Iran Human RightsIran: Journalists Receive Death Threats After Testifying

Iran: Journalists Receive Death Threats After Testifying

-

Human Rights Watch: After testifying to a presidential commission about their torture during detention, a group of Iranian journalists have received death threats from judicial officials under Tehran chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned about the safety of the journalists, whose testimony to a presidential commission, tasked with investigating mistreatment of detainees, provided detailed … Human Rights Watch

(New York, January 6, 2005) — After testifying to a presidential commission about their torture during detention, a group of Iranian journalists have received death threats from judicial officials under Tehran chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned about the safety of the journalists, whose testimony to a presidential commission, tasked with investigating mistreatment of detainees, provided detailed information on their torture and mistreatment while they were detained, without being charged, by secret squads operating under the authority of the judiciary.

“We want the Iranian government to know that the world is watching what happens to these young journalists. The Iranian government is responsible for their safety,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch. “The Iranian authorities should be protecting citizens who testify before presidential commissions instead of sending them death threats.”

On December 25, Hanif Mazroi, Massoud Ghoreishi, Fereshteh Ghazi, Arash Naderpour and Mahbobeh Abasgholizadeh-all of whom are journalists detained by the government-testified about their detention before the presidential commission. Fereshteh Ghazi provided details of her treatment by interrogators, including severe beatings that resulted in a broken nose during one interrogation session. The detainees were kept under lengthy solitary confinement in a secret detention center and were repeatedly subjected to psychological and physical torture.

On January 1 two other former detainees, Omid Memarian and Ruzbeh Mir Ebrahimi, also appeared in front of the commission. In their testimonies, as made public by commission member Mohammad Ali Abtahi, they confirmed details of their torture.

Since their appearances before the commission, Saeed Mortazavi, chief prosecutor of Tehran, has threatened each of these former detainees with lengthy prison sentences and harm to their family members, as punishment for their testimony. Mortazavi continues to issue numerous subpoenas for the journalists without specifying charges. His operatives also harass the journalists by phone on a daily basis. On January 3, Mortazavi held a press conference denying any mistreatment of detainees and threatening to prosecute the former detainees for “allegations against security forces and prison officials that are politically motivated.”

The journalists’ testimonies exposed Mortazavi’s role in authorizing their torture to extract confessions and in compelling them to appear on television to deny their mistreatment while under detention.

“The brave testimony of these young journalists has reaffirmed evidence of Mortazavi’s leading role in the torture of detainees,” said Whitson. “It’s high time for the Iranian government to investigate Mortazavi’s abuses and bring him to justice.”

Saeed Mortazavi has spearheaded the judiciary’s attack on press freedoms since the current crackdown began in 2000. He is responsible for the closure of numerous newspapers, as well as the arrests and prosecution of journalists, which is detailed in the recent Human Right Watch report on Iran, “Like the Dead in their Coffins.”

Latest news

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Iran’s Regime Is Hiding Human Rights Violations In Its Prisons

With more than four months into Iran’s latest round of nationwide uprisings, the brutality of the Iranian regime’s security...

How Internet Censorship Is Damaging Iran’s Economy

While in the last four months, internet access in Iran has been cut off or severely limited, the regime’s...

Iran Regime’s Upcoming Budget Bill Will Lead To More Protests

On January 12, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi handed over the country’s budget bill to the parliament.  According...

Must read

Australia probes N.Korea weapons for Iran seizure

Reuters: Australia will investigate the case of a shipment...

Iran awaiting European response to uranium proposal: top Iranian official

AFP: Iran expects Europe to respond at a meeting...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you