Torture fears for 'disappeared' Iranian music journalist - New Amnesty campaign

Amnesty International today called on the Iranian authorities to reveal the whereabouts of two music journalists, Behrang Tonekaboni and Kayvan Farzin and the reason why they have been detained. Both were arrested at the offices of Farhang va Ahang, a monthly music journal, on 5 January. Behrang’s mother Lily Farhadpour, 47, a journalist and a member of Iranian NGO Mothers for Peace, was also arrested at her home on 20 January. They appear to have been subjected to enforced disappearance and are at risk of torture.

Amnesty is asking people to go to www.amnesty.org.uk/behrang to take action by sending an email to the Iranian authorities.

The reason for the arrests is unknown, although it may be connected to the ongoing protests against the government in Iran, as the authorities have arrested many journalists, human rights defenders, students and others in recent weeks. Behrang Tonekaboni, who is 28, is the editor of Farhang va Ahang, and Kayvan Farzin is the journal's music critic.

Behrang Tonekaboni was taken to the home he shares with his mother, which was searched and had items confiscated from it, including his mother's computer. Although he telephoned his mother twice, his family have received no information on his whereabouts since his arrest - he called but was not allowed to say where he was. He has asthma and a heart condition, and requires regular medication.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“We’re seriously concerned for the safety of Behrang, Kayyan, Lily and countless others. The crackdown on dissent and free speech since Iran’s disputed election has been brutal and we’ve received many reports of torture.

“All three should be protected from torture and allowed access to their families, lawyers and the medical assistance that they need.

“And if they are being held solely for the peaceful expression of their views, they should be released immediately. The Iranian authorities have no right to lock people up just for speaking their minds.”

Thousands of protestors have been arrested since Iran’s disputed presidential election result of June 2009, many of whom were subjected to torture.  At least three people died as a result of torture in the Kahrizak detention centre near Tehran. Since the demonstrations, well over 180 journalists, human rights activists, students and members of political parties linked to Mir Hossein Mousavi and former President Khatami are reported by opposition website Jaras and other sources to have been arrested from their home or workplace.

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