Student Activist Arrested
(21 April 2009) Masoud Dehgahn, a former member of the Students’ Union (Daftar e Tahkim vahdat) and Amir Kabir University Alumni, was arrested this morning in his home in Karaj, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. Reliable sources from Evin prison have also informed the Campaign that Esmaiel Salmanpour, who was arrested on 5 February for participating in a ceremony honoring former Prime Minister Bazargan, had been seen in Evin health unit in an unconscious state.
“Security and Judiciary forces have not been stopped targeting students. We are deeply concerned about the continuing, arbitrary detention of students, often in solitary confinement for long periods, denied access to their families and attorneys, and without even having been charged,” said Hadi Ghaemei, the Campaign spokesperson. “Under such conditions, these detained students are at grave risk of being tortured, and in some cases the conditions of their detention themselves constitute torture,” he said.
On the morning of 21 April 2009, Masoud Dehgahn was alone in the home he shares with his mother. Returning home, his mother found the door broken and her son missing. The home had been searched and some of Masoud’s personal items, including his computer, were gone. Masoud’s colleagues informed the Campaign that they do not believe his detention was approved by the Intelligence Ministry and the Judiciary.
Esmaiel Salmanpour, the Amir Kabir student who was arrested at the 5 February ceremony honoring Prime Minister Bazarganand and held in Evin prison since then, was seen unconscious in the Evin health unit on 21 April 2009. According to information received by the Campaign, he has lost weight, appeared pale, and his hair was completely shaved. Esmaiel’s family informed the Campaign that they had received a short phone call from Esmail on 22 March, but had not heard from him since. Salmanpour is one of four Amir Kabir University students, along with Majid Tavakoli, Hossein Torkashvand, and Kourosh Daneshyar, who were arrested on 5 February. They were held in ward 209 of Evin prison.
On the morning of 24 February, security agents attacked the homes of four Amir Kabir students, Ahmad Ghasaban, Nariman Mostafavi, Mehdi Mashayekhi, and Abbas Hakimzadeh and detained them. The four students are former and present members of the University’s Islamic Students Association (ISA). On 9 March 2009, Yaser Torkaman, another member of the ISA in Amir Kabir University, was arrested by the plain clothes at the gate of the University, and was beaten by two of them. He was held in Evin prison and he has not had any contact with his family since he was arrested.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran calls on Iranian authorities to immediately release the detained students and end further persecution. The Iranian Judiciary should immediately investigate arbitrary detentions and ill-treatment of students, and prosecute those who ordered and engaged in these illegal measures.