Amnesty International Public Statement
is greatly concerned by new arrests and detentions in
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities immediately to cease arrests and harassment of those peacefully exercising their rights, including human rights defenders, and to ensure that all persons in detention are protected from torture or other ill-treatment.
Clampdown on Iranian
More than 15 members
of the Iranian Azerbaijani community are reported to have been detained in
recent days in connection with a call for students to boycott schools on the
first day of the new academic year - 1 Mehr (which this year fell on 23
September 2006). Similar boycott
calls have been made in previous years. Those detained include Esedullah
Selimi, 52, who was reportedly arrested on 9 September 2006 while travelling
Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho'ini
On 21 September, the Iranian authorities permitted prisoner of conscience Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho'ini to attend a memorial gathering for his father forty days after the latter's death. This was the first time that he had been allowed out of Evin Prison, where he is detained in Section 209, since he was arrested on 12 June during a demonstration in Tehran calling for legal reforms to end discrimination against women in Iran (see Urgent Action 181/06, AI Index MDE 13/075/2006). At the memorial ceremony, during which he was heavily guarded, he is reported to have had visible bruising and a wound on his head and to have complained of ill-treatment in detention. He is reported to have said: "Tell everybody that I am under pressure and they interrogate me about five times a day," and to have complained that he was subject to both mental and physical ill-treatment, stating "I sleep with handcuffs and shackles on my feet every night and they have deprived me of every facility". He said that he was under pressure to write a letter of repentance to state officials expressing regret for his past actions. After the memorial he was returned to Evin Prison. He has not been permitted access to his lawyer since his arrest, and has had only limited access to his family.
Mousavi-Kho'ini, a former student leader and former member of the Islamic
Consultative Assembly, the Majles (
Anti-death penalty arrests
On 24 September at least 10 people were detained while demonstrating peacefully outside the United Nations office in
Amnesty International's concerns
Amnesty International is concerned that many, if not all, of those whose cases are reported here appear to have been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association, in which case they should be released immediately and unconditionally. Otherwise they should be released unless they are charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought to trial promptly and fairly. They should be granted immediate and regular access to the outside world, including lawyers and family members. The Iranan authorities should end the practice of harassing those peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and association.
Amnesty International is also concerned that those detained may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment. It is repeating its calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Ali Akbar Mousavi-Kho'ini, and for a prompt and impartial investigation into his claims that he is undergoing torture or other ill-treatment in Evin Prison in order to force him to write a letter of repentance.
Iranian Azerbaijanis, who live mainly in the north-west of
Under international law, persons belonging to minorities have the right to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination. States cannot deny the right to use one's own language.
While the state provides education in the state's official language(s) for the majority population, members of minorities have a right to establish and maintain schools where education is provided in their own language, provided that they conform with the minimum educational standards laid down by the state. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. This includes the right to choose for their children institutions other than those established and maintained by the public authorities.
State authorities should take positive measures: (a) so that, wherever possible, persons belonging to minorities may have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue or to have instruction in their mother tongue; (b) in order to encourage knowledge of the language of the minorities existing within their territory.
broke out in towns and cities in north-west
... Payvand News - 9/26/06 ... --