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Forgotten Prisoners in Iran's jails

Recently, a small number of prisoners of conscience have been released from prison without due legal procedures.  Some of these people were due to be released shortly as their prison terms were about to finish. There is a possibility that further prisoners will be ‘pardoned’ and consequently released.

The release of these people is welcome news regardless of the fact that none of them had committed any crime apart from expressing their thoughts or religious beliefs or engaged in peaceful activities.

According to sources close to prisoners, hundreds are still kept in various prisons for prolonged periods without temporary leave or re-evaluation of their cases.

Djila Baniyaquoob, journalist who herself has recently been freed from a one year prison term and whose husband Bahman Ahmadi Amoui is serving time in the notorious Rejaishahr prison has recently published a note on her blog referring to what her husband, Baham told her in their last visit.

‘While some prisoners are known to the outside world and campaigns for their release have given them prominence. There are a number of prisoners however who had been inside for years without visitations or temporary leave let alone amnesty. It seems that even God has forgotten them. Some prisoners had initially been sentenced to death. Their sentences at some stage, had been reduced to life. Now, after 15 or 20 years they have grown prematurely old.’

Mohammed Nazari was accused of collaboration with Kurdestan Democratic Party and travelling to the Iraqi Kurdestan. He had never been engaged in arms conflict. His brother was killed in the Iran-Iraq war. He comes from a Shiat-Kurdish family. His interrogators had told him for that (being a Shiat and having a martyred brother) his punishment is more severe. Nazari had not seen the outside world for the last 20 years.

Omar Faghihpoor, Kurdish prisoner sentenced to life for his connection with the KDP. He is spending his 13th year without leave or visitations. You can see him sitting at a corner, watching TV without a word, knitting belts or bags to be sold outside to cater for his needs in prison.

Ebrahim Hossein poor another Kurdish prisoner is spending his 23th   year in prison.

Osman Mostafapoor  was only 22 years old for connection with the KDP although he had never engaged in arms conflict. He has been inside for 23 years.

Ahmad Tamuie is in prison for the past 17 years.

Sa’aid Sangar, Kurd has been inside for 13 years without a day leave.

Hossein Hamzeh Shoja sentenced to life is in his 12th year.

Khaled Fereiduni sentenced to life. He is in Rejaieshahr prison.

Kurdish women who had been imprisoned for years:

Zeinab Jalalian



Emel Sheikhu

Safieh Sadeghi

Other unknown, long-term prisoners whose names had been published on Djila Baniyaqoob list are as follows:

  •  Omku Ghaderi, Ramazan Saidi, Naseh Yusefi Mohammed Amin (in Tabas prison) and Ghader Mohamadzadeh all had been in prison over 8 years.
  • Ehsan Tapez (Zanjan prison), Mahmoud Badagh (Ghazvin Prison) Arjan Gharil (Ghazvin) and Omar Chaparaz all over 7 years.

These people pay for their needs in prison by weaving scarves and shawls, making dolls and other handicraft.

Also, among others, Zaniar & Loghman Moradi (cousins) had been in death row for 4 years. According to an order issued by judge Salavati they have no right of visitations. Behrouz Ilkhani, Habib & Ali Afshari (brothers) are in death row in Oroumieh prison.  

Most heartbreaking is the case of the 80 year Haj Karim, know as Aziz who had been in the Rajaieshahr prison for the past 16 year.


About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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