Iran News ...


9/26/07

Iran: Three University Students Put On Trial

Public statement by Amnesty International

 

Students at Amir Kabir University, Tehran

Ahmad Qasaban (m)              

Majid Tavakkoli (m)

Ehsan Mansouri (m)

 

Ahmad Qasaban, Majid Tavakkoli and Ehsan Mansouri reportedly appeared before Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on 22 September on charges of "insulting Islam" and "acting against national security". The session was reportedly held behind closed doors and their lawyer was reportedly not given the opportunity to defend them. The next hearing is scheduled for 29 September.

 

The families of the three students were asked to attend the office of Tehran’s Chief Prosecutor, Sa’id Mortazavi, on 19 August. Said Mortazavi reportedly reiterated his warning that the families should not have given interviews or divulged information about Section 209 of Evin Prison and that as a result the students were being held in solitary confinement and forbidden from receiving family visits or phoning them. He reportedly said that the three Amir Kabir University students should write a letter of repentance in order to secure their release. He further denied that the students had been tortured.

 

Later that day, during a news conference on freedom of speech held by Shirin Ebadi, Ehsan Mansouri’s mother, Azam Tajik, publicly accused the authorities of torturing the three students in order to obtain confessions. She reportedly said "Our children were forced to confess in prison under torture" … "When they left solitary confinement they rejected the statements they had given." Azam Tajik further added that the authorities have accused the family of lying and told them to stop giving interviews.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The crisis at Amir Kabir University started on 30 April 2007 with the publication of student newsletters carrying articles which university officials deemed insulting to Islam.

 

These newsletters, bearing the names and logos of four student publications, were distributed throughout the campus. They contained three controversial articles and two caricatures which could have been perceived as critical of the Iranian government and insulting to Islam. Distribution of the publications took place one week before the annual elections to a student union, the Islamic Students’ Association (ISA).

 

One article questioned the infallibility of the Prophet Mohammad, the first Shi’a Imam, Ali, and the place of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Another criticised the government's crackdown on women’s clothing, and a third ridiculed Islamic women’s attire.

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

- asking for the details of the charges against Ahmad Qasaban, Majid Tavakkoli and Ehsan Mansouri, including the evidence against them and the outcome of any trial proceedings against them, to be made public;

- expressing concern at reports that the three men’s lawyer was not given the opportunity to defend them during the hearing and as such their trial did not meet international standards for fair trial, as laid down by Article 14(d) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a State Party;

- expressing concern that the three men have been prevented from receiving family visits and calling on the authorities to ensure that they are given immediate and unconditional access to their lawyers, their families and any medical treatment they may require.

- reminding the authorities that confessions extracted under duress are prohibited by Article 38 of the constitution of Iran, which says that “All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information are forbidden,” and that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Article 7 states that “No one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.”;

- expressing concern that Ahmad Qasaban, Majid Tavakoli and Ehsan Mansouri are alleged to have been tortured and seeking assurances that they will not be subjected to further torture or ill-treatment;

- calling on the authorities to order an immediate investigation of these allegations and to make the findings public;

- calling on the authorities to release them immediately unless they are to be tried promptly and fairly, in accordance with international fair trial standards, on recognisably criminal charges.

 

 

APPEALS TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran
, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:              info@leader.ir
Salutation:       Your Excellency

 

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad Square,

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email:              info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Salutation:       Your Excellency

 

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation:       Your Excellency

 

COPIES TO:

President

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email:              dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir

via website: www.president.ir/email

 

Speaker of Parliament

His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel

Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami, Baharestan Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax:               +98 21 3355 6408

Email:           hadadadel@majlis.ir

 

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 6 November 2007.

... Payvand News - 9/26/07 ... --



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