Haeri endured 80 days of detention under harsh interrogations before being released on 100 million tomans bail pending his trial.

In September 2010, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pir-Abassi handed the human rights activist a 2.6-year prison sentence along with 72 lashes. The appellate court later reduced the verdict to 2 years in prison. Charges against him were “disturbing the peace,” “illegal gathering and collusion,” and “membership in Committee of Human Rights Reporters.”

After receiving 4 summonses to appear in prison and threatened with collateralization if he did not show up, on September 12, 2012, Saeed Haeri turned himself in at Evin prison where he is serving his 2-year sentence behind bars.

http://chrr.biz/spip.php?article21673

 


17 political prisoners announce end of hunger strike: We will continue to pursue the violations

17 of the political prisoners from Evin prison Ward 350 who had launched a hunger strike in protest of the April 17 vicious attack that took place in the prison, announced that they are ending their hunger strike while emphasizing that they continue their demand for an impartial investigation of the attack.

Below is letter signed by 12 of the political prisoners as provided to Kaleme:

In the name of God

Noble People of Iran,

The events that took place on black Thursday when a considerable number of prisoners were viciously beaten while they were cuffed and blindfolded, leading to many wounded with serious injuries was an unprecedented incident that does not happen all the time.

On April 21st we launched a hunger strike in protest of what occurred, to be a loud voice for the victims and let people know the calamity that took place.

Hopefully with the information and concrete evidence that you the honorable people received, in good conscience you have made your public judgment of the situation. For our beloved people, in addition to the evidence and details of the incident that was made public, a look at the assailant and assaulted is a clear explanation in itself and is a great reminder to the community of who the two different sides are.

When those in charge who should have been the first to stand up to the injustice that occurred and deal with the perpetrators of this crime closed their eyes to what happened, they shed light on a reality that is clear as day. But more than anything, the denial of inalienable facts and refusal to conduct an impartial investigation was the catalyst that guided public opinion.

If the Black Thursday event in Ward 350 of Evin prison continues to be ignored and an impartial investigation is not conducted, it will forever leave its shameful mark on the instigators and perpetrators of the crime. We hope our government can take an honorable action regarding this incident and some brave, justice-seeking representatives can record what happened and shed more light on the truth.

With our gratitude to all those who expressed their feelings about the traumatic experience of the innocent prisoners in Ward 350, among them great scholars, prominent national figures, groups and institutions that with compassion have urged us to break our hunger strike – we announce that on Tuesday April 28th we are ending our hunger strike while continuing our demand for an inquiry into the violations that took place.

Also with gratitude to our dear hunger-striking friends in Rajai Shahr prison who joined us in support, we ask that they also end their hunger strike.

1-    Hassan Assadi Zeidabadi

2-    Amir Eslami

3-    Akbar Amini Armaki

4-    Emad Bahavar

5-    Ghorban Behzadian Nejad

6-    Massoud Pedram

7-    Amin Chalaki

8-    Mohammad Sadegh Rabani Amleshi

9-    Alireza Rajai

10- Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

11-Reza Shahabi

12-Mohsen Mirdamadi

http://www.kaleme.com/1393/02/08/klm-182879/

 

Added to the above named, 5 political prisoners who had joined the hunger strike in support have  announced that they also ended their hunger strike today:

Alireza Rajibian Fard

Mohammad Davari

Hamid Karvasi

Jaafar Ganji

Mohsen Ghashghayi

http://www.kaleme.com/1393/02/08/klm-182881/

Evin Prison

 


7 detainees in Rajai Shahr prison announce hunger strike

7 prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison launched a hunger strike on Wednesday April 23rd in protest of the violent assault of detainees in Evin prison Ward 350.

 Following is their letter as provided to Kaleme

Noble people of Iran,

The 1979 Revolution was not one event, but rather a long process in line with the demands and needs of the people of Iran. From the constitutional monarchy onwards it was not by chance that the slogans were liberty, justice and freedom; the leading ideal was the right of the people of the nation for sovereignty over their own future. Unfortunately in the years following the victory of the revolution, officials of the country have repeatedly violated the principles enshrined in the constitution relating to the social rights of the people. The judiciary has not only failed to conduct itself responsibly, but in many cases the institution has itself been the perpetrator of these violations of the law.

Attacking political prisoners, inflicting physical and psychological duress on them and their families is not unprecedented. The abuse of political prisoners by judicial authorities has become acceptable and criminal actions by security personnel in the prisons are routine. It is unfortunate that the officials of the regime do not learn a lesson from their actions that procure short-term results ending with long-term losses.

In the past there has been a lack of fair investigations or punishment for illegal and unethical actions such as the murders of the late Zahra Kazemi, Zahra Bani-Yaghoub, Hoda Saber, Sattar Beheshti, and the bitter tragedy of the violations and crimes that took place in Kahrizak detention center. Unfortunately we have not witnessed any fair probe into the violations and actions of the perpetrators of these vicious crimes. While increasing the gap between the regime and the people of the nation, the judicial authorities have become increasingly harsh and rigid in their dealings with prisoners of conscience and political prisoners.

With these circumstances, the events of Black Thursday opened up fresh wounds for the democracy-loving and freedom-seeking people of Iran.

In the wake of one week after the painful and inhumane event that took place in Evin Ward 350 – the vicious beatings resulting in the terrible injuries sustained by the prisoners and their forceful transfer to solitary confinement – no judiciary, administrative or security official has shown any type of responsible behavior. They have refused to accept accountability for these actions by fabricating deceptive lies in the official media outlets including Seda and Sima state television.

The head of the Prison Bureau who is officially responsible not only blatantly denied the events that took place, but he added insult to injury by ridiculing the inmates. The telling silence and lack of reaction on the part of the Minister of Justice and Intelligence Ministry is inexplicable and suspicious. It seems the gentlemen have forgotten the vote of the nation in June 2013 was “no” to lies, lawlessness, corruption and incompetence and “yes” to the demands of Iran’s Green movement.

Hence we, a group of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners from Ward 12 of Rajai Shahr prison in unison with our friends in Ward 350 of Evin prison, have launched a hunger strike beginning Wednesday April 23rd – in protest of the law-breaking behavior of the judicial and security institutions, and reckless actions of those in charge.

Jafar Shahin Eghdami

Reza Entesari

Massoud Bastani

Saeed Razavi Faghih

Mehdi Mahmoudian

Saeed Madani

Mostafa Neeli

Rajai Shahr Prison

 

http://www.kaleme.com/1393/02/04/klm-181991/

7 prisoners Rajai Shahr hunger strike


Letter by Hossein Ronaghi recounting Evin prison raid and assault

I feel suffocation; open a small vent

Some events are even more painful when recounted and this is my bitter reality along with that of other political prisoners in Ward 350. What I witnessed awakened all the events of the past 5 years for me; people quashed in the streets, violent arrests, solitary confinements, assault of the universities, and the controversial episodes at Kahrizak detention center.

On Thursday a group stormed in on us to undermine our honor, character and dignity. In their own words, “for four years we were soft on these guys and now we must subdue them.” They came to intimidate us and make us understand that if we remain standing, we will be humiliated, put down and abused.

It was a little after 9am on Thursday when we heard the aggressive tone of a few men who had entered the hall. He said, “Hurry up and get out!” I said, “allow me to get dressed and I will come out.” He got angrier and with a belligerent tone said, “You don’t need to. Get out immediately!” In the back and forth that pursued the memories of my arrest in 2009 – when they didn’t allow me to put my clothes on – came back. We were searched in an un-conventional and immoral manner then sent to the outside area of the ward. They closed the door and at first we thought everyone from the ward was in the yard but it was not so.

We heard the loud moans of our friends and when we looked into the ward from the windows, the grim reality shocked us. The guards while using insults and vulgar language were ripping prisoners’ clothing, viciously dragging them on the ground and beating them. When we witnessed this scene from outside we all went to the door and chanted slogans in protest. The door broke and many entered the ward. There we saw how the guards had formed a tunnel of batons and with no care viciously beat inmates as they dragged them through.

Mr. Rajai was shouting, “don’t hit!” And we couldn’t do anything besides also saying, “don’t hit!” Tens of plainclothes officials and prison security guards attacked us, ruthlessly punching and kicking us in the face and neck. It was an unbelievable scene; batons wielded on the faces of Mr. Alireza Rajai, Akbar Amini and Behzad Arabgol among others. They didn’t take a moment to reflect and consider that these are defenseless prisoners, and most importantly they are human beings with families and homes. The guards didn’t ask themselves why they would behave in such a manner.

The plain clothed officials were large, seemed as if they were there solely to assault the prisoners. The officials seemed to feel victorious when they forced the prisoners into the yard while kicking and punching them, and beating them with rods and batons. The blows became more forceful in the tunnel of batons, the cursing became more vulgar and the threats more menacing. They said to Alireza Rajai, “We will deal with you later.”

We were in shock. With our bloodied faces we were ripped of our dignity and it looked like a scene from Ashura. We thought about how defenseless a prisoner is. The perpetrators had forgotten their conscience, had no compassion or humanity as they showed their ferocious faces. The nefarious attackers wanted to intimidate us, destroy our pride, dignity and self-respect by trampling us with their clubs and batons – but they failed.

My faith, belief and pride prevented me from shedding tears and crying at the sight of the death of humanity that I was witnessing. Remembering that we are political prisoners we refrained from lifting an eyebrow during the vicious event. As one of the political prisoners said, we had to firmly stand up tall and Green. Because of this resistance Akbar Amini had a bloodied face; Omid Behrouzi had a ruptured vein; Emad Bahavar was severely beaten up and wounded; Mohammad Sadigh Kabouvand had a bruised body; Esmail Barzegar had broken ribs; an honorable man such as Mohammad Amin Hadavi was savagely disrespected; and it was the heart of Kamyar Sabet that could not withstand this level of violence and cruelty.

Tens of plain-clothed officials and security personnel converged in the yard of Ward 350 while shouting and hurling insults. They yelled, “For four years we let them get away with stuff, what do they think is going on.” They planned revenge and they felt stronger than defenseless innocent political prisoners. They surrounded us wielding their batons around their heads while yelling, “get over here!” One of the plain clothed officials yelled, “come here, you don’t have the — to come up front.” These were the same people who chanted slogans about their batons in 2009.

There wasn’t enough air to breath and I felt like I was suffocating. Despite all the violence, everyone I was with said, “If they come for us and attack us, just get beaten up but do not hit anybody back.” We were silent and we all sat down in protest in the middle of the yard. But the attackers got into attack position and wanted to see more bloodshed. We were tired. We had been battered under the blows of the batons. Many were hungry and thirsty. What can I say! They wouldn’t even allow medication for the sick and injured let alone water and food. They refused to give us bandages for our wounds and my god they even denied the crucial sublingual medications that some prisoners desperately needed!

What a sad scene it was to see Omid Behroozi standing tall against the baton blows with his bloody hand while being hurled with insults. He shouted, “Nobody in this country should be above the law. Nobody has a right to blatantly ignore the law and assault inmates. We will demand that all of you are brought to justice!” The authorities were laughing at him and making fun of him while the prisoners were teary eyed and defeated. The prisoners knew that justice is a foreign concept and the law had never been followed and never would be followed. Omid was in bad physical shape, we picked him up and took him to the middle of the yard; that is where the events of the 09 Ashoura protests were revived in us.

We were beaten, our blood was shed and we still demand justice, we still say enough breaking the law and tyrannical behavior! We still shout out asking for compassion in the name of saving humanity. For prisoners are truly defenseless.

I feel like I am suffocating. Open a small window.

Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

Evin prison Ward 350

http://www.kaleme.com/1393/02/04/klm-182170/  (Fa/EN)

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki


Letter by Hossein Ronaghi’s father to Ayatollah Khamenei

In a letter to the leadership, the father of Hossein Ronaghi expressed his concern regarding the attack in Ward 350 at Evin prison and said the lives of political prisoners including that of  his son are in danger.

According to the letter provided to Kaleme, Ronaghi’s father requested that the Supreme Leader follow-up and prosecute the perpetrators of the vicious prison beatings because the judiciary is under his control.

In the last 2 days many families of political prisoners have expressed their grave concern for the health and lives of their loved ones beaten in prison.

Following is the letter as provided to Kaleme:

Honorable Ayatollah Khamenei,

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran,

With greetings,

With respect I share with the leader of the Islamic Revolution that per recent reports on April 17th, plainclothes officials and Evin prison guards brutally attacked prisoners and many detainees have been severely wounded.

The evidence suggests that the lives of political prisoners including that of my son are in danger. During the past years political prisoners and their families have been abused and mistreated; if this type of inhumane and illegal behavior is tolerated in this country, then none of the citizens are safe.

With consideration to the fact that the judiciary is under your control, I respectfully ask that you order a swift investigation into this incident, announce the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

With respect

Seyed Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki

Father of political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi

4/18/14

http://www.kaleme.com/1393/01/30/klm-181160/

 


New information about injuries sustained by political prisoners

Kaleme – Among the serious injuries sustained in today’s violent raid were face and neck injuries; rupture of the artery; skull fracture; broken ribs; broken bones in hands and feet; swelling, bruising and trauma caused by baton strikes.

According to Keleme this type of violent altercation in Ward 350 has been unprecedented in the past two decades. During the past years never have officials this aggressively raided a public ward where scores of political prisoners are held, and ferociously beaten them up in this manner causing bleeding and serious wounding.

Usually prison guards keep a distance between themselves and inmates. But during the bloody altercation that took place on Thursday, plainclothes officials along with IRGC units and prison security guards hurled threats as they ruthlessly beat the prisoners.

The violent encounter and beatings took place in the outside area, in cells, inside halls and the hallway leading to the prison exit.

According to this report the prisoners were assaulted and battered with batons and broken glass was hurled at their bodies. The intense atmosphere caused heart problems for some prisoners and while they were denied access to their heart medication, they were even denied their crucial sublingual medication.

The question arises if the head of the prisons will continue to deny anything happened considering the number of injured prisoners and the extent of their injuries.

Below are the names of injured and their sustained injuries:

Omid Behrouzi – ruptured vein in hand – transferred to Taleghani Hospital

Esmail Barzegari – broken ribs – transferred to Taleghani Hospital

Akbar Amini Armaki – broken head

Soroosh Sabet – broken head

Gholamreza Khosravi – bleeding

Camyar Sabet Sanati – heart attack

Asadollah Hadi – heart attack and bleeding

Reza Akbari Monfared – bleeding

Abolghasem Foladvand – bleeding

Alireza Rajai – swelling and bruising in hands

Emad Bahavar – swelling and bruising in hands

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki – injuries to the hands and head

Ghorban Behzadian Nejad – hand injury

Simkoo Khalghati – general injuries and bleeding

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh – bleeding

In addition to the above prisoners, all the prisoners mentioned in the previous report who were transferred to solitary confinement suffered various injuries. There is no news about the situation or physical condition of the wounded prisoners who are now being held in solitary.

http://kaleme.com/1393/01/29/klm-180869/

Evin Prison


Shocking details about the beating of political prisoners; names of those transferred to solitary confinement

Kaleme – During the violent encounter that took place in Evin Ward 350 on Thursday, 30 prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement.

According to Kaleme, 30 political prisoners who protested the violent conduct of officials and their use of batons were transferred to solitary cells in Ward 240 per orders of Intelligence and prison security officials.

During this transfer, over 100 baton wielding prison guards created a tunnel in the hall leading to the exit of Ward 350. As the political prisoners were dragged out on the ground, their clothes were ripped off and the guards beat them with their batons, especially on their heads and faces.According to this report, the guards forced the prisoners against the wall or on the ground, blindfolded and handcuffed them, and violently transferred them to solitary cells in Ward 240. Many of the transferred prisoners were bleeding and had broken bones as they were aggressively hauled into the vans.

Some bandages were provided  when the wounded prisoners arrived in solitary units but they were not taken to the infirmary.

Following are the names of the prisoners of conscience and political prisoners who were transferred to solitary cells:

Abdolfattah Soltani

Mohammad Amin Hadavi

Mahammad Sadegh Kaboudvand

Mohammad Davari

Hootan Dolati

Mehdi Khodayi

Behzad Arabgol

Mostafa Reysamiyanbaf

Mostafa Abdi

Gholamreza Khosravi

Abolghasem Foladvand

Mehrdad Ahankhah

Soheil Arabi

Reza Akbari Monfared

Amir Doorbin Ghaziyayi

Asadollah Hadi

AsadollahAsadi

Majid Asadi

BehnamEbrahimzadeh

Saeed Matinpour

Soheil Babayi

Soroush Sabet

Ali Askari

Davar Hosseinivojdan

Saeed Haeri

Samkou Khalghati

Reza Hamyari

Mohammad Shojai

Amir Rezazadeh

http://www.kaleme.com/1393/01/28/klm-180861/

Evin Prison