Nazanin Fatehi has been Released!

Today, 31 January evening, 19 year old Nazanin was released from prison after facing execution for the past year and a half.

She stepped out of prison with a smile on her face to greet her family and supporters who had gathered outside Evin prison.

Whilst there, she spoke to Mina Ahadi, the coordinator for the International Committee against Execution, and thanked all those who had worked for her release.

On possible war on Iran, Secularism, and the Third Camp

In this week’s International TV programme, broadcast on 30 January 2007, Maryam Namazie interviews Hamid Taqvaee on the escalating propaganda war between Iran and the USA and the possibility of war on Iran; shows a clip of Reza Moradi and Shiva Mahbobi being mahandled by Stop the War Coalition stewards at a demonstration against the war on Iraq in Manchester
and his speech there and interviews Bahram Soroush on questions raised on secularism and religion.

To see the programme, click here.

Nazanin Fatehi is to be released today

As I write people are going towards Evin Prison with flowers to meet and greet Nazanin Fatehi who is to be released from prison after a huge sum of bail money was collected through donations from people in Iran and across the world.

Humanity is alive and well and will be on show today outside the Islamic regime of Iran’s notorious Evin prison.

A response to comments on the veil and more

In this week’s TV International English, we respond to some of your comments on this blog and others on the veil with Fariborz Pooya, Sohaila Sharifi and Bahram Soroush. Tell me what you think.

I also interview Fariborz Pooya and Bahram Soroush on religious opposition to the sexual orientation regulations, and the role of faith in society.

To view the programme, click here.

Appeal fund for the release of Nazanin Fatehi and the latest news on her situation

Nazanin, the Iranian teenager under a sentence of death, was acquitted, but the Islamic authorities are demanding that her family pay blood money (so called ‘diye’). This callous and reactionary demand must be condemned. If anybody is to pay damages, it should be the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the psychological and physical torment that it has inflicted on Nazanin during her imprisonment. Nazanin’s lawyers have also protested against the demand for blood money.

Meanwhile, on Monday Nazanin’s defence lawyers found out from the Prosecutors’ Office that Nazanin could be released on payment of a bail of 4 million Toman (around US$40,000).

To raise such a huge sum is beyond the means of Nazanin’s family. We are therefore reaching out for help to all those who helped win Nazanin’s campaign. We call on all concerned individuals and human rights organisations in Iran and around the world to contribute to the special fund that has been set up for this purpose.

You may pay your contributions to any of the following accounts:

Germany:
Post Bank
International kampagne von frauenrechte e.v
Konto: 856915 469
IBAN: DE36 4401 00460856 9154 69
BIC PBNKDEFF
Blz: 44010046

Sweden:
Plusgirokonto: 412085-3
IBAN: SE 819500 00996042 0412 0853
BIC: NDEASESS

We call on everyone to help so the campaign to save Nazanin succeeds fully, and we can celebrate her release. By paying the bail we will be able to return Nazanin to the warm embrace of her family.

Mina Ahadi
International Committee Against Execution
15 Jan 2007

TV International on Nazanin Fatehi’s acquittal, Sanctions against Iran and Saddam’s execution

See this week’s International TV English in which Maryam Namazie interviews Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Mina Ahadi and Sohaila Sharifi on the Save Nazanin Fatehi Campaign and the acquittal of the teenager who had been sentenced to death in Iran, shows a clip of a documentary on Nazanin Fatehi, interviews Hamid Taqvaee on US sanctions against Iran and Bahram Soroush and Fariborz Pooya on Saddam’s execution by clicking here.

Nazanin Fatehi Acquitted!

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Sunday 14 January 2007

According to information received by the International Committee Against Execution, the charges against Nazanin Fatehi, the teenager under a sentence of death in Iran, have been dropped. She will probably be released from jail next week.

Earlier today, the court sitting in Tehran decided on Nazanin’s case and told the defence lawyers that she would not have to face execution but has to pay financial compensation before she is released.

The defence lawyers are planning to oppose the compensation ruling and are demanding that she be released immediately on bail.

The Save Nazanin Campaign will follow Nazanin’s case and keep the public and the press informed of her situation.

The International Committee Against Execution congratulates all those who have helped and supported the campaign to save Nazanin’s life.

This is a victory for humanity and against ignorance and laws of retribution.

Mina Ahadi
Co-ordinator
International Committee Against Execution

The Islamic regime backs down from executing Nazanin

The International Comittee Against Execution has reported that Nazanin’s trial has taken place. It was delayed from 10:30AM to 12:30PM, in part due to the fact that so many people showed up in support of Nazanin’s campaign. They were required to move court rooms. Normally in a case like this, 10-15 people show up. But today, 200-300 came to support Nazanin and there were many news reporters present. The judges declared that Nazanin had not committed murder; Nazanin’s lawyer, Shadi Sadr, said that we must remain cautious until the written verdict is provided in a few days time.

Clearly, though, the pressure has succeeded in pushing back the regime and saving Nazanin’s life.

To see pictures of Nazanin’s trial, click here.

1 more day to save Nazanin Fatehi from execution in Iran

Nazanin sends her greetings from prison to all the people who are trying to save her life and calls for the cancellation of her execution order.

“These are the hardest days of my life. I am scared from execution, I can’t sleep at night, I want to go to our home, I want to hug my Mom.”

The last trial of Nazanin Fatehi is on Wednesday January the 10th at 10:30 AM.
Court location: North of Ark Circle, beside the court of the Province of Tehran, Penal Court of the Province, Section 74.

The International Committee Against Execution is calling on all freedom lovers to protest her execution in any way possible, so that the young Nazanin could be spared and freed. By lengthening the court process and buying time for itself, the Islamic government of Iran has kept Nazanin, Kobra Rahmanpoor and tens of other prisoners condemned to death in a limbo situation, living with the nightmare of death hanging over them.

Millions in Iran and around the world are worried about the life and security of Nazanin. There are millions who are calling for Nazanin to be freed. Millions have seen the documentary called “The two Nazanins” and have cried for Nazanin Fatehi and have strongly condemned child and teen execution.

We, along with millions of people, are condemning child and teen execution and intentional governmental murder in Iran and are demanding the cancellation of Nazanin’s execution order.

International Committee Against Execution

For more information on the case, click here.

On the execution of Saddam Hussein

This morning, December 30, Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq, was hanged on the orders of the US government and its hand-made ethnic-religious regime. For around 30 years, Saddam’s regime was a symbol of the most criminal and repressive dictatorships in history, claiming countless victims. The repression, brutality and tyranny of the Ba’ath regime caused enormous suffering for the people of Iraq, in particular political opponents, labour activists, communists and ethnic and religious minorities. Tens of thousands of people were tortured, executed and eliminated under that regime or brutally massacred by chemical bombs and other means. The atrocities of Saddam’s regime are truly beyond description and will never be forgotten.

However, Saddam’s execution is not the end of repression, violence or brutality. He was not overthrown and executed for his atrocities and cruelty. He was reared by forces which represent a repressive and inhuman system. They did not even allow his countless crimes to be revealed in a tribunal. Just like the trial of Milosevic and similar trials of the vanquished by victors, Saddam’s trial and punishment was totally political and served the interests of the US government and its allies in the region. There was not the slightest shred of justice or search for the truth in this trial. He was tried in a sham court, which in no way met the criterion for the trial of one of the world’s biggest criminals. Saddam’s trial could have exposed many politicians in the West and the Middle East who collaborated with him, and this is what they prevented. He was sacrificed so as to assert the unquestioning might of the American New Order to the world and its rivals; so as to bring the post-cold war world under the sway of the American New Order. The message of Saddam’s execution to humanity was that the US-created ethnic and religious regime in Iraq is essentially the same kind of dictatorship as Saddam’s.

The West’s full support for Saddam’s 30-year rule, its military attack on Iraq and destruction of civil life, and, finally, the trial and execution of Saddam exposed the deceitful democracy of the Western governments, in particular the US government. Despite the attempts of the US and its allies to cover up, everyone saw the depth of hypocrisy of the Western governments and the nature of their democracy.

Saddam should have had a fair and public trial. The files of his crimes and those of his local and international supporters and collaborators should have been opened and made public.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran condemns the execution of Saddam Hussein. Execution is deliberate murder, a tool of states against people, a means of covering up the real causes of violence, atrocity and oppression, and institutionalisation of violence and vengeance. Saddam’s execution was, moreover, the brutal declaration to the people of Iraq and the world that violence, vengeance and denial of people’s rights will be an integral part of the political system and the state in Iraq.

Worker-communist Party of Iran
30 December 2006

Iran: Ossanlou released

Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006

In a statement issued today, the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company said Mansoor Ossanlou, the jailed President of the bus workers’ union, has been released. He was freed on a bail of 30 million Tomans (around US$33,000) deposited by his wife.

Mansoor Ossanlou was re-arrested on 19 November after spending nearly eight months in prison for his labour organising activities.

The harassment of the bus workers has continued throughout their long and bitter fight to win recognition for their union and for collective bargaining. Around 50 bus workers remain suspended without pay for taking part in a strike in January which was brutally crushed.

The persecutions generated a worldwide labour campaign in support of the bus workers, which is continuing.

For more information, contact: International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran.

A report from the asylum seeker’s prison of Edirne in Turkey

Edirne, the Island of harshness and terror
By: Farshad Hosseini, Executive Director of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees

Turkey is one of the main and most important rout and transit for Asian, Middle Eastern and North-African asylum seekers. Every year, thousands of asylum seekers who seek a safe shelter and who are fleeing all sorts of political and societal aggressions in their own countries, head toward Turkey and through the western frontiers of Turkey try to reach Europe. Western frontiers of Turkey are severely controlled and many of these asylum seekers who are not able to pass the frontiers end up being entrapped by the security police of the frontier.
The prison of Edirne is one of the concentration camps that keep the arrested asylum seekers of Edrine’s area. Based on verbal reports obtained through telephone from eye witnesses and arrested refugees in Edrine, although the prison has a capacity of 150 prisoners, most of the time it detains between 500 to 700 refugees. Refugees are from countries such as Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan and South-East Asia. Conditions and standards of living are extremely low and poor and are even beyond the regular standards of ordinary prisons.

Women’s cells

In an interview that I had with Azadeh a female Iranian asylum seeker who is detained since few months ago in Edrine’s prison, she says:

“The situation is deplorable here. Corridors are full of refugees. Overcrowding has become such that at some point guards have forced the male prisoners of the upper level to move to another prison, beating them harshly to leave that section, only to add and keep more female prisoners in this section. When two nights ago, one of the male refugees cut his jugular vein with a blade, prisoners started to shout and ask for help but nobody came to the rescue. Prisoners were kicking the door so firmly that the whole prison was trembling. Yesterday morning, again, to protest against his condition, another refugee cut his jugular vein. Police came and instead of rescuing him or taking him to the emergency, beating him with punches and kicks and savagely threw them on him beating him. Blood was running in the corridor. This place should not be called a prison for a prison is a much better place. This is a slaughterhouse”.
I asked one of the refugee prisoners regarding the legal process of their detention and access to legal resorts for their defense. ” The only thing that does not exist here is law and rights. Here only money and aggression reigns. If you have money for bribery you will have a better condition and more rights. Otherwise you are condemned to accept the most inhuman living conditions. No legal authority acts here. This is an island of aggression where there is no such a thing as “rights”.

I asked Azadeh about the number of women and their conditions in the prison. She replied: “Right now 150 women are kept in our section while this section has the capacity for only 40 prisoners. For all the 150 women there is only one toilet and 2 showers, one of which is always out of order. The shower does not have a door. The line up for toilet is always very long. Sometimes we have to wait hours in the lineup. There are no warm water and we have to take shower with cold water. Right now in Turkey, the weather is very cold and taking shower with cold water is deadly. There is no ventilator here. It is 6 months that I haven’t seen the sun. Air pollution inside the prison, crowding and lack of sanitary measures have created a ground for occurrence of all sorts of dermatologic diseases among prisoners. There is no medical facility whatsoever. Here only if you are dying or if you have deep and serious wounds, you might get the chance to go to the hospital. Nutritional conditions are worse than all. For the whole time that I have been here, I have always had the same meal. Breakfast is composed of a piece of stale and left over bread, a very little piece of cheese and milk both of which are outdated and rotten in 80% of time. Lunch is composed of a piece of bread and two small pieces of rotten jambon, and dinner is also composed of a piece of bread and two tiny slices of dry sausage. Twice a week we have the so-called “hot meal” which is a kind of soup that is only water. Crowding is so that 3 of us share one bed. Most the women have no blanket and no sheet. Children are also detained here along with their mothers and have to follow the fate of their mothers. There is no exception; they have to tolerate the same deplorable conditions.”

Azadeh added: “Right now there are 4 women among us who are eight months pregnant. There is no medical help available to them. They even do not have warm clothing and are in a deplorable condition. Whenever we ask for some help to these pregnant women, the authorities answer: “We didn’t invite them here. They have come by themselves and they have to suck it up!”

The guards have extremely inhuman behavior and treat us with the most indecent ,abusive and sexual insults which in many instances have elicited the anger and protest of the prisoners, but every time, these protests have been suppressed by beating and by using force.

Men’s cells

I contacted one of the prisoners of the men’s section in Edirne. Alireza is a refugee who has been detained in Edirne’s prison since 7 months ago. With a dull and tottering voice he said: “We are 300 men in this prison. This prison has a capacity for 120 men. There is only one ventilator in the whole section and there is little air coming into the section. Many people smoke here and the air are extremely polluted here. Many prisoners sleep in the corridors, most of the time on bare floor and the luckiest have a plastic sheet to put underneath.

The conditions of toilets and showers are as bad as in women’s section. We have 4 showers, one of which is out of order and the 3 remaining are giving service to 300 men! Apart from coldness of the water and low water pressure, the main issue is that the sewage system of the bathrooms is not working and every time that anybody takes shower, water inundates the corridors. Therefore there is constant humidity and damp which has created all sorts of rheumatic and dermatologic diseases among us.”

Regarding the legal situation of these refugees Alireza continued:” the only organization that investigates refugee problems is the UN High Commissioner for refugees and unfortunately this is a very long and slow process and until you haven’t received a refugee status from UNHCR you have to live in this Hell.

Evaluation

The prison of Edirne, based on the above-mentioned news and also based on reports obtained from eye witnesses, lacks the least standards of a regular prison. These conditions should be changed. The human rights Commission of the European Union and other local or international organizations should allocate special attention to this prison and should send a special and independent committee to perform a complete and detailed study on the conditions of these prisoners and should put pressure on the Turkish government to ameliorate the conditions of its prisons, notably the Edirne prison.

On the other hand, based on international rules of engagement, detaining refugees and asylum seekers is illegal. Under no circumstance and with no excuse the Turkish government has the right to detain refugees and asylum seekers. All the imprisoned refugees should be freed immediately and the Turkish government should guarantee that it will not detain refugees.
Urgent appeals to the Turkish government

1- Turkish government should free all the imprisoned refugees and asylum seekers.

2- Every prisoner in these prisons should have the right to have access to a gratuitous lawyer to be able to follow his/her judicial process and come out of prison. Imprisoned refugees should have information regarding the judicial and legal process of their case.

3- All female refugees should be freed immediately and be treated for their medical issues.

4- A committee should be formed to continuously control the Edirne’s prison. This committee is responsible to regularly check the capacity, conditions and standards of the prison.

Urgent appeals to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

1- The UNHCR should put a priority in reviewing the files of Edirne asylum seekers prisoners in Turkey and take serious measures regarding the request of these prisoners concerning refugee status.

2- The UNHCR should officially ask the Turkish Internal Ministry and Justice Ministry to free all the imprisoned refugees and asylum seekers of this prison until the process of their case as refugee is completed.

3- The UNHCR is responsible to provide all the Edirne’s imprisoned refugees with appropriate medical treatment.

4- The UNHCR should give priority to female refugee cases and pay special attention on their refugee status.

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) will put all its efforts to obtain tangible results regarding these claims. We will broadcast this report and the claims to all responsible organizations and international assemblies for human rights. We are asking UNHCR to send an inspection committee to this prison and we will follow up on these claims until they are addressed.

For more ifnormation, go to the site of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees.