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Amnesty International Urgent Action

AI Index: MDE 13/20/00
3 May 2000
UA 103/00
Ill-treatment / prisoners of conscience

Mehrangiz Kar (f), lawyer
Shahla Lahiji (f), publisher
Ali Afshari (m), student representative

They are apparently detained because they took part in an academic and cultural conference in Berlin in April, where political and social reform in Iran were publicly debated.

Mehrangiz Kar and Shahla Lahiji were both detained by the Revolutionary Court on 29 April. Ali Afshari was detained the following day. It is expected that they will soon be moved to Evin Prison.

Mehrangiz Kar and Shahla Lahiji both vocal supporters of women's and other human rights. Ali Afshari is a representative of the student organisation Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat (Office for Strengthening Unity).

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Berlin conference was marked by occasionally strong protests by Iranian political groups in exile. Elements within the Iranian judiciary apparently consider attendance at the conference to have been "harmful to national security". Many of those who attended have since faced arbitrary detention and interrogation.

Akbar Ganji, who spoke at the conference, was detained last week (see EXTRA 43/00, MDE 13/07/00, 25 April). Three journalists, Hamid Reza Jalaipour, of the editorial team of Asr-e Azadegan (Era of the Free), Ezzatollah Sahabi, publisher of Iran-e Farda (Tomorrow's Iran) and Alireza Alavitabar, editor of Sobh-e Emrouz (Morning of Today) were detained, interrogated and later released on bail. Jamileh Kadivar, a member of the Iranian parliament, the Majles, has also been summoned and is reportedly scheduled to appear before the Revolutionary Court today. She is the sister of the cleric Mohsen Kadivar, a prisoner of conscience, and the wife of the Minister of Culture, Ataollah Mohajerani. The writer Mahmud Dolatabadi has also been summoned by the Revolutionary Court. Amnesty International is monitoring these developments closely.