Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Students Tortured, Beaten to “Fabricate Evidence”

From International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Detained Students Tortured and Beaten to “Fabricate Evidence”

Intelligence Officials Halt Release of Detainees/ (photo: Mehdi Mashayekhi, left, and Abbas Hakimzadeh)

(26 May 2009) Six students from Amir Kabir University who have been released on bail following a group of student detentions on 5 February and 24 February, have reported being harshly interrogated, beaten over long periods of time, and tortured in an effort to force them to confess to illegal activities.

They were coerced to confess to relations with the United States, Israel, and the Mojahedin (MEK) opposition group, which was formerly an armed group considered a terrorist organization, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Three students remain in detention. Abbas Hakimzadeh and Mehdi Mashayekhi remain in prison on intelligence officials’ orders and are reportedly in dire condition, while no information has emerged about Masoud Dehghan.

“No one can accept that innocent students acting within their internationally protected rights have been illegally arrested, detained, ill-treated, and tortured in an effort to extract confessions of major national security crimes,” said Aaron Rhodes, a spokesman for the Campaign.

“These students have been denied access to legal counsel, and intelligence officials have interfered with the process. The Iranian state and the responsible officials must be held accountable for the health and safety of these young people,” he added.

The mother of Abbas Hakimzadeh, who was allowed to visit him twice in the past 10 days, told the Campaign that her son had been tortured and beaten and was in poor physical and psychological health. Hakimzadeh suffers from a spinal problem and had an operation before he was arrested and also has a speech impediment. According to his mother, he was unable to communicate at all due to ill-treatment he had suffered. He remains in solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin prison, where he continues to be interrogated.

The Campaign has also received reports that Mehdi Mashayekhi, also still in detention, is suffering from psychological problems as a result of being ill-treated.

Read complete report here ...

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