Iran : Arrests of demonstrators continue
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian
authorities to ensure that all persons detained in recent weeks during peaceful
demonstrations, such as those which have been held in support of women's rights
and by striking teachers, are released immediately and unconditionally.
Arrest of teachers
Dozens of teachers are reported to remain
in custody following a peaceful demonstration on 14 March in front of the Majles
(Iran's parliament). Scores, if not hundreds, are believed to have been
arrested. Many were quickly released but several teachers' leaders continue to
be detained, including AliAkbar Baghani, Secretary General of the Teacher's
Union; Mahmoud Beheshti Langaroudi, the union's spokesperson; and Alireza
Hashemi, Secretary General of the Teacher's Organization. Amnesty International
has received the names of eighteen others arrested on 14 March: it is not clear
if they are still detained. Reports indicate that at least some may have been
summoned to appear before the Revolutionary Court on 19 March.
teachers announced that they would begin a nationwide strike on 6 March 2007 in
support of their demand for implementation of a law which would increase their
pay, and held several large-scale demonstrations in the following days. On 8
March AliAkbar Baghani, Mahmoud Beheshti Langaroudi, Alireza Hashemi and up to
17 others were detained briefly in the middle of the night in Tehran. On 13
March, three teachers' activists were reportedly arrested in the city of
Kermanshah in western Iran.
On 13 March, a meeting between teachers'
representatives and members of the Majles took place in the presence of security
and intelligence officials and ended without agreement, after which the teachers
announced that they would hold a demonstration on the following day in front of
Arrests in Kordestan province on International Women's
At least eight people are reported to have been arrested during an
initially peaceful demonstration to celebrate International Women's Day, which
was held on that day, 8 March, in Sanandaj, the capital of Kordestan province.
Most are believed to have been released shortly afterwards, but at least one,
Aso Saleh, a journalist working for the weekly newspaper Didgah, is
believed still to be detained. Previously, in 2006, he was sentenced to six
months' imprisonment, suspended for three years, in connection with an article
in a student publication concerning an argument among members of Sanandaj city
council. He is reported to have gone on hunger strike to protest at the illegal
manner of this latest arrest. Several people were also reported to have been
arrested in another demonstration on the same day in Saqqez, but all were
released shortly afterwards.
Two women's rights activists still
Shadi Sadr and Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, who were arrested in the
course of a peaceful demonstration on 4 March held to protest against the
prosecution of five other activists in connection with an earlier, peaceful
demonstration in June 2006, continue to be held in Section 209 of Evin Prison.
Shadi Sadr is the lawyer for one of those on trial on 4 March. According to
reports both women were allowed to telephone their families on 15 March and
informed them that bail for their release had been set at 200 million toumans
On 15 March the Raahi Legal Centre, founded by Shadi
Sadr, and the Non-governmental Orgaizations Training Centre, founded by
Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, were shut down by Revolutionary Court officials who
reportedly inspected the premises, took pictures and sealed the offices shut.
Another NGO, Volunteer Activists ( Koneshgaran-e Davtalab) was also shut down on
the same day
... Payvand News - 3/17/07 ... --