The Foundation for Democracy in Iran has received several reportsin recent days suggesting an upsurge in violence against politicaldissidents in Iran.
It is not a coincidence that these moves - which include arrests,an alleged kidnapping, and the murder of a political opponentoverseas - occurred just prior to the visit to Tehran of two seniorEuropean diplomats, Germany's deputy Foreign Minister, PeterHartmann, and the Chairman of the European Commission of the IrishParliament, Michael Ferris. Both met with senior officials of theIslamic Republic on Nov. 5. According to reports in thestate-controlled press in Tehran, their discussions focused on tradeand the U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic, but made nomention of the rampant human rights abuses of the regime.
The opposition Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran reported on Oct.31 that seven Party activists who had taken refuge in northern Iraqwere arrested by pro-Iranian elements on Oct. 20 and handed over tointelligence agents of the regime.
The seven were named as:
- Arshad Rezai, son of Sadegh, born in the village of Shoshmeh(Paveh district)
- Mohammad Aziz Ghadri, son of Karim, born in the village ofNerweh (Paveh district)
- Darioush Islamdoost, son of Mohammad, born in the town ofNossood (Paveh district)
- Yunes Mohammadpour, son of Mohammad Naim, born in Paveh
- Mozaffar Kazemi, son of Mulud, born in Paveh
- Adnan Ismaili, son of Mohammad, born in the village of Hadjidj(Paveh district)
- Maroof Sohrabi, son of Mohammad Said, born in Paveh.
According to information from the KDPI and confirmed byindependent FDI sources in Iran, all seven are currently being heldincommunicado in a Revolutionary Guards jail in the town of Paveh innorthwestern Iran. There are credible reports that they have beentortured while in prison. All face possible execution for theirmembership in a banned organization.
The Foundation considers the seven to be political prisoners, andcalls on the authorities in Tehran to release themunconditionally.
On November 4, the opposition Fedayeen (Minority), a groupaffiliated with the Mujahidin-e Khalq, announced that a member oftheir organization identified as Ali Mowlali had been assassinated byIranian government agents in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Coinciding with the arrival of the German Deputy Foreign Ministerin Tehran, the regime arrested the editor of a well-known literarymonthly, Faraj Sarhouhi, as he was preparing to board a flight toFrankfurt at Tehran's Mehrebad airport on Nov. 3. According toreports received by FDI from family members and friends in Tehran,Mr. Sarhouhi was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Informationand Security, although his whereabouts remain unknown.
The day before Mr. Sarhouhi's disappearance, another newspapereditor, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, was arrested when he appeared beforea Tehran court after journalists at his weekly defied a publicationban. Mr. Tabarzadi's publication, Payam-e Daneshjoo (Student'sMessage) was closed in July after it ran investigative reports onhigh-level corruption in the regime.
The Foundation appeals to the European Union - if it is at allserious about the "critical" side of its dialogue with Tehran - toraise the cases mentioned above immediately with the authorities inTehran, instead of rewarding the Islamic Republic with trade andfinancial aide.
The Foundation for Democracy in Iran is a private, non-profitcorporation registered in the State of Maryland. Contact: Kenneth R.Timmerman, Executive Director. Tel: (301) 946-2918. Fax: (301)942-5341. FDI materials, including the FDI Newswire, are availablefree-of-charge via the Internet at http://www.iran.org