Iran: Arbitrary arrests, detention of youths and civil activists
Iranian authorities heightened the repression of youth, sentencing them to prison terms for their civil and cultural activities and imprisoning peaceful critics on vague charges.
A Kurdish civil activist was sentenced to three years behind bars. Ali Badrkhani was transferred to Urmia Central Prison, northwest of Iran on March 29th to serve his three-year sentence after an unfair trial.
He was first sentenced to five years behind bars, which was reduced by branch 10 of Urmia’s appeal court. Now he faces three years behind bars for “cooperating with Kurdish opposition parties.”
Ali Badrkhani was arrested once in 2014 and placed under interrogation and torture for 20 days. He was eventually released temporarily on bail after two months.
Mr. Badrkhani is a writer and graduate student in Tehran University, he has been deprived of higher education for his cultural and civil activities.
In the month of March reports emerged about the arrest of several youths who expressed their opposition.
In some cases, even no reason for the arrests was given, while in others peaceful activities was identified as the cause. Some of those arrested have even been sentenced to prison terms after apparently unfair trials.
Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have repeatedly raised concerns over the Iranian regime’s continuing clampdown on dissent, including arbitrary arrests of people who express views opposed to those of the state.
In another case Esmaeil Bukani was sentenced to one year behind bars for also “cooperating with Kurdish opposition parties.” This is a violation of his right to free expression and one of which resulted from an unfair trial. He was arrested a few months ago and security forces confiscated his books and personal property.
It is worth noting that prior to this, two young men were arrested on March 27th without a warrant in Bukan, northwest of Iran. Saeid Rashidzadeh, 27, and Amanj Ghorbani, 29, were unlawfully arrested on Thursday and transferred to an unknown location, with no reason provided for their arrests.