Students Remain Behind Bars
As the Islamic Republic of Iran refrained from releasing several political prisoners to spend time with their families for Norooz [the annual Persian New Year that falls on the fist day of Spring], the families of detained students spent their new year near the walls of the Evin prison, and began the new year “at the place closest to their children.”
Several political and student activists joined in with the families of imprisoned students I solidarity for their detained peers.
Previously, the website of Amir Kabir University had reported that mothers of eight detained students by the names of Ehsan Mansouri, Ahmad Ghassaban, Majid Tavakkoli, Sabah Nasri, Hedayat Ghazali, Saeed Feizollah, Abolfazl Jahandar, and Saeed Derakhshandi, published an open letter announcing their intention to “celebrate the advent of the new year near the walls of the Evin prison.”
During the last few days of the calendar year, the families of three detained Amir Kabir University students sent an open letter to the head of the country’s judiciary asking for the observance of law and release of their sons. The families of Majid Tavakkoli, Ehsan Mansouri, and Ahmad Ghassaban wrote in their letter to Ayatollah Shahroudi, “While you do release drug traffickers and dangerous criminals on bail from prisons for the Norooz, we find it difficult to come to terms with your decision not to release our student sons even after they posted their bails.”
Meanwhile, the Committee of Student Reporters of Human Rights warned of the “worrisome” condition of a political activist. According to the Committee's report, a Kurdish political activist, Farhad Haj Mirzaei, is still held in Evin’s notorious Ward 209, even though more than two months have passed since his arrest. Haj Mirzaei was arrested on 22 Esfand [March 12] in the Kurdish town of Sanandaj during the crackdown on leftist student activists. After spending a night at the Ministry of Intelligence’s detention facility in Sanandaj, he was transferred to Evin’s Ward 209 and was subjected to severe physical and psychological torture.
The protests over the arrests in the country have continued and last week, a number of political, cultural, student and labor activists and journalists sent an open letter to the head of the judiciary, ayatollah Shahroudi, protesting the “rogue arrests” of political and ideological prisoners.