A Blog Written By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi
By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi -Roozonline, 2007.08.08
A day after families of detained students met with members of the Majlis [parliament] national security and foreign policy committee, 31 lawmakers from the minority reformist faction called for the establishment of a special committee to investigate the condition of imprisoned students.
According to news reports, lawmakers cited the president’s campaign promise to “defend freedom, dignity of individuals, and constitutional rights,” as the basis for their request. They wrote, “Currently, a group of students and the children of this country are kept behind bars for reasons that are not entirely clear. Disturbing news is being received about violations of citizenship rights, their physical and psychological condition, and improper methods used in interrogation or confession extraction sessions.”
In their letter, lawmakers also asked President Ahmadinejad “to establish a special committee to monitor the performance of the ministers of intelligence, science and technology, and justice, in order to prevent any unlawful activity that may undermine the regime’s interests.”
In a recent appearance on a state television network, president Ahmadinejad implicitly referred to imprisoned students as “microbes.”
A number of Majlis deputies have also asked for permission to visit Evin Prison’s infamous Ward 209, though they are yet to receive a response to their request.
Referring to a meeting held between members of the Majlis national security and foreign policy committee on one hand and families of imprisoned students on the other, lawmaker Akbar Alami said, “Unfortunately, disturbing issues were brought up in this meeting, and that has added to the responsibility on the shoulders of the national security committee to monitor the treatment of students.”
On Monday, Etemad Melli daily quoted Alami, “Lawmakers present in the meeting agreed unanimously to follow up on their investigation and visit Evin Prison’s Ward 209.”
Alami added, “We decided to summarize our findings in a report to the national security and foreign policy committee, and make the requisite decisions with respect to the treatment of imprisoned students and visiting Evin Prison’s Ward 209. Members of the committee are attempting to gain permission to visit Evin Prison as soon as possible and will report back to the committee.”
Alami continued, “Unfortunately, we have so far not received a response to our request. What is obvious is that, unless the government regulates and monitors what goes on in Evin’s Ward 209, unfortunate and unlawful events may take place there at any moment, the result of which will not be conducive to the regime’s image and standing… Let us not forget that the serial murders resulted from the failure of Majlis to monitor the performance of certain institutions, most notably the ministry of intelligence.”