Further information on UA 347/09 IRAN - INCREASING CONCERNS FOR SAFETY OF GOUDARZI
30 september 2011
A man arrested with Kouhyar Goudarzi on 31 July 2011, Behnam Ganji Khaibari, who was later released, committed suicide on 2 September 2011. Kouhyar Goudarzi's mother, who was arrested the day after him, was brought to court on 6 September. Amnesty International is gravely concerned for the safety of Kouhyar Goudarzi.
Since Kouhyar Goudarzi's arrest, neither his family nor his lawyer have been able to find out where he is, or even obtain official confirmation that he has been arrested. He may be in solitary confinement at Evin Prison in Tehran. Kouhyar Goubarzi is believed to have been subjected to an enforced disappearance.
Behnam Ganji Khaibari, aged 22, was released from Evin Prison on 8 August 2011. Afterwards, he told a friend that he had been held in solitary confinement in Section 240 of Evin Prison and had no further contact with Kouhyar Goudarzi, though he had heard some of Kouhyar Goudarzi's interrogations. Behnam Ganji Khaibari said that he too had been interrogated, every morning and afternoon, and pressured to make a "confession" incriminating Kouhyar Goudarzi. Amnesty International fears that he may have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated and that this may have contributed to his suicide.
Parvin Mokhtareh, Kouhyar Goudarzi's mother, who was arrested on 1 August 2011 in Kerman, southern Iran, was tried on 6 September 2011 in the Kerman Revolutionary Court on charges said to relate to her advocacy for her son during his earlier detention in 2010. She is still held in a Kerman prison and is reported to have had no access to a lawyer since her arrest.
Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
* Call on the Iranian authorities to disclose Kouhyar Goudarzi's whereabouts immediately, as he has been subjected to an enforced disappearance, and allow him to receive visits from his family and a lawyer of his own choosing without delay and any medical attention he may require;
* Urge them to protect Kouhyar Goudarzi and Parvin Mokhtareh from torture or other ill-treatment;
* Stress that if Kouhyar Goudarzi is held solely for his peaceful human rights activities, he is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally. If, as appears to be the case, Parvin Mokhtareh has been jailed solely for advocating her son's release, she too should be released immediately and unconditionally.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 11 NOVEMBER 2011 TO:
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
Twitter: "Call on #Iran leader @khamenei_ir disclose whereabouts of Kouhyar Goudarzi"
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
[care of] Public relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street
Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
High Council for Human Rights
[care of] Office of the Head of Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., South of Serah-e Jomjouri,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
181 06 LIDINGÖ
FAX 08-636 3613
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
This is the tenth update of UA 347/09. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/090/2010/en
Kouhyar Goudarzi was released from prison in December 2010 after serving a one-year prison sentence for "spreading propaganda against the system" and other charges in breach of his rights to freedom of expression and association. An appeal was rejected in October 2010.
In a tragic development, Behnam Ganji Khaibari's friend Nahal Sahabi also committed suicide, on 28 September 2011 following Behnam Ganji Khaibari's death.
The Committee for Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) was founded in 2006 and campaigns against all kinds of human rights violations, including those against women, children, prisoners and workers. It is banned by the Iranian authorities and its members have continued to face intense harassment and prosecution since the disputed presidential election in June 2009.
On 9 January 2011, CHRR member, journalist and human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari, had a four-year prison sentence upheld on appeal. A further two-year prison sentence for "gathering and colluding with intent to harm state security" was overturned. She is now at liberty awaiting a summons to start serving this final sentence. Several other CHRR members are also facing imprisonment or have fled the country for their own safety.
Members of the CHRR have told Amnesty International that Saeed Ha'eri has also received a two-year prison sentence, which was upheld by an appeal court but the details were not available. .
Shiva Nazar Ahari was arrested on 20 December 2009 along with Kouhyar Goudarzi and Saeed Haeri. They were taken from a bus while on their way to the funeral of a senior cleric critical of the authorities, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, which was due to take place the following day. Facing persecution in Iran, other CHRR members fled Iran and now live outside the country.
Navid Khanjani, a member of both the CHRR and the Association to Oppose Discrimination in Education (AODE), was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment on 31 January 2011. He has appealed, but an appeal hearing date has not yet been set. If imprisoned, Amnesty International would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience, held solely in connection with his peaceful human rights activities. In July 2011, it was reported that plainclothes agents had been stationed outside Navid Khanjani's home and he expressed fears for his safety at the time.
Navid Khanjani was arrested in Esfahan, central Iran, on 2 March 2010. He faced an unfair trial on 20 December 2010 in Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. He was apparently sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in connection with his work with the AODE; and five for his work with the CHRR. An additional three years were said to have been handed down for "creating unease in the public mind", and "propaganda against the system". Navid Khanjani was eventually sentenced to 12 years imprisonment after the court supposedly applied "Islamic mercy".
Other organizations whose members have been arrested or sentenced include the Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners in Iran, Human Rights Activists in Iran and the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. Student activists and leaders have also been targeted.
Name: Kouhyar Goudarzi (m), Parvin Mokhtareh (f), Behnam Ganji Khaibari (m)