Monday, August 24, 2009


Arrest and imprisonment of a political activist’s family in Semnan
On August 17, agents of the Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) arrested Ms. Tayebeh Nabavi, family of Ashraf residents, in a brutal raid to her residence in Semnan (West of Tehran) and took her to an unknown location. They left her 3-years-old child alone at home.The raid took place on Erfani’s orders, an interrogator of political prisoners in Semnan. During a several hour search the agents ransacked property and seized CDs, photo albums and books.In addition to Tayebeh, three other members of this family are currently in jail; Seyed Zohour Nabavi, who used to write articles for the Sar-Zamin Ariya’i magazine, has been sentenced to 4 years in prison and jailed in Ward 350 of Evin prison, Ms. Atefeh Nabavi, and Seyed Zia Nabavi, secretary of the Council in Defence of Right to Education, arrested during the uprisings and incarcerated in Ward 209 of Evin since June 14.Seyed Zohour’s wife, Khadijeh, was also sentenced to one year in prison, and another of his sisters Hamideh Nabavi, arrested last year for taking part in a ceremony marking the anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment.

Iranian dissidents at Camp Ashraf abandoned by Americans, murdered by Iraqis
Source: Italian daily Liberation, August 22, 2009On July 28, a massacre took place quietly and away from international eye in northern Baghdad: 11 were killed, 500 injured and 36 were detained.It was an attack against Camp Ashraf where 3,500 political dissidents (including 1,000 women) reside. They are affiliated with the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a resistance movement which has for years struggled against the ayatollahs’ regime in Tehran. They were placed on the terrorist list by them.After Saddam Hussein’s downfall in 2003, Ashraf was controlled and protected by American forces. They handed over their weapons to the Americans in exchange for protection of Ashraf residents. They were protected by the Americans until February 28, 2009 when Ashraf’s protection was transferred to the al-Maliki government, which is increasingly cozying up to Iran (Khamenei and Ahmadinejad). The attack was carried out by al-Maliki’s armed forces and at the behest of his masters in Tehran. In a series of videos posted on YouTube the brutality of the attack comes to life.More than 3,000 soldiers and police forces from Baghdad, aided by agents dispatched by the Iranian regime who were likely part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (the videos show many agents speaking in Farsi), used bulldozers to raid Camp Ashraf.Tear gas, sound grenades, iron bars and guns were used in the bloody killings. Ashraf residents, equipped with just a few stones, were not able to do much in the face of the pre-planned attack. Sensitive audience must avoid viewing the graphic pictures: There are military personnel who violently beat unarmed residents, there are bloodied and broken heads, women and men are covered in blood, cars zigzag up and down, and women scream and cry.This was a pre-planned tragedy in all aspects. The Iranian parliamentary speaker Larijani (a moderate voice in the Shiite regime) praised the action and added that it was delayed. American forces were present on the scene and watched the murders but did not even lift a finger.With the deafening silence of global media and political circles, only a number of human rights organizations like Amnesty International have condemned the violent attacks.Ashraf residents who were abandoned by American forces on realpolitik grounds are worried about the potential of a more extensive attack since the Iraqi armed forces are still present in Ashraf and are awaiting new orders.Ashraf residents have not abandoned their legal struggle and in addition to various protest actions and sit-ins in countries around the world (from Washington to Paris to London and Sydney), they are demanding from the international community to immediately work to force the Iraqi forces out of Camp Ashraf and return the protection of the 3,500 residents to its previous status.According to the international committee of jurists in defense of human rights in Chicago, in accordance with Article 45 of the Geneva Conventions with regards to political refugees, the protection of Camp Ashraf must immediately be reassumed by the US. In a letter written to the US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, the jurists have asked for the security of Ashraf residents to be transferred to American forces, because in addition to the fact that Baghdad has been unable to shoulder this responsibility it has also proven to be imposing pressure on the residents.

The hunger strike and the demonstrations continue in Ottawa for the 27th day
The Iranian-Canadians gather in front of the US embassy here in Ottawa to protest the attack on Camp Ashraf where 3400 Iranians about 70 of them Canadians reside. They are demanding the immediate release of the 36 hostages taken by the Iraqi forces after their raid on camp Ashraf on July 28th. The Iranian-Canadins are also asking president Obama to once again take responsibility of Ashraf protection. It’s worth noting that the Unites States made a written agreement with each resident of Ashraf camp to protect them under international laws. But as the Iraqi forces were killing unarmed residents of Ashraf, there are reports that the Americans were watching and filming the massacre. Today on the 27th day of the hunger strike, one of the female hunger strikers, was taken to the hospital by an ambulence. She was very weak and was shaking as a result of her hunger strike. As she was taken by the peremedics, she was crying. When asked why she was crying, she told Radio Irava that she was thinking of the Iranian dissidents in camp Ashraf who do not have the same facility availiable to them and she felt guilty because of that.

Political prisoner’s condition deteriorates in Gohardasht
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran said in a statement on Aug. 23rd that; According to obtained reports from Ward 4 of Gohardasht prison in Karaj, the physical condition of Ali Moezzi, a 57year-old father and political prisoner, has been deteriorating since three weeks ago. Although even the prison’s medical office has asked to transfer him to a hospital outside the prison, the clerical regime’s henchmen refuse to do so. Mr. Ali Moezzi was among the political prisoners in the 1980s. His kidneys, which have been badly injured after enduring torture at that time, are in a worse condition now, so much so that he is not capable of eating and can only drink water.Ali Moezzi was arrested on November 11, 2008, after a violent raid of his home by the clerical regime’s agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The reason for his arrest was visiting his child and relatives in Ashraf City. After his arrest, Moezzi was transferred to solitary confinement in Ward 8, known as the Sepah (Revolutionary Guards) Ward, and was subjected to interrogation by MOIS interrogators. He spent seven months in solitary confinement at Sepah Ward and endured physical and psychological torture by the henchmen. The clerical regime’s so-called court in the city of Karaj has sentenced Moezzi to five years in prison.

Boy who defied Tehran hardliners tells of prison rape ordeal
By Homa Homayoun
Times, Aug 22, 2009 - The 15-year-old boy sits weeping in a safehouse in central Iran, broken in body and spirit. Reza will not go outside - he is terrified of being left alone. He says he wants to end his life and it is not hard to understand why: for daring to wear the green wristband of Iran’s opposition he was locked up for 20 days, beaten, raped repeatedly and subjected to the Abu Ghraib-style sexual humiliations and abuse for which the Iranian regime denounced the United States. “My life is over. I don’t think I can ever recover,” he said, as he recounted his experiences to The Times - on condition that his identity not be revealed. A doctor who is treating him, at great risk to herself, confirmed that he is suicidal, and bears the appalling injuries consistent with his story. The family is desperate, and is exploring ways of fleeing Iran. Reza is living proof of the charges levelled by Mehdi Karoubi, one of the opposition’s leaders, that prison officials are systematically raping both male and female detainees to break their wills. The regime has accused Mr Karoubi of helping Iran’s enemies by spreading lies and has threatened to arrest him. The boy’s treatment also shows just how far a regime that claims to champion Islamic values is prepared to go to suppress millions of its own citizens who claim that President Ahmadinejad’s re-election was rigged. Reza’s ordeal began in mid-July when he was arrested with about 40 other teenagers during an opposition demonstration in a large provincial city. Most were too young even to have voted. They were taken to what he believes was a Basiji militia base where they were blindfolded, stripped to their underwear, whipped with cables and then locked in a steel shipping container. That first night Reza was singled out by three men in plain clothes who had masqueraded as prisoners. As the other boys watched, they pushed him to the ground. One held his head down, another sat on his back and the third urinated on him before raping him. “They were telling us they were doing this for God, and who did we think we were that we could demonstrate,” Reza said. The men told the other boys they would receive the same treatment if they did not co-operate when interrogated the next day. Reza was then taken outside, tied to a metal pole and left there all night. The next morning one of the men returned. He asked whether Reza had learnt his lesson. “I was angry. I spat in his face and began cursing him. He elbowed me in the face a couple of times and slapped me.” Twenty minutes later, he says, the man returned with a bag full of excrement, shoved it in Reza’s face and threatened to make him eat it. Reza was later taken to an interrogation room where he told his questioner he had been raped. “I made a mistake. He sounded kind, but my eyes were blindfolded. He said he would go look into it and I was hopeful,” Reza said. Instead, the interrogator ordered Reza to be tied up and raped him again, saying: “This time I’ll do it, so you’ll learn not to tell these tales anywhere else. You deserve what’s coming to you. You guys should be raped until you die.” He was subjected to further brutal sexual abuse - and locked up for three days of solitary confinement. Reza was then forced to sign a “confession” in which he said that foreign forces had told him and his friends to burn banks and state media buildings. He was told to identify as the ringleader a 16-year-old friend who had been so badly beaten that he was in hospital. “I was shaking so much I couldn’t even hear what they were saying,” said Reza. “I just signed whatever they put in front of me without looking at it. I was scared they would rape me again.” The next day Reza and other detainees were transferred to a police detention centre, where he was held for a further week. On the third day, police officers entered the cell in the middle of the night, blindfolded him and led him to the toilet, where he was again raped. “My hands began shaking, my legs were weak and I couldn’t stand up properly. I fell down and smashed my head hard on the ground to try and kill myself. I started screaming and shouting for them to kill me. I just couldn’t bear it anymore. I hated myself,” he said, weeping at the memory. The following morning he was summoned by a police commander, who asked why he had been screaming the previous night. When he explained, he was asked to identify his rapist. The boy said he had been blindfolded, so the chief commander hit him and accused him of lying. He was forced to sign a letter admitting he had made baseless accusations against the security forces. Reza’s ordeal was far from over. He was taken with about 130 other prisoners to the city’s Revolutionary Court, where they were herded into a yard. The judge told them that he would hang those who had violently resisted the Islamic revolution and read out the names of ten teenagers, including Reza. The message was clear: if they continued to say they had been raped they would be executed. The judge sent them to the city’s central prison, where Reza was handcuffed and held in a small cell with six other boys for ten more days. In the evenings officers beat the boys and taunted them with the words: “You want to cause a revolution?. Periodically, the most senior officer would take the boys away, three at a time. “When they returned they would be very quiet and uneasy,” Reza said. When his turn came he and the others were led into a small room and ordered to strip and have sex with each other. “He told us that with this we would be cleansed - we would be so shattered that we would no longer be able to look at each other. This would help calm us down.” After 20 days Reza’s family finally secured his release on bail of about £45,000 - and with a final warning that he should say nothing about his treatment. His brother said: “A friend of mine who is a guard in the prison where Reza was being held had told me he was ill. The night he was released he was crying uncontrollably; then he broke down and told my mother everything.” The family persuaded a hospital doctor they knew to treat him, despite the danger to herself. She has treated his physical injuries and given him antibiotics and sedatives but cannot perform an internal examination. Reza is deeply traumatised, terrified of being returned to prison and barely sleeps. The doctor told The Times that other detainees had suffered a similiar fate. “We have many cases in the hospital but we can’t report on them. They won’t let us open a file. They don’t want any paperwork,” she said. Drewery Dyke, an Amnesty International Iran researcher, said that Reza’s case was “consistent with other reports we have received in terms of the severity of disregard for human dignity, the unrestricted abuse without any recourse to justice, the involvement even of judicial persons in rape abuse and the denial of the basic right to healthcare”. Reza, at least, survived to tell the world his story. The 16-year-old friend he had to name as the ringleader has since died in hospital from his injuries. • The identities of all people mentioned in the article have been withheld.