HRANA News Agency – Secretary of State John Kerry, in a first-ever statement from his office on the case of imprisoned Iranian-American Saeed Abedini, called Friday for Abedini to be “immediately released” and said he is “disturbed” by reports that he’s suffered physical and psychological abuse at the Iranian prison where he’s being held.
The statement was released by Kerry late Friday afternoon, and it came after the attorneys representing Abedini’s family released a letter the Christian pastor sent to his wife describing how he was beaten and denied medical treatment because he was seen as “unclean” because of his faith.
HRANA News Agency– Amnesty International -Iran must release all journalists being held solely for carrying out their legitimate work, Amnesty International urged after at least 14 reporters were arrested in the past three days amid police raids on newspaper offices.
The journalists are reportedly accused of cooperating with “anti-revolutionary” Persian-language media organizations outside Iran.
HRANA News Agency – Human Rights Watch (London) – Iran’s judiciary should quash death sentences against five members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority and immediately cancel their execution, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. The sentences were handed down by a revolutionary court and upheld by the country’s Supreme Court on January 9, 2013.
The five men – Mohammad Ali Amouri, Sayed Jaber Alboshoka and his brother Sayed Mokhtar Alboshoka, Hashem Sha’bani Amouri, and Hadi Rashidi (or Rashedi) – are all activists in Iran’s Arab-majority Khuzestan province, in southwest Iran. A branch of the Revolutionary Court sentenced them to death on terrorism-related charges following an unfair trial in July 2012. On January 18, authorities informed families gathered outside Karoun Prison in the south-western city of Ahvaz that the five men had been transferred out of the prison. Their whereabouts are unknown. (more…)
Reporters Without Borders once again expresses its grave concern at the arbitrary arrests of journalists and netizens and the threats made against the families of foreigners and Iranians working for media organizations in Iran.
In the past three years, the press freedom organization has recorded a dozen arrests and instances of threats against the families of journalists working for foreign-based organizations and international news agencies.
In the past two months, several journalists and netizens have been summoned for questioning in cities such as Tehran, Bushehr, Karaj and Qazvin, two of them aged just 14 and 15. (more…)
AMNESTY URGENT ACTION
Behrouz Ghobadi, brother of internationally acclaimed Iranian film maker, Bahman Ghobadi, was arrested on 4 November 2012 by men in plain clothes, believed to belong to the Ministry of Intelligence. He is reportedly being held in a Ministry of Intelligence detention centre, placing him at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
Behrouz Ghobadi, father of a newborn baby boy and a member of the Kurdish minority in Iran, was arrested in the early hours of the morning of 4 November. He was in a taxi driving from Sanandaj, the capital of the north-western Kordestan province, to a Tehran airport. Plain-clothes men, who were reportedly following him, stopped his car and arrested him around 15 kilometres outside Sanandaj. Judicial officials claim that they had an arrest warrant but the reasons for his arrest do not appear to have been disclosed to his family or lawyer. (more…)
HRANA News Agency – The Iranian blogger Sattar Behesht was arrested and tortured to death by Iran’s cyber-police known also as Fata. Sattar Behesht had been accused that he was acting against the national security. The European Parliament published yesterday a new resolution on human rights situation in Iran.
The European Parliament urges the Iranian authorities to conduct a new investigation into the exact circumstances of Behesht’s death and demands exemplary punishment for perpetrators. Furthermore, the resolution condemns the use of corporate violence and the use of the death penalty in Iran and calls on the authorities to “institute a moratorium on executions pending the abolition of the death penalty, in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions 62/149 and 63/138”. The Iranian Government must submit reports with statistics on the death penalty cases and guarantee that it would provide legal support to all detainees. (more…)
GENEVA – U.N. human rights experts called on Iran on Thursday to say how Iranian blogger Sattar Beheshti died in police custody.
In a case that sparked international outrage, Beheshti who wrote a blog critical of the government, was arrested on October 30 and died some days later after saying he had received death threats and was being tortured in jail.
“It is imperative that people who are potentially involved in committing such gruesome crimes are investigated and brought to justice, as failure to do so promotes a culture of impunity,” said Ahmed Shaheed, special U.N. rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
Shaheed and other U.N. experts welcomed Iran’s decision to investigate the 35-year-old’s death and said the findings should be made public.
“On 6 November, prison authorities contacted family members of Mr. Beheshti to collect his body. Although the circumstances around his death remain unclear, allegations suggest he might have been tortured to death during his investigation,” they said in a joint statement issued in Geneva. (more…)
HRANA News Agency – (Beirut) – Iranian authorities should investigate the death of a 35-year-old blogger in custody and immediately provide his family with information about the circumstances of his death. Initial reports suggest that he may have died from ill-treatment or torture.
The blogger, Sattar Beheshti was arrested by Iran’s cyberpolice on October 30, 2012, when they raided his mother’s home in Robat Karim, 25 kilometers outside of Tehran. The police confiscated a number of his personal belongings, including his computer. The police unit, also known as “FATA,” was established in January 2011 to enforce laws aimed at regulating online speech and content considered to violate Iran’s national security or moral legislation. People who spoke to the family told Human Rights Watch that the family tried to get information about Beheshti’s whereabouts and the reason for his arrest from security and judicial officials, but that they heard nothing until November 6, 2012, when police officials told the family he had died in custody. (more…)
HRANA News Agency – The United States sanctioned 17 Iranian individuals and entities for their alleged roles in the Iranian government’s human rights abuses and support of terrorism, the Treasury and State departments announced Thursday.
The actions were carried out under the authority of three separate executive orders that had already been put into effect.
In the first set of sanctions, the United States targeted four Iranian individuals and five entities for their roles in censoring or blocking citizen access to the internet and international media – including the jamming of international satellite broadcasts.
Among those targeted is Ali Fazli, deputy commander of the Basij militia, who participated in the brutal crackdown of civilian protestors in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election. (more…)
HRANA News Agency – (New York) – Amnesty International today urged the Iranian authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of a blogger in detention in the capital Tehran who was reportedly tortured in custody.
Sattar Beheshti, 35, was arrested by men believed to be from Iran’s Cyber Police on October 30 at his home in Robat Karim, southwest of Tehran.
On Tuesday, November 6, Beheshti’s family members were told to collect his body from Tehran’s Kahrizak detention facility, and he was buried the following day. The exact time and cause of his death are still unknown, but a complaint he apparently lodged with prison authorities before his death stated that he had been beaten, lending credence to reports that he died as a result of torture in detention last week. (more…)