Iran: Fresh concern for detainees' safety as arrests continue

Nearly 200 detainees from ‘9 July’ protest alone

Call on the Iranian authorities to ensure that detained protesters are not tortured or mistreated.

Amnesty International today expressed fresh concern for the fate of hundreds of people detained in Iran following the post-election crackdown, with many detainees being held in undisclosed locations across the country.

Those detained include up to 197 people reported to have been arrested last week (9 July) at a demonstration marking the 10th anniversary of the violent suppression of student demonstrations in 1999. These detainees are believed to be held at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison and at a detention facility in Kahrizak in Karaj. Relatives have seen street posters saying that there will be court hearings on the cases on 19 July.

In total Amnesty International has compiled a list of the names or identities of 368 people arrested since 12 June. Some of those detained have since been released but may face prosecution in the future. Recent round-ups have included:

Massoud Bastani, a journalist, who was arrested on 5 July when he went to a Revolutionary Court to enquire about his pregnant wife Mahsa Amr-Abadi, also a journalist, who was herself arrested a month ago (14 June)

Kian Tajbaksh, a US-Iranian social scientist, who was arrested at his home at 9pm on 9 July

Towhid Beigi, a photographer associated with the campaign of presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, who was arrested in Enqelab Square, Tehran during the 9 July demonstration

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a human rights lawyer, who was arrested at his office in Tehran on 8 July; his whereabouts are now unknown

Bijan Khajehpour Khoei, a business consultant, who was arrested on 27 June at Tehran airport after a trip to Vienna and London. He is diabetic and his family fear for his health

Amnesty International UK Media Director Mike Blakemore said:

“With the round-ups showing no sign of ending we are deeply concerned for the fate of hundreds of people now detained in Iran, many in secret locations.

“People like businessman Bijan Khajehpour Khoei have effectively disappeared without trace. When he stepped off a plane from London to Tehran on 27 June he joined hundreds of others swept up in Iran’s sinister post-election arrests.

“Bijan Khajehpour Khoei was in London to encourage trade between the UK and Iran, and the UK government should immediately seek information over his current whereabouts and the reasons for his detention.”

Amnesty is also calling for an independent inquiry into the death of Sohrab Arabi, a 19-year-old student who disappeared during a demonstration on 15 June. His family was unable to discover any information as to his whereabouts until 11 July, when they were summoned to a court where they recognised him from photographs of dead people shown to them.

His body has apparently been at the Coroner’s Office since 19 June, the cause of death being a bullet wound to the heart. There is no information over the circumstances of his death or what happened to him between 15 and 19 June.

Call on the Iranian authorities to ensure that detained protesters are not tortured or mistreated. /p>

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