The Growing Number of Political Prisoners
Hassan Zareh Zadeh Ardeshir, Rooz Online:
As the news of Akbar Mohammadi’s death following his hunger strike, and the condition of other political prisoners such as Ahmad Batebi, Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeini, and Ramin Jahanbegloo, among many others, has created a wave of concern among their family members and human rights organizations, news reports indicate that the condition of other political prisoners in the provinces and smaller towns is as bad and concerning. READ MORE
Even though about three months have passed the disturbances in the towns of Azerbaijan, there are still many political activists, journalists and cultural activists held in the prisons of Tabriz, Ardebil, Orumeh and others. Most of them have said that the trial process and steps that they have been subjected to are unfair through which they are denied defense lawyers and their interrogation sessions include insults and beatings. And while many of these detainees are released on bail until the day of their trial, judiciary and prison authorities in East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, and Ardebil have made announcements of new court rulings.
According to the news unit of the Student Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners (Komite Daneshjooyi Defa az Zendanian Siasi) the computer of Tabriz prison lists 650 individuals who have been recorded as political prisoners in the city in connection with the recent demonstrations. In addition to this number, there are many others who are held at the security detaining centers.
Of the people that have been recorded, currently Changiz Bakhtavar and Dr Ahmad Rezayi (Heydar Ogloo) who were in Evin until recently and were then transferred to the Intelligence Bureau of Tabriz, while 13 others are held in Tabriz and at a new ward called the Political ward, which was created about three months ago. The names of the 13 individuals are as follows:
Mohammad Hassan Hergoli (Hassan Damirchi) 65 years of age, Ali Golkar, Mehdi Babai (Okhtai), Hassan Bahari Khajeh, Moslem Javadpour, Yusef Sabri, Mohammad Hossein Divbandi, Soleyman (Ahmad) Heydari, Omid Arbabi, Samad Peyvandi, Hossein Asli, and Taghi Akbari.
In the prisons of Ardebil, the following have been recorded to be held in detention:
Abbas Lesani, Behrouz Alizadeh, Alireza Yusefi, Hossein Balazadeh, Rahim Taraghi, Reza Dadayon, Bakhshali Rohi Bakhsh, Agheel Azardokht, Rahim Rezayi, and Hayat Hassanpour.
Other prisoners have been recorded as follows: In Zanjan: Reza Abbasi; in Marand: Sahebali Khodabakhsh; in Oroomieh: Ibrahim Moayeni; in Mogan: Nader Valipour; in Naghdeh: Issa Yeganeh; in Miandoab: Samand Ali Mohammadi, Yunes Aghayan, Abdollah Ghasemzadeh, Mehdi Ghassemzadeh.
Kurdestan and the West of the Country
The towns of Kurdistan province and others in the Western Iran do not fair any better. There are permanent prisoners in their prisons as well. In the words of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboodvand from the Kurdistan Defense of Human Rights Organization, “Unfortunately the conditions of Kurdish prisoners are absolutely not good.”