One Year Later, Hoder is Still Behind Bars
(28 October 2009) The Iranian Judiciary should release Hossein Derakhshan, a blogger who has been in detention without trial for the past year, as well as dozens of other political detainees held without trial, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
“Derakhshan’s case is typical of the lack of justice and due process in Iran’s Judiciary. How can the authorities justify holding him for a year without even charging him or putting him on trial? He is another victim of the intelligence apparatus’ manipulation of the judicial process,” said Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesperson for the Campaign.
In addition to Derakhshan, dozens of Iranian journalists, intellectuals, and activists are also held without charge and with no respect for due process principles and judicial transparency. They include, inter alia, Keyvan Samimi, Bahman Ahmadi Amoie, Abdollah Momeni, Mohammad Maleki, Ahmad Zeidabadi, Hangameh Shahid, Mohammad Ghoochani, Saeed Leylaz, Azar Mansouri, Shapour Kazemi, Issa Saharkhiz, Mohammad Reza Moghiseh, Fariba Pezhuh, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Behzad Nabavi, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Feyzollah Arabsorkhi, and Mohsen Aminzadeh.
According to information received by the Campaign, Derakhshan, detained at his home on 1 November 2008, spent nearly ten months in solitary confinement during which he was subjected to beatings to coerce him to make false confessions of having ties to the CIA and Israeli intelligence services. A relative of Derakhshan told the Campaign that he recanted his coerced confession in the presence of a judge and his lawyer, but the authorities continue to detain him without providing any information to his family regarding the judicial case against him. Derakhshan is currently being held in Tehran’s Evin prison.
The judge in his case has been changed twice, but currently it is not clear what branch of the Revolutionary Courts is in charge. Furthermore, the authorities have not provided his family with any information about the charges against him. His family has been able to visit him only twice during the past year.
The Campaign expressed its serious concern for the health and safety of Derakhshan and all other detainees who remain in jail without access to their families and lawyers. The Campaign urged the Judiciary not to allow its duties to be subjugated to the demands of intelligence agencies, which are manipulating the Judiciary and holding detainees without proper judicial proceedings.
Ethan Zuckerman urges readers of his blog to continue talking and blogging about Hoder, not because it will have an impact on Iranian authorities, rather, for the purpose of lobbying the Canadian government to take a stronger stance.
Do you have suggestions for Canadian NGOs to lobby? Share them here and we will post them.
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