Date: Jun 17, 1999 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Jun 1999 to 16 Jun 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Jun 1999 to 16 Jun 1999
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There is one message totalling 87 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Amnesty Int.: Unfair trials and ill treatment of prisoners continue in
Iran

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Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 23:53:00 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Amnesty Int.: Unfair trials and ill treatment of prisoners continue in
Iran

Unfair trials and ill treatment of prisoners continue in Iran: Amnesty

LONDON, June 16 (AFP)

Iran continued to hold hundreds of political prisoners in 1998, many
sentenced after unfair trials, the human rights group Amnesty International
said Wednesday in its annual report.
"Reports of torture and ill treatment continued to be received," Amnesty
said, adding that its information also suggested that "extrajudicial
executions" had occurred.

It also said human rights abuses had been committed by armed opposition
groups.

The report detailed a number of instances in which journalists were detained
as a result of their work. Sayed Mohsen Saidzadeh was held for six months
reportedly over an article he wrote about the role of women in Islam, while
Mohammad Reza Zaeri was fined and forced to apologise for an article
allegedly insulting Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Towards the end of the year several writers and intellectuals were found
murdered. They included veteran politician Dariyush Foruhar and his wife
Parvaneh, and Mohammad Mokhtari and Muhammad Ja'far Puyandeh, well known for
their desire to establish an independent writers' association.

Amnesty said at least 20 members of the Bahai religious minority continued
to be held, at least six of them under sentence of death. One Bahai was
executed in Mashhad in July for converting a Moslem woman to the Bahai
faith.

Several Moslem religious leaders were arrested in 1998 over their opposition
to government policies. The report said at least three Grand Ayatollahs were
believed to be under house arrest, and large numbers of their supporters
were detained.

Amnesty also reported the arrest of scores of people following
demonstrations in Tabriz, and others held without charge or trial for
offences "such as espionage, propagating pan-Turkism, or
counter-revolution."

The report said political prisoners continued to receive unfair trials.

"Detainees were reportedly denied access either to any legal counsel or to a
lawyer of thier choice," it said.

"Trials before special courts, such as the Special Court for the Clergy,
continued to fall far short of international standards," it added.

It cited as unfair the trial of Tehran mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi on
charges of corruption, and the subsequent arrest of 16 Tehran district
mayors, some of whom were sentenced to flogging.

"Torture and ill-treatment continued to be reported," Amnesty said. Methods
including beatings and floggings, sleep deprivation, being forced to stand
for long periods, exposure to loud noises, lack of food and threats to
relatives.

Several of the Tehran municipal officials said they had been tortured to
"elicit confessions or to incriminate others," the report said.

Amnesty said Iran continued to apply "cruel, inhuman or degrading"
punishments, including flogging and stoning to death.

It said the death penalty was widely used "often imposed for vaguely worded
offences." Scores of executions were reported, it said, some carried out in
public.

Amnesty said there had also been a number of possible "disappearances" and
reports of deaths in mysterious circumstances, suggesting "extrajudicial
executions."

The report said the government of President Mohammad Khatami had sought to
distance itself from the death sentence pronounced on British author Salman
Rushdie by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but that several senior
religious figures and members of parliament continued to support it.

The People's Muhajadeen opposition group was also involved in violence. It
set off bomb explosions and three locations in Tehran in June, killing "an
unconfirmed" number of people, most of them civilians, the report said.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 15 Jun 1999 to 16 Jun 1999
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