Blue Flower

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date of event: 4 February 2012

Time of event: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Location of event: Embassy of Iran, 245 Metcalfe Street

"Enough is enough! Let's bring Saeed home!"

Read more: Rally in Ottawa against Saeed Malekpour's death sentence

TO: HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

FROM: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

APPEAL FOR ACTION RE: IRANIAN PRISONERS IN NEED OF MEDICAL CARE

 

Amnesty International: At least nine Iranian prisoners with serious health problems are being held in prison in Iran. Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian authorities to ensure adequate healthcare is provided to Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (m), Isa Saharkhiz (m), Ayatollah Boroujerdi (m), Zahra Jabbari (f), Kourosh Kohkan (m), Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki (m), Ahmad Zeidabadi (m), Sa’id Metinpour (m) and Heshmatollah Tabarzadi (m).

Those prisoners held solely on account of their peaceful exercise of their rights to the freedom of expression, association, assembly or belief should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (m), a 49 year old Kurdish human rights defender, is serving sentences totalling 10 and a half years imposed since May 2008 for “acting against state security by establishing an illegal group [the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK)]”. He is also facing other charges brought against him while in prison for his writings on women’s rights and other human rights issues. Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand suffers from kidney and prostate conditions which have been exacerbated by poor prison conditions and lack of adequate medical care. In early December 2008, he was seen by a prison doctor who noted that he was suffering from dizziness and unstable blood pressure, and that his existing kidney and prostate problems were worsening. It is believed that on 17 December 2008 he suffered a heart attack but no doctor was available in the prison clinic as it was a national holiday. He has also had one episode of unconsciousness, lasting approximately 30 minutes. Doctors at Evin prison reportedly requested that the prisoner be granted specialist assessment and treatment outside of the prison, but the request was ignored by the authorities. It is also reported that Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand suffered two strokes in 2010 -- one on 15 July and the other on 19 November. His sister said he told her that he had been seen by a neurologist after the first stroke but was not examined thoroughly and no tests were administered. Instead the physician prescribed a series of pills to take daily but did not give any details on the name, recommended use or possible side-effects of the pills. In June 2011 Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand was seen by an independent doctor who reportedly stated that he needed to undergo two operations for hardening of the heart arteries and an enlarged prostate. Since his imprisonment Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand has lost about 20 kgs.

Isa Saharkhiz (m), a 57 year old prominent reformist journalist and commentator, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in September 2010 on charges of “insulting the leadership” and “propaganda against the system”. He has said that his ribs were broken as a result of beatings sustained during his arrest on 7 July 2009. He also has lost mobility of his right leg for unknown reasons but has been denied medical leave to seek treatment. In late November/early December 2010 he was reported to have been suffering from severe pain. It was discovered that he was bleeding internally and a medical team was brought to perform surgery on him in the prison clinic. In May 2010, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found Isa Saharkhiz’s detention to be arbitrary and requested that the Iranian Government release Isa Saharkhiz immediately and unconditionally. In June 2011 Isa Saharkhiz was among several prisoners who went on a hunger strike to protest against the deaths of Haleh Sahabi and Hoda Saber. He was transferred to the Raja'i Shahr Prison clinic on 27 June 2011 due to his deteriorating health.

 

Index: MDE 13/072/2011

Date: 2 August 2011

 

Ayatollah Boroujerdi (m), a 53 year old religious figure in Iran who advocates the separation of religion from government, was sentenced in August 2007 to one year’s imprisonment in Tehran followed by 10 years’ imprisonment in exile in the city of Yazd. Furthermore, he was defrocked and his house and all of his belongings were confiscated. Ayatollah Boroujerdi suffers from many illnesses including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney and heart problems. He has reportedly lost significant weight while in detention. In September 2008, his doctors wrote several times to the judiciary informing them of the patient’s urgent medical problems and the need for immediate care outside of prison, but the advice was ignored. He was transferred back to Evin Prison in August 2009 where he remains in detention. According to reports, on 27 of February 2011, Ayatollah Boroujerdi was attacked and beaten by prison officials at Evin Prison. His beard was also forcibly shaved by prison officials. Recent reports suggest that Ayatollah Boroujerdi may have lost his vision in one eye and has still not been allowed to leave prison to receive medical treatment.

Zahra Jabbari (f), 37 years old, was arrested on 18 September 2009, when mass anti-government protests were held. She was detained in Evin Prison and held in solitary confinement for seven months, apparently because she has relatives living in Camp Ashraf, Iraq -- where members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), an Iranian opposition group, reside. In May 2010 she was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment on charges of “acting against state security.” Zahra suffers from severe rheumatic heart disease. In June 2011 her physical and psychological conditions deteriorated and she was transferred to the Amin Abad mental hospital in Tehran.

Kourosh Kohkan (m), a 36-year-old political activist, was arrested in January 2010 and held in Section 350 of Evin Prison, where prominent political prisoners are also held but to which the Judiciary has access. He was later sentenced to three and half years’ imprisonment and 74 lashes by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. He suffers from a meniscus tear in his knee which happened during his interrogation by members of the Intelligence. In April 2011, Kourosh Kohkan went on hunger strike to demand medical care and surgery on his knee. The prison authorities subsequently transferred him to the Taleghani Hospital in Tehran where he was operated on. However, due to lack of medical follow-up, his operated knee became infected and his leg now might have to be amputated. The authorities are still denying him further medical care.

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki (m) was arrested on 13 December 2009 and is now serving a 15-year prison sentence, including 10 years imposed for “membership of an internet group called Iran Proxy”, and lesser terms for “propaganda against the system”, “insulting the [Supreme] Leader” [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei], and for “insulting the President”. He did not receive a fair trial and was denied access to his defence lawyer. He told the judge that he was tortured in pre-trial detention but the judge is said to have answered he “deserved it”. Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki suffers from gallstones and severe kidney problems he developed since his arrest. Both his kidneys are infected and he has lost 80% functionality in one and 20% in the other. He underwent a first surgical intervention at the beginning of May 2011 in Hasheminejad Kidney Center in Tehran, but his kidney became infected after he was returned to prison. On 8 June 2011 he underwent a second kidney operation and was sent back to prison 14 days later. His physicians have stated that it would take three months for his kidneys to heal and that during this time it was imperative that Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki received adequate medical care in a suitable environment.

Ahmad Zeidabadi (m) a 45 year old journalist and spokesperson for the Graduates’ Association, which has promoted reform and greater respect for human rights, was arrested on 21 June 2009, shortly after Iran’s disputed presidential election. He was held incommunicado in Evin Prison until his appearance on 8 August 2009 in a mass “show trial”. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in December 2009, five years of internal exile, and was banned for life from all social and political activities. His sentence was upheld in January 2010. At the end of January 2010, he was transferred to Reja’i Shahr prison, where most of the other prisoners are not political prisoners. When she visited him on 23 June 2011, his wife, Mahdieh Mohammadi, noticed that he seemed very weak, and had very noticeably lost a lot of weight since her last visit at the beginning of June. She is very worried about this unexplained weight loss.

Sa’id Matinpour (m), a member of the Azerbaijani minority in Iran, is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence in Evin Prison for his peaceful advocacy of the rights of the Azerbaijani minority in Iran. He suffers from severe back pain and at the end of January 2011 was diagnosed with a lung infection. Calls for him to be granted temporary leave to seek medical care have been denied for the past two years. During his detention in 2007, his health had also suffered.

 

Index: MDE 13/072/2011

Date: 2 August 2011

 

Heshmatollah Tabarzadi (m), 53, leader of the banned Democratic Front of Iran, an opposition party, was arrested on 27 December 2009 and held in Evin Prison, before being transferred to Katchoui Prison in Karaj in May 2010. He was later sent to Reja’i Shahr prison, notorious for its poor conditions. In his trial he said that he had been beaten and threatened with rape in detention and was placed under great pressure to “confess” to receiving money from abroad. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi’s son, Mohammad, has also spoken about the conditions in the prison: “There [was] no glass in the windows…so they spent days and nights in the cold winter air. They don’t take care of the inmates’ ailments… The prison food is not healthy…All of these affect their physical conditions. No matter how well they maintain their morale; such difficult conditions will weaken them over time.” Heshmatollah Tabarzadi was initially sentenced in September 2010 to nine years in prison and 74 lashes, after conviction on five charges. On appeal, this was reduced to eight years in prison, and the flogging sentence was overturned. He has also been banned from participating in any social activities for 10 years. His health deteriorated at the beginning of July 2011 and he was transferred to the prison medical facility where he was diagnosed with a heart condition. His family is very concerned for his health.

 

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY:

  • Explaining that you are a health professional concerned about human rights;
  • Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (m), Isa Saharkhiz (m), Ayatollah Boroujerdi (m), Zahra Jabbari (f), Kourosh Kohkan (m), Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki (m), Ahmad Zeidabadi (m), Sa’id Metinpour (m) and Heshmatollah Tabarzadi (m), as their imprisonment appears to be politically motivated and related to their peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly;
  • Urging the Iranian authorities to ensure that pending their release, they receive full and immediate access to medical care, in accordance with the provisions set out in the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
  • Urging the Iranian authorities to ensure that all these prisoners are protected from any form of torture or other ill- treatment from prison guards or other detainees.

 

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 09 September 2011 TO:

Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street –, Jomhouri-ye Eslami Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Twitter: "Call on #Iran leader @khamenei_ir to give prisoners immediate access to adequate medical care

Salutation Your Excellency

 

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

Office of the Head of the Judiciary

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   (In subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Salutation Your Excellency

 

And copies to:

 

Minister of Health and Medical Education

Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi

Public relations Office

Her Excellency Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi.

Jomhouri-ye Eslami Avenue, Hafez Crossing, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (in subject line: FAO Marzieh Vahid_Dastjerdi, Minister)

Fax +98 21 8836 4100  (unreliable; please try three times and if it fails please send email)

Salutation: Your Excellency of Health and Medical Education

         

ALSO SEND COPIES TO DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATIVES ACCREDITED TO YOUR COUNTRY.

PLEASE TRY AND SEND HARD COPIES OF LETTERS AS WELL AS EMAILS.

IF YOU RECEIVE NO REPLY WITHIN SIX WEEKS OF SENDING YOUR LETTER, PLEASE SEND A FOLLOW-UP LETTER SEEKING A RESPONSE.

PLEASE SEND COPIES OF ANY LETTERS YOU RECEIVE TO THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT, ATTENTION OF THE HEALTH TEAM, 1 EASTON STREET, LONDON WC1X 0DW OR E-MAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Index: MDE 13/072/2011

Date: 2 August 2011

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Article 229 of the Iranian Prison Regulations stipulates that a prisoner suffering from a serious medical condition that cannot be treated inside prison, or whose condition will worsen if they stay in prison, should be released by the prison authorities for one month’s medical leave, renewable, on the recommendation of a doctor and with the agreement of the Prison Director. However for most of these detainees, repeated requests for medical leave have been denied. In many cases, the Iranian authorities request an exorbitant amount of bail which the families cannot afford. For example, it is reported that the Iranian government is seeking approximately 11.5 million Iranian Rials (equivalent to $US1.1 million) in bail from the family of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand to be temporarily released. Additionally, prison conditions in Iran are notoriously poor, and sometimes amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. According to a 20 July 2011 report by the Iranian Students’ News Agency, ISNA, Javad Zamani, the spokesperson of the Social Affairs Committee of Iran’s parliament, said that the head of Iran’s Prison Organization, the body that manages Iran’s official prisons, told the Committee that Iran’s prisons have a capacity of 85,000 people, though that the current prison population was 235,000, noting that this has created problems, including a lack of doctors. Similarly, according to a 27 June 2011 report in Shargh newspaper, Younes Mousavi, a member of the parliamentary Judicial Committee, recently stated openly in parliament that overcrowding in some prisons was so bad that prisoners were sleeping on stairs; and that the budget of the Prisons’ Organisation was not sufficient for clothing or food for the prisoners. He added that some prison buildings were too old and no longer fit for purpose; and that the health system of some prisons was so inadequate that it was possible that some prisoners lived in unsuitable medical conditions while in prison. For the nine detainees listed above, the poor conditions and the denial of adequate medical care have exacerbated their medical problems. Recently at least two prisoners have died as a result of irresponsible behaviour and negligence of prison officials.

 

مجموعه تصاویر مراسم اعطای جایزه سالانه مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر

 

همزمان با روز جهانی حقوق بشر، مراسم سالانه مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر در ایران که در شهر تورنتو کانادا مستقر است، در روز یکشنبه 11 دسامبر با حضور و استقبال فعالان مدنی و اجتماعی در تورنتو برگزار شد و در طی آن مهندس حشمت الله طبرزدی به عنوان اولین بنرده سالانه این مرکز معرفی شد. پنج زندانی سیاسی دیگر نیز به عنوان برندگان جوایز مدافعان حقوق بشر در سال 2011 انتخاب شدند. 

حسن زارع زاده اردشیر مدیر اجرایی مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر در ابتدا با تشکر از حضار برای شرکت در مراسم سالانه مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر گزارش کوتاهی از فعالیت های این مرکز در یکسال گذشته ارائه داد و گزارشی از نقض حقوق بشر در ایران را ارائه داد. 

بر اساس رای هیئت داوران ICHR، حشمت الله طبرزدی به دلیل دو دهه فعالیت های انسان دوستانه در دفاع از حقوق مردم ایران به عنوان برنده جایزه سالانه مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر انتخاب شد. همچنین رامین پرچمی در حوزه فعالان هنری، کوهیار گودرزی در حوزه مدافعان حقوق بشر، نسرین ستوده در حوزه زنان و نیز وکلای حقوق بشر، رضا شهابی در حوزه مدافعان حقوق کارگر، و مجید توکلی در حوزه دانشجویی برندگان جایزه حقوق بشری سال 2011 مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر اعلام شدند. 

مهرداد آرین نژاد مدیر جشنواره بین المللی تیرگان که در غیاب مهندس حشمت الله طبرزدی تندیس کریستال او را که نامش بر روی آن حک شده بود دریافت می کرد، در سخنانی گفت : امروز همگان طبرزدی را می شناسند و دریافت جایزه او در غیابش موجب افتخار من است. آرین نژاد در سخنانش تاکید کرد که امروز همه فعالان ایرانی لازم است تا بصورت مسالمت آمیز در کنار هم قرار بگیرند و از کوشش های یکدیگر حمایت کنند و یکصدا و متحد در راه آزادی کشور با گام های استوار و محکم قدم بردارند. 

در این برنامه و در غیاب پنج منتخب ICHRبرای جایزه مدافعان حقوق بشر، تعدادی از فعالان برجسته مدنی در تورنتو تندیس ویژه مدافعان حقوق بشر ICHRرا دریافت کردند. تندیس ویژه آی سی اچ آر برای کوهیار گودرزی در غیاب او به حسن زرهی مدافع حقوق بشر و سردبیر نشریه شهروند اعطا شد. تندیس رامین پرچمی را سهیل پارسا نویسنده و کارگردان سرشناس تئاتر دریافت کرد. تندیس نسرین ستوده به خانم فرشته مولوی فعال حقوق بشر و نویسنده اعطا شد. تندیس رضا شهابی به مهدی کوهستانی عضو کنگره کار کانادا تحویل داده شد و سلمان سیما فعال و زندانی دانشجویی سابق در ایران تندیس ویژه مجید توکلی را دریافت کرد. 

مراسم سالانه مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر در ایران با سخنرانی تعدادی از فعالان حقوق بشری همراه بود. احمد باطبی و محمد مصطفائی دو فعال برجسته حقوق بشر و اعضای هیئت مدیره ICHR، مرتضی عبدالعلیان نماینده سازمان روزنامه نگاران کانادایی مدافع آزادی بیان و تنها ایرانی عضو هیئت مدیره این سازمان، آبری هریس نماینده سازمان عفو بین الملل، کاوه شهروز وکیل و نیز مشاور سابق حقوق بشر وزارت امور خارجه کانادا سخنرانی کردند. 

محمد مصطفائی در سخنانش با اشاره به لایحه جدید قانون مجازات اسلامی گفت که قوانین سخت گیرانه ای برای متهمان سیاسی در راه است و حتی ممکن است بسیاری از زندانیان سیاس با احکام سنگین حبس و اعدام روبرو شوند. این وکیل حقوق بشری به کوشش برای احقاق حقوق مردم تاکید کرد. 

احمد باطبی در سخنان خود به تجربیات زندان پرداخت و تاکید کرد که تلاش های ایرانیان در خارج در کاهش فشار بر زندانیان سیاسی تاثیر زیادی دارند. 

آبری هریس از سازمان عفو بین الملل به موضوع اعدامها پرداخت و ضمن تاکید بر تلاش های سازمان عفو بین الملل به مسئله اعدام در ایران، گفت ایران از نظر تعداد اعدام در رده دوم قرار دارد ولی با در نظر گرفتن میزان جمعیت در رده اول را به خود اختصاص داده است. او گفت جمهوری اسلامی ایران در مواردی نیز به اعدامهای مخفیانه از جمله در زندان وکیل آباد مشهد دست زده است. آبری هریس همچنین ایران را بزرگترین زندان روزنامه نگاران در جهان دانست. 

کاوه شهروز نیز در سخنان خود به نقش مهم ایرانیان خارج از کشور تاکید کرد و گفت با توجه به تجربه اش در همکاری با وزارت خارجه کانادا و ارتباط با نهادهای بین المللی از نزدیک شاهد تاثیرگذاری نامه نگاری ها و مکاتبات هموطنان با مقامات سیاسی و نهادهای حقوق بشری بوده است. او اعمال فشارهای حقوق بشری بر جمهوری اسلامی از سوی کشورهای دیگر را در کاهش نقض حقوق بشر در ایران تاثیرگذار و مفید ارزیابی کرد. 

در ادامه پیام دکتر رضا مریدی نماینده مجلس ایالت انتاریو و اقای پال دووار نماینده مجلس کانادا قرائت شد. 

دکتر رضا مریدی در سخنان خود گفت: از دوستان گرامی ام در مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر که برای بهبود وضعیت هم میهنانمان در ایران و دفاع از زندانیان سیاسی تلاش می کنند و همچنین مشکلات غربت و سختی های ان را به جان می خرند تشکر می کنم و به نوبه خودم این کوشش ها را ارج می نهم. دکتر مریدی تاکید کرد که رساندن صدای مردم خوب ایران به گوش جهانیان یکی از مسووایت های ما ایرانیان خارج از کشور است. نماینده مردم شهر ریچموند هیل در مجلس ایالت انتاریو ابراز امیدواری کرد که تلاش های همه ایرانیان در احقاق حقوق مردم هرچه زودتر به سرانجام برسد و سرزمین عزیزمان ایران به زودی سرشار از نشاط و شادی گردد. 

آقای پال دووار نماینده مجلس کانادا در پیام خود تاکید کرد که علارغم سرکوب شدید توسط جمهوری اسلامی اما جنبش مدنی ایران تداوم یافته و ما در کانادا مسئولیت داریم تا آن را مورد حمایت قرار دهیم. نماینده پارلمان کانادا در ادامه گفت ما باید مطمئن شویم که کانادا به بهشت امن برای افراد وابسته به جمهوری اسلامی مانند اقای خاوری تبدیل نشود. 

همچنین همسر حمید قاسمی شال که در زندان اوین زیر حکم اعدام به سر می برد، در جایگاه قرار گرفت و گزارشی از آخرین وضعیت پرونده ارائه داد. 

پس از پایان اعطای جوایز حقوق بشری، حاضران یک دقیقه به احترام همه اعدام شدگان و جانباختگان سه دهه گذشته در ایران در دفاع از حقوق مردم ایران ایستادند. 

در حاشیه مراسم پتیشن هایی در حمایت از ضیا نبوی، کوهیار گودرزی، نسرین ستوده، سعید ملک پور، حمید قاسمی شال و سعید متین پور توسط حاضران امضا شد. 

مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر در نوامبر سال 2010 در تورنتوی کانادا توسط جمعی از مدافعان حقوق بشر ایرانی و غیرایرانی به صورت قانونی آغاز بکار کرده است و در حوزه های مختلف در سطح بین المللی مشغول فعالیت می باشد. 

برای کسب اطلاعات بیشتر در مورد فعالیت های مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر به وبسایت این مرکز به آدرس زیر مراجعه کنید. http://humanrightsintl.com و یا با این شماره تماس حاصل نمائید. 16478608485

 

مرکز بین المللی حقوق بشر

"DOWNTOWN TORONTO WILL HEAR IRAN'S SILENCED VOICES"

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

FROM NEDA TO HODA, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

"DOWNTOWN TORONTO WILL HEAR IRAN'S SILENCED VOICES"

 

The International Center for Human Rights -- Toronto, Canada: On Friday, June 17th beginning at 4:00pm, members and supporters of the Toronto-based International Center for Human Rights (ICHR) plan to walk from the Yonge and Bloor subway station to a main corner at Yonge and Dundas holding posters of some of the people killed in post-election Iran. Participants will then enter the Eaton Center and walk through the shopping centre to raise additional awareness. Fact sheets will be distributed to passersby who wish to obtain more information on the human rights crisis in Iran. The day will end at 7:00pm outside the Yonge and Bloor subway station where a two-minute artistic skit will be performed by the participants of the event.

 

Updates will be tweeted throughout the day (@IranCitizenNews).

 

Since the disputed 2009 Iranian Presidential election millions of Iranian citizens hopeful for change have flooded the main streets and squares in various cities around the country to protest the violation of their basic human rights. The Iranian government has so far responded to its citizens' voices with extreme repression and brutal violence. Many students, teachers, human rights and political activists, lawyers, workers, women, religious and ethnic minority members have been tortured, threatened, arrested, raped, and some were murdered or executed. They suffer but Iranian citizens still display determination and perseverance to achieve a civil society. These attributes have proven to be a threat to the country's dictatorship regime.

 

By holding Friday's event ICHR aims to urge Canadians to take action against the ongoing human rights violations in Iran by contacting their local parliament members and high-ranking Canadian officials like Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take a tougher stance against the abuses committed by the Iranian government. ICHR hopes that local media will also be present to report on the important event.

 

For More Information Contact:

 

ICHR speaker : 1 647 860 8485

 

During the event:

Maryam 1(416) 845 0453 English

Azadeh 1(647) 778 5771 Farsi

 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Photos of the First Annual Gala

 

The International Center for Human Rights (ICHR) announced today that Mr. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Iranian political leader and prisoner, is receiving a prestigious human rights award from ICHR for his human rights activities. Five other prisoners also won the awards in the realms of student, labour, culture, human rights and legal advocacy.  The International Center for Human Rights presented the human rights awards to prominent activists on behalf of the award winners at its first annual gala on Sunday December 11, 2011.

Heshmatollah Tabarzadi was the recipient of the first annual Human Rights Award of the International Center for Human Rights. The CEO of Tirgan International festival, Mehrdad Ariannejad, accepted Heshmatollah Tabarzadi’s award on his behalf at the first annual gala on Sunday December 11. Mr. Tabarzadi has endured more than 16 years of physical and psychological abuse in the Islamic Republic’s prisons and before its courts.

“Winners of the 2011 awards are among activists who have made significant efforts to resist dictatorship and injustice,” said Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir, ICHR’s director. “The selection process was not easy when there are many prominent Iranian activists currently behind bars. However, the ICHR eight member selection team narrowed down the list of nominees to five names who received glass awards and one name who won the crystal award along with cash prize.” 

Nasrin Sotoudeh, imprisoned prominent human rights lawyer, won ICHR’s award in the  realm of human rights advocate. Miss Fereshteh Molavi, Ira         nian human rights activist and writer, received the award on Ms. Sotoudeh’s behalf.

Majid Tavakoli, imprisoned prominent student leader, won ICHR’s award in the realm of student activitism. Mr. Salman Sima, a former student activist received Majid’s award on his behalf.

Reza Shahabi, imprisoned labor activist, won ICHR’s award in the realm of labour rights. Mr. Mehdi Kuhestani, a labour activist, received the award on Mr. Shahabi’s behalf.

Kouhyar Goudarzi, imprisoned human rights defender, won ICHR’s award in the realm of human rights defender. Mr. Hassan Zerehi , a journalist and human rights defender, received Kuhyar’s award on his behalf.

Ramin Parchami , an actor, won the ICHR award in the field of art. Mr. Soheil Parsa a prominent artistic director and writer received this award on Ramin Parchami’s behalf.

The International Center for Human Rights in Iran’s first annual human rights day gala was held in Toronto on Sunday December 11, 2011 at the Royal Banquet Hall. At the event, leading human rights figures such as Mr. Mohammad Mostafaie, human rights lawyer, Mr. Ahmad Batebi, human rights defender, Mr. Morteza Abdolalian fron Canadian Journalist for Free Expression, Aubrey Harris, from Amnesty International in Canada, Mr. Kaveh Shahrouz, Lawyer and former state department’s human rights advisor, spoke on the deplorable human rights situation in Iran. Also messages from MPP Dr. Reza Moridi and Canadian Parliament member, Mr. Paul Dewar, were read at the event. 

 

Background information:

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights activist. She is currently held in the notorious Evin prison, and sentenced to six years in prison and banned from practicing law for ten years. Her crime is defending her clients who are mainly human rights activists arrested and abused following the June 2009 Presidential election. She has also defended numerous child execution cases.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a member of the Defenders of Human Rights, the One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws Against Women, and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested in September 2010, and has endured the torture of long durations in solitary confinement. Since her arrest, Nasrin has launched multiple hunger strikes to protest the illegal behaviour of the Iranian authorities. 

Nasrin Sotoudeh is the recipient of the 2011 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. The resilient lawyer is one of ICHR’s award winners for her strong defence against human rights violations in Iran

Majid Tavakoli is a prominent student leader activist who was majoring in shipbuilding at Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology. He is currently held in the horrific Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. Majid Tavakoli was violently arrested on December 7, 2009, following a post-election speech he had delivered on National Student Day that criticized high-ranking regime officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He was transferred to the notorious Evin prison, and endured long stays in solitary confinement under severe psychological and physical torture. The student leader resisted the illegal behaviour of the Iranian authorities by launching multiple prison hunger strikes which have led to his deteriorating health, including reports of abdominal bleeding in 2010.

The student leader was first arrested in 2007 for protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presence at the university. Consequently, he was held behind bars for 15 months and tortured. He was arrested for the second time in March 2009 during a memorial ceremony for Mehdi Bazargan. Majid endured 115 days in solitary confinement at Evin prison, but was eventually released after posting a pricey bail. Majid is a brave student leader who has served as an inspiration for people around the world, and has kept the hope of victory alive in the hearts of Iranians. He is honoured as ICHR’s award winner for his persistent efforts in speaking out in defense of the Iranian civil society. 

Reza Shahabi is a labour activist and a board member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. In June 2010, four security agents arrested Reza Shahabi at his workplace, and transferred him to Evin prison. Since then, 18 months ago, Reza Shahabi has been held in a state of prison limbo, meaning he has not yet been issued a prison sentence. Reza Shahabi has launched multiple hunger strikes behind bars. His most recent hunger strike was launched 16 days ago in protest to his uncertain situation and the unbearable prison conditions. According to his brother, Reza Shahabi plans to continue his hunger strike until his status is clarified and his prison conditions are made clear. According to human rights reporters, Reza Shahabi’s health is rapidly deteriorating and his life is at risk. The imprisoned labour activist is suffering from osteoarthritis, low blood pressure, and heart and liver problems. During his incarceration, the degenerative arthritis has resulted in Reza Shahabi to lose control over the left side of his body. Reza Shahabi is an individual who has fought tirelessly for justice. He is honoured as ICHR’s award winner for his tireless efforts in supporting worker’s rights in Iran.

Kouhyar Goudarzi:  Kouhyar Goudarzi is an award-winning human rights and student activist, a blogger, a freelance journalist, a banned Sharif University aerospace engineering student, and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. In November 2009, Kouhyar was expelled from his studies for his human rights activities.

On December 20, 2009, Kouhyar and other activists were arrested in Azadi Square while heading to Qom for Ayatollah Montazeri’s funeral. After enduring more than five months of temporary detention and severe physical and psychological torture in Evin, the human rights activist was sentenced to one year in prison. And on December 14, 2010, he was released from prison. However, on July 31, 2011 Kouhyar Goudarzi was arrested again. The next day, his mother was arrested and transferred to Kerman prison. Kouhyar Goudarzi was subjected to an enforced disappearance, and the Iranian authorities have remained silent on his location and well being to this day. According to unofficial sources and open evidence, Kouhar is currently detained in Evin prison. Kouhyar Goudarzi is a brave and selfless human rights defender who is honoured as ICHR’s award winners for the many sacrifices he has chosen to make for a more hopeful future in Iran. 

Ramin Parchami: Ramin Parchami is a prominent Iranian actor who was arrested during the February 14, 2011 pro-democracy protests in Iran. He was spotted in the crowd in a demonstration and was told numerous times by plainclothes agents to leave. However, when Ramin Parchami ignored the warnings, he was arrested. According to a detainee who witnessed the actor's transfer to Evin prison, he had walked down the prison hallway chanting loudly, “Zendani Siasi Azad Bayad Gardad” “Political Prisoners Must Be Freed!” This action lifted the spirits of the other prisoners. Ramn Parchami was sentenced to one year in prison by the Tehran Revolutionary Court, and is currently held in Evin prison, where he has also endured the torture of solitary confinement. The imprisoned actor has played roles in numerous films and television series, and, until last year, was working as an editor for the weekly arts and culture magazine titled, Naghsh Afarinan. Ramin Parchami is a brave human rights defender.