Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Amnesty International new Nowruz ActionDear Friends:
This year, for the first time, Amnesty International USA is doing a Nowruz Action. We are encouraging people to send Nowruz greetings to two prisoners of conscience in Iran, Mansour Ossanlu and Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand. Both are in poor health and both are serving prison sentences for their peaceful human rights activism. The action is attached and is also on the Iran page of the AIUSA web site. Please also see the posting on the persecution of women activists in Iran--including Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi--on the Amnesty International USA blog. Please leave your comments and suggestions if you wish. The site is at:
http://blog.amnestyusa.org/ Thank you.
Amnesty International USA Iran country specialist
The Persian holiday Nowruz نوروز (“new day”) is an ancient holiday celebrated on the first day of spring to welcome in the new year. On this Nowruz we want to remember two courageous prisoners of conscience in Iran with Nowruz greetings. We ask you to send cards with simple Nowruz greetings such as “Nowruz mobarak” نوروز مبارک
You can say “thinking of you at Nowruz time” or “hoping you are well.” You may send a greeting in either English or Farsi (Persian) but please do not mention Amnesty International or specifics of the recipient’s case. Please also refrain from mentioning the political situation, human rights or U.S.-Iran relations. We suggest sending cards with pictures of landscapes, spring flowers or the like, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday and the message of hope and renewal. Please do not choose cards that have pictures of people unless they are very conservatively dressed, and please do not use cards that depict bottles of wine or other alcoholic beverages.
These two prisoners of conscience have been identified by Amnesty International as “individuals at risk” and are therefore targeted for intensified campaigning. Both have been sentenced to long prison terms for their peaceful activism and both are in poor health.
Mansour Ossanlu is the leader of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Syndica Sherkat-e Vahed). He is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for “acts against national security.” The charges stem from his peaceful work to obtain better conditions for workers in Iran and to end discriminatory laws and practices that curtail workers’ rights in Iran. He had been arrested and detained several times and severely beaten in custody.
He had originally been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison but in August 2008 he was transferred to Rajaei prison in the city of Karaj which houses criminals convicted of violent crimes. Rajaei prison is far from his wife and family who have not been able to visit him very often.
He has suffered from serious medical problems, including retinal damage resulting from beatings he received during a previous detention. Although he was permitted to undergo emergency eye surgery in October 2007, his health condition is still a concern. He has not been allowed to receive the medical care he needs. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience who is being detained on vaguely worded charges in order to halt his efforts to build strong trades unions capable of defending the human rights of workers.
You can send a greeting for Mansour Ossanlu to his wife Parvaneh at:
Taqate’ Maseyl-e Bakhtar
Sar-e Koucheh Shahid Ali Akbar Amiri
Plak 343, Tabaqe avval
First floor, Number 343
Shahid Ali Akbar Amiri Alley
Western Water Barrier Crossroads (or: Maseyl-e Bakhtar Crossroads)
Golbarg West, Tehran, Iran
گلبرگ غربی(جانبازان غربی)تقاطع مسیل باخترسر کوچه شهید علی اکبر امیریپلاک 343طبقه اول
Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, an Iranian Kurdish journalist and founder and Chair of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK), has been detained in Section 209 of Evin Prison since his arrest on 1 July 2007. In May 2008 he was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. He was accused of “acting against state security,” “propaganda against the system,” and “cooperating with groups opposed to the system.” Amnesty International is concerned that he is being held solely for the peaceful expression of his ideas.
Until 2004, he was the editor of a weekly newspaper Payam-e Mardom-e Kordestan, which carried articles promoting the cultural, social and political rights of Iran's Kurdish minority. Payam-e Mardom-e Kordestan was issued with a three-year ban by Iran’s judiciary on 27 June 2004 for “disseminating separatist ideas and publishing false reports” and has not re-opened since. He was arrested on the day the publication ban on his newspaper expired.
Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand has suffered from poor health and medical neglect since his detention. He apparently suffered a heart attack on 17 December 2008 and was not provided with adequate treatment. In May 2008, he collapsed in prison and was unconscious for about 30 minutes.
You can send a greeting to Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand at:
Khanume Parnaz Hassani
Tehran- Khiyaban e Roudaki, Koocheh Khajou
Fariee Naiem, Pelak e 42,
Tabaghe dovom, Tehran 1346754485