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What Is Going on in the Silence of Evin Prison?

World  (tags: Iran, Human Rights, Torture, arrests )

- 3583 days ago -
Nothing and no-one comes out of Iran's prisons. Iranians line up at the gates of the prison, looking for a name, searching for relatives of whom they have had no news.


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Ana M (90)
Sunday June 28, 2009, 3:36 am
Nothing and no-one comes out of Iran’s prisons. Iranians line up at the gates of the prison, looking for a name, searching for relatives of whom they have had no news. The same desperate search is replicated in all the cities of the country. The list of 700 names posted at the entrance to Evin jail is incomplete. Families are systematically refused the right to see their disappeared loves ones. The doors stay closed. Some 150 Iranian lawyers on 22 June appealed to the authorities for the release of those arrested and calling at least for the right of access to the prison for their lawyers.

The relatives of arrested journalists are pushed from pillar to post by the different administrations. “No, he is not here. Go there.” And once they get to the place indicated they get sent back to where they started from.

“The families of hundreds of Iranians imprisoned in Evin jail have the right to see their loved ones and to get information about the reasons for their detention. Those held in Section 209 are particularly at risk. We urge the Tehran authorities to allow representatives of the foreign press and of human rights organisations to visit the prison, as was allowed in 2006”, Reporters Without Borders said.

“Several witness accounts makes us fear that torture and ill-treatment are being systematically inflicted on prisoners who have demonstrated against the regime. Several journalists and bloggers were brutally treated by the guards and by men employed by the state prosecutor Saaed Mortazavi,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

“Like Chile’s Santiago football stadium in 1973, Evin prison has become a bloody detention centre where arbitrary treatment is meted out. We urge the international community to do its utmost to break the silence surrounding prisoners of opinion in Evin prison”, the organisation added, pointing out that 26 June is World Day against Torture”.

Reporters Without Borders has in the past gathered a lot of information about cases of torture within Evin. Iranian-Canadian journalist Zara Kazemi died under torture there in 2003, and more recently the blogger Omidreza Mirsayafi, who died on 19 March 2009.

US citizen Roxana Saberi, recently released from Evin said, “I am worried for the people being held there. I think they are in worse conditions than I suffered. Some are probably physically tortured.”

Elsewhere, Reporters Without Borders has learned of the arrest on 20 June of Mehdi Zabouli, journalist and photographer on the daily Hamshahri. He was injured during demonstrations following the disputed re-election of the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and taken to hospital. Other patients were arrested on the same day.

Amanolah Shojai and Mashalah Hidarzadeh, arrested in Bushehr on 16 June, were released on 25 June. Since 20 June 2009, the organisation has no news of Ali Mazroui, president of the Association of Iranian journalists.

Since the disputed election, at least 25 journalists who were arrested remain in prison. With a total of 33 journalists in prison, Iran is the country with the most journalists in jail, following China and Cuba.

14 June 2009: · Cyber-dissident Somaieh Tohidlou ( · Ahmad Zeydabadi, · Kivan Samimi Behbani, · Abdolreza Tajik, · Mahssa Amrabadi, · Behzad Basho, cartoonist · Khalil Mir Asharafi, Iranian television producer · Karim Arghandeh, journalist for reformist newspapers Salam, Vaghieh etafaghieh, and blogger ( was arrested at his home in Tehran. · Shiva Nazar Ahari, cyber-dissident and human rights activists (see his blog:, was arrested at his home in the capital.

15 June 2009: · Mohamad Atryanfar, editor of several publications like Hamshary, Shargh, Shahrv and Emrouz, was reportedly transferred to the security section of Evin jail. · Saïd Hajarian, former newspaper editor Sobh-e-Emrouz, was arrested by the security forces overnight on 15-16 June at his Tehran home despite the fact that he is handicapped. · Mojtaba Pormohssen, journalist on several reformist papers, contributor to radio Zamaneh and editor of the newspaper Gilan Emroz, was arrested in Rashat in the north of the country.

16 June: · Mohammad Ali Abtahi, nicknamed “Mullah blogger“, was arrested at his home in Tehran. His blog: · Mrs Hamideh Mahhozi, arrested in Bushehr, south of Iran Hossin Shkohi, journalist on the weekly Paygam Jonob, arrested in Boshehr · Fariborez Srosh, freelance journalist reportedly arrested the same day. Imprisoned in the past because of his work with Radio farda (Radio Free Europe).

17 June: · Saide Lylaz, journalist on newspaper Sarmayeh, arrested at his home in the capital. The financial specialist has been an outspoken critic of the policies of President Ahmadinejad. · Rohollah Shassavar, journalist in Mashad, detained the same date.

18 June: · Mohammad Ghochani, editor of the daily Etemad Meli, owner of Mehdi Karoubi, one of the candidates opposing Mahmoud Ahamadinejad in the presidential elections, arrested in Tehran at 2am.

20 June: · No news from Ali Mazroui, president of the Iranian Association of journalists since June 20th. · Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee and his wife Jila Baniyaghoob arrested at their home at midnight, following a search by plain clothes agents of the intelligence ministry. Winner in 2009 of the Courage in Journalism prize, awarded by the International Women’s Media Foundation, Jila Baniyaghoob is head of a feminist news website Canon Zeman Irani ( Her husband Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee, works for several pro-reformist publications. · Arrest of Mehdi Zabouli, journalist and photographer on the daily Hamshahri. He was injured during demonstrations following the disputed re-election of the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and taken to hospital.

21 June: · Correspondent for Newsweek, Maziar Bahari, arrested at 7am by security forces at his home.

22 June: · Mostafa Ghavnlo Ghajar, contributor to several newspapers, a specialist in foreign media on Radio Goftogo, was arrested at his home. His blog: · Iason Athanasiadis, Greek-British journalist on the Washington Times · 25 staff and journalists on Kalemeh Sabz arrested, including the editor, Alireza Behshtipour Shirazi.
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