Justice for Iran: The first trail session of the 13 Arab political prisoners of Khalaf Abad (Ramshir) met this morning at the second branch of the Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz. Five months ago, the Iranian English speaking satellite stations, Press TV, introduced Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Sa’bani, two of the 13 individuals, as terrorists and members of armed groups. The TV station broadcast the images and names of the individuals while in todays session, the two called all the accusations lies and announced that they were forced to make the confessions under severe torture.
According to local sources, in 2010, Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Sha’bani were under severe torture in order to give information. The sources told JFI that the family of the accused were able to meet with them a few minutes before the court convened and said that Rashedi, who suffers from an ailment, suffered heavily from torture. His hip bone is shattered. Hadi Rashedi is a 38 year old chemistry instructor at Khalaf Abad (Ramshisr) High School.
Hashem Sha’bani, a 31 year old father of one girl, is a masters student of political science. He was tortured with boiling water and is in critical condition. When Press TV introduced Sha’bani and Rashedi as members of armed terrorist groups, the two individuals had not yet been tried anywhere. Under Iranian law, membership in armed terrorist groups carries a death penalty. Therefore, Press TV effectively issued the death sentence for the two individuals before they were even tried.
In its new announcement, Amnesty International expressed concern regarding the danger of execution for the 13 individuals tried today, including Rashedi and Sha’bani. Four other of the individuals are Mohammad Ali Amouri (weblogger), Rahman Assakereh (high school teacher), and two brothers by the names of Jaber and Seyyed Mokhtar Alboshoukeh. After months of detention at the Ministry of intelligence’s detention center, the aforementioned are being held at Ahvaz’s Karoun Prison. Amnesty International has requested immediate medical attention for the detainees. Local sources say that Jaber Alboshoukeh’s jaw and a few teeth are broken as a result of torture and he has lost 10 kilos of weight. As a result of torture, Mokhtar Alboshoukeh is suffering from memory loss.
One family members of the detainees told JFI, “The attorneys of these six individuals have not been permitted to visit with their client or read the case file.” This is while Press TV recorded and broadcast the confession of the detainees while they were in Intelligence Ministry’s detention center and had no access to their family or their attorneys. Prior to this, JFI issued “Cut! Take Press TV Off the Air,” a report that demonstrates how Press TV satellite station records confession acquired under torture from prisoners with the collaboration of Ministry of Intelligence and Sepah Intelligence Office. None of the video confessions documented in the report were broadcast from Press TV with the verbal or written permission of the prisoner. Majority of the time the prisoner was coerced with promise of release and told that the video taping is done for internal or research use only never to be broadcast. This is while, according to Islamic Republic Law, the media do not have the right to broadcast the image and names of individuals accused of any crimes prior to their conviction and violators will be penalized.
In April 2005, a letter was released allegedly written by Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Secretary of the president of the time. It discussed choosing a policy regarding changing the population demographic of the Arab residing areas in the south of Iran. Widespread protest spread through the Arab residing areas of the south to be continuously and violently crushed by the Iranian government. A large number of Arab activists, including women, have been arrested since; numerous cases of lengthy imprisonment terms for women, along with their young children, have been reported. In one such case, Fahimeh Badavi, a 26 year old elementary school teacher, was 8 months pregnant when she was arrested on February 26, 2006 along with her husband Ali Matouri Zadeh. After her husband was executed, she was sentences to 15 years’ imprisonment and is now serving her sentence in exile at Yasouj prison. Hoda Hashemi who was herself detained at the Intelligence Office’s detention center along with her 16 month old son, told JFI, “Without being transported to prison or given any equipments or assistance, Fahimeh Badavi delivered her daughter in her cell at the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention center, a fully male dominated location.”
As a result of the new wave of arrests in the city of Shush and Ahvaz during last winter, at least two detainees names Naser Alboshoukeh Dorafshan and Mohammad Ka’abi were killed in detention. In March 2011, Reza Maghamesi was killed under torture in Dezful Prison. So far, no information has been given to the family members of the three about the individuals responsible for their death.
What the Arab detainees spoke of in prison regarding being tortured for the purpose of extracting false confessions once more proves collaboration of Press TV with the offices in charge of violating the rights of the political prisoners through recording and broadcasting the confessions.
Read more about this:
Justice For Iran Call-to-Action for Identifying those Responsible for the Murder of the Detainees in Khuzistan
Press TV Violates the Rights of the Detainees in Khuzistan
Cut! Take Press TV off the Air