(11 February 2011) The International Campaign for Human
Rights in Iran called for the immediate release of dozens of journalists
and dissidents who have been arbitrarily detained in an apparent effort to
intimidate Iranians from participating in a 14 February rally in solidarity with
the Egyptian pro-democracy movement.
The Campaign also called for an end to all restrictions on the
movements of opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi, their
associates and family members. Other prominent opposition figures are also under
constant monitoring according to family members who spoke with the Campaign on
the condition of anonymity.
"The government is doing all it can to intimidate Iranians and
deny their right to peaceful assembly. With recent events in Egypt, we see
another round of repression in Iran aimed at silencing a people frustrated and
dissatisfied by the denial of their human rights," said Hadi Ghaemi, the
After the 5 February announcement by opposition leaders to
hold a rally next Monday in support of the Egyptian people's uprising, Iranian
officials began to issue warnings that they won't tolerate any public
demonstrations on that day.
Since the evening of 8 February, plainclothes security forces
stormed the houses and offices of at least thirty activists, journalists, and
dissidents, detaining most of them in the middle of the night and taking them to
unknown locations. The agents did not provide any summons or judicial warrants
for their actions
Also on 9 February, authorities began isolating opposition
leader Mehdi Karroubi in his home. Security forces are preventing even
Karroubi's children from entering his house. Currently, Karroubi is locked up in
his home, with only his wife at his side. His telephone landline, as well as all
other forms of communication, including mobile phone and internet access, have
been cut off.
Several journalists told the Campaign that they were summoned
for interrogations and intelligence agents have warned them to "stay in touch,"
meaning they are under constant watch.
The Campaign has received information regarding the detention
of at least 30 people, 13 of whom have been identified as the following
Taghi Rahmani, a
member of the Nationalist-Religious Council, and an active campaigner for
Mehdi Karroubi's 2009 presidential election campaign was arrested at his
home on 9 February. Unidentified security agents violently broke into his
home and detained him in the presence of his wife and two young children at
midnight. His wife, Narges Mohammadi, was so traumatized by their treatment
that she had to be immediately hospitalized.Dr. Mohammad Hossein
Sharifzadegan, a professor at Beheshti University and a former Minister of
Welfare in president Khatami's cabinet, was detained at his home on 9
February. Sharifzadegan is opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi's
brother-in-law, and an active supporter of his 2009 campaign.
and Omid Mohaddes, both journalists and bloggers, were
detained at their homes on 9 February. Meysam Mohammadi is manager of the
Beheshti Foundation, and Omid Mohaddes works on the Foundation's website.
is the nephew of Zahra Rahnavard, Mir Hossein Moussavi's wife, and Secretary
of the Legal Committee of Moussavi's 2009 presidential election headquarters
and was detained on 9 February at midnight at his home.
Seyed Sadredin Beheshti
is an advisor to Mir Hossein Moussavi and was detained at his office on 10
Dr. Mostafa Mirahmadizadeh
is a cleric and Law Professor at Qom's Mofid University, a member of the
Baran Foundation, and an advisor to Mehdi Karroubi during his 2009
presidential campaign. He was detained in Qom on 10 February.
secretary and office manager to Massoumeh Ebtekar, is currently a member of
the Tehran City Council. She was previously an advisor to President Mohammad
Khatami and the Head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization.
Kouroush Zaim, a
leader of the National Front, was detained on 10 February.
Peyman Aref, a
political and student activist, was detained on 10 February.
is a member of the reformist political party, Islamic Participation Front,
who was detained at his home on 10 February.
Maziar Khosravi is
a journalist at Sharq Daily who was detained on 11 February at the
is a journalist for several reformist sites who was detained on 11 February
at his home.