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There are 3 messages totalling 423 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. News from Mr. Amir Entezam (3)

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Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 21:06:00 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: News from Mr. Amir Entezam

Dear DNI Mailers

This is a report of the latest Mr Amir Entezam Situation. Though
it's got late to you, it's worth reading.

Bobby
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


AS ATTEMPT TO KILL HIM FAILS, AMIR ENTEZAM'S LIFE IS ENDANGERED

By Safa Haeri

PARIS-TEHRAN 9TH FEB. (IPS) Oblivion of their latest murder of
Iranian political and intellectual dissidents, the ruling Islamic
authorities tried, and failed to kill Mr. Abbas Amir Entezam,
Iran longest political prisoners.

This latest assassination case was disclosed by Mr. Amir Entezam
himself in a letter he wrote to President ayatollah Mohammad
Khatami informing him that agents of the Information Ministry
tried to kill him in pr ison and called on him for immediate
action to guarantee his safety.

"As one by one, with me being the last, we jumped out from a
truck into which we had been loaded like sheep, coming back to
our cells in the Evin prison from the visiting areas, the driver
made a sudden reverse gear, driving the lorry right on me", the
former Deputy Prime Minister under the late Mehdi Bazargan,
Islamic Republic's first provisory Premier revealed in his
letter.

Mr. Amir Entezam spent a total of 17 years in solitary
confinement, accused of intelligence with the CIA, but never
officially charged nor tried.

During the years he spent in jail, he was frequently tortured,
both mentally and physically, partially loosing his faculty of
hearing, he was kept incommunicado for months, deprived of all
basic rights as receiving visitors or letters.

Unable to document the fabricated charges and as he was insisting
that he would not leave prison unless he has a proper trial,
including the presence of Iranian and foreign observers, lawyers
and journalists, the authorities took him out, abandoning him in
a deserted street of Tehran, with a plan to have him killed
there.

But for unknown reasons, the plan did not worked, probably
because his friends found him before the killers. He was since
living in conditional situation and under regular dead threats.

Certain that he would not be allowed to come back, he refused to
attend a ceremony in Vienna two years ago to receive an award
from the Bruno Kreisky Foundation for Peace bestowed on him for
his struggle for human rights and democratic freedoms.

But following a detailed description of some of the total of 171
torturing methods applied on political prisoners in Islamic
jails, Mr. Amir Entezam was arrested and jailed.

Though his trial was set for the coming month of July, but then,
in the aftermath of the surprising admission by the Information
Ministry that it's own agents had assassinated Mr. Dariush
Foruhar, the leader of the secular and staunchly nationalist
Iranian People's Party, his wife Parvaneh and Mohammad
Mokhtari,
Mohammad Ja'far Pouyandeh and Piruz Davani, the trial date was
brought to 16th of February.

So far, there has not been any answer from the president and as
it is not known if the government has taken any action against
the alleged killers, hundreds of Mr. Amir Entezam friends all
over the world signed petitions, appealed to international and
human rights organisation for urgent action to guarantee the
life of the man many Iranians considers as Iran's Nelson
Mandella.

Follows one such petition send to Kofi Annan, the Secretary-
General of The United Nations, Mrs Mary Robinson, the United
Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, President Nelson
Mandela of South Africa and President Vaclav Havel of the Czech
Republic, as well as the poignant and revealing letter written
months ago to the Islamic Human Rights Commission of Iran by Mrs
Elaheh Mizani Amir Entezam.

First the Petition

The Honorable Kofi Annan,

Secretary-General of The United Nations

Fax: (212)963-4879 (from United States)

The Honorable Mary Robinson,

The United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights

Fax: (011) 41-22-9170123 (from United States)

The Honorable President Nelson Mandela,

Fax: (011) 27-21-4614987 (from United States)

The Honorable Vaclav Havel, President of Czech Republic,

(011) 42-02-24310851 (from United States)

On Tuesday, February 16, 1999, Abbas Amir-Entezam, Iran's oldest
prisoner of conscience and its most daring and outspoken advocate
of human rights will be put on trial.

Mr. Amir Entezam was the Deputy Prime Minister and the official
spokesperson of the provisional government of Iran following the
1979 revolution. He was arrested on charges of collaboration with
the United States days after the seizure of the US Embassy in
Tehran. A true patriot of his country, Mr. Amir Entezam was
charged with espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment in a
trial where he was denied a defence counsels and access to the
allegedly incriminating evidence found at the US Embassy.

Mr. Amir Entezam has communicated the human rights violations of
the Islamic Republic to the foreign press and international
organisations fearlessly throughout his imprisonment and
subsequent house- arrest. He has repeatedly criticised the
Islamic Republic of Iran, knowing that such criticism carries a
death sentence. To draw the attention of international
organisations to the desperate human rights situation in Iran,
he has sacrificed everything, including his family, health,
career, and reputation. He has rejected any offer of settlement
with the government and has persistently asked for a fair and
public trial.

Abbas Amir-Entezam is the symbol of survival and hope for all
Iranians.

---------------
End of Part 1/3
---------------

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 21:07:16 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: News from Mr. Amir Entezam

----------------
This is Part 2/3
----------------

We respectfully request that he be given the choice of defence
counsel and a fair and public trial, supervised by independent
human rights monitors. After 20 years of unyielding resistance,
this remarkable man truly puts to test any reference to "Civil
Society" in Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran owes Mr. Amir
Entezam, his family; all Iranians who hope for the rule of law in
their country, as well as the international human rights
community at large a fair and public trial.

We ask that you kindly remind the Iranian authorities of their
duties and obligations with respect to fundamental principles of
justice, international human rights covenants, and the
constitutional guarantees accorded to Iranian citizens under the
Islamic Republic's constitution and accordingly, demand a fair
and public trial for Mr. Abbas Amir-Entezam.

Below is a recent letter from his wife. All supporters of Human
Rights in Iran are strongly urged to intensify their campaign and
letter writing to highlight his case and demand his immediate
freedom.

Please forward this message to all Iranian compatriots and other
world-wide supporters of Human Rights.

For more

information about Mr. Amir-Entezam, please visit
http://diana.law.yale.edu/entezam)

And Now Mrs Amir-Entezam's Open Letter to the Islamic Human
Rights Commission of Iran

In the Name of Justice

The Honourable Secretary of the Islamic Human Rights Commission
of Iran,

I would like to express my gratitude for commission's
co-operation in transferring my husband, Abbas Amir-Entezam, to
the hospital to undergo a CT scan and other necessary medical
tests to investigate his recent severe headaches. Here I would
like to draw your attention to the problems, which we face today:

1) The prison personnel insisted on bringing my husband to the
clinic in prison uniform and handcuffs and chains. In the eyes of
the prison authorities, is there no difference between a
political prisoner and a common criminal that they treat both
similarly? Should we resort to chains and handcuffs to keep a man
who has been kept in Iran's prisons against the law for more than
17 years and has always showed that he is not even thinking of
escaping prison?

The prison authorities must be aware by now that escaping is not
an honourable act in the view of a political prisoner like my
husband.

Instead of preventing criminals, who are a danger to the society,
from escaping, they humiliate my husband daily. Within the prison
compound, they have been transporting him in meat trucks. A
highly dangerous choice since the doors cannot be opened from
inside, in case of any emergency. Not to mention the humiliation
that the prisoner must feel in being ranked among animal carcass.
They even had my husband handcuffed and chained when they were
transferring him to the hospital.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time my husband had been
chained and handcuffed. Therefore, the prison authorities must be
aware that no matter how much they try to portray him as a
dangerous prisoner, the public will recognise their illegal and
uncivilised acts.

2) The prison authorities didn't give any attention to the
doctor's recommendation for a short- term hospitalisation of my
husband, in order to run tests and make sure he is in a good
health.

The guard in charge maintained contact with the authorities, and
based on the orders received, insisted on returning my husband to
the prison before any medical tests could be performed. It seems
as if the authorities >suspected the genuineness of his
complaints.

As such, during our short visit to the hospital, the two guards
in charge not only watched our every move, but also made medical
suggestions to the doctors. For instance, they prevented the
performance of the Tuberculosis skin test on my husband. All this
took place in the calmest of circumstances since I had fully
co-operated with the authorities and kept the entire affair from
the media and the public. Therefore, only my husband's lawyer and
I were aware of this transfer to the hospital. But it was the
excessive comings and goings of the guards that drew attention
and was completely unnecessary.

Dear Secretary of the commission, please accept and convince
others as well that my husband never has or will think of
committing an unlawful act. Clearly, there is no need for
handcuffs and chains for transferring him from prison to the
hospital only a few miles away.

Allow me to remind you that even when he had his passport and
permission to leave Iran, he never thought nor does he think
about leaving his country, till such time that his name has been
cleared. He will always remain in his country and will not escape
the law. How ironic that we so steadfastly respect and abide by
the very "laws" or rather lawlessness that has brought us so much
pain only in the hope that it will pave the path for the rule of
law in our country.

3) Having access to medical treatments, for which we pay, is an
indisputable right of my husband. But the authorities could not
even fulfil their responsibility to safeguard this right and
limited my husband's medical treatment to a CT scan only and did
not let any other procedure to take place. These all happened
when I, according to the doctor's recommendation and in spite of
all kinds of problems, had passed all the administrative stages
for a 24-hour hospitalisation for him (the related documents had
been previously sent to the commission, along with a letter).

Dear honourable Secretary of the Commission, for your
information, I must say that during the short period of my
husband's house arrest (following his dismissal from the prison),
I did all I could to nurse him back to health after the numerous
damages he had suffered in 17 years of imprisonment. My husband
was re-arrested in relatively good health.

Therefore by this letter I hold the Evin prison authorities and
the ministry of information responsible for any health conditions
he may incur from the date his arrest on September 8, 1998.

---------------
End of Part 2/3
---------------

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 21:08:32 EDT
From: Boddy Iri <Bobby@WWW.DCI.CO.IR>
Subject: News from Mr. Amir Entezam

----------------
This is Part 3/3
----------------

The reason I used the term "relatively," in the above is that in
the past, in a nightly transfer from the Evin prison in Tehran to
the Ghezel Hesar prison in the city of Karaj, in winter, on the
back of an open truck, he contracted a severe ear infection. No
matter how many times in a period of 8 months he told the
authorities that his ear was infected and that he was in pain,
the authorities did not respond, and because of that my husband's
eardrum was ruptured, causing irreversible hearing loss. Again,
these were all taking place at a time when an honourable prison
official told me that taking care of the prisoner's health is the
human and religious duty of the authorities. He even provide the
example of the appendectomy that was performed on a criminal
known as the "Night's Bat," which saved his life! The "Night's
Bat" was a dangerous criminal who had been sentenced to death and
executed after the operation had been performed! The authorities
obviously respected his rights and made sure that a human being
was executed in a perfect health.

Is it not the time for the authorities of Iran to accept the
principle of equality of all human beings before the law? Shall I
compare my husband's case to that of the "Night's Bat?" A common
criminal toward whom the prison authorities fulfilled their human
and religious duties?

But why do they not exercise the same compassion toward my
husband and deny him hospitalisation and treatment? Or shall I
compare him with other "defendants" who, with final verdict
pending, can easily get permission to leave the country and
appear among the foreign official political circles?

But we, for a short hospital stay, must go through a series of
difficult stages, and consider access to medical treatment a
special privilege. After all in those few hours, we underwent all
kinds of security measures. How can such discrimination between
the citizens be explained? It is true that unlike many others, we
do not have open or secret support of any of the existing
political factions, but we do have one protector that we rely
upon and that is our god.

4) After the re-arrest of my husband, I could visit my husband in
prison weekly while abiding by all the prison laws. However,
during the last two months, without any logic or explanation,
they denied my right to visit him. In a letter to the head of the
prison, I explained my reasons for visiting my husband again, and
I reminded him that Amir-Entezam is not a new or unknown
prisoner. For many years, Amir-Entezam was denied having visitors
or even an attorney. And now that all of the prisoners can see
their immediate family members once a week, since my husband does
not have a father, a brother, or any children in Iran, visiting
my husband weekly, is the undeniable right of both of us.

So far I have not received a reply from the authorities. On the
other hand, the weekly meeting between my husband and his lawyers
are still confirmed.

However, each time the lawyers are made to wait for one or two
hours in order to see him. Perhaps because the authorities do not
realise how precious the work and the time of these lawyers are.
I must remind you that my husband is not their only client and
their time is valuable.

Maybe these unacceptable delays are intended to discourage these
attorneys from defending Amir-Entezam, so that my husband would
lose even his right to counsel?

Dear Secretary of the Commission, I am presenting these
complaints under extreme duress and in the face of threats and
frightening phone calls. I have been advised to change my
residence, to leave the capital, to stop talking and to stop
writing. Although I am living under dangerous conditions, up to
this date I have not urged any organisation or foundation for any
safety arrangements, because I do not wish to draw any attention
to myself. Nor do I wish to add to this miserable "epidemic."

It seems that certain forces are determined to destroy the
secular intellectuals. However, they must first ask themselves
how they will ever be able to measure their own beliefs in the
absence of intellectual diversity in Iran. How can these blind
totalitarian forces question the loyalty and patriotism of
secular Iranians? Have those, who chose to stay in the country
for the last 20 years and withstood all kinds of brutality, not
proved their loyalty to the country? Surely, the fact that they
have suffered bombings and the missile strikes and continued to
live in Iran in the face of all economic and social hardships
must be indicative of their patriotism.

Iranians have been Muslims for centuries and are not new Muslims.
We follow and believe in a religion that has passed onto every
generation.

Now if being a person with "different" ideas, like Dariush and
Parvaneh Foruhar (for whom we still mourn) or liberal writers
like Sharif, Mokhtari, Pouyandeh deserve getting killed, let us
be considered "different." All of us regardless of our clothing
and occupations must undergo certain amount of growth and take
steps in order to accomplish our highest of human ideals. Shame
on us, if we let selfishness and single-mindedness changes our
resolve. And pity on us if instead of the "Dialogue of the
Civilisations," we witness the "Face Off of the Beasts."

Dear Secretary of the Commission, with my apologies for taking
your time, at the end I would like to say that I don't have any
demands, except that your take note of my points. Though I am
aware that writing the above may result in more difficult
conditions for me and my husband, I still wrote because I believe
it is my duty to do so that lack of awareness of the authorities
may never be posed as an excuse or justification. Also, I write
because my husband continues to believe in the cause of justice
in Iran and as his wife I intend to do all I can to support him.

Or perhaps in my heart of hearts, there is still a glimmer of
hope that we too have a share in the great quest and possible
realisation of human rights.

With best wishes for your success,

Elahe Mizani Amir-Entezam

Tehran / Iran

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End of Part 3/3
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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Feb 1999
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