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Iran: Caspian Makan, Neda Agha Soltan murder witness, released

Statement by Amnesty International



Caspian Makan

Tehran resident, Caspian Makan, is reported to have been released on bail from Evin Prison, though it is not clear when or under what conditions.

On 8 September it was reported in the Iranian press that Caspian Makan had denied that he had been required to "confess" prior to being released; however, the circumstances in which he was interviewed are unclear. Many former detainees who were reported in the Iranian media in previous years to have denied that they were subject to abuses or duress whilst in detention but who were then able to leave Iran and speak freely have said that such denials were also forced.

Amnesty International is concerned that Caspian Makan remains under threat and, while ceasing action now, will continue to monitor his case.

Caspian Makan was the fiancÚ of Neda Agha Soltani, a 27 year old woman killed by gunshot on 20 June 2009, on the fringes of one of the many demonstrations then taking place in Iran. Demonstrations over the conduct and outcome of the disputed 12 June presidential election had been taking place across Iran. Video footage of Neda Agha Soltan's killing was widely circulated on the internet and became a symbol of the unrest that developed in Iran.


Neda Agha Soltan

In an interview with BBC Persian TV on 22 June, Caspian Makan said that "Eyewitnesses and video footage [...] clearly show that probably Basij paramilitaries [...] deliberately targeted her". It later emerged that a member of the Basij militia, a state security body under the command of the Revolutionary Guard, incriminated himself by exclaiming after her shooting that he did not mean to kill her.


Caspian Makan was arrested on 26 June 2009. While the exact details relating to his recent release are not known, reports received by Amnesty International confirm that he was ill-treated while in custody.

No further action is called for. Many thanks to those who sent appeals.


Caspian Makan, the fiance of the young Iranian woman shot last week, tells Al Jazeera of her last moments. "Neda", which is the Farsi word for voice, was allegedly shot dead by a Basij soldier in Tehran last week.



... Payvand News - 09/10/09 ... --

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