Wednesday, August 16, 2006
FREE AHMAD BATEBI
"The soldiers beat my hands and secured them to plumbing pipes. They beat my head and abdominal area with soldiers' shoes...[they] held me under [a drain full of excrement] for so long I was unable to breathe and the excrement was inhaled through my nose and seeped into my mouth."
Ahmad Batebi, writing in an open letter following his imprisonment in 1999.
In the summer of 1999, 21 year old film student Ahmad Batebi arrived at a peaceful student protest held in front of his school at University of Tehran. A vigilante mob supported by the special security police had already attacked the protestors injuring several students, arresting numerous others and killing at least one.
Batebi who was trained as an emergency paramedic by the Red Crescent Society of Iran was assisting the injured when he came across a severely injured friend and held his friend's bloody t-shirt above his head to show the cruelty of the attackers. A photography of that incident appeared on the cover of the Economist and spread around the world.
Batebi was arrested on that day and was later brought to trial in front of the special "revolutionary court" in Tehran. The Economist cover didn't help his case much. His "trial" lasted only a few minutes and he was denied having a lawyer present to defend him. He received a death sentence but internal and international pressure, finally caused the authorities to reduce his sentence to 15 years.
The following is from the Blog site of Maryam Namazie. Maryam Namazie is actively involved in promoting the Third Camp against US militarism and Islamic terrorism, a producer of TV International English and Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran's International Relations Committee.
Release Ahmad Batebi now!
To human rights organizations and freedom lovers around the globe
About the critical condition of a political prisoner in Iran
Ahmad Batebi is one of many political prisoners in Iran. He was arrested in 1999 when a student demonstration was brutally attacked by Iranian police forces.
His “crime” was holding up a bloody shirt belonging to one of his injured fellow students in front of the cameras and his photograph was soon published widely in many countries revealing the Islamic republic’s savage ways towards its opponents.
Ahmed Batebi is now in a critical situation, severely ill and on hunger strike. For more information on Batebi’s condition, please see the following letter from his wife Somaie Baiienat. Her letter is very detailed and expressive. Ahmad Batebi’s life is in danger and only an international urgent action can save his life. The Islamic regime of Iran must be forced by international pressure to release Ahmed Batebi.
As a woman who has spent eight years (from June 1982 till May 1990) in Islamic regime’s prisons experiencing horrific torture and harassments, I call on all of you, human rights groups and organizations and those who care for humanity and for freedom, to act quickly, write protest letters to Iranian authorities and demand Batebi’s and all political prisoners’ immediate release.
Please send your letters to the following addresses and send me a copy so I could let the Iranian people know of your support via Farsi publications.
(A former political prisoner in the Islamic regime’s prisons)
Please send your protest letters to:
1. Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei
2. Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, Ministry of Justice
Email: Please send emails via the feedback form on the Persian site of the website: http://www.iranjudiciary.org/contactus-feedback-fa.html (The text of the feedback form translates as: 1st line: name, 2nd line: email address, 3rd line: subject heading. Then enter your email into the text box.)
Letter from Ahmad Batebi's wife to the UN
Respected chairman of the Commission of the Human Rights of the UN:
This letter is being forwarded to you by the wife of Ahmad Batebi a student arrested during the student uprising of 1999 and condemned to the capital punishment by the Islamic Revolutionary Courts a sentence commuted to 15 years of imprisonment.
After serving six years of his sentence he fell ill and doctors appointed by the judiciary system judged his condition as severe and granted him a sick leave for a short time, during his short release we noted that his ailments included severe kidney, spinal and intestinal problems that were not treated properly and needed an urgent attention.
Physicians appointed by the court reported that his general condition could deteriorate if he was to be jailed again and urged the court to order his release since he could die or be crippled for life.
Therefore he was released from jail to seek proper medical attention.
On 27/7/2006 unknown armed persons conducted a house search and arrested Ahmad Batebi and drove him to an undisclosed location.
During his arrest my husband declared that he would go on a hunger strike immediately our lawyer tried to locate him and was unsuccessful in his attempts, and considering his physical conditions we are deeply worried about his health.
Needless to say that my husband's friend Mr. Akbar Mohammadi who also participated in the student uprising is being kept in a similar condition and died of hunger strike nine days later in Evin jail.
I am deeply concerned about the fact that my husband's actual mental and physical conditions could lead to the same fate.
Despite numerous attempts to contact him through the judiciary system and the Evin jail by means of letters and telephone calls I am still in doubt over the whereabouts of my husband and I fear him dead.
Following the creation of the human rights council in the United Nations which is giving us new hopes for exploring new avenues in human rights and has raised our expectations for getting a team of experts to come to Iran and evaluate the actual state of human rights which would enable us to expect to get the most basic right for my husband to get out of jail for his medical treatment.
Hoping to have attracted your attention to my desperate plea.
Somaie Baiienat (wife of Ahmad Batebi a student in the jail since 1999)
Medical report on the hunger strike of Ahmad Batebi
Today 15/5/85 (6 August 2006) is the ninth day of the arrest and hunger strike of Ahmad Batebi.
As an independent physician who has been in charge of Ahmad Batebi's health outside of prison, I feel it necessary to note some points about his physical condition:
1- As a result of disk herniation (L4 & L5) due to a blow, Ahmad Batebi is in need of ongoing physiotherapy, medication and further investigation for an operation. If lack of treatment and hunger strike continue, he will face complete physical and sensory paralysis in the lower body.
2- High blood haemoglobin (17 g/dl), which is normally between 12-14 g/dl, will result in arteriosclerosis and an eventual heart attack.
3- High cholesterol, uric acid and triglyceride, which if not treated will irreparably damage his vital organs, namely kidneys, liver and heart.
4- His kidney haemorrhage may possibly be the result of high blood haemoglobin or kidney stone and needs further investigation.
5- Stomach bloating and duodenal ulcer, which can worsen and result in the puncturing of the stomach and/or duodenum, causing internal bleeding.
In light of the above, regarding Mr Ahmad Batebi’s many physical ailments, I find it necessary to warn all those responsible and the doctors inside the prison that if his hunger strike does not end and he is not transferred to outside medical care, he will meet the same unfortunate fate of Akbar Mohammadi.
The life of a human being is in danger; his situation needs addressing before another unfortunate incident arises.
Dr Hesam Firouzi