Islamic Republic Continues to Threaten Mothers of Activists in Iran

Justice for Iran|May 2013| Fatemeh Parvizi, a 53-year old Kurdish woman and the mother of Sirvan Kamangar, a social and political activist had recently languished in Noshahr Prison (northern Iran, province of Mazandaran) for six months. Though she is now released, Ms. Parvizi has developed acute physical and psychological problems from her time in prison. Mr. Kamangar, who is currently living abroad, tells Justice for Iran (JFI) he is concerned for his mother’s health and wellbeing and adds, “My mother is being placed under pressure by the [Islamic Republic]authorities only because they want to force me to return to “Iran.

In November 2012, branch 104 of the Revolutionary Court in Chalus (a city in the province of Mazandaran) charged Ms. Parvizi with “Cooperating in what her son is charged with” and “Insulting on-duty security forces” and sentenced her to six months in prison. In the same month, after a fresh surgical operation, Ms. Parvizi was transferred to Noshahr Prison to begin serving her six-month sentence.

Fatemeh Parvizi was arrested once before in January 2011 along with her son. Plainclothes agents arrested them while they were on a trip with the rest of their family in Chalus. Plainclothes agents did not present any type of warrant, but proceeded to inspect the family’s car and several papers in Ms. Parvizi’s bag related to a 2009 protest in Iran. Plainclothes agents transferred Ms. Parvizi and Mr. Kamangar to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Chalus. Mr. Kamangar has repeatedly stated on different occasions that the papers in his mother’s bag belong to him.

Sirvan Kamangar, who has been involved in activism from an early age, tells JFI about the nature of his and his mother’s arrest: “Security forces insulted us and spoke to us with contempt. They made the most slanderous remarks toward me right in front of my mom. My mom had responded to them, ‘We’re not criminals for you to talk to us in this manner.”

After 40 days of imprisonment Sirvan Kamangar and his mother were released on bail. Following their release, Mr. Kamangar– due to security pressures, threats of persecution, and his conviction record and activism– was forced into hiding for a period of time, until he fled Iran in spring 2011.

He says: “I was 20 years old when I was exiled to Khorram Abad Prison. I was the only political prisoner held in this prison at that time. I was under severe pressures to confess, even though the prison physician had signed and issued several forms stating that I was unfit to withstand prison conditions.  During my second arrest I was interrogated and tortured for 15 days in the Ministry of Intelligence detention centre in Chalus. I was then transferred to Noshahr Prison. Since I didn’t accept any of my charges, my mom and I were released from prison after 40 days without trial.”

Nabi Mohseni, the Prosecutor in Chalus should be held accountable for threatening Sirvan Kamagar’s family and the judicial and civil violations that have been committed as a result of Mr. Mohseni’s abuse of power.

MORE MOTHERS UNDER PRESSURE

The 2010 arrest and imprisonment of Akram Naghabi, the mother of Saeed Zeynali, a student activist who has been missing since 1999, and the 2011 arrest and imprisonment of Parvin Mokhtare, the mother of Kouhyar Goudarzi, a social activist who recently fled Iran, are just two examples of mothers who have been arrested and placed under pressure by Islamic Republic authorities due to the activism of their children.

The Islamic Republic’s usage of suppression methods and tools on civil society and its various practices of inflicting severe pressure on activists and their family members clearly demonstrate that the security, civil rights, and civil liberties of the Iranian people are in serious danger.

Justice for Iran believes that all officials responsible for the violation of Fatemeh Parvizi’s rights should be prosecuted. Among the violators are Bani Mohseni, the Prosecutor of Chalus and Hamid Oskouie, the head of Noshahr Prison. Responsible officials have violated most of Fatemeh Parvizi’s rights, namely her civil rights and the rights stipulated in the Islamic Republic’s constitution. Additionally, JFI believes that Ms. Parvizi should be compensated for the physical and psychological damages she has incurred.

30 May 2013