ماه: مارس 2018

Four Deaths in State Custody in Iran in Two Months Heighten Grave Concerns for Detainees

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Gonabadi Dervish Detainee Died From “Blows to the Head,” Says Daughter

March 6, 2018—The recent death of a devotee of Iran’s largest Sufi order in Tehran marks the fourth known death of a detainee in state custody in Iran in two months.

“It’s outrageous that detainees in Iran keep dying in state custody,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“These people are arrested, they die, and nobody knows what happened,” added Ghaemi. “This lack of transparency is unacceptable.”

The daughter of Mohammad Raji, the Gonabadi Dervish who died in police custody in Tehran sometime between February 20 and March 4, is planning to sue the authorities, she told CHRI.

“We got a lawyer to follow up on the case because my father’s death was caused by blows they struck to his head,” said Tayebeh Raji. “We need to shed light on this crime. We are demanding an autopsy.”

“I thought they would take him to a hospital for treatment and take care of him—at least out of respect for the years he spent defending this country [in the Iran-Iraq war],” she added.

She continued: “But on the night of March 3, we were contacted by the police and asked to bring his photo and papers to identify him. Today [March 5], [my father’s] son-in-law went there and he said my father had gone into a coma and died from injuries caused by blows to the head.”

Iranian officials have claimed that Raji was “injured” during protests in Tehran in February 2018 but have refused to take responsibility for his death. It remains unclear exactly when Raji died and whether he died at a detention center or at a hospital—regardless, his family says he died in state custody.

On March 5, the Fars News Agency, which maintains close relations with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported that “An informed source denied reports about the death of a dervish in Evin Prison or in police detention and said: We have not had any deaths among members of this cult during investigations. He added: This person was injured on the night of clashes on Pasdaran St. and was taken to Baqiyatallah Hospital but he died.”

On March 4 the Tehran prosecutor denied that Raji died during the “investigation process” or while under interrogation but did not address the fact that Raji was in state custody at the time.

“How many more people will die before Iranian officials listen to calls from inside and outside the country for an independent investigation into these deaths?” asked Ghaemi.

Family Denied Access to Raji Until After His Death

Tayebeh Raji was detained the same day as her father on February 20 but released late that evening. The authorities refused to give the family news about her father until after he had died, she told CHRI.

“My father was arrested on the morning of February 20, [2018],” she said. “I was there when it happened. He was taken into custody ahead of me. I saw that my father was injured; he was on the ground [on 7th Golestan St.] with a bloody face. But I saw his hand move and realized he was alive.”

She continued: “I was detained at 4:30 in the morning [February 20] and taken to the Vozara Detention Center and they released me at 12 midnight. We had no information about what had happened to our father and he didn’t contact us. Anywhere we went, no one had any information.”

Tayebeh Raji also told CHRI that she has no information about her brother, Mohammad Ali Raji, who was also detained on February 20.

Mohammad Raji was one of more than 300 members of Iran’s Sufi Gonabadi Order who were reportedly arrested after clashes between the religious order and the police became violent in Tehran on February 19.

Three policemen and two members of the Basij volunteer militia were killed after a bus allegedly driven by a dervish ran over them. Friday prayer leaders have since referred to the dervishes as terrorists and spies in their sermons.

“…[T]hey caused these riots to cover up the enemy’s espionage operations against our missile sites under the guise of environmental protection,” said ultra-conservative Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, the Friday prayer leader of Mashhad, on February 23. “These [dervishes] must be uprooted for harming people’s security.”

The Gonabadi Dervishes’ interpretation of Islam differs from that of Iran’s ruling Muslim Shia establishment. The Islamic Republic views any alternative belief system, especially those seeking converts, as a threat to the prevailing Shia establishment and has imprisoned members of the Sufi order and expelled them from universities for their faith.

According to Mazjooban, a website devoted to news about Iran’s Gonabadi Dervishes, the clashes began when police attacked a demonstration by the dervishes on February 19, 2018, outside a police station as the dervishes were demanding the release of a fellow devotee.

The website also reported that Mohammad Raji was a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) during which he commanded several battalions of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Kurdistan Province. In 2004, he left the IRGC and became a farmer in Mazraehabad, a village near the city of Aligoudarz, Lorestan Province, according to the report.

Farhad Nouri, a gonabadi dervish actvist, told CHRI on February 23 that approximately 170 followers of the group had been hospitalized at the time because of injuries caused by beatings by the police and plainclothes agents.

The recent multiple deaths of detainees under highly suspicious circumstances have raised concerns regarding fatal ill-treatment in Iranian prisons, particularly after swift official statements that the detainees committed “suicide” and the refusal of authorities to allow any independent investigations.

Iranian officials claimed that the deaths of Sina Ghanbari in Evin Prison on January 7, 2018, and Vahid Heydari at a detention center in the city of Arak that same month were suicides.

Kavous Seyed-Emami, a prominent Iranian academic and environmentalist who had Canadian citizenship, also died in Evin Prison allegedly by suicide on February 9, 2018. Calls by his family and UN human rights experts for an independent investigation have gone unheeded in Iran.

“Friday prayer leaders are using the clashes with the dervishes in February to paint the entire religion as violent, which can only inflame tensions and lead to more abuses,” said Ghaemi.

“Now more than ever, influential voices in Iran should be calling for the protection of the dervishes and all detainees instead of giving security forces a carte blanche to use excessive force against detainees with impunity,” added Ghaemi.

*This article was revised on March 7 to reflect that Farhad Nouri is a Gonabadi rights activist, not a spokesman for the dervishes.

محمد راجی یکی از دراویش گنابادی در اثر ضربات وارده در بازجویی کشته شد + ویدیو

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سایت مجدوبان نور، پایگاه خبری دراویش نعمت‌الهی گنابادی، از کشته شدن محمد راجی، یکی از دراویش بازداشتی «در اثر ضربات وارده در حین بازجویی در بازداشتگاه پلیس» خبر داده است.

آقای راجی یکی از صدها درویشی بود که در حوادث و درگیری‌های اول اسفند ماه در خیابان پاسداران تهران بازداشت شد.

خانواده آقای راجی به سایت مجذوبان نور گفته‌اند که مأموران اداره آگاهی شاهپور تهران (وحدت اسلامی) روز شنبه ۱۲ اسفند از آنها خواسته‌اند «برای شناسایی» زندانی به همراه عکس و مدارک او به اداره آگاهی بروند.

بنا بر این گزارش صبح امروز یکشنبه ۱۳ اسفند، خانواده این درویش به اداره آگاهی رفته‌اند و ماموران ابتدا به آنها گفته‌اند که آقای راجی در کما است. اما بعد از چند ساعت با تلفن درگذشت او را به خانواده اطلاع داده‌اند.

طیبه راجی، فرزند آقای راجی، به بی‌بی‌سی گفت که در این مدت از پدرش بی‌خبر بوده در حالی که مأموران می‌توانستند اجازه بدهند اعضای خانواده «دست‌کم او را برای آخرین بار در کما ببینند».

او گفته به خانواده اجازه داده نشده جسد آقای راجی را ببینند.

به گزارش سایت مجدوبان نور بعد از مراجعه حضوری خانواده، پلیس به آنها گفته است که محمد راجی در اثر ضربات وارده هنگام بازجویی جان خود را از دست داده است.

دختر آقای راجی می‌گوید پدرش از فرماندهان سابق سپاه پاسداران بوده که در زمان جنگ ایران و عراق فرماندهی چند گردان سپاه راه به عهده داشته و در جنگ دچار معلولیت و ناراحتی ریه شده است.

بنا بر این گزارش یکی از پسران او به نام محمدعلی راجی هم که در حوادث خیابان گلستان هفتم پاسداران بازداشت شده بود، در زندان فشافویه بازداشت است.

در جریان آن حوادث تعداد زیادی از دراویش مورد ضرب و جرح قرار گرفتند و حدود ۳۰۰ نفر از آنها بازداشت شدند که از وضعیت بسیاری از آنها خبری در دست نیست.

یک هفته پیش غلامحسین محسنی اژه‌ای، سخنگوی قوه قضاییه گفت به جز مأموران پلیس «یک نفر فوت کرده اما اطلاع ندارم جزو آشوبگران بوده یا نه؛ او در بیمارستان فوت کرده است».

چند روز پیش سایت مجذوبان نور خبر داد که تعدادی از دراویش بازداشت‌شده با عناوین «اجتماع و تبانی علیه امنیت کشور، تبلیغ علیه نظام، شرکت در تجمعات غیرقانونی و اخلال در نظم و آسایش عمومی» تفهیم اتهام شده‌ و بعد از صدور قرار وثیقه به زندان قرچک منتقل شده‌اند.

آزادی و بازداشت مجدد پوریا نوری عکاس خبری

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پوریا نوری عکاس خبری و از دراویش گنابادی بازداشت‌شده در حوادث گلستان هفتم، به دلیل وضعیت وخیم جسمی و نیاز فوری به عمل جراحی (به دلیل شکستگی گونه و فک و چند دندان) روز گذشته با تودیع قرار کفالت آزاد شد ولی این آزادی چند ساعت هم دوام نیاورد و با مراجعه‌ی مأمورین و به بهانه‌ی تکمیل پرونده آزادی این درویش، وی را به اوین منتقل کردند. به گزارش وب‌سایت مجذوبان نور ماموران گفتند که آقای نوری را پس از تکمیل اوراق اداری به منزلشان باز خواهند گرداند که این اتفاق نیفتاد و پس از چند ساعت پوریا نوری طی تماسی که با یکی از بستگان خود برقرار کرده اطلاع می‌دهد که قرار کفالتش از ۲۵ میلیون تومان به ۱۲۵ میلیون تومان وثیقه افزایش یافته و او را از اوین به زندان فشافویه منتقل کرده‌اند.

پوریا نوری برادر کسری نوری خبرنگار وبسایت مجذوبان نور است که او هم در بازداشت به سرمی‌برد.

Iranian Hijab Protester Charged With “Acting Against National Security”

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An Iranian woman who was arrested in Tehran for peacefully protesting against Iran’s compulsory hijab law has been formally charged, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

Maryam Shariatmadari, who is currently being held in Gharchak Prison in Varamin, south of Tehran, is facing the charges of “fostering bad hijab” and “acting against national security.

A 32-year-old computer science student, Shariatmadari was arrested on February 23, 2018, not long after a policeman pushed her off the utility platform she was standing on while waving her head scarf on Enghelab (Revolution) St.

She was badly injured in the fall and had a surgery afterward according to a local journalist.

“It makes no sense for someone to show such behavior,” said Tehran Police Chief Gen. Hossein Rahimi on February 27 while commenting on the anti-compulsory-hijab protest movement in Iran known as the Girls of Revolution Street.

“Anyone who tries to break taboos will be firmly dealt with by the police,” he added. “In an Islamic society and in the Islamic Republic, citizens must observe Islamic principles.”

According to Iranian journalist Shahrzad Hemmati, Shahriatmadari and fellow hijab protester Shaparak Shajarizadeh, as well as 10 other Gonabadi Dervish women who were recently detained for participating in a separate protest, were summoned for interrogations on February 26.

The detainees are all being held in Gharchak Prison in Varamin, south of the capital.

“Shaparak Shajarizadeh of the Girls of Revolution Street went on a wet hunger strike on Saturday (February 24),” tweeted civil rights’ journalist Jila Baniyaghoob on February 27. “She is demanding to be moved to the public ward and to have access to a lawyer and books.”

Removing your headscarf and waving it like a flag on busy streets in Tehran has become a symbol for the “Girls of Revolution Street” movement, which was sparked by Vida Movahed in late December 2017 in Tehran.

صادق زیباکلام از دانشگاه آزاد اخراج شد

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sadegh-zibakalam-2-300x191صادق زیباکلام، تحلیلگر سیاسی و استاد دانشگاه پس از ۱۰ سال همکاری با واحد علوم تحقیقات دانشگاه آزاد، از این دانشگاه اخراج شد. وی اطهار دارد که این اقدام به نوعی تسویه حساب سیاسی است و می‌خواهد علیه دانشگاه آزاد به وزارت کار شکایت کند.

به گزارش خبرگزاری هرانا به نقل از دویچه وله، صادق زیباکلام، تحلیلگر سیاسی و استاد دانشگاه خبر می‌دهد که پس از ۱۰ سال همکاری با واحد علوم و تحقیقات دانشگاه آزاد او را اخراج کرده‌اند. خبرگزاری دانشجویی ایسنا سه‌شنبه ۸ اسفند از قول زیباکلام نوشت: «جالب است که به من این موضوع را هم اعلام نکردند.»

زیباکلام با بیان اینکه در زمان دریافت حقوق بهمن‌ماه پی برده که حقوق مربوط به عضویت در هیات علمی پاره وقت دانشکده حقوق و علوم سیاسی دانشگاه آزاد به حساب‌اش واریز نشده است افزود: “البته چون این تصمیم در اواسط ترم گرفته شده بود من درسم را در این دانشکده تا پایان ترم ادامه می‌دهم اما به صورت حق‌التدریس کارم را ادامه خواهم داد و طبعا دیگر از سال آینده آن حقوق حق‌التدریس را ندارم”.

وبسایت خبرآنلاین از قول این تحلیلگر سیاسی نوشت: “شاید دانشگاه آزاد به خاطر کسری بودجه به خاطر کاهش متقاضیان حضور در این دانشگاه، دست به تعدیل اساتید زده باشد اما وقتی دقیق‌تر به موضوع نگاه می‌کنید، به نظر می‌رسد که همه علت به مسائل اقتصادی برنمی‌گردد چون اساتیدی کنار گذاشته ‌شده‌اند که خیلی مثل مدیریت دانشگاه آزاد فکر نمی‌کنند. رویکردشان در خیلی از مسائل با رویکرد حکومت یکسان نیست؛ بنابراین به‌نوعی تسویه سیاسی صورت گرفته است و آن‌هایی که نگاه و رفتارشان با حکومت سازگاری دارد، به کارشان ادامه می‌دهند”.
زیباکلام افزوده که می‌خواهد علیه دانشگاه آزاد به وزارت کار شکایت کند زیرا موضوع را مستقیما به خودش، کتبی یا شفاهی اعلام نکرده‌اند. خبرگزاری ایسنا از قول او نوشته است: “البته دانشگاه آزاد وقتی صحبت از رعایت قوانین دولتی می‌شود، می‌گوید یک دانشگاه خصوصی است حال باید مشخص شود که بالاخره دانشگاه آزاد یک دانشگاه حکومتی است یا نه”.

صادق زیباکلام استاد تمام دانشکده حقوق و علوم سیاسی دانشگاه تهران است. خبرآنلاین به نقل از او می‌نویسد: “دانشگاه آزاد برای استادی که ۲۵ سال با آن همکاری می‌کرد، این‌قدر ارزش و احترام قائل نیست که بگوید ما شما را کنار گذاشته‌ایم و به قرارداد همکاری شما پایان داده‌ایم؛ اگر در این ۲۵ سال در مرغداری کار می‌کردم الان برایم شان بیشتری قائل می‌شدند”.

زیباکلام از نزدیکان فکری اکبر هاشمی رفسنجانی است که رئیس هیات موسس دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی بود. پس از درگذشت رفسنجانی، علی‌اکبر ولایتی، با حکم رهبر ایران به ریاست هیئت مؤسس دانشگاه انتخاب شد.

Life of Iranian-American in Evin Prison is in Danger, Says Family

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Karan Vafadari (left) with his son, Cyrus.

Wife and Son of Karan Vafadari Fear For His Life After Suspicious Deaths in Prison

March 1, 2018—The son of Iranian-American Karan Vafadari, who is imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison, said his stepmother, Afarin Neyssari, also imprisoned in Iran, fears for her husband’s life after officials claimed without any evidence that two previous detainee deaths in January 2018 were suicides.

“Afarin said she fears for Karan’s life,” said Cyrus Vafadari, the son of Karan Vafadari, in a statement obtained by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). “My family and I share her concerns.”

“I want to make clear that Karan Vafadari and Afarin Neyssari have no suicidal tendencies,” said the son, adding that he believes both his father and stepmother’s lives are in danger.

The statement by the son, who lives in the US, continued, “Since Dr. Kavous Seyed-Emami’s recent death in Evin Prison, I feel the need to emphasize, on the record, that at no point since Karan and Afarin’s unjust imprisonment 19 months ago have either of them shown any suicidal tendencies when we have spoken on the phone.”

Kavous Seyed-Emami, a prominent Iranian academic and environmentalist who had Canadian citizenship, died in Evin Prison allegedly by suicide on February 9, 2018. Calls by his family and UN human rights experts for an independent investigation have gone unheeded in Iran.

Cyrus Vafadari noted that his father’s brother, Kasra Vafadari, was murdered in France in 2007 “by someone with a connection to the IRGC 11 years ago,” adding that “Kasra lived under constant harassment for being a Zoroastrian.”

Karan Vafadari belongs to a prominent Zoroastrian family in Tehran. Recognized in the Iranian Constitution, followers of the ancient, pre-Islamic Zoroastrian faith have lived in Iran for thousands of years but are subject to discrimination.

Karan Vafadari and his wife, Afarin Neyssari were arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Intelligence Organization at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International airport on July 20, 2016.

In late January 2018, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati—known for his hardline views and imposition of harsh sentences in cases involving dual nationals—sentenced Vafadari to 27 years in prison and 124 lashes, and Neyssari to 16 years in prison and 74 lashes. They have also been fined more than nine billion rials ($243,000 USD).

In a February 2018 letter from Evin Prison, Vafadari wrote that before he was arrested, he was actively trying to regain some of his family’s confiscated assets through the Iranian legal system. In another letter issued that same month, he accused the IRGC of pressuring the judiciary to impose heavy sentences on him and his wife.

Vafadari was accused of a variety of charges, ranging from being a Zoroastrian dual national, “collusion in plots against national security” and “storing smuggled foreign alcohol.”

The charges against Neyssari remain unclear.

“Karan had always shown optimism that because he is innocent of any wrongdoing, he would be released when the trial came,” wrote his son in the statement. “Even after being denied his own lawyers and bail, Karan has continued to fight for justice.”

The prosecution of Karan Vafadari and Afarin Neyssari has been marked by the denial of due process, which has included being denied the counsel of their choice and forced to accept court-appointed lawyers. In addition, the authorities refused to release Afarin Neyssari after the family met the court-designated bail.

“As a family, our top priority is that Karan and Afarin are safe, and that they receive a fair trial that will lead to the only fair conclusion: their unconditional release,” he added. “They have a right to hire their own team of lawyers (which they have been denied), and they have the right to be considered for release on bail or furlough (which they have also been denied).”

“We hope that the Islamic Republic will protect its citizens, Karan and Afarin, from current rights violations and the injustices they are facing and free them now,” wrote Cyrus Vafadari.

At least 13 dual and foreign nationals and foreign permanent residents are currently being held in Iranian prisons. In November 2017, Reuters reported that at least 30 dual nationals had been arrested by the IRGC since Iran and world powers signed the nuclear deal in July 2015.

The recent multiple deaths of detainees under highly suspicious circumstances have raised concerns regarding fatal ill-treatment in Iranian prisons, particularly after swift official statements that the detainees committed “suicide” and the refusal of authorities to allow any independent investigations.

Iranian officials claimed that the deaths of Sina Ghanbari in Evin Prison on January 7, 2018, and Vahid Heydari at a detention center in the city of Arak that same month were suicides. Heydari’s lawyer, Mohammad Najafi, was arrested in February after he told media outlets that the authorities are trying to cover-up the real cause of Heydari’s death.