Kurdish Former Political Prisoners Intimidated and Harassed in Orumiyeh and Mahabad

Zeinab Bayazidi, a former prisoner of conscience, was released on November 20, 2012, after serving 4.5 years inside the Maragheh Prison. Over the past few days, Bayazidi has received threatening phone calls from individuals with blocked telephone numbers and has been visibly followed by several suspicious vehicles. Pictured: Zeinab Bayazidi and her mother after her release.

Over the past several months, Orumiyeh and Mahabad Intelligence Offices have summoned, detained, and harassed several Kurdish former political prisoners on the pretext of concern over their continued political activities after their release from prison, a local source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. In most reported cases, security forces have gone to the homes of former political prisoners on several occasions. The forces have searched the homes for several hours without providing any explanation for these actions, detaining the individuals and releasing them later.

According to the source, since the fall of 2010, Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Unit forces have thrice detained Shirzad Beigzadeh, a resident of Hoosan village outside the city of Orumiyeh. Each time, they held the former political prisoner who served a year in prison for 24 hours, and also searched his house. Over the past month, the Orumiyeh Intelligence Office has also summoned Beigzadeh to their Information Unit. The former prisoner of conscience was arrested on May 12, 2005, and spent six months inside the Orumiyeh Intelligence Office Detention Center under interrogation and physical and psychological torture, and suffered a broken rib. He was later temporarily released on bail. In 2006, Branch One of Orumiyeh Revolutionary Court sentenced him to four years in prison on charges of cooperating with a Kurdish political party. After his appeal, the Supreme Court reduced his sentence to one year in prison and three years’ suspended prison time.

The source, a human rights activist, told the Campaign that Zeinab Bayazidi, a former prisoner of conscience released on November 20, 2012, after serving 4.5 years at Maragheh Prison, has received threatening phone calls from individuals with blocked telephone numbers and has been visibly followed by several suspicious vehicles. During these phone calls, the anonymous callers have told Bayazidi that they are aware of “her secret activities after her release from prison,” and that they “wouldn’t allow her to continue her activities so easily.” Following the arrests of several Kurdish political and civil activists in Mahabad, pressure and threats have mounted. Previously in 2005, a female Kurdish activist from Mahabad, Serwah Kamkar, was arrested violently at a city square in public by forces from the Mahabad Intelligence Office; she was released several hours later with bruises on her body.

The human rights activist told the Campaign that due to the high sensitivity and the Iranian regime’s security approach to all issues, the Intelligence Office and the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Unit in Kurdish regions of Iran routinely put pressure on former political prisoners and their families through summonses, threats, and prosecution of the individuals, in order to create an atmosphere of fear, aiming to dissuade them from continuing their political activities.

Source: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran


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