Iran News ...


08/25/09

Iran: Relative of Iranian Election Candidate Held in Evin Prison

Amnesty International Action Alert

 

Shapour Kazemi, a brother-in-law of Mir Hossein Mousavi, one of the candidates in Iran's disputed presidential election, is reported to be detained in Evin prison in the capital, Tehran. He may be a prisoner of conscience, held because of his relationship to Mir Hossein Mousavi. He may be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, and may not have regular access to the medication he needs.

 

Shapour Kazemi, aged 62, was arrested in Tehran shortly after the disputed election on 12 June. His sister is married to presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has continued to challenge both the fairness and outcome of the 12 June election. Shapour Kazemi is held without charge and does not have access to a lawyer. He is reported to have had one meeting with his mother, which was filmed by prison guards. Amnesty International fears that he is not being given regular access to medication he needs for high blood pressure.

 

Shapour Kazemi is not known to have links with any political organization or to have been active in Mir Hossein Mousavi's presidential campaign. According to a report from the Associated Press agency, Shapour Kazemi's sister, Zahra Rahnavard, has said that he was detained to put pressure on her and her husband, Mir Hossein Mousavi to openly accept the outcome of the 12 June 2009 presidential election.

 

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

  • Urging the authorities to give Shapour Kazemi immediate and regular access to family members, a lawyer of his choice and to any medical treatment he may require;

  • Calling for assurances that he is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated;

  • Urging them to release Shapour Kazemi immediately and unconditionally, as he appears to have been arrested solely on account of his family connection to Mir Hossein Mousavi;

  • Urging them to remove unlawful restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Iran.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 OCTOBER 2009 TO:
 

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street - End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran             

Email: via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter

Salutation: Your Excellency 

 

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani

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: via website: http://www.dadiran.ir/tabid/81/Default.aspx (put given name in first starred box, family name in second starred box, and email address in third. Paste appeal in large box)

Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

 

Minister of the Interior

Sadegh Mahsouli

Ministry of the Interior

Dr Fatemi Avenue

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran                      

Fax: +98 21 8 896 203

+98 21 8 899 547

+98 21 6 650 203

 

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

Additional Information

In the days following the 13 June 2009 announcement that incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the presidential election, hundreds of thousands of Iranians took part in mass and generally peaceful demonstrations throughout the country, disputing the election results. The authorities quickly imposed sweeping restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly and telecommunication and internet systems were severely disrupted. Iranian publications were banned from publishing information about the nationwide unrest and foreign journalists were banned from the streets, their visas not renewed and others arrested or expelled from the country.

 

In response to the mass protests, security forces, notably the paramilitary Basij, were widely deployed and around 4,000 arrested in the three-four weeks following the 12 June 2009 election, including prominent political figures close to either presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, or former President Khatami, who supported Mir Hossein Mousavi's campaign. Some human rights defenders and journalists were also detained. They have been denied access to legal representation, but have generally been able to meet family members.

 

Security forces used excessive and lethal force as hundreds were injured and reports suggest that around 40 were killed as a result of ill-treatment meted out by security forces, sometimes compounded by further ill-treatment and conditions amounting to torture in places of detention.

 

Mass trials of hundreds starting from 4 August 2009 were grossly unfair. Detainees were filmed "confessing" to vaguely-worded charges, which are often not recognizably criminal offences and some of these "confessions" were aired on TV, often before their trials took place, compromising the right not to incriminate oneself. Evidence obtained through duress was accepted by the court, indicating serious undermining of the court's independence. Some of those on trial could face the death penalty.

 

Iranian officials have confirmed the allegations of torture and mistreatment of those detained after the post-election protests and that abuses took place in at least one detention centre, likely to have been Kahrizak, a centre outside of Tehran. On 29 July, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered its closure and the head of the facility and three guards have reportedly been dismissed, possibly detained.

 

Amnesty International has received reports consistent with a statement made by Mehdi Karroubi, one of the four candidates in the 12 June 2009 presidential election. He is reported to have complained that both women and male detainees have been tortured, including by rape, by security officials.

 

UA: 220/09 Index: MDE 13/089/2009 Issue Date: 24 August 2009

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