The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International is seriously concerned for the welfare of journalist, poet and activist Faranak Farid, who was arrested on 3 September 2011 in Tabriz, north-west Iran, apparently for her peaceful activism and writings on environmental issues and women’s rights. She was reportedly severely beaten during her arrest and also ill-treated during the lengthy interrogation sessions which followed at the Tabriz police detention centre in the initial days of her detention. Requests for medical treatment have been denied and concerns for her welfare are mounting. PEN International demands Faranak Farid’s immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory. It also urges that she is given all necessary medical treatment as a matter of urgency. (more…)
HRANA News Agency – More than 80 Iranian artists have issued a statement to protest against the prosecution of their colleagues in the country. Amongst the signatories, there are well-known artists belonging to two generations of Iranians living either in the country or abroad. The full text of this statement is as follows:
Art is the portrayal of liberty on the wings of thought and imagination. Pity those who believe by imprisoning an artist’s physical being, his thought process is eroded.
How do occasional incursions carried out against independent and intellectual artists lead us to the shores of salvation while our nation’s thirst and admiration for art can’t be quenched by pretentious rulers reigning over our culture? (more…)
HRANA News Agency – Dr. Mohammad Maleki, the first president of Tehran University after the revolution, has written an open letter to Dr. Ahmad Shaheed, the Special Rapporteur appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Pointing out the tragic plight of human rights in Iran, Dr. Maleki has underscored the crimes committed by totalitarian rulers and has announced that he is ready and available to testify about the torture and execution of prisoners in Iran. Dr. Maleki has also declared that he stands by his words and is prepared to face the consequences of his testimony.
Dr. Mohammad Maleki has spent a long time behind bars in various Iranian prisons and was once sentenced to death. During his last incarceration, Dr. Maleki spent 191 days locked up in prison while being harmed and harassed throughout that time until he was temporarily released from Evin Prison because of his deteriorating health. Although Dr. Maleki received a seven year suspended prison term in March 2000, he remains in a legal state of limbo thus far. (more…)
Mothers of Park Laleh condemn the 1980s massacres especially the mass executions of political prisoners in 1987 and join all mourning mothers to demand justice!
Another anniversary of mass executions of political prisoners in 1987 arrives while the horrifying account of this brutal massacre has spread all over the world. With each passing year, curtains purposefully drawn to conceal these crimes are opened to reveal dark accounts as living eye-witnesses begin to talk about those murderous years.
The story of 1987 is the tale of tortures, lashes and atrocities; it is the tale of sudden cessation of all communications with and visits from the outside world. It is the story of trials lasting only a few minutes with a single question asked and a lone answer received without the presence of an attorney or the right to defend oneself; it is the story of prosecuting even prisoners whose prison terms had ended. It is the tale of death sentences not subject to appeals. (more…)
HRANA News Agency – Abdolreza Ghanbari is a 42 year old high school teacher from the poverty stricken regions of Ghiamdasht in Varamin County and holds a PhD degree in Literature and Persian Language. He was arrested on December 27, 2009 during Ashura protests for participating in and videotaping the demonstrations and subsequently tried on charges of Enmity Against God (Moharebeh). Presiding over the Revolutionary Court, Branch 15, Judge Salavati sentenced him to death, and this verdict was upheld by Judge Zargar during the proceedings in the Provincial Appeals Court, Branch 36.
On Friday, August 12, 2011, Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported that the Amnesty and Clemency Commission has rejected Abdolreza Ghanbari’s plea for reprieve, and the death penalty verdict has been referred to the Revolutionary Court’s Enforcement Unit to be carried out.
The following letter was written by Sahel Ghanbari on Father’s Day in February 2011: (more…)
HRANA News Agency – A group of Iranian journalists and political activists have issued a statement from Evin and Rajai-Shahr prisons to commemorate Reporter’s Day observed in Iran on August 8th. The signatories have condemned the oppression and censorship of journalists and press and have demanded freedom of speech, the release of all imprisoned journalists and the establishment of proper environment for an independent press to function in a free society.
The full text of this statement released by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) is as follows: (more…)
His smile was as wide as his face
His eyes filled with tears
The father telling the tale of his son
With dignity and pride
Remembering Mohammad, Amir, Mohsen and Romin
Recounting the tragic tale of Kahrizak
A while ago, Mothers of Park Laleh visited Mohammad Kamrani’s family to comfort them. This is the tale of Mohammad’s plight recounted by the Mothers of Park Laleh as they heard it from his father during their visit:
Mothers of Park Laleh – Father, Mother and children came to greet us. Nostalgia filled the air as we entered. The restlessness from the pain endured for two years hung in the surroundings. The patient mother with eyes full of sorrow gazed in silent pain. The father, though, with a knot in his throat, bursting into tears now and then to allow himself some relief, talked about what his son had endured in those few days. (more…)
HRANA – The following message has been released by Mothers of Park Laleh and addressed to eighteen political prisoners on hunger strike in Evin Prison.
“Not everyone must be executed.”
These words were uttered by the Prosecutor General of Tehran after the political prisoner Mohsen Dikmechi died in Evin Prison. The recent deaths of Haleh Sahabi and Hoda Saber have proven that the government of Iran insists on fulfilling such a plan.
The brave and beloved children of Iran, from behind Evin’s soaring prison walls, the news of your hunger strike in protest to Haleh Sahabi and Hoda Saber’s deaths have reached our ears. You are the free-hearted individuals who don’t give up fighting for freedom and liberty even in shackles and bondage (more…)
I have said it numerous times in my messages and will say it again that we must think of our beloved prisoners and don’t allow them to be kept in prison, tortured and killed. No prisoner will be set free without our efforts because the cruelest and the most apathetic individuals are tasked to decide the prisoners’ fate. To break this lock, solidarity is essential.
There must be solidarity between families, and people must help them. Certainly, this assistance does exist. We must ask why our loved ones are imprisoned when they are innocent; we must ask what gives the authorities the right to kill our children. Although many years have passed, a large number of families still don’t know in which prison their children are locked up or even whether they are still alive or already slaughtered. Those families whose children are slain don’t know where they are buried. (more…)
The Nobel People of Iran and the Honorable Sahabi Family:
After hearing the news of Ezzatollah Sahabi’s passing, we intended to issue a statement to express our condolences and to announce our sympathy and solidarity with you during this sorrowful time and for this enormous loss. However, before doing so, the government together with its conscienceless hired guns added to Sahabi family and our nation’s grief and delivered another blow at this figure that is barely alive but still standing.
Without mercy, they harassed a pacifist who wanted nothing but tranquility for her country. While she was innocently shedding tears for the loss of her father, they stole his lifeless body from her and disrupted the funeral. With brass knuckles, they punched her and kicked until she couldn’t bear it anymore. At the end, she regrettably succumbed to death. (more…)