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Pressure on the Committee of Human Rights Intensifies; Members, Saeed Kalanaki and Saeed Jalali Far Arrested

Monday 7 December 2009


Change for Equality: In the days leading up to the National Day of University Students (December 7) and in an effort to quell anticipated protests, scores of student and human rights activists have been arrested. Some of those arrested include the following:

Saeed Kalanaki and Saeed Jalali Far, two human rights activists working with the Committee of Human Rights were arrested on Monday November 30, 2009. According to the site of the Committee, Saeed Kalanaki was arrested at his place of employment. Afterwards, security officials went to his home to search the premises, seizing his personal belongings. Saeed Jalali Far another human rights activist working with the Committee was arrested as he left his home. Security forces informed his family of the arrest with a day’s delay, and told them that his situation would not be clarified for two weeks.

Saeed Kalanaki is a human rights defender with a long history of working with the Committee and defending the rights of political prisoners. He has been summoned to the Intelligence Ministry many times over the years and has been threatened and pressured to stop his activities. Saeed Jalali Far another member of the Committee and also active in the NGO “Society for the Defense of Street and Working Children,” has been actively involved in defending human rights. He is a student activist who was recently expelled from Zanjan University, after he objected to the sexual harassment of a fellow student by Hassan Madadi, Student Affairs Deputy at the Security Office of the University.

The arrest of these two activists is part of an ongoing campaign of pressure and intimidation targeting the work of the Committee of Human Rights. Shiva Nazar Ahari, a well-known activists working with the Committee was arrested on June 14th, in her place of employment. She was finally freed on a 200 Million Toman bail order (roughly $200,000) after spending one hundred days in prison. Ali Kalaie, another member of the Committee was arrested in April prior to his court hearing and was released on July 1. He was detained in Evin prison.

A few days prior to the planned protests on November 4, Parisa Kakaee, another member of the Committee and also a women’s rights activist, was summoned to the Intelligence Ministry and interrogated along with several members of the One Million Signatures Campaign. Additionally, Saeed Habibi, another member of the Committee was sentenced to three years mandatory prison, in relation to his activities within student groups and his arrest in the Fall of 2007. In recent months he had also been summoned on several occasions, interrogated and threatened. He was summoned by the Intelligence Ministry again on December 1. Additionally, Kouhyar Goudarzi, a student activist and a human rights activist working with the Committee, was expelled from Sharif University of Technology due to his human rights activities and has been banned from the dormitory and university grounds.
The Committee of Human Rights has issued a statement objecting to the arrest of their two colleagues, Saeed Kalanaki and Saeed Jalali Far, as well as the continued pressure on the group and its members.

 

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