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Home page > News > The objection of Human Right Defenders Against Illegal Arrests

The objection of Human Right Defenders Against Illegal Arrests

Translated by:Scarlet Sariyan

Tuesday 11 March 2008

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Narges Mohammadi member of the club spoke with tears in her eyes because this meeting has been one of the saddest Human Right Defendants’ meetings in the last seven years. There is a table in front of her and five pictures on it with black ribbons and candles Pictures of Dr Zahra Bani Yaghoub, Ebrahim Lotfollahi, Zahra Kazemi, Akbar Mohammadi and Feyz Mahdavie, these are people who have lost their lives in Islamic Republic prisons, as the result of varies reasons.

Blue picture of the peace bird which is a symbol of friendship and human right can be seen hanging on the wall. Zahra Bani Yaghoub and Ebrahim Lotfollahi just died recently. Zahra, a young doctor with her fiancé have been arrested by moral police force in a park in Hamedan. Two days after their arrest when Zahra’s family went to city where Zahra was imprisoned to make enquiries, they were told that “she had committed suicide” from her family point of view this suicide was odd and impossible.

The twenty seven years old student from Sanandaj Ebrahim Lotfollahi, which had been accused of being politically active, ended up in a similar situation few days after his arrest.

Few days ago in Human Right Defenders’ Club meeting, the attendees were in tears by listening to the brothers of these youngsters. Lotfollahi’s brother started crying and broke the silence of the hall and after listening to Rahim (Dr Zahra’s brother) in remembrance of his sister. Rahim was explaining how her young sister died “Moral police had said that they had spoken with my sister fifteen minutes before her time of death”. Crying does not allow him to finish his speech and he keeps talking with his face covered with tears. “If my sister strangled herself why did she have bruises all over her face and ankles and before her death she had nose and ear bleeding?” These questions were asked many times from moral polices but have remained unanswered. He was telling about his sisters’ hard work in disadvantage parts of the country and stating with loud lamentation “this is how they treat a lady doctor whose mission in life was to serve her country. He was talking about his mother, her ill physical condition after death of her only daughter.

Shirin Ebadi, Zahra’s lawyer who was in Hamedan with Zahra’s parents few days after her death stated with tears in her eyes that “there have been lots of contradictions in her documents about how she died. Time of her death differs in every document as well as the time of her arrest has been extended illegally”.

Shirin Ebadi talked about Zahra as an intelligent and highly educated lady and people who arrested her were not even able to read and write. “Who could put these uneducated people in charge of an intelligent lady’s life?”

Shirin Ebadi stated about the scene where the alleged suicide had taken place “As this young lady was quiet tall, using a chair for hanging herself was strange and unbelievable and finished by saying “ supposing Zahra did commit suicide, my question is, how did you treated her that she preferred to be dead than alive. Were you not in charge of her life while she was in custody?”

Lotfollahi’s brother also spoke about death of his brother: “ Few days after my brother’s imprisonment we asked for his release the only response from the moral police was: go to Mohammadi cemetery. They showed us a grave covered with cement and said, this is Ebrahim’s grave”. He continued after a long pause, we have been told that he committed suicide but how do we know? He might have been murdered or still alive? We can not believe what we have been told.

“We have demanded so we can identify him but we have no answer from them”.

Abdolfatah Soltani, member of the (Central Council) of Human Right Defendants’ club spoke and objected to the intractability of arrests. He argued: existing laws of Islamic Republic of Iran regarding individuals’ rights have lots of objections but might be better if these imperfect laws could be applied for criminals. There is no attention these days even to the existing laws and accused people stay days and months in detention.

He stated that the way that political activists are being treated is not legal. According to article 168 in the constitution the accused must be prosecuted in open court and with juries present. Where as under the same article is noted that law will regulate the definition of political crime. Thirty years after the revolution the regulation has not taken place and continued: These days political activists are being prosecuted in closed courts and only in a few and special branches, which is against the judicial procedures.

Source in Persian:Iranian women’s association - February 2008

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