*News Release Issued by the International Secretariat

of Amnesty International


PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/13/99

UA 141/99 Fear for safety 22 June 1999




Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, age 39, journalist

Hossein Kashani, journalist


Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of HeshmatollahTabarzadi, editor-in-chief of the weekly newsletter Hoveyat-e-Khish(Our Identity), and Hossein Kashani, its director, who have beenarrested after questioning about publishing information contrary to"public order and the public interest". On 16 June 1999, HosseinKashani was summoned to a tribunal at the office of the revolutionaryprosecutor, in Evin prison, and arrested after questioning.

Heshmatollah Tabarzadi was called to the same office forquestioning the following day, and was also arrested. They have bothbeen detained in Evin prison since then, and have not been grantedaccess to family or legal representation.

The precise charges brought against them are not clear and havenot been officially announced. Before Hossein Kashani was arrestedthe Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance issued a statementsaying that it intended to charge Hoveyat-e-Khish with publishing"deceitful and offensive" articles.

Heshmatollah Tabarzadi gave a radio interview the day before hisarrest, in which he reportedly criticised aspects of governmentpolicy. He also reportedly criticised President Khatami's position onthe arrest of at least 13 people, thought to include Iranian Jews,rabbis and religious teachers, who have been charged with espionageand spying for the USA and Israel (see UA 133/99, MDE 13/11/99, 8June 1999).



Hoveyat-e-Khish has only published three issues to date.Heshmatollah Tabarzadi was previously the editor of the studentnewsletter Payam-e Daneshjou (Students' Message), which was bannedafter complaints from a number of government officials.

In 1998, shortly after he had reportedly criticised the Iranianleadership in Payam-e Daneshjou, he was attacked and beaten by agroup of unknown men who raided the office of the Islamic Students'Association. He is now the president of the Association as well asthe editor-in-chief of Hoveyat-e-Khish.


On 25 May 1999, shortly before he was scheduled to speak at aprotest rally at Tehran University, student activist ManuchehrMohammadi was attacked and driven off in a car by five unknown men.Gholamreza Mohajeri-Nezhad, another student leader, was also detainedon 30 May. They were released at the beginning of June, but a numberof people who attended the rally are said to be still in fear fortheir safety (see UA MDE 13/09/99, 26 May 1999 and UA MDE 13/12/99,11 June 1999).




Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in English oryour own language:

- seeking urgent clarification from the authorities of the exactcharges which have been brought against Hossein Kashani andHeshmatollah Tabarzadi;

- seeking assurances that they will be allowed access to familyand legal representation of their choice;

- urging the authorities to take concrete measures to guaranteethe security of all other students activists and government criticsbelieved to be at risk.




Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran,Islamic

Republic of Iran

Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency



His Excellency

Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami

The Presidency, Palestine Avenue Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran,The

Islamic Republic of Iran

Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency


Head of the Judiciary

His Excellency Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi

Ministry of Justice

Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Telegrams: Head of the Judiciary, Tehran, Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency


Minister of the Interior

His Excellency Moussavi Lari

Ministry of the Interior

Dr Fatemi Avenue

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Telegrams: Interior Minister, Tehran, Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency




Minister of Foreign Affairs

His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran


Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far

Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission

PO Box 13165-137

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Faxes: + 98 21 204 0541


And to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to yourcountry.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the InternationalSecretariat,

or your section office, if sending appeals after 3 August1999.