International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran http://www.iranhumanrights.org Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:18:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Vigilante Violence: The Acid Attacks against Women in Iran and the State’s Assault on Women’s Rights http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/vigilante-violence-report/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/vigilante-violence-report/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 22:02:27 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19630 Women-Report

Click here to download the PDF file of the report.

Promotion of Virtue Legislation Calls for Citizen Enforcement of Women’s “Proper” Hijab

March 6, 2015—The Iranian Parliament should immediately withdraw the pending Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, which explicitly calls for Basij militias to enforce strict hijab (female dress), the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. This plan not only violates the rights of all Iranian women, it also presents a clear and present danger to their continued safety.

Further, the Iranian Judiciary should bring all efforts to bear to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of the recent string of acid attacks against women in Iran, which have been linked to the extra-judicial enforcement of hijab called for in the Plan, the Campaign added.

The acid attacks, which began in late 2014 in the Iranian city of Isfahan, involved unidentified men flinging acid into the faces of women with whom they had no history of personal grudges. At least fourteen attacks have been reported, and eyewitnesses have reported that the assailants proclaimed they were defending hijab during the assaults. No one has been charged in any of the attacks.

“Unless state officials make it clear that any citizen who takes it upon himself to enforce female dress codes is acting illegally and will be punished to the full extent of the law, we can expect more of these horrific attacks,” said Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director of the Campaign.

In a Briefing Paper released today on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Vigilante Violence: The Acid Attacks in Iran and the State’s Assault on Women’s Rights, the Campaign details the Parliamentary legislation, state policies, and public pronouncements by state officials and high-level clerics that have created a climate conducive to violence against women, and, specifically, fertile ground for the acid attacks in Iran.

Download PDF of full report here 

The Briefing Paper covers:

– Pending Parliamentary legislation, especially the Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, which mandates enforcement of proper hijab and other acts of “virtue” by the Basij militia.

– Detailed analysis of the activities of the principal vigilante group, Ansar-e Hezbollah, which has propelled forward the Promotion of Virtue legislation and its enforcement by the Basij.

– Excerpts from interviews conducted by Iranian news agencies, before media coverage was suppressed by the state, with victims of the acid attacks and family members of victims.

– Public pronouncements by state officials and high-level clerics that have called for the active, public enforcement of ultraconservative notions of female behavior and dress.

– Other state initiatives that have sought to curtail women’s rights in such areas as education, employment, reproductive health care, and participation in the public sphere.

– Recommendations to the authorities in Iran aimed at preventing further violence against women.

“The call for extra-judicial enforcement of ‘virtue’ puts every woman in Iran at risk of violent assaults,” said Ghaemi. “This is not only an egregious violation of Iranian and international law, it is a direct threat to the lives of Iranian women.”

“In addition to the corrective actions required by state officials in Iran, the international community must make clear to the Islamic Republic that if it is to achieve the full international rehabilitation and reintegration it seeks, these violations of the rights and safety of Iranian women must immediately cease,” added Gissou Nia, deputy director of the Campaign.

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Recommendations http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-recommendations/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-recommendations/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 22:01:04 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19634 To the Iranian Parliament:

  1. Immediately halt any further consideration of the Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice and permanently withdraw the bill.
  1. Modify all other pending legislation related to women’s employment, higher education, and family planning to ensure that they do not discriminate against women in any manner and that they conform to Iran’s international obligations regarding the rights of women.
  1. Engage with women’s organizations and civil society activists in the modification of this legislation, ensuring that the laws incorporate the demands raised by women rights advocates.
  1. Investigate all practices and actions conducted by other institutions such as the police and Basij that have unlawfully violated women’s rights and increased the risk of violence against women.

To the Iranian Judiciary and law enforcement agencies:

  1. Aggressively pursue the identification and apprehension of the perpetrators of the acid attacks in a transparent manner and regularly update the public on the status of the investigations.
  1. Forcefully prosecute any perpetrators charged to the full extent of the law, sending a clear message that such attacks will not be tolerated.
  1. Decriminalize media reporting on the acid attacks, and lift all restrictions on the independent reporting and investigation of incidents of violence against women, allowing an environment in which such issues are freely and publicly discussed.

To the Rouhani administration:

  1. Use the full authority of the administration to counter the rise of violence against women by holding all arms of government accountable, and publicly denouncing and challenging the policies, legislation, and official pronouncements that have created fertile ground for such violence.
  1. Use the president’s authority over the Ministry of Interior, which controls the national police force, to ensure the public security and safety of women, ensure that the public is regularly updated on the status of the investigations into the acid attacks, ensure that the investigations are conducted in a transparent manner, and provide a safe environment for reporters to independently and freely investigate such attacks.
  1. Empower and engage women’s rights and civil society groups in the formulation of policies affecting women, and support and facilitate the activities and programs conducted or initiated by Iranian civil society and women’s rights organizations that are focused on the elimination of violence against women in society.
  1. Use the president’s authority over the Ministry of Science to end all gender-based quotas and admission policies in higher education.

To the international community:

  1. Communicate to the Government of Iran that Iran’s full international rehabilitation and reintegration will be contingent upon Iran’s respect for its international obligations regarding women’s rights.
  1. Communicate to the Government of Iran that Iran, as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, should immediately and without reservation ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
  1. Call on the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women to open an inquiry into the rise of violence against women in Iran.
  1. Countries that engage in bilateral human rights dialogue with Iran, such as Brazil, Denmark, Japan and Switzerland, should put special focus in their dialogue with Iran on women’s rights issues, and express direct concern to the Government of Iran regarding pending Parliamentary legislation and policies that adversely affect the safety of women.
  2. The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) should renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran in order to ensure a continuous mechanism to monitor and report on women’s rights in Iran.
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Executive Summary http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-executive-summary/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-executive-summary/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 22:00:02 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19632 ESFEHAN-map

In 2014, a series of acid attacks against women in the Iranian city of Isfahan convulsed the nation. The assaults involved unidentified men flinging acid into the faces of women with whom they had no history of personal grudges. At least 14 attacks have been reported, and eyewitnesses have stated the assailants proclaimed they were defending hijab (Islamic female dress) during the attacks.

No one has been charged in any of the assaults. This Briefing Paper by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran argues that these attacks have not occurred in a vacuum. Rather, they have taken place in the context of state policies, Parliamentary legislation, and official pronouncements by high-level state officials and government-affiliated clerics that have created a climate conducive to such violence.

Pending bills such as the Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice not only mandate ultraconservative notions of female dress and behavior for all Iranian women, but also call for citizen enforcement of the Plan, explicitly naming the Revolutionary Guard’s Basij militias as the enforcers of proper hijab. Hardline officials justify such policies not only on ideological grounds, but also on the basis of national security imperatives, in which hijab is a bellwether issue reflecting their hold on power.

Yet these policies have encouraged vigilante violence by radical groups who are now empowered to address “violators,” creating fertile ground for the acid attacks. This Briefing Paper details the pending legislation, state initiatives, and official statements that have not only violated the rights of Iranian women, but have also profoundly endangered their continued safety. It presents a series of recommendations to the authorities in Iran aimed at preventing further violence against women in Iran.

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Conclusion http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-conclusion/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-conclusion/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:34:09 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19662 In a cabinet meeting on October 26, 2014, President Rouhani said, “The government will investigate these events [referring to the acid attacks] with all its capacity so that justice can be done with regards to the perpetrator[s] and so that [they] receive maximum punishment.” Yet months after these attacks, no perpetrators have been charged, despite extensive eyewitness details of accounts initially reported in the Iranian press. Moreover, Parliamentary legislation continues to move forward, and official pronouncements continue to be made at the highest level of state and among the clerical establishment, that are laying the groundwork for further attacks on women. The call for extra-judicial enforcement of state-mandated ultraconservative notions of female dress and behavior puts every woman in Iran at risk of violent assaults.

This is not only an egregious violation of Iranian and international law, it is a direct threat to the lives of Iranian women. The Rouhani Administration must use all its powers and the bully pulpit to establish the rule of law in Iran. This means exhorting the Judiciary to pursue the perpetrators of these acid attacks, so that any future assailants know they will be met with the full force of the law. It means explicitly stating that vigilante justice, where citizens of any stripe can take it upon themselves to punish female “violators” is specifically forbidden under Iranian law—and will be punished. And it means immediately withdrawing legislation that mandates Basij enforcement of hijab or any other marker of female “virtue.” For its part, the international community must also make clear to the Islamic Republic that if it is to achieve the full international rehabilitation and reintegration it seeks, these violations of the rights and safety of Iranian women must be immediately stopped.

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Introduction http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-introduction/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/womenreport-introduction/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:29:58 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19636 In 2014, a series of acid attacks on women in public places occurred in the Iranian city of Isfahan. The attacks involved unidentified men flinging acid into the faces of young women, who were usually sitting in cars. In a number of the attacks, eyewitnesses reported the assailants proclaimed they were confronting improper hijab (Islamic dress for woman) as they flung the acid.

Four attacks have been officially acknowledged, but early reports in local news sources, before the authorities discouraged media attention to the issue, indicated 14 attacks had occurred. Unconfirmed reports have asserted that additional attacks have taken place, with some putting the number as high as 18 to 20. The attacks, which were first reported by ISNA (the Islamic Student News Agency) on October 16, 2014 but actually began several weeks earlier, have resulted in at least one (reported) death, and egregious injuries to the rest of the women.

No one has been identified or charged in any of the attacks. There have, however, been several public protests regarding the attacks and the lack of concerted judicial attention to the crimes, and individuals participating in these peaceful protests have been arrested. A peaceful gathering in front of the Iranian Parliament on October 22, 2014, ended with the beating and arrest of several of the protesters by security agents. Among those arrested was the women’s rights activist Mahdieh Golroo, who was taken into custody on October 23, 2014, the day after she attended the Tehran gathering. She was held for three months, without public charge, until her release on bail on January 27, 2015. A peaceful gathering outside the Iranian Judiciary building in Isfahan, also on October 22, ended when plainclothes agents used batons and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The day after the Isfahan protest, security agents arrested a photographer and two editors who had been covering the gathering for ISNA, which had been one of the major news outlets reporting on the attacks. While the two editors were released the next day, the photographer was held until October 31, when she was released on bail.

These attacks have not taken place in a vacuum. Nor are they a series of isolated incidents. Rather, as this Briefing Paper by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran shows, they have come in the midst of state legislation that has sought to mandate ultraconservative notions of women’s attire and behavior (with particular attention to strict adherence to “proper” hijab), public statements by state officials and leading government-affiliated clerics that have sought to portray defense of these policies as an Islamic duty, and the explicit designation of paramilitary organizations to enforce such policies. Indeed, one of the proposed pieces of legislation concerning women, the Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, specifically designates the Basij (a volunteer paramilitary force under the supervision of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards which is used to enforce the regime’s ideological dictates) to enforce the Plan.

Women’s rights have been under assault in other ways as well, as a number of additional state initiatives that seek to curtail women’s participation in the public sphere are making their way through Parliament and other areas controlled by the state. These initiatives, which limit women’s employment and access to reproductive health and family planning, and promote gender-based university admissions, profoundly restrict women’s ability to function fully and equally in public life. All have been forcefully justified by their proponents on ideological grounds.

Taken together, this has created a climate of state-sanctioned ideological intolerance that has set the stage for violence, in which vigilante groups take matters into their own hands to defend such policies and address “violations.” As the human and women’s rights defender Narges Mohammadi asserted, “Plans such as the ‘Plan to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice’ and the ‘Plan to Protect Chastity and Hijab’ have issues and vocabulary that may be abused in the Iranian society and turned into excuses for violence [against women].”

Despite the series of assaults, the authorities have focused on silencing media coverage of the attacks, rather than identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators. The arrests of journalists reporting on the attacks have had a chilling effect on news coverage of the issue, effectively ending independent news reporting and limiting information on the attacks to official utterances.

The lack of judicial attention to violent assaults against women sends a message that such crimes are not real crimes at all, but rather defensible, even if misguided, actions taken by individuals in the name of Islam. It suggests that the intimidation of women and the imposition of hardline ideological proclivities are the real priorities, and ones that takes precedence over law enforcement and justice. This is a position that calls into serious question the Islamic Republic’s claim that it is a country governed by the rule of law.

Unless state officials make it clear that any citizen who takes it upon himself to enforce female dress codes is acting illegally and will be punished to the full extent of the law, the likelihood of more attacks is a clear and present danger. Moreover, any legislation that calls for the extra-judicial enforcement of “virtue” puts every woman in Iran at continued risk of violent assaults, and as such should be immediately withdrawn. Such legislation is not only an violation of Iranian and international law, it is a direct threat to the lives of Iranian women.

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Activist Ends Hunger Strike after Judge Agrees to Transfer to Evin’s Political Ward http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/atena-faraghdani/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/atena-faraghdani/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 05:58:05 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19722 10979540_328485387339966_1505147111_nAtena Faraghdani has ended her hunger strike in hospital, where she has been since her February 26 collapse in Gharchak Prison, after learning that a Revolutionary Court Judge agreed to return her to Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward for political prisoners, her lawyer told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Mohammad Moghimi, Faraghdani’s lawyer, told the Campaign that his client had embarked on the hunger strike to protest her transfer to the deplorable Gharchak Prison, where political prisoners are not separated from hardened criminals, in violation of the principle of the separation of prisoners.

“The specialists have ordered Ms. Faraghdani to remain in hospital until her condition improves. After all, she was on a hunger strike for almost 20 days. She will be transferred to Evin Prison on judicial orders afterwards,” Moghimi told the Campaign. Despite her transfer to hospital on February 26, Faraghdani continued her hunger strike by refusing intravenous therapy for six days.

Security agents arrested the painter and civil activist Atena Faraghdani on August 24, 2014, and transferred her to IRGC’s Ward 2-A inside Evin Prison. She was released on bail on November 2, 2014. She published a video of herself, in which she spoke about an incident of aggressive strip search by female prison guards inside a solitary cell at Evin Prison. She said in the video that she had been ordered to take off her clothes, which she had refused. The video was widely viewed and discussed on social networks. [Link to Farsi blog on Atena Faraghdani’s situation]

After the video was published, she was summoned to Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court on January 10, 2015, arrested, and transferred to Gharchak Prison in Varamin, outside Tehran.

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UN Secretary-General Expresses Alarm about Executions, Retaliation Against Activists and Attacks on Women in Iran http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/un-secretary-general-alarm-iran/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/03/un-secretary-general-alarm-iran/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:30:35 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19718 640x392_94640_237157

In his interim report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran published on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon detailed a long list of human rights concerns, leading with the ongoing application of the death penalty, retaliation against activists cooperating with the United Nations and a deterioration in women’s rights.

Read the report here (PDF)

The Secretary-General opened the interim report with a clear condemnation of Iran’s continuing application of the death penalty.

The report noted “[t]he Secretary-General continues to express his alarm at the increasing number of death sentences handed down and executions carried out in the Islamic Republic of Iran. United Nations human rights mechanisms have repeatedly and consistently expressed their great concern at this persistent trend, and have urged the Government to end executions.”

In particular the Secretary-General voiced his concern about Iran’s chronic application of the death penalty to drug-related offenses, which do not qualify as the “most serious crimes”; the number of death penalty cases with a political dimension; the high incidence of public executions; and the execution of juveniles.

In his recommendations concluding the report, the Secretary-General insisted that he “remains deeply troubled by the continuing large number of executions, including of political prisoners and juveniles, and reiterates his call upon the Government to introduce a moratorium on the use of the death penalty and to prohibit the execution of juvenile offenders in all circumstances.”

Next, the Secretary-General noted his “great concern” regarding allegations of reprisals against individuals because of their cooperation or for establishing contacts with United Nations human rights mechanisms or representatives.

The Secretary-General noted that although the Iranian authorities stated that no individual had been prosecuted because of their contact with United Nations human rights mechanisms, “[o]f the 29 communications transmitted to the Iranian authorities from January to November 2014, four communications related to cases of acts of reprisal, double the number seen the previous year.”

In response to the increase in these types of cases, the Secretary-General called on the Iranian authorities to protect individuals from all acts of reprisals, and more generally called on the authorities to “create space” for human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists, many of whom have been targeted by these retaliatory actions.

In his interim report, the Secretary-General also detailed the recent series of acid attacks against Iranian women and the inadequate response of the Iranian authorities, in particular noting that “the incidents drew considerable attention both domestically and internationally, with concerns being expressed that the attacks might be linked to the approval of the plan on the protection of promoters of virtue and prevention of vice.”

That plan, which is currently pending in Iran’s Parliament, explicitly calls for Basij militias to enforce strict hijab (female dress) and other acts of “virtue”. In regards to the envisioned role of the Basij in this plan, Nasrin Sotoudeh—one of Iran’s leading human rights defenders—has protested that “dispatching unidentified and untrained individuals to promote virtue among the citizens is completely against the law, legal principles, and legal rationale, and is a menace to the citizens which must be stopped right here.”

On this point, the report noted “[t]he Secretary-General urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to review critically the plan on the protection of promoters of virtue and preventers of vice, which may allow individuals to target women who are dressed in a manner deemed unconventional.”

The report concludes with a series of recommendations, including the aforementioned renewed and robust call on the Iranian authorities to implement a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

The recommendations also call on the Iranian authorities to cooperate fully with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, by giving him access to the country.

At the beginning of his report, the Secretary-General welcomed the participation of Iran in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review and other UN mechanisms but lamented that “none of the special procedures mandate holders of the Human Rights Council, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been admitted to the country.”

The release of the Secretary-General interim report precedes the release of the report from Dr. Shaheed, the special mandate holder, to the UN Human Rights Council. The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran will be up for renewal in March 2015, at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

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Journalist Behind Bars Since 2009 Suffers Heart Attack in Prison http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/02/masoud-bastani/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/02/masoud-bastani/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:03:24 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19715 2011_12_19_Masoud_Bastani-11

The imprisoned journalist Massoud Bastani was transferred to the hospital on February 20, 2015, following a heart attack inside Shahid Rajaee Prison. The health conditions of Bastani, 37, who has been in prison since his arrest in the wake of the protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran, have steadily deteriorated during his six years of incarceration.

In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Bastani’s mother, Massoumeh Malool, said, “After the prison infirmary was unable to do anything for Massoud’s conditions, he was transferred to Imam Khomeini hospital, where he remains under treatment. Thank God his heart conditions are better, but he has muscle weakness in the left part of his body. He walks with difficulty and keeps falling down.”

Ms. Malool continued, “Massoud did not have any problems prior to his imprisonment. He has been in prison for nearly six years now. He doesn’t have good nutrition, he doesn’t get enough vitamins. He is inside a crowded cell, and all these affect a prisoner. He suffered from weakened muscles in 2012, and had to be hospitalized at Sina Hospital for three weeks.”

Massoumeh Malool told the Campaign that Article 134 of the new Islamic Penal Code, which requires convicts with multiple charges to receive only the maximum penalty for their most serious charges rather than consecutive penalties for each lesser charge, should have been enforced in Bastani’s case. Enforcement of this article would have led to his release last year.

“The Iranian Judiciary is responsible for whatever happens to Massoud in prison. Both Massoud and his family have repeatedly requested enforcement of Article 134 in his case, but it has not been enforced so far,” she said.

The heavy prison sentences imposed on hundreds of citizens who were arrested and prosecuted following the disputed presidential election in 2009 were the result of combined maximum punishments for charges such as “propaganda against the state,” “assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security,” and “publishing falsehoods.” Enforcement of Article 134 would drastically reduce such sentences.

On January 17, 2014, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran asked the Iranian Judiciary and the Prisons Organization to enforce Article 134 of the new Islamic Penal Code in the cases of prisoners currently serving prison terms, and to allow them an early release.

Bastani was arrested on July 5, 2009, in the crackdown that followed the disputed presidential election that year. His arrest took place when he went to the Revolutionary Courts to learn of the reason his wife, the journalist Mahsa Amrabadi, had been arrested. The reason for his arrest was cited as his activities on the reformist Jomhouriyat website. Bastani was eventually sentenced to six years in prison. He has been serving his sentence at Karaj’s Rajaee Shahr Prison.

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Cartoon 107: My Stealthy Freedom http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/02/cartoon-107/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/02/cartoon-107/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:08:24 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19740 010-stealthy-freedom

Shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Islamic covering (hijab) was imposed on Iranian women, and serious penalties, ranging from warnings by Morality Police and arrests to imprisonment and fines, were stipulated and enforced for women who did not observe the dress code. In 2014, with the creation of “My Stealthy Freedom,” a Facebook page that has turned into an online movement for Iranian women to protest the forced hijab, thousands of women have submitted photographs of themselves without the Islamic covering for publication on the page, while officials from the Islamic Republic of Iran have shown their dismay and anger for the movement. This is cartoonist Touka Neyestani’s take on the movement.

 

 

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Prisoner of Conscience Released After Nine Months of “Temporary Detention” At Deplorable Facility http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/02/negar-haeri/ http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/02/negar-haeri/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:06:35 +0000 http://www.iranhumanrights.org/?p=19705 Negar-Haeri-2 copy

A photo of Negar Haeri just after her release from Gharchak Prison.

Nine months after her arrest, the lawyer and prisoner of conscience Negar Haeri was released on bail of about US$580,000 on February 25, 2015. She spent her entire time in prison since her May 2014 arrest on “temporary detention orders.

During “temporary detention” in Iran, prisoners may be held without access to a lawyer while preliminary investigations are underway. However, such detentions are frequently extended in the case of political prisoners, and used to hold such individuals for prolonged periods without access to counsel.

Negar Haeri was arrested on charges of “propaganda against the state,” and “publishing falsehoods through interviews with foreign media” on May 25, 2014, and transferred to the Gharchak Prison in Varamin, notorious for its deplorable conditions. She had given interviews to Rooz Online website and Voice of America Persian service about the health conditions of her imprisoned father inside Shahid Rajaee Prison, and his need for medical attention outside prison. The interviews comprised the basis of her arrest.

As a lawyer, Ms. Haeri had tried to take on her father’s legal representation in 2009, but her lawyer’s permit was suspended for “representing a member of the MEK.” Ms. Haeri’s father, Masha’allah Haeri, has been in prison since 2009 on charges of supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalgh (MEK) Organization.

Prior to her May 2014 arrest, Negar Haeri had been twice arrested. She was first arrested on 2011, on charges of “supporting the MEK Organization,” and was detained inside Shapur Investigative Police detention center for 34 days, and then in solitary confinement inside Gharchak and Evin Prisons for several months, before she was released on bail.

Security agents arrested her for the second time on May 1, 2012, again on charges of “supporting the MEK.”. Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Pirabbasi sentenced her to one year in prison, the enforcement of which would be suspended for five years.

“Negar has no political tendencies. Her only problem is that her uncle, brother, and father are supporters of the Mojahedin-e Khalgh, and she is paying a price for their political beliefs. In fact it appears she has been arrested in order to put pressure on her family this way,” a source who is knowledgeable about Negar Haeri’s case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on February 19, 2015.

The source had further expressed concern about Ms. Haeri’s poor physical and psychological state during her nine-month detention period inside Gharchak Prison in Varamin.

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