Date: 14th May 2008
To: Head of Amnesty International –The Middle East Office
As you are aware, a few months ago and in commemoration of the student day in Iran, which is held annually by students of universities across the country, more than 50 leftist students were arrested and imprisoned in solitary cells in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. Their charge was "actions against the Islamic Republic’s internal and external policies". Many of the imprisoned students were tortured, physically and psychologically. The luckiest were kept in solitary confinement for more than 50 days. The Islamic Republic’s response to a student protest and the level of suppression that followed the event was unique in the way that the security forces kidnapped the students from their classes and took them directly to detention rooms and torture chambers.
Following this new wave of suppression of the activists of the social movements, a number of activists left Iran illegally, to save their lives and the lives of others related to them. A few of these students, Vahid Vali zadeh, member of editorial of Khak a well known student journal; Mazdak Tusinejad student activist who was arrested a few years ago for his connection and support of bus drivers union in Iran; Davood Bagheri student activist and member of Khak’s board of editors, a very well known student journal; and Hooman Kazemian student activist and well known leftist artist who has been kidnapped, detained and tortured several times by the secret police of the regime.
We the undersigned, appreciate Amnesty International efforts in supporting the imprisoned students, and request its much needed continuous support for the above mentioned who are currently seeking asylum in Turkey. They are in urgent need in terms of their asylum applications. Considering the security agreements between Iran and Turkey governments, we are gravely concerned about the possibility of deporting them to Iran by Turkey’s security forces and government’s officials.
Deportation of these activists has life threatening consequences for them. Therefore, our request is to please take necessary actions with regards to UNHCR and the Turkish Immigration authorities in order to speed up the asylum process of these activists and their immediate transfer to a safe country. Your humanitarian actions is extremely important for saving the lives of innocent individuals who have not committed any crimes but defending their basic human rights regarding freedom and equality.
Thank you in anticipation,
-Behruz Karimi zadeh
-Majid Ashraf Nejad
And other Freedom and Equality Seeking Students