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Iran: Bloggers Back Political Prisoners

In recent weeks, the Iranian government has stepped up pressure against human rights and civil society activists. Some of these activists, including a former university professor and several syndicate and student activists, are in jail. Some were arrested because they visited a mass grave of their executed relatives earlier this year. Protests in Iran continue against this new wave of repression. Bloggers share news and ideas on these events.

Human rights activists targeted

It seems the Iranian government is actively targeting men and women who support political prisoners and advocate human rights.

Student Committee for Human Rights ReportersThe blog of the Student Committee for Human Rights Reporters (SCHRR) says [Fa] that Sepideh PourAghai, a human rights activist and member of SCHRR, has been in jail for more than 45 days and is being held in isolation in the infamous 209 section of the Evin prison. Her mother says, “My daughter is under a lot of pressure and she is sleepless. She has no contact with exterior world. She has no right to books, journals or TV in her cell.” Sepideh was previously jailed one month for her activities, 8 years ago.

SCHRR says [Fa] there are five more political activists such as Mansour Saraji who were arrested at the same time and are still in prison.

Another human rights activist who was arrested (again) in recent weeks is Emad Baghi. He is a writer and a journalist, and the director of the Association for the Defense of Political Prisoners’ Rights. Kosoof says [Fa] says these days many activists are being sent to jail. He has also published a couple of photos attributed to photo blogger Mansour Nassiri.

Labor activists jailed

Kaargar condemns [Fa] the prison sentences against Masour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, two leaders of a bus drivers syndicate. The blog says Osanloo was sentenced to five years, and his colleague Madadi to two years. The blog considers such sentences an attack on the workers’ movement. The blogger says these two men fought to get the most basic workers’ rights and did not commit any crime or wrongdoing.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation, ITF, has launched a Free Masour Osanloo Campaign. The ITF site invites visitors to sign a petition urging President Ahmadinejad to take every step possible to ensure the safety and immediate release of Mansour Osanloo.

SohrabFree Sohrab Rasaghi is a blog covering news about jailed civil society activist, Sohrab Rasaghi. The blog has published several photos of this former university professor. An excerpt from a text on Front Line says about him:

Dr. Sohrab Razzaghi has been arrested and is being detained as a result of his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities. He recently wrote a report on the status of the Iranian civil society. He is due to attend the Front Line Platform, which will take place in Dublin, Ireland from 22-24 November 2007.

According to [Fa] Sharfsasan, Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Ghasaban, Ehsan Mansouri, are three student activists who are still in jail and have been tortured.

Women's rights activist in danger

Kamangir reports:

In an unprecedented and unexpected development Delaram Ali, a women's rights activist, was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months and 10 lashing in appeals court… Delaram was beaten severely during this protest, dragged on the ground by several police officers and subsequently arrested (see picture above). She suffered a broken arm as a result of these severe beatings.

Jomhour writes [Fa] that the Iranian government dreams that by lashing women's rights activists, it can control the women's movement but that such a dream will transform into a nightmare for despots. The blogger wonders how the Iranian government can call itself a government of kindness!

The SCHHR blog says that Ali Saremi and his wife were arrested because they participated in the anniversary of the 1988 mass executions. According to the blogger nobody knows where they are imprisoned.

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