A Blog Written By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi
By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi – Roozonline, 2007.07.16
As the first person among the 18 Tir detainees was released on Saturday, the general council of Daftare Tahkim Vahdat student organization announced the creation of a special committee to work on the release of university students arrested in recent weeks. According to Amir Kabir website, the committee comprises of Shahin Zeynali (Economic University), Amin Galei (Isfahan University), Milad Asadi (Khaje Nasir University), Behnam Sepehrvand (Tehran University) and Narges Rahimi (Al-Zahra University).
Some of the detainees such as Arash Khandel, Masoud Habibi, Abdollah Momeni, Bahram Fiazi, Habib Haji Heydari, Mojtaba Bayat and Bahareh Hedayat told their family members through telephone conversations that they were being held in the notorious ward 209 of Evin prison, which is under the control of Iran’s intelligence agency, rather than the judiciary branch. Zanestan women’s website announced on Saturday that security agents had visited Bahareh Hedayat’s house.
According to the website, agents came to her house on Saturday morning and took away CDs, books, writings and booklets, photo albums. Bahareh’s mother who appeared very distressed an hour after the agents had left said, “Five or six men and a woman came to the house. Initially a woman called on the intercom and when I opened the door to her, a few men forced their way into the house and showed me the search warrant for the house. They completely messed up the house, and I am still perturbed.” “They did not trust me and when I asked them where my daughter was they refused in indulge and only referred to the previous day conversion that I had with my daughter, in which she did not say where she was being kept.” According to her, the agents made a list of all the things they took with them but she refused to sign the list saying, “Why should I sign this paper when there is no placed for me as a mother and a women in your laws, indicating that I am not important.” Her husband eventually signed the list.
In a related announcement, Jebhe Mosharekat pro-reform group announced that it was forming a special event to review the recent university incidents and the confrontations of the authorities with them. Islamic associations of various universities too issued statements condemning the arrest of students on 18 Tir. The statement of the Islamic association of the Social Sciences College of Tehran University, for example, wrote that, “The spokesperson for the judiciary announced to journalists in a press conference that a group had been arrested on charges of participating in illegal demonstrations and conspiring to engage in illegal behavior. What is interesting is that he claimed that none of the 16 individuals arrested were students.” “This administration of ‘kindness’ (a term that president Ahmadinejad likes his government to be referred to) bans every independent tribune, fires every critical teacher, star-marks dissident students, deprives them of their education or sends them to Evin prison on charges of activities against national security or participation in illegal gatherings. The arrest of the leaders of the central committee of Daftare Tahkim Vahdat translates into abrogating article 27 of the constitution which protects the right to peaceful demonstrations,” it continues, concluding that annulling parts of the constitution concerning rights of people and the republic is now an established practice of the 9th (post-1979) administration which began this policy.
Similar statements came from Bu-Ali university of Hamedan which addressed officials in these terms: “Have the arrests of Tir 18 and others till today not convinced you that such measures only inflame the movement?” The statements issued by the Islamic Student Associations of Shiraz and Medical Sciences universities too complain that nothing was being done to release the detained students despite widespread protests against the arrests.
The Women’s committee of Daftareh Tahkim student organization too issued a statement protesting the arrest of Bahareh Hedayat. “Rather than resolving the rightful issues raised by university students, rulers launch the gender segregation bill in the Majlis, pass new rules for student attire, star-mark dissident students, suspend their university admissions, and ban their publications: all with the aim of silencing the student movement. Unfortunate news from the corners of the country is reported indicating the assault of university security agents on women students, which ring a warning bell that unless the security powers of these offices are curtailed we shall be witnessing greater student unrest in the future.”
At the same time, the secretary of the Danesh Amookhtegan student group strongly condemned the continued detention of Abdollah Momeni, its spokes person responsible for organizational affairs, and other students detained on Tir 18. Mehdi Aminizadeh from the group told Advar news, “Emperor Kurosh (dating back to 2,500 years ago) is quoted to have said that God’s should help rid Iran of lies, famine and draught. Unfortunately lying is now a prevalent culture among the country’s official authorities.”
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, the attorney for some of the detained students also told ISNA student news agency of his complaints in the judiciary’s denial of bail for some of the students. Dadkhah said, “Despite the promise of the judiciary spokesperson that release-on-bail provisions would be implemented for the arrested students, nothing has been done in this regard. Some family members too have talked with judiciary officials on this, but again to no avail.”