Iran News ...


04/18/08

Iran: Three university students sentenced

Amnesty International Public Statement

 

On 15 April, the three Amir Kabir University students were sentenced to prison terms of between 22 and 30 months, by Branch 44 of the Appeal Court in Tehran. They remain at risk of torture and ill-treatment

 

The Judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, announced that Ehsan Mansouri had been sentenced to 22 months' imprisonment, Ahmad Qasaban to 26 months and Majid Tavakkoli to 30 months; and that their sentences would be counted from their arrest in May 2007.

 

Their trial had begun on 22 September 2007, before Branch 6 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. They were charged with "insulting Islam" and "acting against national security". The session was held behind closed doors and their lawyer was reportedly not allowed to represent them. On 16 October Ehsan Mansouri was sentenced to two years in prison, Majid Tavakkoli to three years and Ahmad Qasaban to two-and-a-half years. On 19 December they were acquitted of "insulting Islam", but Tehran's Public Court imposed four-month sentences for slandering the Basij force (volunteer paramilitary units attached to the Revolutionary Guards Corps).

 

The families of the students wrote several letters to the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, expressing concern that their children were being physically and psychologically tortured to make them confess to crimes they had not committed, and asking him to take action to halt this.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

Student newsletters were published at Amir Kabir University on 30 April 2007, 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.

 

One article questioned the infallibility of the Prophet Mohammad and 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:

- expressing concern that Ehsan Mansouri, Ahmad Qasaban and Majid Tavakkoli may be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for their legitimate exercise of human rights;

- calling on the authorities to order an urgent, independent investigation into allegations that they were tortured to make them confess, and bring those responsible to justice;

- urging the authorities to protect the students from further torture and other ill-treatment

- calling on the authorities to ensure that they receive family visits, legal representation of their own choosing 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.

 

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

 

Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

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

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

Fax:               +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)

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

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 6 646 1746

Email:              hadadadel@majlis.ir  (Ask for your message to be passed 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 30 May 2008.

... Payvand News - 04/18/08 ... --



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