In the Fifth Month of Mousavi Khoeini’s Arrest
Omid Memarian firstname.lastname@example.org
18 Oct 2006
Five months have passed since the “temporary” detention of former reformist Majlis deputy (MP), Mousavi Khoeini. He was arrested on June 12 while participating at a peaceful gathering to protest discriminatory laws against women. Mr. Khoeini was in fact one of the sixty people arrested when the gathering took a violent turn after security forces stormed the area.
Five months have passed since the “temporary” detention of former reformist Majlis deputy (MP), Mousavi Khoeini. He was arrested on June 12 while participating at a peaceful gathering to protest discriminatory laws against women. Mr. Khoeini was in fact one of the sixty people arrested when the gathering took a violent turn after security forces stormed the area. Mousavi Khoeini, who is now spending time in the infamous 209 ward of Evin prison, had visited this very prison many times as a member of parliament and the National Security Council. The irony of life around us is that his efforts to bring secret detention centers under the open legal jurisdiction and protect prisoners’ rights have now sent him to jail. Above all, he has now personally experienced what it means to spend time in solitary confinement.
Unlike other political prisoners, Mousavi Khoeini is neither in touch with his lawyers nor able to meet his family members. Even for a humanitarian event such as the funeral and burial ceremony of his father, he was escorted out of prison for just one night.
Despite the efforts of many local and international human rights organizations, no one is taking responsibility for Khoeini’s condition. Many human rights organizations and some of the most prominent human rights activists in Iran later condemned the unprecedented level of police violence at the gathering in which Khoeini was arrested. More than 100 of the most prominent social, cultural and political activists in Iran wrote an open letter one day after the event. It stated, “Reverting to violence instead of protecting the security of citizens’ gatherings is in violation of human rights, national security, and the mission statement of the police force. Hence, the responsibility of such violations and inappropriate measures rests with the Ministry of Interior, and the person of the minister, as the chief of police, is required to look into these issues and restore the rights of the victims as well as punish the offenders. Undoubtedly, this bitter event is an important test in gauging the level of the government’s affection for its citizenry.”
When Khoeini was attending his father’s funeral, he shouted to the audience that he was being tortured: “I am in solitary and being interrogated four times a day. I am woken up in the middle of the night for interrogation. They want to turn me into a mental patient, constantly pressuring me to denounce my beliefs, regret my actions and ask the Supreme Leader for forgiveness. I resist but they have placed me under very severe pressures.” A few of those present at the funeral told Amnesty International, “Khoeini’s escorts did not let him meet his wife when he entered the mosque. In reaction, Khoeini began speaking in a loud voice and asked people for help.” But even these remarks were not enough to convince judiciary’s officials to conduct an independent investigation over the matter. One of those present at the funeral also told Amnesty International, “bruises on his neck and signs of broken bones were visible on his head.” Khoeini had also lamented the psychological and physical tortures that he was subject to, “I sleep at nights with chains to my hands and feet and do not have access to any amenities.”
Officials have banned Khoeini from meeting with his lawyers. The judiciary has not yet announced any formal charges against him. This has worried many of Khoeini’s friends and colleagues. Ironically, the judiciary released a document entitled “Citizen’s Rights” earlier to boast about its treatment of prisoners.
Khoeini is entering his fifth month of detention while his condition has worried many civil society activists in Iran. Each day more voices are heard protesting such of treatments and arrests, reflecting the negative effects of the arrest of man, who although alone in prison, is celebrated and awaited by his friends more than ever before.
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