Friday, January 12, 2007


Amnesty International: Fear for safety/Fear of torture or ill-treatment IRAN Kianoosh Sanjari (m) aged 24, student activist and blogger
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/001/2007

10 January 2007

Further Information on UA 284/06 (MDE 13/121/2006, 23 October 2006) Fear for safety/Fear of torture or ill-treatment

IRAN Kianoosh Sanjari (m) aged 24, student activist and blogger

Student activist Kianoosh Sanjari was released on 27 December on bail of 100 million touman (over US$100,000) by the Special Court for the Clergy. He is believed to have been accused of "acting against state security" and "propaganda against the system", although he does not yet appear to have been formally charged. No date has been set for a trial to begin.

He had been arrested in Tehran on 8 October 2006 while reporting on clashes between the security forces and supporters of Shi'a cleric Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi. Beaten with batons during his arrest, he was taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison, which is run by the Ministry of Intelligence, and held there until his release. He was not permitted to meet his lawyer while he was in custody, and was not allowed to phone his family for the first month. After the first month, he was permitted some family visits, but these were supervised by an official.

Kianoosh Sanjari has thanked Amnesty International for its efforts. In a posting on his blog dated 8 January 2007 (which can be read in Persian at, he thanked those who worked on his behalf and mentioned Amnesty International. He also referred to a radio interview with Radio Farda ( in which he described his detention in Section 209. He said that during his first interrogation session the interrogator slapped him very hard several times and told him that he would be executed, which he believed was intended to put pressure on him to confess. He said that because of the conditions of his release, he was unable to describe everything that had happened while he was in custody.

According to Radio Farda, he had spent a month and a half in solitary confinement, and said, "Keeping people in solitary confinement, in which they have no contact with the outside world, is reckoned to be one of the worst forms of torture ... Solitary confinement, which is at war with body and mind, can be the most inhuman form of white torture for someone like me who has been arrested solely for the crime of investigating the rights of citizens and society." Kianoosh Sanjari went on to say that stories he had posted on his website, which had been picked up by other news sites, such as the memorial ceremony for Akbar Mohammadi, who died in prison following a hunger strike, and also news regarding the situation of political prisoners, seemed to have been the cause of "sensitivity" on the part of the authorities.

Kianoosh Sanjari has been arrested at least four times, the first time when he was only 17. He was held in various detention centres, including Prison 59, and Section 325 of Evin Prison, which are both controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, and section 209 of Evin Prison, controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence. On one occasion he was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court after being accused of student activities and being a spokesman for the United Student Front. Students are a politically active section of society in Iran, and are frequently targeted by the authorities for abuses including arbitrary arrest and denial of the right to continue their studies.

"White torture" is a term used by Iranians to describe prolonged periods of solitary confinement, often in detention centres outside the control of the prison authorities, including Section 209 of Evin Prison. Some of those who have experienced it have described it as being far worse than physical abuse.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible in English, French, Persian, Arabic or your own language:
- welcoming the release on bail of Kianoosh Sanjari;
- calling on the authorities to order an immediate and impartial investigation into his allegations that he was tortured (which included being beaten, threatened with execution and subjected to prolonged incommunicado detention) and bring those responsible to justice;
- asking the precise charges he is facing, and the evidence against him;
- asking the authorities to inform you of the date of any trial sessions;
- urging the authorities to drop any charges against him which relate solely to his peaceful exercise of his internationally recognized right to freedom of expression and association, including his work as a blogger and human rights defender;
- stating that if Kianoosh Sanjari were to be convicted and imprisoned solely on the basis of such charges, Amnesty International would consider him to be a prisoner of conscience, and would call for his immediate and unconditional release.

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 3 311 6567 (Mark: "Please forward to HE Ayatollah Shahroudi")
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence, Second Negarestan Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency


His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: (via foreign ministry) +981 6 674 790 (Mark "Please forward to H.E. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad")
via website:
Salutation: Your Excellency

Speaker of Parliament
His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel
Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami
Imam Khomeini Avenue,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 6 646 1746

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 21 February 2007.

[+/-] show/hide this post

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?