09 Aug 2009 17:52
Karroubi demands probe into detainee rapes
[Radio Farda] August 9, 2009
Defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi called on the Assembly of Experts to investigate the sexual assault of a number of young men and women arrested in the post-election unrest.
In a letter to the head of the Assembly, Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Karroubi said," Some of the detainees of the [post-election] unrest claim that the detained girls have been sexually assaulted with such brutality that they have all sustained intense vaginal tearing."
"The young men in detention were also sexually assaulted in a manner that some are now suffering from depression and other physical and psychological problems and are incapable of even leaving their homes."
Karroubi, the Secretary-General of the National Confidence party said, "The people who informed me about these events hold sensitive positions in the country... these officials told me that the things that happened in the detention centers [are so deplorable] that even if one count is true, it would be a tragedy for the Islamic Republic... and it would whitewash the sins of many dictatorships including that of the deposed shah."
Following the announcement of the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, countless Iranians including journalists, political activists and ordinary people were detained by security and Basij forces, and transferred to undisclosed locations.
Shocking revelations about prisoner abuse that led to the deaths of a number of detainees sparked widespread outrage in Iran.
After the confirmation that Mohsen Rouholamini, the son of one of Mohsen Razaei's aides, had died in the Kahrizak detention center, Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei ordered the closure of the facility.
"Given the importance of the issue, it is expected that an impartial and transparent committee be appointed by the head of the Assembly of Experts to investigate the issue until results are obtained and so that this will be a lesson for the future and hooligans will no longer dare to cause the Imam [Khomeini], the establishment and the Islamic Republic to lose face."
According to Mehdi Karroubi's son Hossein, the veteran politician's son had written the letter 10 days ago and due to the silence of Rafsanjani had been forced to make the letter public.
"My father had said that he would make the letter public if he does not receive a response within 10 days. Unfortunately Mr. Rafsanjani did not respond accordingly."
Principlist lawmaker defends Rafsanjani
[Tabnak] August 9, 2009
Principlist lawmaker Emad Afrough said he was against the mounting pressures being put on Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani and advised against creating another Montazeri-like scenario.
[Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri was supposed to take over the Supreme Leadership after the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic, before he fell out of with Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini. Montazeri was exiled to Najjafabad in Isfahan after his demotion. ]
"Differences of opinion must not lead to the elimination of rivals... Eliminating ones opponents is unacceptable as it will lead to the elimination of competition in society," he said in response to a question about how he viewed Rafsanjani's political future.
"Critics say he did not say everything he was supposed to and said things he should not have at the Friday Prayers," Afrough said. "[But] Hashemi's words were wise and his sermon showed his understanding of the realities and needs of the society."
"Is talking about the importance of consoling the victims of the post-election unrest bad? This was an issue that the Supreme Leader also touched upon."
"If people like Mr. Rafsanjani are eliminated from the scene of the Islamic Revolution the people will lose their trust in the establishment. And I must add here that I have serious doubts about the revolutionary background of those who are attacking Mr. Rafsanjani."
In response to a question as to whether he believed Rafsanjani would be removed from the positions of Head of the Expediency Council and Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader, Afrough said, "I see a zero chance for his removal from these two positions, unless he himself resigns."
Asked whether intensified pressure on Rafsanjani would lead to his resignation, Afrough said, "There is a chance that more pressure will be exerted to force him into resignation. However, I do not think the Supreme Leader wants to see Mr. Rafsanjani's political isolation and I would not expect to see this from the leader."
"Nothing has happened to make Mr. Rafsanjani's resignation necessary. I do not see the Leader implying such a thing in anything he has said. In any case, I do not think Mr. Rafsanjani's resignation would be a wise move and I think we need to find a solution for the pressures [exerted on him.]"
Grand Ayatollah: Fate of detainees must be immediately determined
[Montajabnia.com] August 8, 2009
Shia Source of emulation Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi has called for determining the fate of the detainees of the post-election unrest to further restore calm in society.
"Our society, God willing, has been moving toward the restoration of calm but this depends on avoiding the use of aggressive literature, which has become common in certain newspapers and websites these days, as well as avoiding false rumors that add to tensions," ILNA quoted the Grand Ayatollah as saying.
"We must think about the future and realize that these incidents not only cause the people to have distressful thoughts but also entail inflicting a lot of damage."
"To attain calm it is necessary to determine the fate of the detainees of the unrest. Those who have not committed a mistake or whose mistake can be overlooked with Islamic compassion must be immediately released. We hope to see these detainees freed and those who have committed major crimes to at least know their situation."
Section 209 served same food as intelligence minister
[Tabnak] Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Majlis foreign policy and national security commission, said prisoners held in section 209 of Evin Prison were served the same food as the intelligence minister.
Section 209 of Evin Prison is under the control of the Intelligence Ministry.
"I'm telling you the truth. Everyone in section 209 eats the same food as the intelligence minister because the intelligence ministry brings the food for this section," he said.
In response to a question about the work of the special 10-member parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the deaths and detentions of the post-election protesters, Boroujerdi said, "Mr. [Ali] Larijani [Majlis Speaker] is of the opinion that the committee should continue its work."
"We are scheduled to visit another detention center today," he added.
Boroujerdi refrained from disclosing the name and location of the detention center. "We will talk about this matter in due time," he said.
Regarding the resignation of Kazem Jalali from the Majlis probe committee, the Iranian lawmaker said, "Jalali's resignation was because of a personal reason and a heavy workload and the important thing is that he has returned to work out of respect for the Majlis Speaker [Larijani]."
After the resignation of Jalali many speculated that the Iranian lawmaker had walked away from the committee as "it was unable to efficiently carry out its responsibilities, as recommended by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei."
Boroujerdi was asked about Saeed Hajjarian. "He is currently kept at a house with a swimming pool," Boroujerdi said.
A reporter told the lawmaker that the swimming pool was probably for the interrogators, not Hajjarian.
"Even looking at a swimming pool has it merits," Boroujerdi responded.
When the lawmaker was asked about Mostafa Tajjazdeh, he said he was unaware of his situation. "I don't have any new information about him," he said.
MP: Iran has best democracy in the world
[Sedaye Farda] Mohammad-Karim Abedi, the Majlis Representative for Tabas and Ferdos, said Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and Mir Hossein Mousavi must be held responsible and immediately tried for their mistakes.
"Iran is a country built on the pillars of 'Independence, Freedom and the Islamic Republic.' At the base of this is the constitution and the rule of the just jurisprudent," he said. "Despite all the efforts of the enemy against this [Islamic] establishment, with the help of God this country has been efficiently governed over the past 30 years so that the best form of democracy can be found in Iran."
"When Hashemi-Rafsanjani was the Majlis speaker and president for two terms, he took no steps to relieve [people from the pain of] poverty," said Abedi, who is a member of the Majlis foreign policy and national security commission.
He said Rafsanjani was like 'Akbar Shah' [King Akbar] and cited the veteran politician's efforts to turn the chief-executive position into a lifetime term, as in Egypt, as an example.
"Rafsanjani was the source behind questioning the election and the protests that followed," Abedi claimed.
He went on to criticize the Reform government of Khatami. "The woes that befell the Iranian nation under Khatami!" he said. "The humiliation they [Iranians] were forced to suffer in the international arena and on the nuclear issue," were two examples he cited. He also accused Khatami of "serving the Americans at all times."
"The Khatami government wanted to deprive the nation of the rule of the just jurisprudent and replace it with a government looked favorably upon by the United States," he said.
Abedi went on to say that many of the officials of the Reform government were corrupt and guilty of embezzling billions of dollars, contrary to the Ahmadinejad administration which he described as God-fearing and justice-seeking.
"The Reform government was reviving the cast system in Iran -- but everyone must have equal rights in the Islamic Republic."
He went on to accuse Rafsanjani of uniting Karroubi, Mousavi and Khatami against the establishment, saying, "The vigilant Iranian nation, despite all their [the opposition] trickery elected Dr. [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad as president and showed gratitude for all the efforts of the Leader and the president."
"They [the opposition] had planned to question the vote result, provoke the people to take to the streets in the event of losing in the election and they did everything in their power, from inside and outside the country, and inflicted billions of dollars in damages, and [in the end] it was proven that they were confronting the establishment."
"Despite the Supreme Leader having said that there had been no vote fraud, these people issued a number of statements in which they hurled the worst insults at the Islamic Republic."
"Mir-Hossein Mousavi created a lot of problems when he was prime minister and he holds a grudge against the Islamic establishment," Abedi explained.
He went on to offer advise to Khatami, Hashemi, Mousavi and Karroubi. "When the US and UK approve of your actions, you must doubt yourselves and your actions. You must regret your actions and repent in front of the nation."
No congratulatory message from Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi
[Noandish] Despite reports suggesting that Shia Source of Emulation Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi had sent a congratulatory message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his reelection, investigation has proven to the contrary.
Noandish website reported on Saturday that it had inquired about the letter after a number of websites and newspapers had written about it, only to find that the grand Ayatollah had never sent such a message.
The Ayatollah's website has not published such a letter.
[IRIB2] General Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, head of Iran's security forces, gave an interview to state television about the Kahrizak detention facility, which the Supreme Leader ordered shut. Here's a transcript of the interview:
A transcript of the IRIB2 interview:
Reporter: Can you please tell us about the Kahrizak detention facility and what has been done about it?
Moghadam: Those who were arrested for taking part in the illegal demonstrations of July 9th [18th of Tir, in commemoration of the attacks on the student dormitories in 1999] were held in a number of police headquarters throughout Tehran. The judiciary advised that they be divided into two group. In our initial investigations, those who were accused of more serious crimes were sent to Kahrizak. And the rest were either released or sent to Evin prison.
Unfortunately after they were transferred, for the next four days, from the 19th to the 23rd, the condition in Kahrizak was very dire. I have to add that the Kahrizak detention facility was originally intended for those detainees who were considered very dangerous, who are usually arrested in the Plans for Public Safety. [This was an initiative that began two years ago. Parts of it address harassing young people on the streets, especially girls for "threatening public safety by arousing men." Drug dealers, convicts, murderers, etc. are also covered by this plan.] And naturally these kinds of detainees are much different in nature from those arrested on the 9th.
Maybe this was an ill-advised decision on behalf of those who sent these prisoners there. But anyway, they were sent there for four days and unfortunately that facility was already filled to capacity. The head of the facility did not declare this lack of space to us in writing.
So they sent the prisoners to one of the sections in the prison, which, for instance, had enough space for 50 people. And they forced 140 people into that space. So of course the environment was tight and uncomfortable in terms of heat, living conditions, etc. So the conditions were bad. Unfortunately the head of the facility did not report this to higher authorities. To add to that, when some of the prisoners objected to the conditions, two of the guards physically hurt three of these prisoners. Of course, and I'm only saying this so that the public has more knowledge about the matter, those individuals like Mr. Rooholamini who died were not among the three people. These three have been interviewed by our investigative team.
Our initial investigations show that our officers have had shortcomings and have shown inappropriate anger. But while their actions were not proper, as soon as the word got out through various channels including to the office of the supreme leader, he ordered the facility to be closed and all the prisoners were transferred to Evin Prison.
Reporter: Thank you. I have two or three other questions General Moghadam. People, and those whose rights were violated who may have complaints, what can they do and where can they go?
Moghadam: First of all, I want to express my regrets about these events, about the inappropriate behavior of our own officers. Of course, we must primarily be after those who encouraged this fiasco and created these conditions in society. The conditions they brought about can result in the events we've seen. It could even affect an innocent pedestrian or ordinary people. Of course, none of this excuses the officers who exaggerated their responsibilities or might have even turned violent.
Anyways, from the very first day [sic] on the 15th of June [3 days after the election] we announced that people can call 197 if they have suffered any physical or financial losses, or if they have complaints of our officers. From that day, we've had more than 500 calls and we have processed more than 300 of these complaints. We have compensated the losses as much as we were able to obtain the people's general satisfaction. Anyways, if there are any complaints left, they can still let us know by calling 197. Our officers will call them back and ask them to come to a police center and will, God willing, investigate their complaints.
Reporter: What will happen to those individuals [officers] who have violated the prisoners' rights?
Moghamad: Well, the police force will try and compensate the victims as much as they can for now. But if the victims want to personally go after the accused, they can do so through us or through the courts. But we have personally penalized these officers and where we do not have authority, we will send them to the appropriate courts. For instance, regarding Kahrizak, we were ordered to dismiss the head of the facility, which we did. And three of the officers who were in charge of that section and who may have acted inappropriately [earlier he had said two] and who did not report back the problems, we have issued a warrant for their arrest and they are currently being penalized. The rest will be, God willing, followed up by the judiciary.
Reporter: Thank you. But regarding the individuals you said were currently penalized and the trials you are certainly following, when will the people hear back reports of what is happening?
Moghadam: Certainly. We were waiting for our investigation team to answer back; we did not want to make decisions on our own until the truth came out. Because there were exaggerated versions of these stories going around. That, for instance, prisoners were being beaten and abused or that Mr. Rooholamini was murdered. We did not respond until today when the doctors in charge of his body, and forensic experts sat together to discuss the case and explicitly came out and said that his death was certainly not caused by abuse or beating. So you see, we had to wait for their opinion. We have to wait and see what has really happened so that our response to the offense of our officers is balanced and fair.
But for now, what we have done is to dismiss them and place them under custody. We will complete our investigations through the judiciary and, God willing, will report back our findings to the people.
Reporter: Specifically, we want to know when this is going to happen. When?
Moghadam: We're doing everything as fast as we can. Our investigative team has finished its work today. When they submit their findings to us, we will respond according to those conclusions. At the same time, we are investigating the stories through the judiciary and the interior ministry.
Reporter: Thank you very much General Moghadam and goodbye.
143 Cartoonists refuse to attend the Ninth Tehran Cartoon Biennele.