Iran: Disappearance of an Infant with no End in Sight

 

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Rahemipour’s family member holding a sign which reads: “You killed my brother! What did you do to his daughter?”

Justice for Iran (JFI), 3 March 2016: 33 years after the disappearance of a father and daughter, Iranian authorities are still refusing to provide any information about their fate or whereabouts. Facing this silence, Justice for Iran decided to report the case to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) of the United Nations in a long overdue effort for redress and accountability. In the recent years Raheleh Rahemipour, one of the relatives of the victims, has been demanding justice for the forced disappearance of her brother and his baby girl by staging protests and sit-ins while holding a sign which reads: “You killed my brother! What did you do to his daughter?”

In April 1984, Raheleh Rahemipour’s new born niece was forcefully abducted while in custody of Iran’s Evin prison. Earlier, in August of 1983, 35-year-old, Hossein Rahemipour Moghaddam and his wife, whose identity is protected, were arrested at their house in Tehran. They both belonged to a communist organisation, Rahe-h Karegar, whose members were chastised by the Iranian State. Members of the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) arrested the couple while the Ms. Rahemipour Moghaddam was already pregnant. In 9 April 1984, while in custody of the Evin prison; she gave birth to their daughter, Golrou Rahemipour Moghaddam, who was taken away from her, a few days later by the prison officials. The parents and their families were told that the baby had died. However, the Iranian authorities have never revealed any information about the fate or whereabouts of baby Golrou.

In the recent years Raheleh Rahemipour, one of the relatives of the victims, has been demanding justice for the forced disappearance of her brother and his baby girl by staging protests and sit-ins while holding a sign which reads: “You killed my brother! What did you do to his daughter?”

In September 1984, an Evin prison agent informed the family of Mr. Rahemipour Moghaddam that he was “sent to hell”. The family did not receive the body of Mr. Rahemipour and the circumstances of his alleged death or burial are unknown. After over a year of agony and torture, Golrou’s mother was released from prison, in January 1985, while suffering from an acute heart condition. She had no knowledge of her girl’s whereabouts or even a sign of her death.

On multiple occasions, Raheleh Rahemipour and other relatives went to Tehran’s main cemetery and were told that they have searched in their list but had failed to find any records of Rahemipour Moghaddam or her daughter’s death or burial. As a measure of last resort, Raheleh Rahemipour has participated in multiple protests in front of the Evin prison, the Bar Association, and Dena Tire Factory which is owned by IRGC. Despite the fact that enforced disappearances are a crime under international law and the Iranian State has an obligation to investigate all cases of enforced disappearances, Raheleh Rahemipour and other protestors have been intimidated and even threatened with arrest.

According to WGEID‘s 2015 report, currently 518 cases of forced disappearances of Iranian nationals is under review by the United Nations. Justice for Iran calls upon the international community and UN WGEID to investigate this matter and similar cases of abduction and to launch prompt and impartial investigation to identify those responsible in order to bring them to justice.

 

 

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