Updates on the status of those arrested on May 1, 2009
Jelve Javaheri and Kaveh Mozaffari Campaign Members Still In Prison
Amir Yaghoubali and Pooria Pooshtareh Released
Saturday 2 May 2009
Jelve Javaheri Arraigned, Amir Yaghoubali and Pooria Pooshtareh Released
Campaign for Equality, May 29, 2009 – On May 27, 2009, Jelveh Javaheri, activist in One Million Signatures Campaign, was taken from Evin prison to the Office, Mr. Heydari Fard, the Prosecutor of the Security Branch One of the Revolutionary Court.
One of her lawyers, Mina Jaafari, was also present however, even though her representation letter was confirmed, she was not allowed in to the court session.
Mina Jafari told the site of Change for Equality that: "based on reports from Jelve herself, Jelveh Javaheri was arraigned with the following charges: acting against national security through membership in the One Million Signatures Campaign and with the aim of disrupting public order and security. She denied the charges against her." Mina Jafari explained further that: my client was even stripped off her last defense.
After arraignment, Jelveh was transported back to Evin prison with an arrest order.
Today, Jelveh’s mother delivered her complaint letter addressed to the head of the Judiciary, to the office of Mr. Shahroodi’s but her letter was not accepted and she was told that the letter needs verification and seal from Evin prison.
The Parents of Kaveh Mozafari [Jelveh’s husband] also delivered their compliant letter to Mr. Avayi’s office, the head of the Department of Justice for the Province of Tehran, however they too were not allowed to leave the letter for Mr. Avayi. They were told that they can come back to the Department of Justice during scheduled visitation hours the following week. Sign the petition demanding the release of Jelve and Kaveh and others arrested on May1.
It should be mentioned that of the nearly 150 people arrested on May 1, prior to the start of a scheduled peaceful gathering at Laleh Park marking International Workers day, most have been released, but some still remain in prison. All the women arrested on that day have been released except for Jelve Javaheri who was arrested at her home after security officers came to her house to search the property with her husband Kaveh Mozafari who was arrested at Laleh Park earlier in the day. A reported 20 men still remain in prison, including Campaign member Kaveh Mozzafari. Of the Campaign members arrested all were released, the most recent release was that of Amir Yaghoubali, who was released on the 24th of May. Though having spent a difficult period in Prison, Amir is reportedly in good spirits. Also, Pooria Pooshtareh another member of the Campaign was released on May 22. Sign the petition demanding the release of Jelve and Kaveh and others arrested on May1.
No News on the Status of Those Arrested on May 1 is Cause for Concern
May 22, 2009; Change for Equality: Of those slew of those arrested on May 1, 2009 some have been released while a large number still remain in prison. Of the members of the Campaign arrested on May 1, Amir Yaghoubali, Kaveh Mozafari, Pouria Poshtareh and Jelve Javaheri still remain in prison.
Since their arrest on May 1, 2009, Amir and Kaveh have had no contact with their families. Pouria’s family managed to have a short visit with him. Given some of the news regarding the beatings of student and worker’s rights activists in prison, including a report on the physical violence against one of the women arrested on May 1, the lack of contact of these Campaign members with their families is indeed cause for great concern. Nasrin Sotoodeh the lawyer representing Amir Yaghoubali, Kaveh Mozafari and Jelve Javaheri explained: “unfortunately to date I have not been allowed to meet with my clients since their arrest, and their family members too have not been able to meet with the arrested individuals, we have not even been allowed telephone contact with Amir and Kaveh and these developments are indeed cause for concern.”
Jelve Javaheri is currently being held in Section 2 of Evin Prison’s public ward. While in Vozara Detention center, charges were brought against Jelve by the assistant prosecutor of the Security Branch of the Revolutionary Courts, Mr. Heydari Fard. The charges included actions against national security and collusion with the intent to participate in a protest, and disruption of public order. According to reports by Jelve herself, she objected to these charges and explained that she was arrested in her home and had not participated in any protest. After conducting investigations officials realized their mistake and in interrogations security officials even apologized to Jelve. No new charges have been brought against her since, but she continues to remain in detention.
Jelve’s mother explains: “my daughter informed me that Mr. Heydari-Fard that you too are corrupt and insisted that she was at the protest. Despite the fact that investigations found that Jelve was not in the park for the protest, Mr. Heydari-Fard told Jelve that: you are problematic and there exists sensitivity to you. Jelve protested this statement by saying that the existence of sensitivities does not justify her illegal arrest. The prosecutor at the Security Branch then issued an arrest order for her and a bail order in the amount of 100 million tomans. Jelve objected to the arrest and bail order, by claiming that she could not post that amount. Afterwards in a telephone call to me from prison, Jelve explained that she had been interrogated five times. In the first four interrogations she was told that she could protest her arrest because the arrest was a mistake, in the fifth interrogation however she was told that her behavior at the time the security officials came to her home [to search the home following the arrest of Kaveh Mozzafari her husband] was inappropriate. Of course she did not accept these claims and explained that she had demanded that security officials show her a search warrant prior to searching her home. They also told her in the last interrogation that the security officials had an arrest warrant for her when they came to her, which they did not show her! On her last interrogation session which took place on Thursday May 14, she was informed that her interrogations were complete and that she would soon be released. But she has remained in prison since without any justifiable reason or explanation and she remains in detention in Section 2 of Evin Prison’s Public Ward.”
Jelve Javaheri’s mother adds that: “when I objected to the continued detention of my daughter, Mr. Heydari-Fard said: ‘I’d like to keep her and I won’t release her.”
Taha Valizadeh and Three Others Arrested on May 1, Released
May 20, 2009; Change for Equality: Yesterday on 19th of May four of those arrested on May 1, 2009 on the occasion of International Workers Day were released. Taha Valizadeh, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, along with Issa Abedini and Abouzar Khademi were released from Evin prison on a third party guarantee in the amount of 50 Million Tomans (roughly $50,000). Still nearly 70 workers rights activists remain in prison. They were arrested on May 1, 2009 as they prepared to hold a protest in commemoration of International Workers Day. Among those arrested were six members of the One Million Signatures Campaign, who went to the protest to express their support for workers rights. Amir Yaghoubali, Kaveh Mozafari, Poorya Pooshtareh and Jelve Javaheri all members of the One Million Signatures Campaign continue to be detained. It is worth mentioning that Jelve Javaheri was not present at the site of the protest, but was arrested after security officials arrested her husband Kaveh Mozzafari and came their home to search the property.
The families of those arrested have been following up the case of their loved ones by going to the Revolutionary Courts on a daily basis. Some have to travel long distances to Tehran for such a follow-up. Court officials have promised that those arrested will be released shortly. Nikzad Zanganeh who was released on May 17, was called into court the next day. In a short interview with the site of the Change for Equality, Nikzad explains that: “Judge HeydariFard, in a very short investigative hearing, has charged me with ‘collusion with intent to participate in a protest intent on overthrowing the government.’ I have denied the charges against me, as at the time of my arrest no protest had taken place, and the violence was initiated by plain clothes security officials and police.”
This woman’s rights defender and member of the Campaign who appeared in court without legal representation adds: “during my time in detention I was interrogated about my activities in the Campaign, which was unrelated to the reason for my arrest. My last interrogation session lasted over 6 hours. The interrogations were rough with several of the detainees, and in one instance a detainee was also beaten.”
It should be noted that several days ago and following pressure from the families of detainees, court officials agreed to release 35 of those arrested in the next few days. The following this promise by court officials only the women arrested on May 1, except for Jelve Javaheri, were released, and the next day only a few of the men were released.
All Women Arrested on May 1, 2009 Released, Except for Jelve Javaheri
May 17, 2009 Change for Equality: Except for Jelve Javaheri, all the women arrested during the International Worker’s day protest on May 1, 2009 were released on May 17, after spending 17 days in Detention. Family members of the women arrested on May 1, waited for over three hours for the release of their loved ones in front of Evin prison. After three hours the family members noticed that some of the prisoners had been transferred by van out of Evin. A few minutes later, some of those released contacted their family members to inform them that they had been dropped off in Saadat Abad Square, while some others were released in front of the prison.
Of the women arrested on May 1, all were released except for Jelve Javaheri, who was arrested at her home, while security officials searched the property after arresting her husband, Kaveh Mozaffari. Officials have refused to provide any information about the situation of Jelve to her family. While officials had initially promised to release 35 of those arrested on a third party guarantee, on the 17th of May only the women were released and none of the arrested men were released. Most of the men arrested have not been able to contact their families by telephone nor have they been given permission to visit with their family members. Court officials have explained that since the cases against these individuals are in the investigative stages, they are not allowed contact with family members or lawyers.
All those released have to go to Court on May 18 in relation to the case pending against them. Several Campaign members, including Amir Yaghoubali, Nikzad Zanganeh, Taha Valizadeh, Pouria Poshtareh, Kaveh Mozaffari and Jelveh Javaheri were arrested on May 1, during a protest on the occasion of International Workers Day. Only Nikzad Zangeneh has been released so far, with the other Campaign members remaining in detention.
Five of those arrested on May 1, Released
May 14, 2009; Change for Equality: Yesterday, on May 13th, 5 of those arrested on May 1st were released on the third party guarantee. Nine of the detainees are now in Methadon Site of the prison (a site for addicted prisoners) and one in general ward. Sharifeh Mohammadi and Fatemeh Shahnazari are among the released ones. Spreading propaganda against the state was one of the charges brought against them, but they have denied the charge.
The women arrested on May 1, were interrogated 3 times, with the last interrogation longer than previous ones, lasting for almost 4 hours. Families of the imprisoned women have been told that all of the women are going to be released on a third party guarantee but only five of them were released today. No news has been heard about the situation of the arrested men. They have not made any contact with their families yet.
Women Arrested on May 1, Transferred to the Methadone Section of Evin Prison-No News from the Men
May 9, 2009, Change For Equality – Eight days after the arrest of activists who participated in the ceremony of May 1, or International Workers Day, families of the prisoners went to the Revolutionary Courts to pursue the situation of their relatives again. The numbers of family members in front of the court was high, so much so that police prevented them for gathering in front of the Revolutionary Courts.” While families were waiting for a clear response from the officials, some of the detainees contacted their friends and family by telephone. According to reports from those arrested, the women are being held in Methadone section of Evin prison, where addicted inmates are held. While these women were prevented from contacting their friends and families by telephone, they are now allowed to contact the outside every other day. Worth mentioning is the fact that there are no other prisoners in the Methadone section of Evin prison at this time, and according to reports from the imprisoned women none have been interrogated as of yet.
May 1 Detainees Banned from Visitation
May 8, 2009; Change for Equality: Families of the activists arrested on May 1st are still encountering contradictory responses from the officials. One of those gathered in front of the Revolutionary Courts to pursue the situation of her relative says: “They do not let us visit the responsible officials. They just give us misleading information.” She adds: “Despite the fact that reportedly the interrogations have concluded, the detention [of our family members continues] which is against the law.”
Since May 1st, the families of those imprisoned during a protest commemorating International Worker’s Day have submitted two letters, to Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran, denying any crime committed by the activists and demanding the prompt and unconditional release of all of the detainees.
Today, the police forces dispersed the crowd which had gathered in front of the Revolutionary Courts in an effort to follow the case of their detained family members. Police those present outside the courts that should they not disperse they would be arrested.
Meanwhile some family members of those detained on May 1 went to Evin prison in the hopes of being able to visit with their loved ones. At Evin prison, they were told by officials that Judge Haddad, Chief Prosecutor of the Security Branch at the Revolutionary Courts, had issued a ban on visits for those detained on May 1.
On May 1, 2009 over 150 peaceful protesters were arrested as they prepared to commemorate International Workers Day. Among them were several members of the Campaign, including, Nikzad Zanganeh, Amir Yaghoubali, Taha Valizadeh, Pouria Poshtareh, Kaveh Mozaffari and Jelveh Javaheri. Security forces went to the homes of Amir Yaghoubali and Kaveh Mozafari after their arrest to search the premises. While searching the home of Kaveh Mozzafari, officials also arrested Jelve Javaheri his wife, who was not at the protest, but simply at her own home. Latest News on the Status of May 1 Detainees
May 5, 2009: Change for Equality: Families of activists arrested on May 1st gathered in front of the Revolutionary Courts today to pursue the situation of their relatives. Meanwhile, the families have submitted a letter to Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi protesting against the illegal actions of security forces and demanding the prompt and unconditional release of all of the detainees.
Shahrzad Jahanian, the mother of Nikzad Zanganeh’s – a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign who was arrested during the May 1 protest in commemoration of International Worker’s Day– who has come to Tehran from Bandar Abbas two days ago, says to Change-For-Equality: “First her friends and then she herself [Nikzad] called. She said that she had not been interrogated yet and no bail or third party guarantee has been issued for her.”
She continues by adding that “Judiciary officials told me today that prisoners have been divided into groups and that their interrogations are being conducted. They explained further that they will let us know when they have reached a conclusion in this respect.”
The father of Taha Valizadeh, another member of the Campaign arrested on May 1, explains: “They have not given us a clear response yet. They just told me that Taha is in custody and must remain in custody. They have not even confirmed the exact location of my son.” The mother of Jelveh Javaheri, another member of the Campaign, whose husband Kaveh Mozafari was initially arrested during the protest and who herself was arrested after police came to search their home, explains: “Jelveh called yesterday and said that a bail order of 100 million Tomans (roughly $100,000) had been issued in her case. We are not able to post such a high bail amount.”
According to the daughter of Maryam Mohseni, a labor activist arrested on May 1, bail orders of 50 million Tomans have been issued in the case of her mother and some other detainees. Having not committed any crime, they have refused to accept such an order.
The wife of Alireza Saghafi, a labor activist arrested on May 1 says: “None of the men arrested have been allowed to make phone calls from prison yet. Last night two men were released on a third party guarantee. Two more are scheduled to be released on a similar order today. Yesterday officials told me that a bail order of 100 million Tomans has been issued for Alireza, so ’go and bring the needed documents,’ they said. Today, though they have denied having said such a thing and have explained that interrogations are ongoing.”
She adds: “We do not have such money. 100 million Tomans is very high and equivalent to three times the amount of blood money or monetary compensation paid in case of an accidental or purposeful death of a man (dieh). What crime have they committed to justify such a high bail amount? None of those arrested on May 1, will escape if they are released from prison. undoubtedly they will attend their court hearings. I think that security forces have other aims. Today they attacked another meeting and arrested many workers there. Did these workers too participate in the May 1, protest in support of International Worker’s Day?
Families Press for Release of those Arrested on May 1, 2009
May 4, 2009: Change for Equality: Following the detention of ordinary citizens and labor and social activists on May 1st (International Workers Day), the families of the arrested ones have been pursuing the situation of their beloved relatives since then. Arrested men had been moved to the Security Police Station at Hor Square and, after several hours of interrogation, they had been transferred to an unknown place which is now believed to be Evin prison, branch 240.
The men detainees have not had any contacts with their families yet but, according to some hearings, bail orders and third party guarantees have been issued in the cases of some of the arrested ones. Women detainees also were transferred to Evin prison yesterday and are now at public suite sites of the prison in 4-person groups. Any access to the telephone is prohibited in these sites. Families of the arrested activists have submitted a letter to Judiciary Chief Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi protesting against the illegal actions of the security forces and demanding the prompt and unconditional release of all of the detainees.
Jelveh Javaheri’s Mother: “Security Forces Are Still at Our Home! They Have Not Returned Our Key!”
May 3, 2009, Change for Equality: While Kaveh Mozaffari and Jelveh Javaheri are still in jail, the key of their house is still in the hands of security forces.
According to Jelveh Javaheri’s mother, security forces rushed into the house and after seizing Kaveh’s and Jelveh’s properties including their computers, documents, notes, research papers and Cds, they arrested Jelveh without any legal order and took the house-key with themselves. Gohar Bayat, mother of Jelveh Javaheri, says: “Kaveh’s mother, father and I were there that night. Security forces could have handed the key to us. I am deeply worried. They have arrested Jelveh without any legal order; how can I be convinced that they do not put anything against my daughter at her place?”
Families of Kaveh and Jelveh who had gone to visit the house of their children today (Sunday, May 3rd) has encountered security forces there. Because of the orders of the security forces, the owner of the house has told families not to enter; otherwise they would be in trouble. These families are worried that security forces put some illegal things at their children house and make much more difficulty for them. Nasrin Sotudeh, the lawyer of Kaveh and Jelveh, has condemned the behavior of intelligence forces and called for legal action of judiciary system.
Tehran May Day Protests Turned into Violence: 150 Labors and Social Activists Including Campaign Members were Arrested
May 2, 2009; Change for Equality: Six members of One Million Signatures Campaign were arrested during and after a peaceful demonstration on Friday which was held in Park Laleh to celebrate May 1st , the international workers day. The police forces attacked the demonstrators even before they started saying their slogans. Some viewers have claimed that the police attack has led to bloody faces of demonstrators.
Amir Yaghoubali, Nikzad Zanganeh, Taha Valizadeh, Pouria Poshtareh, Kaveh Mozaffari and Jelveh Javaheri are among the arrested ones. Reports are saying that more than 150 others were arrested during the protest. Some were sent to Evin prison, and some are spending nights at different police custodies around the city.
While the families of the arrested campaign members were pursuing the situation of their beloved boys and girls, security forces rushed into the houses of Amir Yaghoubali, Kaveh Mozaffari. After a two hour investigation, the security forces seized computers, books, CDs and private notes of these campaign members. Jelveh Javahri’s mother, who awaited at Vozara Custody – where her girl is now detained – says: “I had the key. When I entered my house I saw them putting anything available into some sacks. They took everything, even Jelveh’s and Kaveh’s university diplomas. They told my daughter to go with them to answer some simple questions. But my girl resisted. She told them that they must have a legal order to arrest her. So the security forces called, three big men came and took Jelveh with themselves with the use of force and violence. Kaveh was made to have handcuffs. I told them that you are putting handcuffs on the hands of freedom.”
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Committee of Celebration of May 1st, and some workers of Iran Khodro Co., are among the numerous groups which have condemned the brutal and fierce action of intelligent forces, beside insisting on the basic rights of workers to hold peaceful demonstrations.