Date: Jun 24, 1999 [ 0: 0: 0]
Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 Jun 1999 to 23 Jun 1999
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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 Jun 1999 to 23 Jun 1999
To: Recipients of DNI-NEWS digests <DNI-NEWS@D-N-I.ORG>
There are 6 messages totalling 528 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. Dr Abdulhusseini got arrested
2. Said Emami's memorial was held in Hojat ibn Hasan Mosque
3. Iran/London's Independant: Death riddle of Iran's spy on dissidents
4. Iran/Washington Post: Loans to Iran Stall After Arrest of Jews
5. IRAN: The Integral 1999 Report of Amnesty International
6. Iran/NY Post: CHUCK, JESSE GO TO BAT FOR IRANIAN JEWS HELD AS SPIES
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 08:17:14 +0100
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Dr Abdulhusseini got arrested
Dr Abdulhusseini has got arrested according Jomhuri Islami Newspaper,
23/06/99. He had lectured in Eml and Saneat University during the
memorial of Dr Shariati.
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 20:29:43 +0100
From: "a.abdi" <a.abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Said Emami's memorial was held in Hojat ibn Hasan Mosque
Said Emami's memorial was held in Hojat ibn Hasan Mosque, Tehran. 400
attended in his memorial. For more information read Neshat 24/06/99
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 19:02:47 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/London's Independant: Death riddle of Iran's spy on dissidents
Death riddle of Iran's spy on dissidents
By Patrick Cockburn
The apparent suicide of a senior Iranian intelligence officer in jail has
reignited the controversy in Iran over the murder campaign against dissident
intellectuals last year.
Saeed Emami, the former Iranian deputy intelligence minister accused of
masterminding the murders, committed suicide by swallowing hair remover
while having a bath in prison, according to the official news agency. In
January the government said that Mr Emami had organised the stabbing or
strangling to death of three intellectuals and a husband and wife, who
belonged to a minor political party, at the end of 1998.
The Iranian intelligence ministry is a bastion of opposition to reforms
proposed by the country's President, Mohammad Khatami. His supporters have
expressed doubts about Mr Emami's suicide, saying that prisoners in solitary
confinement are inspected by guards every few minutes and are only allowed a
five-minute bath once a week.
Mohammed Atrianfal, a reformist member of Tehran city council, said that Mr
Emami had carried information to his grave about who was behind the murders.
He said: "The prison authorities should have exercised a closer watch on a
person like this."
Mohammed Niyazi, the military prosecutor, said on Tehran radio yesterday
that the case could still be investigated, and he blamed foreign powers for
playing a role in the murders. He said the suicide of Mr Emami "will not
mean that we have lost all our leads - we have evidence and confessions that
foreign hands were involved in the killings".
Mr Niyazi, who is in charge of the investigation into the killing of the
intellectuals, said: "The aim of the murders was to start infighting among
different political groups in the country and to tarnish the image of the
He warned the Iranian press not to muddy the waters by speculating about the
motive for the murders "otherwise first we will warn them and then take
legal action against them".
Some Iranian newspapers have suggested that Mr Emami was silenced in order
to prevent him implicating other intelligence officers.
The struggle between moderates and hardliners in Iran has already heated up
this month, with the arrest of 13 Iranian Jews from Shiraz and Isfahan who
are to stand trial accused of spying for the United States and Israel.
Iranian Jews say they fear that the arrests will spread to Tehran.
Meanwhile in the northern city of Mashhad a man was given 20 lashes for
wearing eye shadow and plucking his eyebrows.
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 19:11:43 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/Washington Post: Loans to Iran Stall After Arrest of Jews
Loans to Iran Stall After Arrest of Jews
By Nora Boustany
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, June 23, 1999; Page A18
A quiet undertaking at the World Bank over the past 15 months to restore
Iran's qualifications for assistance has suffered a setback. Industrious and
delicate efforts to revive Iran's eligibility for "soft" loans in social
development sectors have been stymied by the Tehran government's arrest of
13 Jewish Iranians on unproved charges of espionage, according to a number
of World Bank officials and diplomats.
Two projects worth $200 million -- drawn up in 1993, the last time such
plans were submitted to the bank's board of shareholders for approval --
were in the process of being updated for submission to the bank for approval
by September, World Bank officials said. Then word came last week to halt
the process. World Bank lawyers who were due to travel to Tehran within
weeks were told that their plans were to be "postponed" indefinitely.
One of the projects involved loans for establishing medical clinics in the
countryside, and the other was designated to help set up a sewer system in
Tehran. There are currently six World Bank projects -- worth $800 million
and approved prior to May 1993 -- that are being supervised and implemented
in Iran and have not been affected by the spy case.
A bank official explained that the two projects in question, which have lain
dormant since '93, were being updated "in case there was a request from the
board" to consider them for approval. But, said one bank specialist, getting
a project considered "takes more than technical reevaluation, such as clear
signals from the shareholders." European and Japanese shareholders have been
eager for some time for Iran-designated projects to go forward, but not the
United States. Until the arrest of the 13, there were indications that even
that opposition might be overcome. "We were half-ready to send them to the
board. If you ask me can we do it in three months, the answer is yes. If you
ask me whether it will be sent before the end of the year, the answer is
no," acknowledged one official in reference to the suspended projects. "It
is not going to happen."
Ironically, things had been looking up for Iran in international financial
circles. In March, some members within the International Monetary Fund's
board of directors raised the issue of whether to help out Iran, especially
after oil prices plummeted. On one hand, Iran's conservative supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wary of moderate President Mohammed Khatemi's
opening to the West, rejected an adjustment-and-
borrowing program recommended by IMF planners. But on the other, the Iranian
government has implemented key economic reforms, such as the removal of
subsidies to fuel and oil products, and is drafting a new five-year economic
plan with substantive structural reforms that its future parliament will
study and approve after elections next February.
While sources said the fate of the two World Bank projects was clearly
linked to the spy case, bank bureaucrats were reluctant to speak openly
about how the fate of 13 Iranian Jews factored into the impasse because of
the sensitivity of the issue. "Is it a human rights issue? I can't say if it
is the only issue. But it weighs on taking such a decision," one official
conceded. Adherents to the faiths recognized under Iran's constitution --
Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews -- face varying degrees of
repression in Iran; the situation faced by unrecognized religious minorities
such as Bahais is worse.
The 13 detainees raised suspicion because of their alleged contacts with
family members in Israel, illegally importing prayer books from there and,
in the case of three of them, visiting Israel without notifying Iranian
authorities, according to well-informed Iranian sources and diplomats here
from countries close to Iran.
Yet they appear to be pawns in the preelectoral tug of war between the
reform-minded Khatemi and the hawkish defenders of Iran's religious power
elite. Iran's judiciary is independent, and its members are appointed by
Khamenei. And while the intelligence ministry -- in charge of investigating
the charges against the 13 Jews -- operates under the shadow of
right-wingers opposed to reforms, there were open channels in the late '80s
between Iran's intelligence services and the Israeli Mossad intelligence
agency to facilitate Iran's procurement of arms in its war against Iraq.
A group of Iranian journalists close to Khatemi who visited New York and
Washington last week said at a closed forum at Middle East Insight magazine
that their counterparts in Iran should "insist on and be the guarantors of
an open and fair trial." Three Arab embassies in Washington -- those of
Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia -- were approached by State Department
officials to ask their governments to intercede on humanitarian grounds with
the warring wings of Iran's fractious polity.
Ecuador, Peru in Harmony
After 150 years of discord, Ecuador and Peru are in tune. Ecuador's
ambassador, Ivonne Abdel Baki, hosted a dinner and peace concert for her
departing colleague from Peru, Ricardo Luna, last Thursday. The program
featured soprano singer Douha Ahdab, a Muslim from Lebanon, and Sara
Wolfensohn, an Australian Jew. "This is a historical time for Ecuador and
Peru. This event symbolizes how art and music can bring diverse people
together in harmony and joy," said Abdel Baki.
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 19:37:20 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: IRAN: The Integral 1999 Report of Amnesty International
This report covers the period January to December 1998
Hundreds of political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, were
held. Some were detained without charge or trial; others continued to serve
long prison sentences imposed after unfair trials. Reports of torture and
ill-treatment continued to be received and judicial punishments of flogging
and stoning continued to be imposed. Reports suggested that possible
"disappearances" and extrajudicial executions had occurred. Scores of people
were reportedly executed, including at least one prisoner of conscience;
however, the true number may have been considerably higher. An unknown
number of people remained under sentence of death, some after unfair trials.
Armed opposition groups committed human rights abuses.
President Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami proceeded
cautiously with reforms in the face of opposition in the majles (parliament)
and judiciary. Tensions increased on Iran's border with Afghanistan in
September following the killing by Afghan Taleban forces of nine Iranian
diplomats and a journalist.
The government continued to face armed opposition from the Iraq-based People
's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), as well as from the Kurdistan
Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), Arab separatist groups in Khuzestan, and
Baluchi groups in Sistan-Baluchistan.
Civil unrest continued sporadically in various regions. In April clashes
broke out after a demonstration in Tehran in support of former Tehran Mayor
Gholam Hussain Karbaschi was attacked by members of Ansar-e Hezbollah
(Helpers of Hezbollah), an informal group linked to elements in the Iranian
government. A number of people were injured and others were arrested as
security forces broke up the disturbances.
The UN Special Representative on the Islamic Republic of Iran continued to
be denied access to the country during the year.
Prisoners of conscience continued to be detained. Four employees of the
daily newspaper Tous - Mashallah Shamsolva'ezin, Hamid Reza Jalaipour,
Mohammad Javadi Hessar and Rahim Nabavi - were arrested after Tous was
banned in September. They were released conditionally in October. Tous had
replaced the journal Jameah, banned in July for "publishing lies and
disturbing public order", and maintained its editorial staff. Earlier in the
year Mashallah Shamsolva'ezin, then editor of Jameah, had been attacked
outside the journal's offices by members of Ansar-e Hezbollah.
Hojjatoleslam Sayed Mohsen Saidzadeh, an Islamic scholar, was arrested in
June reportedly as a result of an article on the role of women in Islam. He
was released in December.
In July Mohammad Reza Za'eri, editor of Khaneh magazine, was found guilty by
the Press Court of publishing an article which allegedly insulted the late
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Mohammad Reza Za'eri was released from custody
after issuing a public apology and paying a surety of 20 million rials
Former Deputy Prime Minister 'Abbas Amir Entezam, who was released from
detention in May 1997 (see Amnesty International Report 1998), was
rearrested in September 1998 following a radio interview in which he
reportedly criticized the human rights record of Assadollah Lajevardi, the
former governor of Evin prison who was killed in August (see below). Despite
recommendations by the presiding judge that 'Abbas Amir Entezam be released
on bail, the authorities of Evin prison reportedly refused to release him at
the end of September. A court hearing to answer charges of defamation
brought against 'Abbas Amir Entezam was set initially for October. However,
since 'Abbas Amir Entezam was reportedly prevented from attending the
hearing by prison authorities, the hearing was postponed. 'Abbas Amir
Entezam was reportedly still held in Evin prison at the end of the year.
Other prisoners of conscience who continued to be held after arrest in
previous years included at least 20 members of the Baha'i religious
minority, at least six of whom were under sentence of death. Among them were
Sirous Zabihi Moqaddam and Hedayatollah Kashefi, arrested in 1997 and
sentenced to death in Mashhad for their alleged role in the conversion of a
Muslim woman to the Baha'i faith.
Grand Ayatollah Hossein 'Ali Montazeri, arrested in November 1997 after
making a speech which apparently criticized the leadership of Iran,
reportedly remained under house arrest in Qom (see Amnesty International
Report 1998). Mass arrests of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri's supporters -
including his son-in-law, Hadi Hashemi - took place prior to a planned
demonstration in his home town of Najafabad in May. Some were reportedly
ill-treated in detention.
Other Shi'a religious leaders opposed to aspects of government policy, as
well as large numbers of their supporters, continued to be detained. Some or
all were possible prisoners of conscience. Some were held without charge or
trial, others following unfair trials. At least three Grand Ayatollahs were
believed to remain under house arrest, including Grand Ayatollah Sayed
Hassan Tabataba'i-Qomi, who was reportedly denied access to medical
treatment for heart disease (see Amnesty International Report 1998). Several
supporters of Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Shirazi also reportedly
remained in detention.
Scores of people arrested following demonstrations in Tabriz and hundreds of
others arrested on suspicion of offences such as espionage, "propagating
pan-Turkism" or "counter-revolution", continued to be held without charge or
trial (see previous Amnesty International Reports).
Faraj Sarkouhi, a magazine editor who had "disappeared" for seven weeks in
1996 and was rearrested in January 1997 (see Amnesty International Reports
1997 and 1998), was released from detention in January and subsequently left
Political prisoners continued to receive unfair trials. Detainees were
reportedly denied access either to any legal counsel or to a lawyer of their
choice, despite legislation providing for the right to legal representation.
Trials before special courts, such as the Special Court for the Clergy,
continued to fall far short of international standards.
Gholam Hussain Karbaschi, former Mayor of Tehran and a close political ally
of President Khatami, was arrested in April on charges of corruption and
embezzlement. He was sentenced in July to five years' imprisonment, 60
lashes (subsequently set aside on appeal) and a heavy fine. He was also
banned from public office for 20 years. Sixteen other Tehran district mayors
were also arrested during the investigation, some of whom were sentenced to
flogging. Trial proceedings in the case fell short of international
standards for fair trial. For example, none of the Tehran municipality
officials arrested during the investigation appeared to have had access to a
lawyer during their detention. In December an appeal court reduced the
custodial sentence against Gholam Hussain Karbaschi from five to two years.
An appeal to the Supreme Court was pending at the end of the year.
Political prisoners serving long prison terms after unfair trials included:
supporters of the PMOI; members of the Mohajerin movement (followers of Dr
'Ali Shari'ati); members of leftist organizations such as the Tudeh party,
Peykar and factions of the Organization of the People's Fedaiyan of Iran;
supporters of Kurdish groups such as Komala and the KDPI; and supporters of
other groups representing ethnic minorities such as Baluchis and Arabs.
Torture and ill-treatment continued to be reported. Many of the Tehran
municipality officials mentioned above claimed they were tortured to elicit
confessions or to incriminate others: methods used reportedly included
beatings with hands, feet and sticks; flogging with whips; sleep
deprivation, at times combined with being forced to stand for long periods;
exposure to loud noises; lack of food; and threats to relatives.
Judicial punishments amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading
punishment continued to be reported. Flogging was reportedly imposed for a
wide range of offences, at times in conjunction with the death penalty or a
Vahide Ghassemi, the co-accused of Helmut Hofer (see below), was reportedly
sentenced to 100 lashes in October after she was convicted of illicit sexual
relations. It was unknown whether the sentence was carried out.
In November Khosrow Ebrahimi was acquitted after he escaped from the pit in
which he had been buried to the waist in order to be stoned to death in the
town of Lahijan. He had been sentenced to death for adultery.
Mohammad 'Ali Ataei, originally sentenced to death by a military court in
the city of Rasht in January on vaguely worded charges including robbery and
"being against the people", reportedly received 300 lashes before being
released in July.
A number of possible "disappearances" were reported. Pirouz Davani, a critic
of the government who had spent four years in prison between 1990 and 1994,
"disappeared" in August in Tehran. The authorities denied all knowledge of
Reports of deaths in circumstances which suggested possible extrajudicial
executions continued to be received. According to reports, Aman Naroui, a
Sunni cleric from Zabol, Sistan-Baluchistan province, was killed by
unidentified gunmen in July following his criticism of government policies
in the region. To Amnesty International's knowledge the killing was not
The threat of extrajudicial execution continued to extend to Iranian
nationals resident abroad, as well as to non-Iranians.
In September President Khatami and other senior officials sought to distance
themselves from the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa calling
for the death of author Salman Rushdie, a United Kingdom national, as well
as from the US$2.5 million bounty offered for Salman Rushdie's life by the
15 Khordad Foundation (see previous Amnesty International Reports).
However, several senior religious figures and members of parliament in Iran
continued to support the fatwa, and in October the 15 Khordad Foundation
increased to US$3 million the reward for killing Salman Rushdie.
In November Majid Sharif, a journalist and translator who had reportedly
written articles advocating the separation of the state and religion, was
found dead after he failed to return from a religious ceremony in the city
of Mashhad. The circumstances of his death were suspicious.
The same month Dariyush Foruhar, leader of the banned Hezb-e Mellat-e Iran,
Iran Nation Party, and his wife, Parvaneh Foruhar, were killed at their home
In December Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Ja'far Puyandeh, both of whom
had been questioned by the authorities in October in connection with their
desire to establish an independent writers' association, were found dead.
They had "disappeared" a few days earlier. Both had reportedly been
strangled. An investigation was in progress at the end of the year.
The death penalty continued to be widely used, often imposed for vaguely
worded offences - including political offences and those relating to freedom
of belief - frequently after unfair trials. Scores of executions, including
a number carried out in public, were reported, although the true figures may
well have been considerably higher.
Morteza Firouzi, editor of the English-language daily Iran News who was held
in unacknowledged detention for over 10 weeks in 1997 (see Amnesty
International Report 1998), was reportedly sentenced to death in January on
charges of "spying for a foreign country". In May the death sentence was
upheld by the Supreme Court, but shortly afterwards the case was referred
back to the Court of First Instance for reconsideration. There was no
further news of Morteza Firouzi's fate.
Ruhollah Rowhani was executed in Mashhad in July after he was convicted of
converting a Shi'a Muslim woman to the Baha'i faith. Two other Baha'is who
were convicted in the same case remained in Mashhad prison under sentence of
Helmut Hofer, a German, was sentenced to death in January for having sexual
relations with an Iranian Muslim woman, Vahide Ghassemi (see above).
Following an appeal, the court of first hearing reinstated the death
sentence in October. A second appeal was pending before the Supreme Court.
In August 'Abdollah Amini was reportedly given four death sentences on
charges of KDPI membership and involvement in the killing of Iranian
Revolutionary Guard prisoners while he was commandant of a KDPI internment
camp during the 1980s. It was not known whether he was executed.
Hossein Dowlatkhah, a businessman reportedly convicted in 1997 of
"corruption on earth" and other offences was hanged in Tehran in November.
In June the PMOI caused bomb explosions at three locations in Tehran,
including the office of the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor, in which an
unconfirmed number of people were killed, some or all of whom were
civilians. The PMOI claimed responsibility for the killing in August of
Assadollah Lajevardi, former governor of Evin prison, and two other people.
Amnesty International called for the unconditional and immediate release of
all prisoners of conscience and a review of legislation which allows for the
imprisonment of prisoners of conscience.
Amnesty International urged the authorities to review the cases of political
prisoners, so that those sentenced after an unfair trial could be promptly
retried in accordance with international standards.
Amnesty International also urged that those detained without charge or trial
be charged with recognizably criminal offences and given fair trials, or
Amnesty International called on the government to ensure impartial and
thorough investigations into allegations of torture, "disappearances" and
extrajudicial executions, and to bring those responsible to justice. The
organization also called for the commutation of death sentences and of
judicial punishments amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading
Amnesty International received replies from the authorities clarifying some
cases, but the replies did not address many of the organization's continuing
human rights concerns.
Amnesty International continued to investigate the situation of detainees
reportedly held by some armed opposition groups. It called on the PMOI to
stop targeting civilians in armed attacks.
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 20:25:51 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Iran/NY Post: CHUCK, JESSE GO TO BAT FOR IRANIAN JEWS HELD AS SPIES
The New York Post
CHUCK, JESSE GO TO BAT FOR IRANIAN JEWS HELD AS SPIES
By BRIAN BLOMQUIST
WASHINGTON - Several members of Congress yesterday denounced the arrest of
13 Iranian Jews on apparently trumped-up spying charges, and Jesse Jackson
is weighing a trip to Iran to seek their release.
The Senate last night was set to pass a resolution offered by Sen. Charles
Schumer (D-N.Y.) to condemn their arrest and freeze relations with Iran
until all 13 are released.
"The whole world is watching," Schumer said yesterday as he encouraged other
industrialized nations to turn up the pressure on Iran.
The decision to execute or release the 13 is a dilemma for Iran's new
president, Mohammad Khatami, a reformer who would like to bring Iran into
the world community but who faces resistance from hard-liners who want Iran
to stay isolated from the rest of the world.
Jackson, who was approached by U.S. Jewish leaders, said he'd go to Iran if
it would do any good.
"We will gladly pursue, with all within us, humanitarian appeals for their
release," Jackson wrote to Abraham Foxman, national director of the
The 13 Iranian Jews were jailed in March, but Tehran-based media first
reported their arrest just last week.
Several Congress members who have been monitoring the situation said they
believe the 13 were tortured until they confessed to spying - an offense
that carries the death penalty - for the United States and Israel.
Both countries deny the charges, but those denials might not matter. "This
is an internal affair," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza
Iran has had a minority-Jewish population for more than 2,500 years. Today,
there are more than 20,000 Jews living in Iran, but their numbers have
diminished as many have fled the country. Jews in Iran are not allowed to
hold government jobs and are discriminated against in other ways.
Those arrested include rabbis, teachers, ritual butchers, circumcisers, a
graveyard guard and a 16-year-old boy."We can ascribe no credit to these
accusations," French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said yesterday.
France's criticism may carry some weight, because the French have a huge oil
deal in the works with Iran.
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 22 Jun 1999 to 23 Jun 1999