Widespread arrests of activists on the threshold of the 1979 revolution anniversary
Mass arrests of social, women’s rights, and political activists during the ten days leading to Islamic Revolution’s Anniversary has continued with arrests of Maryam Ghanbari, a member of the Maydan women’s group, and Mah-Farid Mansourian, an environmental activist. Most arrests were made during midnight hours and through a blanket arrest warrant and most arrested individuals were not informed about the reasons for their arrests. Some of those arrested were told that the reason for their arrest was participation in gatherings. Mahfarid Mansourian, 55, was imprisoned for six years in the 1980’s.
Several sources told International Campaign for Human Rights that the arrested individuals have been transferred to Evin Prison. In all cases, the arresting officers searched the premises and took away personal computers, hand-written notes, and some personal items of the arrested individuals. Maryam Ghanbari was one of the last ones to be arrested in her home on the afternoon of February 8, 2010. She is an attorney, a member of Maydan Group, and a member of the Iranian Bar Association Independence Campaign. This campaign was formed after a revised set of bylaws were proposed for the Iranian Bar Association, turning it into a subset of Iranian Judiciary. Upon a request by prominent Iranian lawyers, then Judiciary Head Ayatollah Shahroudi agreed to table the proposal for six months. Ghanbari was born in 1983 and is a Jurisprudence graduate of Allameh Tabatabaee University.
Kaveh Ghassemi Kermanshahi, Maziar samiee, Mahsa Jazini, and Somayeh Momeni (the last two were arrested on February 9, 2010), members of the One Million Signatures Campaign are among those detained over the past ten days, about whose fate there is no information. Security Officers also arrested Zeinab Kazem Zadeh (arrested at 2:00 a.m. on February 7, 2010), Niloofar Laripour (arrested on February 2, 2010), female journalist Nooshin Jafari, Nazanin Farzanjoo, Golnaz Tavassoli, and student activists Nazanin Hassan Nia, Sahar Ghassemi Nejad (arrested on February 3 and 4, 2010). Arts arena activists Jamileh and Banafsheh Darolshafaee (arrested on February 4, 2010) and Ali Kalaee, member of Committee of Human Rights Reporters are also among those arrested. Golnaz Tavassoli who is an Arts student at Tehran Azad University was arrested by security police on the afternoon of February 4, 2010 at her home.
Mahsa Jazini worked with the Isfahan Section of Iran Newspaper, but was also active as a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign in Isfahan. She was also a “Starred Student” of Allameh Tabatabai University who was denied continuation of her education because of her social activities in the women’s rights field. She is at Isfahan’s Dastgerd Prison now. Niloofar Laripour who is a poet and lyricist and in charge of music section of Chelcheragh Weekly has had no other political activities other than attending Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign headquarters [during the June presidential elections].
Jamileh Darolshafaie was arrested after appearing at Ministry of Information’s offices following her summons. Intelligence officers asked her to tell her family to come to the Ministry of Information. After her sister and parents turned up, her sister Banafsheh was arrested. Her parents were also interrogated for several hours. Officers accompanied her parents to their home and searched the premises. Jamileh Darolshafaie is a graduate of music school who teaches music. She is also a screenwriter.
Sahar Ghassem Nejad and Nazanin Hassan Nia who belong to families of those executed in the 1980’s were arrested at 4:00 a.m. on February 3, 2010. Several sources have told the Campaign that these two were not involved in any political activities. Nazanin’s aunt spent time in prison in the 1980’s. The only link these two have with recent detentions is through Omid Montazeri and her mother Mahin Fahimi who were among those arrested. Mahin Fahimi’s husband was executed in 1987 along with an unknown number of other political prisoners. Islamic Republic of Iran’s authorities have never made any statements about these executions, choosing to remain silent.
Nazanin Farzanjoo is a student of French Translation who worked with a group of human rights activists. She was arrested at her home in Mehrshahr, Karaj, on February 2, 2010. Sama Bahmani was also arrested on February 2, 2010 in Mahabad. She is from Bandar Abbas and was arrested with her husband last August after publishing reports about violations of human rights in Kurdistan. Sanandaj Courts had sentenced her to three years’ suspended imprisonment for “propagation against the regime,” and “membership in human rights organizations.” In her verdict she was asked to avoid commuting in the Kurdish region and fraternizing with political individuals.