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Amnesty International issues statement on jailed students in Iran

Source: Amnesty International

Arbitrary Arrests/Fear of Torture or ill-treatment/Possible prisoners of conscience in Iran

20-30 students associated with the group Students for Freedom and Equality
(Daneshjouyan-e Azadi Khah va Beraber Talab), including:

Rosa 'Essa'ie, (f), student at Tehran's Amir Kabir University
Mehdi Geraylou (m), student at Tehran University
Anousheh Azadfar (f), student at Tehran University
Ilnaz Jamshidi (f), student at Free University of Central Tehran
Rouzbeh Safshekan (m), student at Tehran University
Nasim Soltan-Beigi (m), student at 'Allameh Tabatabai University
Yaser Pir Hayati (m), student at Shahed University
Anahita Hosseini (f)
Bita Naghashiyan (f)

New names: Peyman Piran (m) ]

Behrouz Karimizadeh (m) ] student activists
Ali Kantouri (m) ]

All the students named above have been released, except for Peyman Piran, Behrouz Karimizadeh and Ali Kantouri. Like the others, they were detained for their alleged role in demonstrations around the time of Iran's National University Students' Day, on 7 December 2007. They have been tortured, and Ali Kantouri is not receiving the medication he needs.

Peyman Piran and Behrouz Karimizadeh are believed to be in solitary confinement in section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. Peyman Piran was arrested on 4 December by plainclothes police on his way out of Tehran University. He has been flogged on the soles of his feet and ankles. Behrouz Karimizadeh was arrested on 2 December at a friend's house. During interrogation a hard object was thrust into his left ear, and he has lost the hearing in that ear. He has also been given electro-shock torture. He has been forced to "confess" on television to having links with exile groups and attempting to destabilize the country.

The two men have been accused of "acting against state security," and their bail has been set at the equivalent of US$300,000, which their families cannot pay. Behrouz Karimizadeh's family have been told that if they do not pay the bail, he will have to share a cell with common criminals, where the authorities would not be able to guarantee his safety.

Ali Kantouri was arrested on 15 January in the north-western town of Qazvin. His family were telephoned three days later and told that Ali Kantouri was in solitary confinement and under intensive interrogation in Qazvin Prison. During this interrogation his ribs were broken when he refused to be filmed "confessing" to having links with exile groups and attempting to destabilize the country.

Ali Kantouri has been moved between prisons several times: to Evin Prison on 11 March, to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj, Tehran Province, on 18 March and finally to Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj, Tehran province. He suffers from asthma and a chest infection for which he was receiving medical treatment before he was arrested. In mid-March he was seen by a prison doctor but has not yet received any medication.

Student groups have been at the forefront of demands for greater human rights in Iran in recent years. Since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005, there have been increasing restrictions on civil society. In April 2007, Minister of Intelligence Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie publicly accused student activists and campaigners for the rights of women of being part of an "enemy conspiracy," without giving any reason.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, English, Arabic or your own language:
- urging the authorities to release all students detained since December 2007 in connection with National University Students' Day who are held solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights;
- urging the authorities to promptly charge the students with recognisably criminal offences or release them;
- asking what charges have been brought against Peyman Piran, Behrouz Karimizadeh and Ali Kantouri;
- calling for an urgent, independent investigation into their alleged torture and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and urging the authorities to protect them from further torture and other ill treatment
- calling on the authorities to ensure that they are given access to their families, legal representation and any medical attention they may require;
- reminding the authorities that confessions extracted under torture are prohibited by Article 38 of the constitution of Iran.

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
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: (In 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

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

via website:

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: (mark: please forward to the Article 90 Commission)

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 26 May 2008.

... Payvand News - 04/16/08 ... --

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