Category: HUMAN RIGHT

In Iran, Journalists Remain In Government’s Crosshairs

Rigi, from the repressed Baluch ethnic minority, regularly wrote on his blog about politics and Iran’s treatment of the Baluch. He was convicted on charges of “acting against national security” and “propagating against the regime,” according to local news websites. Rigi’s online writings were used as evidence against him in the trial, local blogs reported.

New York, June 15, 2011–Iran’s ongoing assault against independent and opposition media has recently gained momentum, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In recent weeks, a journalist died in custody for what his family said was a lack of adequate medical care, the government sentenced another journalist to 20 years in prison, arrested one more, and confirmed a 19 and a half year prison term for a blogger known as the “Blogfather.”

Hoda Saber, editor of the long-defunct magazine Iran-e Farda, died in Evin Prison after suffering a heart attack on Friday, news and human rights reports said. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported that Saber’s wife, Fariden Jamshidi, said that hospital personnel told her that her husband’s life “could have been saved had prison officials brought him earlier.” Saber had the attack around 4 a.m., but was not moved to a hospital until after 10 a.m., according to news reports.

Saber had begun a hunger strike on June 2 to protest the killing of another journalist and activist, Haleh Sahabi, who died from a violent punch by security personnel at her father’s funeral the previous day. Saber had been imprisoned in Evin since July in relation to his political activism, CPJ research shows.

According to one account, 64 prisoners in Evin’s Ward 350, reserved for political prisoners, issued a statement saying that Saber was severely beaten at the prison infirmary where he was initially taken in the early morning on Friday, the reformist news website Kaleme reported. Saber “was returned to ward 350 in severe pain…his screams woke up all his cellmates,” the prisoners wrote.

In a related matter, Kavyan Mehregan, a journalist who writes for reformist publications including the daily Sharq, was arrested at Saber’s funeral, which took place on Tuesday, local news websites reported.

“Iranian authorities show a pervasive disregard for the physical integrity and wellbeing of imprisoned journalists,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. “Hoda Saber never should have died, and the Iranian authorities must ensure that imprisoned journalists have access to adequate medical treatment and humane conditions.”

Sakhi Rigi, a blogger, political activist, and formerly a member of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s campaign staff, was sentenced to a 20-year prison term by a Revolutionary Court in Zahedan in Baluchistan province, according to local news reports. CPJ could not determine when the Revolutionary Court ruled on Rigi’s case.

Rigi, from the repressed Baluch ethnic minority, regularly wrote on his blog about politics and Iran’s treatment of the Baluch. He was convicted on charges of “acting against national security” and “propagating against the regime,” according to local news websites. Rigi’s online writings were used as evidence against him in the trial, local blogs reported.

The blogger was first arrested by plainclothes security forces on June 18, 2009, according to blogs that cover Baluchi minority rights. He is currently being held at Karun Prison in Ahvaz, hundreds of miles away from his family.

A Tehran appeals court confirmed blogger Hossein Derakhshan’s 19 and a half year prison sentence, his family said on Thursday. The appeals court upheld his conviction on charges of “working with hostile governments, propaganda against the state, and insulting religious sanctities,” according to local and international news reports. Derakhshan’s sentence was announced in September, along with a five-year ban on “membership in political parties and activities in the media,” CPJ research shows. He is known as the “Blogfather” for being one of the first bloggers active in Iran.

You can download or buy the complette report in the address below:

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/07/28/we-can-torture-kill-or-keep-you-years

“We Can Torture, Kill, Or Keep You For Years” Security Forces ‘disappear’ Opponents In Balochistan

The report is based on over 100 interviews by Human Rights Watch in Balochistan in 2010 and 2011 with family members of “disappeared” people, former detainees, local human rights activists, lawyers, and witnesses to government abductions.

“Their Future is at Stake” Pakistan’s security forces are engaging in an abusive free-for-all in Balochistan as Baloch nationalists and suspected militants ‘disappear,’ and in many cases are executed. The national government has done little to end the carnage in Balochistan, calling into question its willingness or ability to control the military and intelligence agencies.”

Brad Adams, Asia director (New York) – Pakistan’s government should immediately end widespread disappearances of suspected militants and activists by the military, intelligence agencies, and the paramilitary Frontier Corps in the southwestern province of Balochistan, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Several of those “disappeared” were among the dozens of people extrajudicially executed in recent months in the resource-rich and violence-wracked province.

The 132-page report, “‘We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years’: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan,” documents dozens of enforced disappearances,in which the authorities take people into custody and then deny all responsibility or knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. The report details 45 alleged cases of enforced disappearances, the majority in 2009 and 2010. While hundreds of people have been forcibly disappeared in Balochistan since 2005, dozens of new enforced disappearances have occurred since Pakistan returned to civilian rule in 2008.

“Pakistan’s security forces are engaging in an abusive free-for-all in Balochistan as Baloch nationalists and suspected militants ‘disappear,’ and in many cases are executed,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The national government has done little to end the carnage in Balochistan, calling into question its willingness or ability to control the military and intelligence agencies.”

The report is based on over 100 interviews by Human Rights Watch in Balochistan in 2010 and 2011 with family members of “disappeared” people, former detainees, local human rights activists, lawyers, and witnesses to government abductions.

Human Rights Watch investigated several cases in which uniformed personnel of the Frontier Corps, an Interior Ministry paramilitary force, and the police were involved in abducting Baloch nationalists and suspected militants. In others cases, witnesses typically referred to abductors as being from “the agencies,” a term commonly used to describe the intelligence agencies, including the military Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intellilgence, and the civilian Intelligence Bureau.

In all the cases Human Rights Watch documented, the security forces never identified themselves, nor explained the basis for the arrest or where they were taking the person. In many cases, the person being arrested was beaten and dragged handcuffed and blindfolded into the security forces’ vehicles. Withoutexception in the cases Human Rights Watch investigated, released detainees and relatives able to obtain information reported torture and ill-treatment of detainees. Methods of torture included beatings, often with sticks or leather belts, hanging detainees upside down, and prolonged food and sleep deprivation.

In some cases relatives told Human Rights Watch that senior government officials, including the Balochistan chief minister, Nawab Aslam Raisani, had freely admitted that intelligence personnel were responsible for the disappearance but expressed an inability to hold the abductors accountable.

Those targeted for enforced disappearance were primarily Baloch nationalist activists or suspected Baloch militants.In several cases, people appeared to have been targeted because of their tribal affiliation, especially when a particular tribe, such as the Bugti or Mengal, was involved in fighting Pakistan’s armed forces.

Little information is available about what happens to people who are forcibly disappeared. Some have been held in unacknowledged detention in facilities run by the Frontier Corps and the intelligence agencies, such as at the Kuli camp, a military base in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

“Pakistani security services are brazenly disappearing, torturing, and often killing people because of suspected ties to the Baloch nationalist movement,” Adams said. “This is not counterinsurgency – it is barbarism and it needs to end now.”

The number of enforced disappearances by Pakistan’s security forces in recent years remains unknown, Human Rights Watch said. Figures provided by senior officials are grossly inconsistent, and these officials have provided no explanation about how they were reached. In 2008, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said there had been at least 1,100 victims of these disappearances in Balochistan.In January 2011, Balochistan’s home minister, Mir Zafrullah Zehri, told provincial legislators that only 55 people were considered missing.

There is increasing evidence to suggest that many of the “disappeared” have been extrajudicially executed while in government custody. Human Rights Watch has recently reported on the killing of at least 150 people across Balochistan since January in acts widely referred to as “kill and dump” operations for which Pakistani security forces may be responsible. Assailants have also carried out targeted killings of opposition leaders and activists. Human Rights Watch reiterated its call to the Pakistan government to end these abuses immediately.

Armed militant groups in Balochistan are responsible for killing many civilians and destroying private property. In the past several years, they have increasingly targeted non-Baloch civilians and their businesses, police stations, and major gas installations and infrastructure. They have also attacked security forces and military bases throughout the province. Human Rights Watch documents abuses by Balochistan militants in a December 2010 report, “Their Future is at Stake.”

Under international law, enforced disappearances are considered a continuing offense, one that is ongoing so long as the state conceals the fate or the whereabouts of the victim.

“President Asif Ali Zardari should realize that the disturbing reality of wanton and widespread abuse in Balochistan cannot be wished away,” Adams said. “All Pakistanis will pay the price if the government fails to protect Balochistan’s population from heinous abuses at the hands of the Pakistani military.”

Background
Balochistan has historically had a tense relationship with Pakistan’s government, in large part due to issues of provincial autonomy, control of mineral resources and exploration, and a consequent sense of deprivation. During the rule of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, from 1999 to 2008, the situation deteriorated markedly. Two assassination attempts on Musharraf, in 2005 and 2006 during visits to Balochistan, resulted in a crackdown on Baloch nationalists by the armed forces and Military Intelligence, the military’s lead intelligence agency in the province. The recent surge in killings and ongoing enforced disappearances can be traced to the 2006 assassination of the prominent Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and 35 of his close followers, and the murders of three well known Baloch politicians in April 2009 by assailants believed to be linked to the Pakistan military.

Since 2005, Pakistani and international human rights organizations have recorded numerous serious human rights violations by security forces, including extrajudicial executions, torture, enforced disappearances, forced displacement, and excessive use of force against protesters.

Cases From “‘We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years'”: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan:

Account of “Rahim” (not his real name), who was held in acknowledged custody until his release:
First, they bound my arms behind my back, and then they threw me on the ground face down and someone sat on my back. Whenever they asked me a question, the interrogators pulled my head back by grabbing my hair and kept asking, “Who are you? Why have you come here to Quetta?”

I explained that I was a farmer in Awaran [district of Balochistan], and they also asked about my family, and about Dr. Naseem and Ilyas [Baloch nationalist activists]. When I told them that they were my friends, they screamed, “You are lying to us! Dr. Naseem is a separatist. Tell us what Naseem is doing. Why is he involved in separatism?”

They beat me all over my body and on the soles of my feet with their fists and feet. They hit me for around one to two hours continuously in the morning, then again in the evening. At night they would not let me sleep or lie down, I was forced to stand. If I started to fall asleep they would hit me on the back and shoulders to keep me awake.

Enforced Disappearance of Din Mohammad Baloch
On June 29, 2009, Din Mohammad Baloch, age 40, a physician, was on a night shift at a small medical clinic in the Ornach area of Khuzdar district.

A staff member, “Bukhtiar” (not his real name), was also in the clinic. He told Baloch’s family that at around 2:30 a.m. seven men entered the clinic. A few of them tied Bukhtiar up and locked him in a room, while the others went into Baloch’s office. It was dark, Bukhtiar said, and he could not see the men clearly or determine whether they were wearing uniforms. Bukhtiar said he could hear loud noises that sounded like a scuffle between Baloch and the men, and then he heard the men dragging Baloch out.

When Bukhtiar finally freed himself around 30 minutes later, he informed Baloch’s family. The family went to the local police station, but the police refused to lodge a criminal complaint, known as a First Information Report (FIR), offering no explanation. Two days later the police lodged the report, based on an interview with Bukhtiar. It said Baloch was taken by unknown men.

Several months later, local newspapers reported that the Frontier Corps had arrested Baloch and two others in connection with an armed attack on the Frontier Corps on August 14, 2009, nearly two months after Baloch was abducted. Baloch’s brother spoke to the author of the article, who told him that the information came from the Special Branch of the Police, the intelligence arm of the Balochistan Police Service. However, government authorities have not officially confirmed that Baloch is in Frontiers Corps custody or specified the charges against him.

Baloch’s family told Human Rights Watch they believed Baloch had been abducted by intelligence agencies because he was a senior member of the Baloch National Movement. Baloch’s brother said that he had met with the chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, on July 15 and in August 2009. On the latter occasion the chief minister told him that Baloch was in the custody of the intelligence agencies, but did not specify which one. Human Rights Watch wrote to Chief Minister Raisani seeking confirmation that he had made these allegations, but received no response.

A lawyer acting on behalf of Baloch’s family filed a petition regarding Baloch’s “disappearance” with the Balochistan High Court on July 4, 2009. On May 27, 2010, the court ordered police to locate him, with the presiding judge saying that they should “do everything” needed to find him. But the court has had no further hearings in the case.

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a local Baloch nongovernmental organization, filed a separate petition on Baloch’s disappearance with the Pakistan Supreme Court. In June 2010, the Supreme Court told Baloch’s lawyers that the ISI had reported to the court that Baloch was not in their custody but was being held by the chief of the Mangal tribe. However, the ISI did not provide any further details about these claims to the court, and the court did not share their submissions with Baloch’s lawyers.

The family has not been able to obtain any further information about Baloch’s fate or whereabouts.

Enforced Disappearance of Mir Abdul Waheed Resani Baloch
Over the last 15 years, Pakistani security forces have detained Mir Abdul Waheed Resani Baloch, 45, a senior member of the Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) central committee, numerous times. He was held in Frontier Corps jails in Mastung and in Quetta.

On January 2, 2010, a court in Khozdar ordered Baloch released after a 10-month detention in Khozdar central jail. However, within minutes of his release, the police picked him up again in the street in front of multiple witnesses. The police took him to Mastung police station, where he tried to speak to the news media.

A relative of Baloch told Human Rights Watch that a senior police officer interrupted Baloch, announced that he would like to “talk to Baloch in private,” and took him to another room. The relative told Human Rights Watch:

We waited for about 10 minutes and then asked about him. The officer came back and said, “Sorry, we had to transfer him somewhere and we cannot tell you where, so you should all leave.” We waited for about six hours, and then left. The same day, officers from the [police] anti-terrorist unit came to our house, claiming they were looking for him. They pretended he had escaped from custody. Of course, they knew he was not there, and instead of looking for him they just looted our house, taking away money, jewelry, mobile phones, and expensive clothes.

On January 4, Baloch’s relatives went to the police, who denied having any knowledge of his whereabouts. They accepted an FIR, which simply said that Baloch was “missing.” Three days later the family filed a petition with the Balochistan High Court. The court sent inquiries to the chief minister, home minister, and inspector-general of the police. Their representatives, who appeared in court, denied having any knowledge of Baloch’s whereabouts and claimed they were looking for him.

Baloch’s relatives said that after his forced disappearance, Chief Minister Aslam Raisani temporarily suspended the district police officers (DPOs) for Mastung and Much because the Mastung DPO allegedly had handed Baloch over to the Much DPO. A month later, however, both officers were reinstated.

Baloch’s fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

Enforced Disappearances of Mazhar Khan and Abdul Rasool
At around 10 p.m. on December 19, 2009, a group of armed men abducted Mazar Khan, 21, and Abdul Rasool, 26, from Khan’s house near Kili Station in Noshki district.

A witness to the abduction told Human Rights Watch that seven men in civilian clothes, their faces covered with scarves, broke down the gate to Khan’s house and burst in, firing their pistols in the air. The witness said Rasool resisted and one of the men hit him on the temple with his pistol butt, but Khan did not resist. The assailants tied the men’s wrists and ankles and blindfolded them. Then they dragged the victims outside, put them into one of their three pickup trucks, and drove away.

The next day, relatives of Khan and Rasool reported the abductions to police at Kili Station.

“The police said they cannot do anything about kidnappings,” one of Khan’s relatives told Human Rights Watch.

In mid-February 2010, Rasool was released by his captors. He told Human Rights Watch about his ordeal:
On the day of the abduction, after travelling for 15 to 20 minutes by car, it stopped and I was dragged outside and into a room. I don’t remember anything about the building I was in because I was still blindfolded. But after whoever brought me in had left, I removed my blindfold and saw that I was alone in a small, dark room. I had no idea where Mazhar was.
Rasool said that soon after he had been brought in, some men entered the room and asked him if he was involved in Baloch political activities. They kept him in this room for a month and 25 days, and then moved him to another location, a three-hour drive away. They kept him there for another five days. Then at night the captors put Rasool into a vehicle, blindfolded and handcuffed. They drove for a few hours. His captors stopped the car, removed Rasool, still blindfolded and handcuffed, and told him he was being released on Chaman Road on the outskirts of Quetta and then drove off.

Fearful of being abducted again, Rasool did not approach government authorities about his disappearance. But Khan’s family filed an application for a first report with police in Noshki on February 17, 2010. Although the police registered the FIR, it only stated that Khan was a missing person and made no mention of the circumstances of his abduction. On February 21, relatives of both men filed a statement about the abductions with the Balochistan High Court. The next day, relatives of Khan and Rasool met representatives of the Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Ministry, who said they would record Khan’s abduction but could do nothing to investigate it.

In March 2010, the Balochistan High Court accepted a habeas corpus petition asking the federal Ministries of Defense and Interior, the Balochistan provincial government, Military Intelligence, the ISI, and the Kili police station to provide information on charges brought against Khan and Rasool. The high court has since held five hearings but only police representatives have ever appeared before it. They have denied having any knowledge of the abductions.

Khan’s whereabouts remain unknown.

You can download or buy the report from the link below:

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/07/28/we-can-torture-kill-or-keep-you-years

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Minority Rights In Iran

Confirmed speakers include Mark Lattimer (Executive Director, Minority Rights Group), Monireh Sulemani (Balochistan Peoples Party), Karim Abdian (Director, Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, Fakhteh Zamani (Director, Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners, and Antonia Bertschinger (Amnesty International).

March 5, 2012

Minority Rights in Iran

 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012, 12.00 – 14.00

Room XXIII, Palais des Nations

Geneva, Switzerland

Uncovering repression against Iran’s ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities

5 March 2012 – In conjunction with the planned report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran to the UN Human Rights Council, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and Minority Rights Group International (MRG) will host a parallel event titled “Minority Rights in Iran” The event will take place in Room XXIII of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 14 March 2012 from 12:00 – 14:00, and will include contributions from minority and NGO representatives. Through this event, UNPO and MRG aim to focus attention on the human rights situation of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities in Iran.

 

Iran’s population includes a large number of religious, ethnic, and linguistic minorities. These groups are highly diverse, but share common experiences of economic marginalization, political repression and denial of even the most basic of cultural rights. As the country begins its first round of elections since 2009, when disputed Presidential polls sparked widespread protest, the Iranian government has been cracking down on dissent with increasing severity. While abuses against activists, journalists, and members of the political opposition have been widely documented and discussed, the relative severity and pervasiveness of abuses against Iran’s minority populations, though well documented by international NGOs and United Nations human rights bodies, tend to receive significantly less public attention. Since 2009, however, issues of equality and minority rights have steadily gained the attention of Iranian academics, media and activists both within and outside of Iran, marking a growing recognition among the populace of the importance of these issues to the future of democracy and freedom in the country. This growing popular support should now be matched by concrete action from the government.

 

This event will highlight some of the most pressing issues currently facing minorities in Iran. Confirmed speakers include Mark Lattimer (Executive Director, Minority Rights Group), Monireh Sulemani (Balochistan Peoples Party), Karim Abdian (Director, Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, Fakhteh Zamani (Director, Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners, and Antonia Bertschinger (Amnesty International). Speakers will present a picture of the state of minority rights in present-day Iran, and explore possibilities for national and international initiatives towards guaranteeing the political, economic and cultural rights of these marginalized groups.

Iran Executes Three Baluch Political Prisoners

The third Baluch political prisoner Abul Basit, a social activist and a promoter of ‘Human Rights & Democracy’, was reportedly very active on internet. He used to advocate justice, Human rights and democracy in Baluchistan.

Zahidan : The Iranian fundamentalist regime has executed three Baluch political prisoners on Saturday morning in Zahedan, the capital of Iranian occupied Balochistan.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Iranian Regime executed the three youth in a blind revenge against human rights laws and humanity. The victims have been named as 25 years old Abdol Basit Rigi, Abdol Jalil Kahrazehi and Yahya Charizahi. They were charged with Moharebeh (enmity against God) and were executed in Zahedan prison, early Saturday morning
The report further said that two activists were transferred to solitary confinement in the Intelligence Ministry two days before their execution. They were subjected to brutal torture and coerced to a televised confession.

The third Baluch political prisoner Abul Basit, a social activist and a promoter of ‘Human Rights & Democracy’, was reportedly very active on internet. He used to advocate justice, Human rights and democracy in Baluchistan. He was arrested three years ago and kept in solidarity confinement for eleven months. He was physically and mentally tortured. They also kept him in appalling conditions in prison.

Intelligence interrogators subjected Mr Rigi to brutal and inhuman torture and forced him to give televised confessions against himself.

A death sentence by a kangaroo court was passed against all three Baloch political prisoners after their forced confession.

Diaspora communities say that innocent political activist from Kurdish, Baluch and Al-Ahwazi community are executed in different prisons by Iran on regular basis but due to country’s strict grip on news agencies and media such news hardly reach to the wider world or find any space in international media.

Hamza Rigi, Baluch Political Prisoner On 26th Day Of Hunger Strike

HRANA News Agency – Hamza Rigi, Iranian Baluch political prisoner who has been arrested 30 months ago, held in Solitary Confinement is in 26th day of his hunger strike.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Hamza Rigi was arrested on charge of relating to Jondollah opposition group and was sentenced to death in the revolutionary court of Zahedan and his verdict has been confirmed.

“Hamza Rigi was under 18 years old when he was arrested and his death sentence is against International Convention that Islamic Republic has signed it too. Hamza was tortured when he was arrested and most of his confessions was under the torture.” one of his relatives told HRANA’s reporter.

Forced Confession Of Baloch Political Prisoners In Iran

Given the regime’s fear of uprising by oppressed nationalities people against open discriminations, it is using its most fearful instrument of forceful confession and execution in the regions of oppressed nationalities.

We fear their execution will happen soon, thus asking international community and human rights defenders to intervene and put pressure on the Iranian government to halt the prisoners’ execution and provide them open and fair trial with access to their own defense lawyers.

Iranian official television has broadcasted forced confession of some Baloch political Prisoners most of them were arrested in March, April and May 2012. They confess of their involvement in assassination of Mr. Mulavi Mostafa Jungozahi.

Most of the people in the region believe that Mulavi Janguzahi has been assassinated by the regime’s own security forces, in order to justify their plan for arresting Baloch activists and terrorizing people in Balochistan. Even Mulavi Mostafa Jangozahi’s family members have rejected these people’s involvement in the assassination plot.

Given the regime’s fear of uprising by oppressed nationalities people against open discriminations, it is using its most fearful instrument of forceful confession and execution in the regions of oppressed nationalities. In the recent weeks the regime has convicted to death also Kurdish and Arab political prisoner in Iran. They also have been shown in TV where they have confessed their connection to foreign countries and assassinations.

It is the Iranian authorities’ normal practice in Balochistan to execute political prisoners after their forced televised confessions. We fear their execution will happen soon, thus asking international community and human rights defenders to intervene and put pressure on the Iranian government to halt the prisoners’ execution and provide them open and fair trial with access to their own defense lawyers.

 

Balochistan Peoples Party

2013-01-25

1. Balochistn Peoples Party report from May 2012:

http://www.ostomaan.org/articles/human-rights/12897

2. Link to the video:

http://www.rajanews.com/detail.asp?lang_id=&id=148859

Iran: Prisoner Dies Suspiciously A Day Before His Release

After 7 years of imprisonment, Alireza was supposed to be released on Tuesday, June 24, after being proved to be innocent.

NCRI – On Monday June 24, 2013, a Baluchi prisoner, Aliraza Shahbakhsh, 23, suspiciously passed away in Zahedan prison a day before his release. In order to cloak this murder in secrecy, the clerical regime disconnected all prisoners’ connections for five days.

Aliraza Shahbakhsh had been arrested at age 16 for alleged killing of son of Abdulmajid Nodyzehi, an IRGC commander. After 7 years of imprisonment, Alireza was supposed to be released on Tuesday, June 24, after being proved to be innocent.

Abdulmajid Nodyzehi is hated by the people of the region for his crimes and direct role in execution and assassination of Baluchi minorities.

On June 20, 2013, Afshin Osanlou, 42, a political prisoner and a labor activist, suddenly and suspiciously died in saloon number 12 of ward 4 of Gohardasht Prison in the city of Karaj. He suspiciously passed away while he was to be released in few months after 5 years of imprisonment.

After his death, General Director of prisons in Tehran province falsely claimed that Mr. Osanlou died as a result of heart attack in hospital in Gohardasht, Karaj. (ISNA State News Agency- June 22, 2013), but according to hospital’s authorities he had already been died before his transfer to the hospital.

He had been arrested on December 2009 solely because of his syndicate activities and defending of worker’s rights. He had suffered severe tortures for a long time and signs of torture could be seen on his body.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 30, 2013

Three People Executed In The Central Prison Of Zahedan, Body Found In Pahra

Sources further reported that Iran awarded death sentence to at least 83 people in Zehran Prison. Majority of the victims are Baloch who were arrested from different areas of Iranian occupied Balochistan.

The, Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, has reported that three prisoners were hanged in central prison of Zahedan, capital city of Iranian occupied Balochistan on Saturday.

The victims included one Afghan citizen and two others have been named as follows:

Arif Noorazai 37-year-old citizen of Afghanistan, he was jailed for 11 months in the central prison of Zahedan’s section 5. Sher Mohammad Kashani, 30 who was jailed for 2 years in the central prison of Zahedan’s section 7. Qurban Ali Sori 55 years old, he was jailed for 13 years in the central prison of Zahedan’s section 3.

Sources further reported that Iran awarded death sentence to at least 83 people in Zehran Prison. Majority of the victims are Baloch who were arrested from different areas of Iranian occupied Balochistan.

Meanwhile, a tortured and mutilated body of a Baloch man was found in Pahra (Iranshahr) town of Iranian occupied Balochistan. Sources reported that he was abducted by security forces during a protest demonstration some time ago

Balochistan Peoples Party’s Appeal: To Pressurize Iranian Authorities To Release Innocent Young Men Of Nassir Abad.

Most of the killings in the form of extra judicial killing, target killing, random arrests and execution of people blamed for drug smuggling, are part of an Iranian state policy to weaken the Baloch society, to continue its despotic rule over Balochistan and exploit its resource and geopolitical location.

Balochistan Peoples Party’s Appeal:

To pressurize Iranian authorities to release innocent young men of Nassir Abad.

On the evening of Sunday January 4, 2015, when most people were asleep in their homes, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Forces raided Nasir Abad, a small village in the district Sarbaz. During this raid the Quds Force arrested about 18 people, the majority of whom were young men, between 18 and 30 years of age. The village of Nasir Abad is situated 35 kilometers from Rask, and is the center of Sarbaz district in the Sistan and Baluchistan Province.

Arrested people:

1- Abubaker Bahramzahi, s/o Haji Ahmed, working for Halal Ahmer (Red Crescent)

2- Abubaker Mulazahi, s/of Ibrahim, owner of hone interior shop

3- Bashir Boladai s/o Abdul Latif, farmer

4- Edris Boladai s/o Abdul Latif, farmer

5- Amer Goramzahi s/o Mohammad Karim, working for Halal Ahmer (Red crescent)

6- Amin Bahramzahi s/o Dadrahim, landowner and farmer.

7- Yousef Bahramzahi s/o Dadrahim, student.

8- Akbar s/o Musa, taxi driver

9- Khaled Bahramzahi s/o Karech, working as a driver.

10- Muslim Dehghani, working as a driver

11- Davood Bahramzahi, s/o Dadmohammad

12- Omid Bahramzahi s/o Haji gul Mohammad, university master student, studying literature

13- Abdulsattar Bahramzahi s/o Dura, head of Nasir Abad Halal Ahmr, (Iranian Red Crescent)

14- Maseeb Watankha, resident of Nasir Abad, arrested from Rask

15- Nahim Bahramzahi, s/o Pir Mohammad

16- Adham Arbabi s/o Yarmohammad

17- Zubair Bahramzahi s/o Shahdad

18- Abdulah Bahramzahi, trainee

Various representative of the regime gave different versions, accounts, and reasons for the arrests of the people in Nasir Abad.

Mr. Hossien Rahimi, Commander of the Iranian Security Forces, said that the group of people arrested in Nasir Abad on 4 January were responsible for the killing of Molavi Jangizahi in November 2011.

Following the assassination of Molavi Jangizahi regime arrested 15 innocent Baloch civilians from January to March 2012; some of whom were later forced to confess under torture on national television and sentenced to various terms:

1- Mulavi Naghshbandi, convicted to 15 years imprisonment and exile to Khalkhal, which is located far away from his birthplace in Balochistan;

2- Mulavi Abdul Ghafar Naghshbandi convicted to 13 years and exile to an unspecified place;

3- Malek Mohammad Abadian, sentenced to death;

4- Jaber Abadian (son of Malek Mohammad Abadian), sentenced to death;

5- Jawad Abadian (son of Malek Mohammad Abadian), sentenced to death;

6- Nezamuldin Mulazadeh, sentenced to death;

The sentencing of two of the prisoners, Faghir Mohammad Raisi and Gul Mohammad Boladai, has not been specified yet.

Mr. Malik Mohammad Abadian’s daughter has sent an open letter to Mr. Hossien Rahimi and other Iranian authorities to inquire why her father, two brothers and an uncle Gol Mohammad Boladai, and others were arrested in 2012, allegedly for the assassination of Mulavi Jangizahi – a crime they did not commit; why the regime has tortured them, forced them to confess on national television and sentenced them to death why several young people from Nasir Abad were arrested without any concrete evidence, yet again for the assassination of Mulavi Jangizhi.

The arrests in Nasir Abad, in 2015, as well as in in Paroud, Hiet and Jask in 2012 are part of the Iranian regime’s policy to weaken the Baloch community by creating a sense of insecurity.

Since the arrests in Nasir Abad, the families of the victims have been unable to visit them, and prisoners have been provided a due judicial process according to Iranian law.

ACTION REQUESTED

Based on the discriminatory policies of the Iranian government toward the people of Balochistan, which allows torture and execution of Baloch prisoners, the Balochistan Peoples Party urges you to call upon the Iranian authorities:

1. To provide a due judicial process to the arrested people in the Nasir Abad; to provide them with defense lawyers and open legal trials; and to free the innocent;

2. To release also those who were previously arrested for the same cases that the regime is now accusing innocent people in Nasir Abad for;

3. To free all political prisoners, while ensuring that people charged with committing crimes under the country’s law be given a fair, free and open trial, as well as access to defense lawyer.

During the mass arrests, people sleeping at their family homes were terrorized, creating anguish among women, children, and the elderly. Their homes were surrounded and innocent members of the families were taken away in the middle of the night.

Background and Analysis: “Divide and Rule Policy”

When it comes to Baluchistan, Iran follows a discriminatory, colonial policy of divide and rule. The regime kills one Baloch and accuses the other ones for a crime that they have committed and punish them.

Iranian government uses different pretexts to suppress the Baloch people. To make sure that nobody can understand the real reasons behind the regime’s mass arrests, killings and other methods of suppression in Balochistan. Every representative of the regime gives a different version of the same incident (mass arrests) different than the other authority’s accounts. The different versions and accounts are provided to hide the real reason behind regimes suppression policy against Baloch people.

Following the arrests in Nasir Abad, in their official statements and interviews to news agencies, several representative of the regime such as the provincial governor, Members of Parliament, the spokesperson of the Minister of Interior, the Quds Force and the security forces commander, each gave different accounts, numbers and reasons for the arrests,.

Mr. Hossien Rahimi commander of Iranian security forces, announced that they had arrested 18 people, with the help of Quds Forces, Foreign Unit. He blamed the arrested people for being terrorists that had received funding from abroad. He added that for each successful operation they had received between 400 000 and 1 000 000 Iranian tuman, which corresponds to between 131 and 341 US Dollars . With the current exchange rate of 1 US dollar is more than 3000 Iranian Tuman.

Mr. Rahimi listed at least 15 killing incidents that according to him the group had confessed to committing. He added that the group had been established in 2008, to create instability.

Mr. Rahimi said that these people had been involved in the assassination of Mulavi Mustafa Jangizahi and one of his companions on 22 December 2011, and also blamed them for killing teachers: Jawad Nourozi on 15 April 2014, Reza Sargazi in October 2014, Mohammad Islami in 2011, Esa Sharaki along with a Baseeji from al Sunnat, Adham Sabouri on 1 January 2015, in the Nasir Abad village.

Mr. Rahimi added that they had also confessed to killing of Mohammad Reza Sayadi, an employee of Government ID card registration office, and killing two soldiers of the security forces at a check point.

He also alleged that they had confessed the killing of four members of border security forces headquarters in 2012.

The head of security forces added that the arrested people had confessed that they had been planning to plant roadside bombs to target security forces and police vehicles.

According to Commander Rahimi the arrested had confessed to having received military and ideological training for 3 months in Pakistan and Afghanistan and to having received money from someone in the Gulf countries.

Meanwhile ‘Quds Force’, in a statement which was quoted by ISNA, announced the arrest of 12 people by a joint operation of Quds Forces and other security forces units under the command of Quds Force.

Mr Hussein Zulfaghari Vice Chairman of the Interior Ministry had said about the assassination of the Eisa Shahraki on 1 January 2015, that this killing has not been a terrorist act but a criminal act.

Mr Ali Amiri, spokeperson of the Home Ministry said that 20 people belonging to Jaysh ul-Adle were arrested in a cell.

Mr. Hossien Ali Shahryari, Member of Parliament, close to the Iranian conservatives and security forces was quoted by IRNA, a semi-official news site, allegedly saying that 9 people had been arrested and some people have escaped arrest.

Mr. Sharyari in an interview, with Asre-Amoun an online news service, rejected any contact between Jaysh ul-Adl and the group arrested in Nasir Abad village and said that the latter was much more dangerous than other groups since it was active inside the country.

Another Member of Parliament, Mr Sayad Bagher Hossieni, in an interview with Mehr news agency on 31 January said that 12 people belonging to an Jaysh ul-Adl cell had been arrested.

Mr. Ali Usat Hashami, Provincial Governor, was the last to offer his version concerning the arrest of the people in Nasir Abad, in an interview with IRNA. Mr. Hashami blamed this group for all incidents that had happened in all districts of Balochistan, including Zahiddan Chahbahr, Sarawan, Nikshar and Sarbaz districts in recent years.

Assassination of Mulavi Jangizahi

Mulavi Mustafa Jungizahi was assassinated on 22 December 2011, and the assailant escaped from the crime scene. Before his killing, Mulavi Mustafa Jangizahi had criticized the regime’s economic policy in the region, which has led to the worsening of the situation for traders in the border region.

People in the region suspect that regime’s death squads are behind Mulavi Jangizahi’s assassination.

Between March until 14 May 2012 the Iranian security forces arrested more than 15 persons in the Sarbaz district. They were blamed for Mulavi Jangizahi’s assassination, and for receiving fund for operation from Gulf countries for this assassination. Under torture they were forced to confess to a crime they did not had committed. Their confessions were broadcasted on the Iranian official television.

Charges alleged upon the detained people varied from being supporters of armed groups, to spying for foreign countries and planning to assassinate nuclear scientists.

Some of the prisoners were sentenced to death, while others to lengthy imprisonments.

The regime’s aim when assassinating Mulavi Jangizahi was to create rift and tension in the Baloch society, by killing one Baloch and blaming another one for the crime. Mulavi Jangizahi’s family did not accept the regime’s official view; instead they said they did not suspect any of the arrested people to have been involved in the assassination. Since the arrested people did not have any motive to kill Jungizahi, there was no conflict between the two groups.

The regime did not succeeded in creating rift between those two groups, although it is currently continuing its effort to create a rift between Mulavi Jangizahis family and the people in Nasir Abad.

Some of the young men, who were arrested in Nasir Abad on January 4, 2015 for involvement in the Mulvi Jangizahi’s assassination in December 2011, were only 12 or 13 years old at the time of assassination.

Target killing of Government Employees’

In recent years several government employees both belonging to Sunni faith or Shiite have been killed under mysterious circumstances. All signs point to organized targeted killings, and state protection for the killer. The assassins were never pursued by security forces, nor any immediate search operation was conducted. The killers have safe homes and can disappear without being chased by security forces. Later, an individual or a group of people are arrested and blamed for this crime that they had not committed.

After the elimination of Javad Nourizi, a teacher in Rask, the Iranian security forces arrested Sedigh Daleri, the son-in-law of Malik Mohammad Abadiyan. Malik Mohammad has been in prison since March 2012, for participating in the planning of the assassination of Mulavi Jangizahi.

According to a report by Baloch Activists campaign, before the killing of Javad Nourizi, Malik Mohammad Abadian was under pressure to confess once again on television and to admit his crimes and his connection to external links that had supported him financially to assassinate Mulavi Jangazahi.

To put more pressure on Mr. Malik Mohammad Abadian, his son-in-law Sedigh Daleri was arrested on 28 May and blamed for the assassination of Mr. Javad Nourizi, a teacher in Rask, on 15 April 2014.. When they were successful to get another confession from Malik Mohammad Abadian they Released his Son of Law. Who was innocent of any charges anyway.

When the victim of a murder belongs to the Baloch community, the police blames and arrests other Baloch for the killing. It also starts propaganda to create a rift between Baloch families. In many cases the regime also offers ammunition to families that have lost a member of family if they want to take revenge from the family that the regime has blamed for the crime.

If the employee or person killed belongs instead to the Shiite community in Balochistan, the authorities blame Baloch armed groups and what the regime calls their foreign supporters and implies that the killing is an organized attack against the Shiite community, making it an emotional case that is to say a death of follower of “Ahl-ul Bayt”. Ahl-ul Baytṫ is a phrase meaning, literally, “People of the House” or “Family of the House”. Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the family of the Islam’s Prophet Muhammad”. The Iranian government refers to the Shiite as Ahl-ul Bayt. This term is used to excite the Shiite against the Sunnis.

All these efforts are part of the Iranian State policy to create division and tension between peoples in Balochistan: Mahmud Khalatbary, who served as Director General of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), in a discussion with Selig S. Harrison recalled that: “In CENTO, we always assumed that the Baloch would attempt to create their own independent state someday, with Soviet support, so it was desirable to keep them as politically weak, disunited, and backward as possible.”

The policy to retain a sense of insecurity in Balochistan and to kill was expressed clearly by the commander of Mersad garrison in south-east Iran, who told the media that “we have not been given orders to arrest and hand over those who carry weapons. On the basis of a directive we have received, we will execute any bandits, wherever we capture them” (Ettela’at, 25 February 1998).

Foreign Support Card

The Iranian government considers any political demand by Baloch people cultural or economic right or a political demand.

To avoid fulfilling the Baloch people’s demands it blames Baloch activists of having contact with foreign countries and receiving wages as mercenaries of foreign countries.

In the case of Jangizhi’s assassination, the authorities said that the foreign country had paid about 4 000 000 Iranian tuman at the time when a dollar was less than 1000 Iranian tumen, meaning it amounted to about 4000 US dollar. In some of regimes propagandas they showed an amount between 400 000 to 500 000 US dollars.

Mulavi jangizhi was not well known or famous in the Baloch region, he was prayer leader of a simple local Mosque. He was not a threat to any foreign country but actually a critic of the Iranian regime’s economic policies. Mulavi Jangizhi was killed simply for being a Baloch. In fact, it is hard to believe that any country would pay about 4,000,000 dollars to eliminate Mulavi Jangizahi.

People that have been arrested in Nasir Abad, according to Mr. Hamiri has admitted to receiving fund from abroad, from the Gulf countries. This time, the regime announced that the arrested people had confessed to receiving the funds, from 400 000 to 100000 Iranian Tuman, which currently with exchange rate of 1 dollar to more than 3000 Iranian Tuman, corresponds to between 135 and 300 dollars.

The regime claims that these people had received 135 to 300 dollar per operation, which is hard to believe. It would be very difficult for these people to keep their operation capacity and infrastructure for such a small amount of Money.

Obviously the regime’s claims against these people are artificially created and far from the truth. In fact even the Iranian government itself has difficulties in keeping the details of these allegations straight.

Conclusion:

The violation of rights in Balochistan is part of the Iranian regime’s policy to arrest people and hold them hostage and execute them when it considers it useful to take revenge against the Baloch people. For instance, in the early morning of 26 October 2013, 16 Baloch prisoners were hanged in a revenge act, only 8 hours after an armed clash between Sunni rebels and Iranian border guards had taken place on the evening of 25 October 2013. The attorney general of the Sistan-Baluchistan province was quoted as saying that the rebels were “linked to groups hostile to the regime”, and that they were executed for the killing of Iranian border guards. While they accused some of them of being supporters or members of armed groups, about 6 others had already been charged for smuggling. It is clear they were executed exclusively because they were Baloch.

This is not the only time Iranian regime has killed innocent Baloch people accused for crimes that happened while they were already in prison.

Most of the killings in the form of extra judicial killing, target killing, random arrests and execution of people blamed for drug smuggling, are part of an Iranian state policy to weaken the Baloch society, to continue its despotic rule over Balochistan and exploit its resource and geopolitical location.

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