Khabarnegaran.info-Niki Azad: Local journalist Mahdieh Amiri speaks of the hardships of practicing journalism in the southern Iranian province of Bushehr. Amiri has been working as a journalist in Bushehr for years. Since 2007, she has been the editor-in-chief of a few local websites, biweekly and quarterly magazines. She is now the editor-in-chief of hamooniran.com website and Ava-ye Dashtestan biweekly.
Who Are The Four Imprisoned Journalists On Hunger Strike At Evin Prison?23 June 2011
Translated by Banooye Sabz
A report by Iranian Journalists- Niki Azad
Khabarnegaran. info- With the exception of Emadeddin Baghi who was released from prison two days ago, the incarcerated journalists at Evin prison, continue their hunger strike. Four journalists whose only crime was writing and criticizing, have each spent months behind bars and now they are participating in a hunger strike protesting the killing of Haleh Sahabi and their prison mate Hoda Saber, a journalist and social activist who eventually died in a hospital as a result of prison officials ignoring the complications arising from his hunger strike.
Who are these journalists on hunger strike behind bars?
Emad Bahavar, Journalist Sentenced to 10 Years Imprisonment
It is still hard to believe the sentence that Emad Bahavar, journalist and political activist received from the 15th branch of the Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Salavati. It is hard to believe that the claim the interrogators made to Emad’s family at the time of his arrest and upon raiding his house, that they will ensure he receives a 10 year sentence became a reality.
Emad Bahavar, a journalist who had written for a variety of publications over the years was arrested several times in the period of one year on charges of writing a letter to the Supreme Leader.
In his defense statement, Bahavar wrote that during his interrogation process, his interrogators insisted that he confess to participating in the demonstrations that took place on Ahsura in a televised statement. Bahavar writes: "They threatened that if I refuse to confess in a televised interview, they will file a new case against me based on all my writings and all the statements published by the Freedom Movement of Iran. As a result, after months of temporary detention and long after my last interrogation, a new charge (propaganda against the regime) was formally added to my charges based on the content of my writings."
Emad Bahavar, Head of the Youth Branch of the Freedom Movement of Iran was one of the young demonstrators dressed in Green that was arrested and transferred to prison the day after the rigged elections. Bahavar was arrested four times in 2009.
According to statements by Bahavar’s lawyer, Mrs. Gheyrat, the presiding Judge refused to even read his defense in court, upholding the lower court’s ruling with unexpected speed.
Bahavar is currently on a hunger strike and his family has no information regarding his condition and well being.
Mohammad Davari, a Journalist Refusing to Compromise His Ideals
It has been two years since the incarceration of Mohammad Davari, journalist and editor of Saham News. During this time he has not been grated furlough for even one day, nor has his name been frequently mentioned in the press. According to his prison mates, though Davari is a humble and quiet man, he is nevertheless present in every protest against oppression and injustice.
This is not the first time that Davari has launched a hunger strike. Davari was arrested after his letter regarding the torture and persecution of political prisoners at Kahrizak prison was forwarded to the Assembly of Experts by Mehdi Karroubi, with the goal to force him to testify against Mehdi Karroubi on the IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting).
During his 7 month incarceration at Evin’s Ward 209, Davari launched a number of hunger strikes. In a letter written to Tehran’s Prosecutor, Mehdi Karroubi took full responsibility for the evidence and films depicting the torture and rape taking place in Iran’s notorious prisons, stating that Mohammad Davari acted merely as cameraman during the interviews and reiterating that Davari had no other role in this matter. Mehdi Karroubi’s attempts to set the record straight were however fruitless and Mohammad Davari was sentenced to six years prison by the Revolutionary Court.
In a letter addressed to his mother a while ago, Davari stated: "Holding you and my beloved sister in my arms during a face to face visit in prison filled me with love last week and although my sister broke down in tears and and you and I found our hearts beating at the sight of her distress, honest tears rolling down our faces, I am nevertheless grateful that my dry eyes became wet at the site of her sincere demonstration of love. My patient mother, I am at a loss for words and ashamed to see you endure the hardship of thousands of kilometers of travel , just to come and see me."
Mohammad’s family live in the countryside and are even denied regular visitation with him. In a letter addressed to his family a while ago, Mohammad asked that they no longer visit him at Evin for each time they visit, until they have arrived safely back home, a thousand thoughts go through his head and given that he has been denied telephone privileges, he suffers immensely until news of their safe arrival final gets back to him.
Today, Mohammad’s mother who is kilometers away from him cries knowing fully well that her son is on a hunger strike.
Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, A Journalist Who Wrote of a Nation’s Sorrow
Bahman Ahmadi Amoui was sentenced to five years prison because of his criticism of the government’s economic policies. This is the second time he has launched a hunger strike, the first time with 16 of his prison mates and this time with 11. Ahmadi Amoui went on a hunger strike last year after he was transferred to solitary confinement along with 16 other prisoners. Both his prison mates and his former colleagues at work say that Bahman has never been able to remain indifferent towards oppression and injustice. While serving his sentence, he continues to hold his head up high without ever compromising his ideals. Bahman and his wife Jila Baniyaghoub who also received a prison sentence and has been deprived of journalism for a period of 30 years are both journalists and that has been their only crime.
Bahman had entered his 730th day behind bars when he launched a hunger strike with 11 other prison mates. During his two years in prison he has only been granted furlough once. Bahman studied Economics at Mazandaran University, writing for such publications as Jamee, Toos, Sobhe Emrooz, Norooz, Shargh, Vaghayeh Etefaghiyeh and Sarmayeh to name a few. He is also the author of two books, "The Political Economics of the Islamic Republic" and "How Men Within the Islamic Republic Became Technocrats".
Ahmadi Amoui is one of the many journalists supporting the Green Movement who was arrested and transferred to Evin prison along with his wife Jila Baniyaghoub on June 20th, 2009. He was also charged with publishing an epic poem by Ferdowsi on the Khordade-Nou Website. Ahmadi Amoui was held in Evin’s ward 209 for extensive periods without the ability to meet with is family and he has been deprived of a face to face meeting with his wife for approximately one year. All phone calls to and from Evin’s ward 350 have been banned and as a result Ahmadi Amoui has no contact with his family that live in the countryside.
Bahman Ahmadi Amoui is now once again on hunger strike and his family and friends are naturally very concerned for his well being.
Mohammad Reza Moghiseh Wrote of the Deaths That Took Place After The Disputed Elections
Mohammad Reza Moghiseh is a journalist and member of a committee formed after the election by Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi to follow up on the post-election detainees and victims. The offices of this committee were closed during the critical days that followed the disputed elections and all documents published by the committee, including the names of all the victims of the post election turmoil were confiscated by security forces.
Moghiseh was accused of collaborating with this committee and as a result of the information he had obtained on the graves of those killed after the elections was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence at his house in October 2009. As a result of the information obtained by Moghiseh and other human rights activists in Iran it was determined that a number of those killed during the post election turmoil were secretly buried in mass graves without names at the Beheshte Zahra cemetery by the government of Iran.
Moghiseh’s mother wrote of her sorrow to her son in a letter that was published by a number of media outlets. In her letter, Moghiseh’s mother wrote of the pain of separation requesting that the government authorities grant Moghiseh the same rights as ordinary prisoners, such as face to face visitation rights with his family and furlough from prison. The letter written by Moghiseh’s suffering mother angered Tehran’s prosecutor Jafar Dolatabadi resulting in Moghiseh being summoned to the prosecutors office at Evin prison for questioning on April 10th, 2011.
The complaint by Moghiseh to Tehran’s prosecutor led to a dispute between the two and it has been reported that Dolatabadi announced that Moghiseh had been summoned back to prison after a short furlough upon posting bail, as a result of requests by security officials to exert more pressure on him, claiming that Moghiseh and his family have no right to publish any statements.
In solidarity with the rest of the journalists at Evin’s ward 350, Mohammad Reza Moghiseh has also launched a hunger strike protesting the killings of Hoda Saber and Haleh Sahabi.
Emadeddin Baghi, Released From Prison on the 3rd Day of His Hunger Strike
Emadeddin Baghi is a former political prisoner, human rights activist, journalist and founder of the Committee for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights. Baghi also launched a hunger strike on June 18th, 2011 alongside 11 of his prison mates at Evin’s ward 350. Upon completion of his prison sentence, he was however freed on Monday June 20th after serving 1 1/2 years behind bars. Baghi had previously served another 4 1/2 years at Evin prison.
Baghi is the author of the contemporary history text books used in Iranian high schools. His book "The Tragedy of Democracy in Iran" and numerous other books he has authored have been banned.
Source: Iranian Journalists http://khabarnegaran.info/article.p...
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